Rorshach. The Comedian. Dr. Manhattan. Silk Spectre. Nite Owl. Ozymandias.
Who watches the Watchmen?
At this point, who doesn’t? It’s sold over a million copies and is the first thing people mention when talking comics–for-adults. It’s the only graphic novel to make Time’s 100 Best Novels list, one of Entertainment Weekly’s Top 50 novels of the past 25 years, and has made fans of everyone from film directors Zack Snyder and Darren Aronofsky to the writers on Lost.
Watchmen takes place in an alternate world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history: The US won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the cold war is in full effect. It begins with a murder-mystery before unfolding into a planet-altering conspiracy: When a retired hero is killed, his former teammates must investigate. The conspiracy they uncover will entwine their secret traumas and twisted psychologies, ultimately asking where the fine line is drawn between heroes and villains?
Popularly cited as the point where comics came of age, Watchmen’s sophisticated take on superheroes has been universally acclaimed for its psychological depth and realism. It’s slowly and inevitably become it’s own franchise, spawning a movie, video game, and the Before Watchmen prequel comics.
WATCHMEN #1 (1987)