It’s been claimed the most celebrated graphic novel of all time… Proclaimed by many as one of the greatest pieces of American literature… and thanks to a very generous $25 Books A Million Gift Card, I’ve read it. Watchmen is the super heroic tale of a band of washed up, retired superheroes coming to their own ways to unravel a mystery behind The Comedian’s death, a string of “picked off costumed heroes” and to save the world from tearing itself apart. Believe me, these aren’t your nursing home retired superheroes, these guys can still kick your butt 3 times over, all in a few minutes. This also isn’t your average children’s comic. The gritty tale is told harshly, coldly, and without mercy, leaving you on the edge of your seat. The story focuses around the events of several ex-superheroes, including the two generations of the Night Owl (the Batman of the group) and Silk Spectres, Rorshach (The Lone Detective), Dr. Manhattan (A God-like figure), Ozymondias (The World’s Smartest Man), and their previous generations. The story is set in a 1980s cold war era, which serves as a great proving ground for a lot of the bigger issues-humanity, war, self-righteousness, god complexes, right and wrong, and so much more. The story is very gritty, very language and violence filled, so keep the kids away. The art style in the book is also very vibrant, pertaining a lot to stand out colors like yellows, greens, and purples that make the pages really jump out. Only thing that left me disappointed though was the ending, which felt almost anticlimactic. They build up this huge end-of-the-world revelation, and it kinda just bails out. Plus, the adult themes can get pretty intense at times. I had heard so many times that this is a must read for all comic fans, and after reading it, I can faithfully say it as well. If you are a fan of comics, you should at least give this one a read. You can get it at BAM for less than $20, it’s totally worth it. For the amount of deep, incredibly thought out story and mythology, and the wonderful colors and dialogue, this deserves to be on any die-hard comic fan’s bookshelf.
4 1/2 out of 5