Friday, November 14, 2008

Struggling With 'Watchmen'

Am I allowed to say that I am having issues with "Watchmen?" As in, I don't like it that much?

Saying you dislike "Watchmen" is almost blasphemous for a geek, considering that the graphic novel has been called the best of its genre, ever. I certainly understand the historical and literary importance of "Watchmen." It's easy to see how Alan Moore's opus broke all kinds of new ground and inspired a style that comic lovers take for granted now. Had I read it back in college, I'm sure it would have blown me away.

But having read so many fresher (and frankly, better) comics and graphic novels first, I'm having a hard time appreciating "Watchmen" on its own merits. I'm about halfway through a borrowed copy, and the only character I give a hoot about is Dr. Manhattan, who gains superhuman powers after accidentally having his atoms rearranged in a nuclear physics experiment. I am extremely annoyed by the whiny, two-dimensional female characters, particularly the second Silk Spectre. As several friends have pointed out, her only function appears to be servicing Dr. Manhattan — and she can't even do that without being tiresome.

Under normal circumstances, I'd say life's too short to slog through a so-so book you don't have to read. But since this is a classic — a geek classic — I feel obligated to see it through, and I've even given myself a Thanksgiving deadline. At least then, I'll be able to offer a more informed opinion and compare it to the film version.


The Irredeemable Shag said...

Finish the book, or hand in your Geek Card. It's that simple. There aren't many rules to being a comics geek, but this is one of 'em. :)

The Irredeemable Shag

EDP said...

I know! That's why I gave myself a deadline. I could never show my face again if I didn't finish it. You've been very generous. :-)

Christina said...

Roschach turned out to be the most interesting character, to me. If it's really not interesting you, just read the Wikipedia page. It's like Cliff Notes, and I admit that I gained a lot of appreciation for it after someone, well, explained to me what it was I should be looking for.

But I didn't love it.

EDP said...

I've heard about the incredible amount of detail work that went into it, from the color palette to the real New York landmarks. And yet ...