Tuesday, October 28, 2008


a graphic novel written by Alan Moore; illustrated by Dave Gibbons.

Quickie Recap: Tensions are high as the U.S. edges closer to war with Russia. When a government-sponsored superhero is murdered, one of his colleagues, Rorschach, smells conspiracy and warns the others that a costumed-hero killer seems to be on the loose, but what he actually uncovers is much worse: one of his own has devised a plan for avoiding war but does so by sacrificing the lives of millions...

Quickie Review: This book will challenge your notions of what heroism consists of, what acceptable losses are, and ultimately asks: who watches the watchmen? Visually, the novel is stunning. I read the first page, and getting to the last panel, I realized I need to go back to the first and start over. Each panel is constructed to punch you in the gut and is bursting with symbolism, the extent of which would probably require several readings to fully know. Although sympathetic to the plight of the superhero, having placed them in a contemporary context, Moore seems to be asking: why do we trust these guys, and are we sure we should leave the fate of the world in their hands?

Quickie Recommendation: Some of the most gripping stuff I've read in a long time.


Mark said...

So glad to see this on your review site. I just finished this one a month ago, and was riveted the entire time.

Now I can only hope the movie doesn't ruin the franchise and any chance of making people realize some graphic novels can be taken seriously (it was my first besides the award-winning Fun Home, which has nothing to do with heroes, but that you might enjoy).

Jay said...

Cool, thanks, I'll be sure to add that to my list.

I'm always surprised at how engaging and accomplished graphic novels can be. I fell in love via Ghost World, and was deeply disturbed by Black Holes (neither of the hero genre, either).