Watchmen (Spoilers)

Okay, I've read Watchmen before. I have it. I've tried to read it many times, and it's very complicated.

Obviously, I'm not going to be able to describe the whole plot, because all of the different characters are what help flesh out the plot, but I'm trying to wrap my head around the story, so tell me if I've got the gist of it:

The world is kind of in panic because of the nuclear arms race and the Cold War, and Ozymandias believes that the best way to stop the fighting between the US and the Soviet Union, or humans in general, is to create a faux alien invasion, dropping an "alien" bomb in NYC that will kill a bunch of people and convince the world's leaders to stop fighting each other and fight the "alien" invasion instead? And that's just Ozymandias' point of view. But basically, he wants to create unity and world peace and stuff?

And along with that, we've got the history of the Comedian and the Silk Spectre, we have Dr. Manhattan's social dilemma, we have Rorshach's war on crime which would have ended anyways if he had lived to see the world unified by Ozymandias' faux alien invasion? So really, the story is about Ozymandias, and the other characters represent the different aspects of society and how the characters are connected to the whole plot?

So to sum it all up, would you say that the story is ultimately about morality, the struggles of life, working toward order? I dunno....what's the opposite of entropy? I'd say that most superheroes are mainly concerned with working toward order, so is this novel like a metaphor for that or something? Even though most of the second half of the novel is about nuclear holocaust / impending doom?
Last edited:
I've always seen it as an explanation of how "superhero morality", i.e. good vs evil, is false in the context of the real world.

Veidt killed millions of people because he believed he was doing what was 'good' and 'right'. To him, it was an act of superheroism.

That's why it's considered to be a 'deconstruction' of the superhero genre. It points out how impractical that view of the world would really be.
Dave Gibbons is doing a Q-and-A of some sort and talking about his new book "Watching The Watchmen" downtown on Sunday, and then a book signing afterwards. And I'm totally going to go.

It's gotta be so surreal for the artists to see it come to life
"Rorschach and The NYPD are attending Secret 11:30 Rendezvous.

Rorschach has added Jail to Places I've Visited."

CBR have been running a feature where two guys reread Watchmen and occasionally other people join in like Damon Lindelof and Mark Waid. I found this little beauty:

By the time issue twelve rolled around, everything was different for me. I was, by then, working on-staff as an editor at DC Comics, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that when I began there, even the fact that "Watchmen" was taking what seemed like forever to come out hadn't quelled anyone's enthusiasm. The editors were just as high on it as the readers were, and advance peeks at the last couple of issues were tough to negotiate -- no one wanted the secrets to slip out. Nonetheless, staffers and freelancers alike were constantly stopping by editor Barbara Kesel's desk to see what had come in, and she may as well have had a revolving door on her office.

The fever pitch became so great that inker Al Gordon, living in California and unable to swing by the offices for a look, called up everyone at DC so incessantly, begging for advance faxes from anyone, that editors Mike Carlin and Andy Helfer actually used existing art and pulled in letterer Steve Bove to mock up "believable-once-they're-run-through-a-fax-machine" but utterly fake pages to send the guy to get him to shoo. And while I know that, technically, we're on issue 11 in this commentary and I'm jumping an issue ahead, here's a brief sample (thanks, Carlini!):

It gets increasingly wackier, but it's really subtle at first. The first dozen pages or so, you wouldn't know your mind was being messed with unless you were paying super-close attention, I swear. Gradually, however, small alterations in the lettering and art turn into huge ones. In the end, by the time Veidt reveals that his agent of psychic delivery isn't the squid, it's reruns of "Pee Wee's Playhouse," you'd kinda have to catch on.

Also, I have learned so much stuff from reading these features. I didn't realise you actually see Ozymandias press the button that teleports the squid or that he gives a sneaky glance at the reader immediately afterwards. It's brilliant. Watchmen is so dense and so fantastic. Alan Moore is a legend and a genius. I love Watchmen.

And sort of unrelated:

ATOM!: Poor guys, first they escape death in "the tropics" (and, yes, that's a reference to Cheney), to live in a dome with a crazy person and then the end comes the first time they get to taste the master's wine.

CARR: There's a great shot of the full glass of wine behind Adrian indicating that he's not drinking it.

MARK: This scene is a microcosm of my experience at CrossGen.


I keep having to edit my post because I keep finding stuff... I never realised that Ozymandias probably owned the lock company.

Anyway, here's the link to all the features. I've only read the last two but I've already learned so much. I should probably read an actual annotation guide next time I read Watchmen.
Last edited:
Someone needs to make stickers that say "I liked Watchmen before Zack Synder said it was cool to" or something to that effect.

Latest posts