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Watchmen /

This stunning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of superheroes plagued by all too human failings. The concept of the super hero is dissected and inverted as strangely realistic characters are stalked by an unknown assassin. Originally published as a 12 issue series in 1986 and...

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Main Author: Moore, Alan, 1953-
Other Authors: Gibbons, Dave.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : DC Comics Inc., 1987
Edition: Book club ed.
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Review by Booklist Review

Warner's third packaging of a comic book serial as a graphic novel tells as trite a tale as Frank Miller's Ronin and Saga of the Swamp Thing (Booklist 84:598 D 1 87). It's a long, sinuous yarn about several costumed crime fighters (a la Batman but grungily workaday) trying to foil a plot to destroy them and maybe the world in an alternative 1985 U.S. over which Nixon, having won the Vietnam War and repealed the 22d Amendment, still presides. Totally squelching the impulse to toss the silly fantasy aside is Dave Gibbons' spectacular illustration. He emulates the style of hyperactive TV shows, changing point of view in nearly every frame and mercurially shifting to and fro in time in order to recap main characters' careers or to juxtapose the story's real world with the imaginary past of a horror comic that a minor character is reading. It's all flat-out dazzling: you keep turning the pages just to be surprised and delighted by sheer visual-narrative virtuosity, and you're never disappointed. Spielberg and Lucas should make movies this flashy. RO. 741.5'973 Comic books, strips, etc.-U.S.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

When first serialized in 1986-7, this extraordinary story took the comics world by storm, and its fresh approach, more mature and realistic than most other mainstream comics of the time, became a template for much of what came later. In a world where superheroes have been outlawed, the murder of amoral government agent and ex-superhero the Comedian leads some of his former colleagues to investigate, and thereby uncover a plot of incredible scope and impact. Moore and Gibbons delve deeply into the psychology of the heroes, including the uncompromising, illegally operating urban denizen Rorschach; the wealthy super-intelligent businessman Ozymandias; and the atom-powered, blue-skinned, aloof Dr. Manhattan, and the heroes' political, technological, and cultural impact on their unsettled world is thoroughly delineated. Further, Moore proved himself an immensely skilled scriptwriter, weaving together complementary plotlines that comment on and deepen the book's main action. This remains a pinnacle of comics achievement, and no collection should be without it (with mature themes and some nudity, it's recommended for older teens and adults). This new oversized (12"x8") hardcover, with its colors revised by original colorist John Higgins and with preliminary sketches and story notes appended, is the finest version available. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.