Watchmen (1986-1987)

Who watches the watchmen? The quintessential question that Watchmen asks. It never states the answer outright, but it’s obvious that there’s no higher authority than the watchmen themselves. But since most of them are either inept, insane or outright alien to human thinking, they aren’t doing a good job at policing themselves. Watchmen is happily deconstructing superheroes, painting a moderately realistic picture of what superheroes might be if they were real. It’s a rather dense read that demands all your attention.

The thing with the pirates displacing superheroes in comics was a clever bit. I only realized it on my second read. And yet, for all that Watchmen does well, the ending of Watchmen was a letdown. The final plan to unite humanity. Does anyone really believed this could work. It’s like the ending of Independence Day, and everyone laughed about that one. Unity in the face of a common enemy. That might work for 24 hours.

Some last words on Rorschach. It’s funny that one of the most unappealing characters in the comic is the one who succeeds where all the other “heroes” failed. Who watches the watchmen? Rorschach did, and then his morals got him killed. Which makes him, in an ironic sense, the best of the bunch of heroes.