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Watchmen

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Reading Watchmen

It is hard to describe how good Watchmen is. It is important not to ignore Watchmen because it is a comic. Watchmen is a great mystery thriller, analytical read, political commentator, and comic satire all in one. And it shocks the reader from beginning to end. Starting with the words: 'Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.' The reader is dragged into the demented world of Rorschach, the introductory vigilante hero. Watchmen is character driven and has an intense, complex plot, the entire story relating back to one, insignificant seeming scene. The use of the graphic novel as a medium helps to express the multi-layered story. The main characters have to deal with the tense political situation of somewhere between the Cuban missile crisis and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. The story deals with contradicting, complex morals, outright violence, rape, and little people's ability to cope with the world's insanity. One of its many messages about 'man's capacity for horrors' and 'the worlds black underbelly' is illustrated using the real life case of Kitty Genovese, who was brutally tortured, raped and killed in front of forty bystanders, who did nothing. Each of the twelve chapters, with the exception of the last, is also accompanied by a prose piece from the fictional world of Watchmen: excerpts from the autobiography of a retired hero, right and left wing newspapers articles, Sally Jupiter's (another heroine) scrapbook, a psychological profile on the disturbed Rorschach, a scientific article on Dr. Manhattan's powers, and an essay on bird watching by the alter ego of Night Owl, Dan Dreiberg. This adds realism and to the story and gives a unique insight into these characters. The best way to describe how heavy and moving the story is would be to say that after reading Watchmen, you feel the effect of being hit with a ton of moral philosophy, popular culture, history, art, and science far more heavy handed than The Matrix or American Beauty. It is violent, gritty, and dark, but this does not bring the story down in

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