Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Review : Watchmen by Alan Moore

I do not think my pathetic reviewing skills are going to do any justice to the Holy Grail of graphic novels but I am going to try anyway. To be honest, I was not very optimistic about this one. I never really got the “holier than thou” masked crusader concept; but Watchmen is so different. This book is not just about fancy costumes and superpowers; it’s about ethical dilemmas and complex morality. I loved how Alan Moore has explored the human psychology behind the desire to be a super hero. Unlike most of the stories of this genre, Watchmen focuses on the darker side of the heroes-their mistakes and murky pasts. Watchmen is not about a bunch of vigilantes fighting the evil and saving the world. It is about the heroes fighting their own inner monsters (and eventually saving the world).There were times, I felt sorry for them and there were times ,I felt like kicking their asses and finally I just gave up judging them. In my opinion, any book which brings out such a wide range of emotions in the reader is a great one.
                                   The alternate history approach was pretty amazing too. For a while, I actually believed that Americans had won the Vietnam War and the world leaders were really stupid enough to start a nuclear war. The “comic within a comic” idea was innovative but I have to admit that its significance was totally lost on me. (I am not very good at picking up metaphors and symbolism).The only disappointing aspect about the book is the way Alan Moore has handled the female characters. Laurie’s character did not have any depth to it and I felt she was used a sex symbol. Same goes for her mother. In a story which boasts of such amazing characters, the female personalities seemed very stereotypical.
                                                       It’s one of those books which leave you with more questions than answers .It is not an effortless read like few other graphic novels(Maus,Persepolis) but in the end ,it’s worth the time and endeavor.

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