Watchmen

( 523 )

Overview

A New York Times Best Seller!

Considered the greatest graphic novel in the history of the medium, the Hugo Award-winning story chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin.

This edition of WATCHMEN, the groundbreaking series from Alan Moore, the ...

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Overview

A New York Times Best Seller!

Considered the greatest graphic novel in the history of the medium, the Hugo Award-winning story chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin.

This edition of WATCHMEN, the groundbreaking series from Alan Moore, the award-winning writer of V FOR VENDETTA and BATMN: THE KILLING JOKE, and Dave Gibbons, the artist of GREEN LANTERN, features the high-quality, recolored pages found in WATCHMEN: THE ABSOLUTE EDITION with sketches, never-before-seen extra bonus materials and a new introduction by Dave Gibbons.

Who watches the Watchmen. Someone does. Someone who's trying to kill them all, one by one. Time's running out for the Watchmen... .

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Alan Moore, the master storyteller behind V for Vendetta, and Dave Gibbons, a brilliant draftsman, have long been revered by comic book fans as the creators of Watchmen, a groundbreaking graphic novel that subverts the superhero genre as easily as a toddler upends a house of cards. Rather than focusing on superhuman abilities, Moore instead zeroes in on the humanity of his characters and leavens what is essentially a murder mystery with enough social commentary and political intrigue to fill a shelf of graphic novels several times over. Gibbons, too, in his detailed yet understated style, conveys a wealth of emotions that easily rival any Oscar-winning performance. Factoring in added treats like excerpts from Moore’s original working script (complete with highlighted notes), character studies, page thumbnails, and cover sketches taken directly from Gibbons’s sketchbook, this deluxe 20th anniversary edition is simply a must-have.
From the Publisher
"A work of ruthless psychological realism, it’s a landmark in the graphic novel medium. It would be a masterpiece in any."
–TIME, TIME MAGAZINE’s 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present
Dave Itzkoff
The would-be heroes of Watchmen have staggeringly complex psychological profiles: beneath his mask, the hard-nosed vigilante Rorschach is not a billionaire Bruce Wayne-like playboy but a troubled loner with a sociopathic streak. The gadget-dependent Nite-Owl is a sexually impotent pushover. Dr. Manhattan, the lone character who genuinely possesses supernatural powers (gained from a quantum physics experiment gone horribly wrong), is so close to godhood that he can appreciate human affairs only at a subatomic scale.
— The New York Times
Rolling Stone
Watchmen is peerless. — Mikal Gilmore, Rolling Stone
Village Voice
A brilliant piece of fiction. — Richard Gehr, The Village Voice
Library Journal
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. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401245252
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 5/13/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 252
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Moore is perhaps the most acclaimed writer in the graphic story medium, having garnered countless awards for works such as WATCHMEN, V FOR VENDETTA, SWAMP THING and Miracleman. He is also the mastermind behind the America's Best Comics line, through which he has created (along with many talented illustrators) THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, PROMETHEA, TOM STRONG, TOMORROW STORIES and TOP TEN. As one of the medium's most important innovators since the early 1980s, Moore has influenced an entire generation of comics creators, and his work continues to inspire an ever-growing audience.
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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Dave Gibbons Barnes & Noble.com: The classic graphic novel Watchmen has just been reissued in an "Absolute" edition by DC Comics. How much input did you and Alan Moore have in the creation of Absolute Watchmen? Dave Gibbons: Alan had no input, since it was primarily a matter of presentation rather than content. I've always believed that design is an important part of the total effect of a work, so I came up with new designs based on the existing iconography. The main hands-on part of the work was the digitally remastered coloring, which was handled by original colorist John Higgins.B&N.com: What's it like working with Moore? DG: Alan and I have always had a friendly and enjoyable working relationship and it's never less than fun. Challenging and hard work, but still fun! Alan is a very giving and perceptive collaborator, always tailoring his scripts to the strengths of his artists. B&N.com: Watchmen was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels of all time; most notably, it was the only graphic novel on the list. What was your reaction when you heard the news? DG: Surprised but flattered! B&N.com: A long-planned film version of Watchmen has been delayed yet again. Are you in favor of a film version being made?DG: I don't think it's necessary. The book is the true work. I'd be interested to see a movie of it. Maybe delighted, maybe horrified, but interested. It's out of our hands, anyway.B&N.com: Why do you think there's been such a large "British Invasion" of American comics over the years? DG: I think that we Brits have the same familiarity with the characters and concepts as our American cousins, but a whole set of divergent cultural attitudes that enable us to bring a slightly skewed and fresh feel to it. B&N.com: Comic book geeks worldwide have been clamoring for Watchmen action figures. Do you think they'll ever be made?DG: I have no idea. I'd quite like a set, myself. But then, I'm nothing if not a fan-boy! B&N.com: Do you see any similarities between the fictional world you and Moore created, and today's real world? DG: We were not aiming to be prophetic, just analytical. I've seen a few electric cars, and Asian food seems ever more popular, but as yet, no blue supermen or popular pirate comics!B&N.com: What's your next project? DG: I'm enjoying myself deep in the heart of the DC Comics Universe at the moment, working on their science fiction characters, particularly the Green Lantern Corps. I'm also writing a series that's being drawn by John Higgins, called Thunderbolt Jaxon. It's a revival of a great old British comic character.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 523 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(397)

4 Star

(83)

3 Star

(26)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 523 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The Watchmen

    So it took me this long to finally read what many people claim to arguably be the greatest graphic novel of all time: The Watchmen. That argument has been given to me for a while and perhaps it was the hype itself that made me originally reject it; or maybe it was the fact that stylistically, the artwork itself did not seem to magnetize me; or was it the character concepts with a certain old school je ne sais quoi which simply did not interest me.<BR/><BR/>I finally did and though I am by no means in a position to call it or disregard it as the `greatest graphic novel of all time¿, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it is the greatest graphic novel I have ever read. That may not mean much; though I am perhaps more familiarized with comics than the average person, my comic knowledge is still relatively limited and my hands have not held that many graphic novels to begin with. Nevertheless, it does not take an avid comic book reader to appreciate a book that contains not only finesse, but also enough smart and heady content to satisfy the most intellectual of readers.<BR/><BR/>Surely, The Watchmen served as the inspiration for Pixar favorite The Incredibles, though the content has not been watered down for the younger audience. Dealing with heavy morality and ethical questions, the novel basically looks at a world where heroes were forced to retire in the seventies due to legalities, changing public perception and resentment from cops who felt increasingly marginalized and incapable of doing their job. They all seem to have settled in their retirement, some more comfortably than others, when a `mask killer¿ suddenly emerges, bent on taking out the group of vigilantes, one by one. Racing against time, the former heroes must don their costumes one more time to solve the crime that may save their lives or more importantly, the planet.<BR/><BR/>After reading the novel, I have to say that my comments on the illustration remain remarkably the same. I am still unimpressed with the old school style and incredibly simple layout, though perhaps, my eyes have been opened to Dave Gibbons¿ (illustrator) own spartan efficiency. Even in its barren form, each cell seems to serve its duty with precision, in both composition and content. There may be no gravity defying poses, or humanly impossible contortions from the aged protagonists on the paper, but all the information is drawn out with a purpose which is married most interestingly with the often multi-layered content.<BR/><BR/>Let it be known, this is not your typical superhero tale. It is a tale of humanity that happens to have hero¿s as its central figures, allowing for a much grander scheme which is nonetheless timeless and applicable to just about any person that has ever questioned their actions in relation to good and evil. This is exciting in that it feels refreshing and new. Considering that this graphic novel came out in the eighties, it is a surprising achievement, that it is able to hold out so well against the recent works that continuously try to paint themselves in the same light.<BR/><BR/>It is perhaps that I am still elated from my read , that I fail to find any reasonable flaw with this book. It reads in complex layers and carries a theme of epic proportions and it is populated by a cast of characters that are so well fleshed out and developed, that they are likable beyond their obvious flaws, of which they have many.

    20 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2009

    The Watchmen are watching...

    This is an excellent novel to sit and read when all you want is something to take your mind off of the everyday. It has original characters with somewhat "un-catchy" names (if thats even a word) but their personalities and character make-up make up for those short comings. It is a very easy read considering that it is a graphic novel/comic book and there are a lot of pictures rather than words. But thats not necessarily a bad thing, because i believe that it helps to understand and feel the mood, setting, and situations better, they add to the drama. Over all, this is a wonderful book and a great read, i would highly recommend it.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2005

    Recently Voted one of the top 100 works of LIT

    over the last 80 years, by Time Magazine. For once, they are right. You should buy this book.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2008

    Awesome Story - Caution, Picture isn't correct though

    Watchmen is simply one of the best stories ever told in comics.<BR/><BR/>Please be cautious ordering though, as the image is not correct. The slipcase does NOT have the bloodied smiley on it, it has the yellow doomsday clock on it (with the hands in the position of the blood smear on the smiley). I believe the smiley was only the first edition of the book and this is the 4th printing. I was actually someone disappointed with the cover, since I was expecting the other one, but the rest of the book is so well made (the paper stock is amazingly heavy), I forgive the change.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2009

    Clever in spots but unsatisfying overall

    A good read, but hardly the masterpiece that it's hyped to be. (Time Magazine lists this as one of the 100 best novels, which is probably true if you haven't read many novels. It's far better than John Grisham, but hardly in the top 100).

    The milieu and the plot are damned clever, and the tortured character of Rorshach is a great one. Unfortunately, those aren't enough to support the leaden dialogue and the tendency to remind the reader that this is a Very, Very Important Book with Big Themes.

    Apart from Rorshach, the only character that really comes through is that of the creator, Alan Moore. I'd hate to attend a party with him -- he seems to be a rather pretentious, humorless bloke who wants to prove that he's the smartest guy in the room.

    Also, while this stands head and shoulders above most American comics (especially anything else DC was publishing at the time), I had a lot of trouble seeing what was so revolutionary about it. It's not the only example of dense, multilayered storytelling from the time (though I will admit it took it to a higher degree), and the techniques, while unfamiliar to comic book readers, had long been used in film and literature.

    My advice to potential readers: Borrow a copy from a friend...then shell out the money for your own copy if you really like it.

    6 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Ngvgv

    Best of all time. Over 300 pages... moneys worth. Classic, deep, and memorable.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Must Read Even If You Have Never Read A Comic

    I have to admit that before the movie preview I had never heard of Watchmen. However the dark future and the fabulous Smashing Pumpkins song got me interested. I bought the graphic novel and easily slipped right into the genre, even having never read a graphic novel before. This is one of those stories that really gives you a quite moral conundrum to mull over. The best part of this story in my mind is Rorschach. This character, though unwaveringly disturbed, is the great tragic hero that really makes this story a must read. For those of you that did not like the movie don't just pass over the book. While the movie captures this story visually it lacks the subtlety and heart (yes heart despite the violence) that draws the reader in and makes this story unforgettable.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2009

    Greatest Graphic Novel!

    This is a great graphic novel to just pick up and enjoy. The characters are complex and keep you changing your mind if you like them or hate them. it is such a difference from the standard superhero comics and its nice to see that difference. The timeline jumps back and forth but is not too difficult to follow and we learn a lot about the characters through flashbacks/memories. The plot, though not too complicated, keeps you guessing until the end. This graphic novel keeps you entertained and really reveals the dark side of "superheros."

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Intensely thought provoking

    This was an intense read and much more than I expected. I wanted to read this before the movie comes out. I did really enjoy the in depth complications of this story. I have not read many graphic novels but this one was definitely worth it and I would recommend it to other adults.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't put it down!

    This is definitely the greatest graphic novel DC Comics has put out yet in my own oppinion. Each character has his or her own personality traits that just add to the whole scenario. Rorschach is definitely my favorite of all the others. I seriously reccommend this to anybody that likes a thrilling story.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Best ever

    This graphic novel is the best i ever read an my whole child hood i will give you my word to read this.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    For those who don't know already, this is just an extremely over

    For those who don't know already, this is just an extremely overwrought expression of British resentment (if not outright hatred) of American idealism. It may lose some clarity being viewed outside the Reagan era in which it was created, as that is what Alan Moore was &quot;hating on&quot; in particular.

    Moore's humanist interpretation of motives and typical lefty fake feminism (in his case attempting to disguise not just the typical chauvinism but outright misogyny) may not make everyone retch, but if you don't, you should. If you feel like condemning comic-books for being a negative influence, this is nearly the ur example, and certainly the most influential. It is not, as another reviewer stated, &quot;the reason for all those horrible comics in the 90s,&quot; presumably referring to the trend of vapid violence characterized by Image, but the reason both leading comic-book companies today, a decade and change into the new century, are mostly untrustworthy and inaccessible to children, characterized by sleaze and toxic themes.

    Of course, this review will be voted unhelpful by the devotees of Moore likely to scan negative reviews of this book for that very purpose. But maybe it'll serve to give those who are not sure why Watchmen is pushed at them as essential reading a heads up about the purely political motives behind the hype, before they spend their money and further build up the sales reputation of this trash.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2013

    One of the first graphic novels I read, it got me hooked on the

    One of the first graphic novels I read, it got me hooked on the medium. An amazing and shocking story by Alan Moore combines perfectly with the incredible art and vintage coloring to create a perfect representation of the time period. The characters are all very developed and they make you sympathize with them as the plot unfolds. The Watchmen is a wonderful book for comic lovers and ordinary readers alike..

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2012

    Like it or not, the Watchmen is an experience This book is beaut

    Like it or not, the Watchmen is an experience
    This book is beautifully written and the story is perfection. There are many parts that are shocking and disturbing, but have tremendous impact due to skillful artwork. At times you'll chuckle, but mainly you'll be caught up in the suspense of the work.
    It is not a story for the faint of heart, subjects are covered that are very dark and mature for graphic novels such as explicit sex and nudity and murder and torture, but they are used to advance the story and are not simply included for shock value.
    This is the literature of comic books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2012

    Watchmen is arguably the greatest graphic novel of all time. It

    Watchmen is arguably the greatest graphic novel of all time. It is about real lives and struggles of super-heros. The story is about masked crusaders from the sixties that start to show up dead. It dives into the lives of the characters behind the masks. It shows super-heros in a totally new light. to a totally different world. The character's and story are powerful &amp; enteraining. I personally loved the book and the ending, but I&rsquo;m not going to ruin it. I strongly recommend everyone read this book you will definitley enjoy every minute of it even if your not into comic books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent story.

    The writing of Watchmen is superb. The art is decent, but unfortunately fell quite flat in my opinion. It seemed like any other DC or Marvel art work, and just felt a bit generic in terms of originality. That isn't to say it was bad art, it was very well done, just not original. Many of the pages are simply divided into simple blocks in rows and columns over and over, without much thought given to the endless possibilities the space of the page provides for comics. To see creative use of page space as well as what I consider superior art, see Sandman.

    Aside from what I see as ho-hum art, the actual story itself is quite excellent. If no one has ruined the ending for you, or if you haven't seen the movie that recently released, you're in for quite a treat. The story definitely has you mulling things over long after you've put the book down. I must admit it is refreshing to read a comic that still includes Super Heroes that actually gives the characters life and personality beyond any stereotype.

    I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has not read it. I also would recommend if you have not seen the movie, don't, and read this first.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing

    As I said before in my other review this Graphic Novel takes superhero's to a total different world. The character's and story are powerful & enteraining. I strongly recommend to read this book you will definitley enjoy every minute of it even if your not into comic books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2009

    Best Graphic Novel

    I never read comic books mainly for the sheer geekiness that accompanies them but I decided to read this book before the movie comes out . I picked it up last week and I have read it 3 times since then. The characters in this book are some of the most well-rounded characters I have ever seen. Each one has a distinct personality that jumps right off the page. I could not recommend this book more highly.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2009

    STILL great after 20+ years

    Folks, if your even THINKING about buying a book, or unsure what to get the "head" in your life for a gift, this is IT!<BR/>I first read this when it first came out back on 83, i think?, lent it to an alleged friend, had to buy it again, lent it to a girlfriend, had to buy it again... you get the picture. After 5 buys I stopped re-buying it. You get the picture. Here's the kicker - the story, the imagery, the concept etc. is still soo alive in my mind, from that first dozen or so reads (back to back, of course!) that I'd put this in the same category as Mr. Haldermans "forever War" or Mr. Lucas's "Star Wars" as being THAT great a classic - any , i mean ANY, comic reader of any age will tell you after reading this that it knocks the balls off of any other 'comic' ever put together.<BR/>Today, the imagery of the book ( i'll call it a book as thats what it was, the comic genre's first stab at mainstream book readers) may seem simplistic, however, the characterisation, depth of history of the characters, the so involved and convoluted plot, the - - i could go on and on (and i havent needed to re-read it in 20+ years!) - but, suffice to say, if I was asked to do a Desert Island Disc's (its a UK radio show asking people whats the 5/3? things you'd want if stranded on a deserted island) this would be one of the items I'd demand. <BR/>Because I've never picked it up, even casually, and not noticed something new in it - its THAT frikking awesome!!<BR/>The movie comes oue March 9, I've already booked my day off at work to go see it (at least once, that day) and from the trailers it seems to be a blow by blow, line by line, re-creation of the novel. <BR/>Awesome!<BR/>I would recommend this to God or the Devil to read - wherever you fall in between, get it - read it - REVEL in it - then go see the movie with the expectation that its half as good as the novel and you'll STILL be happier than watching any Wolverine by-blow (no offense..LOL) with Hugh Jack-off in....<BR/>Seriously, I initially paid over $30 UK back in the 80's for this - its a steal, I'm getting 4 next week - - figger it, come mivie time, etc - - - Ebay rools!!!!<BR/><BR/>HANX!!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    First Thorough Graphic Novel Read

    I couldn't wait for the movie to come out after seeing the trailer, so I bought the book. I had flipped through Sin City and 300 before coming across this, but Watchmen was the only one that I read fully. I thought it was intriguing- knowing a little bit about what the book about before getting started was helpful. What I liked about this book was that Alan Moore wasn't afraid to look at the dark side of the superhero world. I also loved the artwork- in fact I think it has spoiled me for other graphic novels because of the secondary color scheme that was used.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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