4.6 503
by Alan Moore

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It all begins with the paranoid delusions of a half-insane hero called Rorschach. But is Rorschach really insane or has he in fact uncovered a plot to murder super-heroes and, even worse, millions of innocent civilians? On the run from the law, Rorschach reunites with his former teammates in a desperate attempt to save the world and their lives, but what they uncover…  See more details below


It all begins with the paranoid delusions of a half-insane hero called Rorschach. But is Rorschach really insane or has he in fact uncovered a plot to murder super-heroes and, even worse, millions of innocent civilians? On the run from the law, Rorschach reunites with his former teammates in a desperate attempt to save the world and their lives, but what they uncover will shock them to their very core and change the face of the planet! Following two generations of masked superheroes from the close of World War II to the icy shadow of the Cold War comes this groundbreaking comic story -- the story of The Watchmen.

Editorial Reviews
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.

Product Details

DC Comics
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
16 - 18 Years

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Watchmen 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 503 reviews.
FocoProject More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Monas More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best of all time. Over 300 pages... moneys worth. Classic, deep, and memorable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This graphic novel is the best i ever read an my whole child hood i will give you my word to read this.
dwilson66 More than 1 year ago
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..
Starspace More than 1 year ago
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.
bluemaria More than 1 year ago
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.
Time_Stand_Still More than 1 year ago
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.
NIC-LIKES-TO-READ More than 1 year ago
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.
cryptaknight More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that I often picked up and looked at, but never read. I'm shallow enough to admit I was turned off by the artwork and lack of recognizable characters. I must say, I am so glad that Watchmen was chosen by one of my book groups, forcing me to get past my first impressions.

Watchmen takes place in alternative universe, where the emergence of costumed adventurers has altered the course of modern history. The superheroes, the majority which are neither super nor all that heroic (with one notable exception), are in forced retirement, until the murder of one of their own compels them to action once more. The plot twists and turns in unexpected ways, all the while introducing us to these masked men and women, their histories, and their motivations, and draws to a riveting and ambiguous conclusion that leaves the reader pondering what heroism really means.

This graphic novel, published originally in 1986, ushered in a new era for comic fans; comic books became literature, and superheroes became people with flaws and angst of their own. Alan Moore truly takes the genre to the level of literature, pulling out all those post modern favorite techniques like meta-fiction, intertextuality, and symbolism, while still retaining the classic elements of comic books; while there are no whizz-bang sound effects or thought bubbles, he stays true to the format and elevates it to a new level. Likewise, David Gibbons, the artist, uses the art in a deeper way; each panel is filled with meaning and symbolism, from the repeated use of the Comedian's smiley face, to the repeated graffiti asking, "Who watches the watchmen?" The art creates a cinematic feel and also evokes the "golden age" style of comics, and in the end I was appreciative of it. Both writer and artist have put a lot of thought into this work; for example, the chapter "Fearful Symmetry" is based on the William Blake poem, The Tyger, and not only are there numerous places where both plot and image symmetry are used, but the panels are symmetrical goign from first page to last page, second page to second-to-last page, and so on. The chapter also refers to the character, Rorschach, who wears a mask with a shifting, symmetrical inkblot, who tends to think in black and white, and is a character that others should be fearful of.

One negative issue did get brought up in my book group meeting, and that was the treatment of the women in the book. Try as we might, we couldn't find many positive portrayals of female characters. We found the rape storyline distasteful, if only because all the characters but two, including the character who was the victim, are pretty dismissive of the serious nature of that act, and pretty forgiving of the rapist. I don't like seeing rape used as the start of a consensual, romantic relationship, and I don't like seeing a woman put her rapist up on a pedastal.

I still give the book five stars, however, because overall I loved the story and the characters, and found the writing stunning and moving. This is a landmark, watershed book, but it is also just a fine, enjoyable read. I'd recommend it to folks giving the genre a try for the first time, as well as graphic novel readers looking to branch out from Batman, Supes, and Spidey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So awesome!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't read a large number of graphic novels, and I haven't read many comics in decades. That said, Watchmen is much more than I expected. If America ever had a story like those of ancient heroes, this is it.
FranceUsa More than 1 year ago
It's the first time that I read a comic book. I'm French and a girl so this kind of book is not really in my culture.  When I arrived here, my host sister was totally obsessed with the Avengers movie. I watched it with her, and I really enjoyed the Marvel universe. Then I decided to read something different than classic novel for my English  class so I chose Wachtmen.In fac, I thought that a comic book would be easy and fast to read. I didn't expect that  the story would be deep and catchy. I really enjoyed reading it. It's different than other super heroe story. This story is about something that we dont really think about : Heroes take care of us but who watch them ?  The story is easy to follow even if for me the amount of abbreviations which I'm not used to made it harder. However, I appreciated the graphic and how we can feel the mood of the story without words.  I totally recommend it, it's just pleasure. I'll bring this book back in France with me and share it with my friends ! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book that I couldn't put down. It's an action/suspense/mystery thriller that's great for comic lovers and those who don't read comics much at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not just one of the best comics but one of the best books ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, superhero comic books were never quite the same. Neither can be topped. Hollywood can release all the gritty and realistic superhero movies it wants, and comic book publishers can keep putting out their product, influenced by these books or not. But these books changed everything in the 80s. They also managed to be magnificently entertaining, like the decades' worth of comics they were based on. It can't be done again. These are definitive. Read them.
SeniorLitLady More than 1 year ago
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 & enteraining. I personally loved the book and the ending, but I’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.
DannyAlabaster More than 1 year ago
Alan Moore's writing is unsurpassed in the graphic novel industry, and much of the literary industry in general. Excellent writing, social commentary, humor, originality,--it has everything. I'm not the first to say it and I won't be the last--this is a MUST READ for everyone.
Thorne2112 More than 1 year ago
Alan Moore and David Gibbons present a work here that not only shatters all previous works by comic books but is unmatched even in the modern day. Watchmen even breaks out of the confinement of being recognized as a comic book and attributes itself to the ranks of even classic literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read! I would reccomend this novel to anyone. Makes one contemplate the difference between the American Dream and the American Nightmare.
Incognegro More than 1 year ago
After seeing a trailer for the movie, I wanted to read the source material before seeing the movie. The collection of 12 issues has it all - great, layered characters, twisty plot and plenty of suspense. Heck, it even has a book excerpt (Under the Hood) and a deranged pirate story. The latter was pretty interesting, but got a little long. I highly recommend giving it a good read. It certainly helped to understand the movie better than the uninitiated. Two thumbs way up for the Watchmen!
LJWHITE More than 1 year ago
I have recently went to the theater to see this movie and found that they basically took the stills from the book and put it on screen. Except that the movie is boring and lacks anything interesting. So I left after the first hour. It does not go into the depth of the characters. What it does instead is hint around to it at the very beginning, during the opening credits. If you have not read the book you would not know that was Rochach at the begining as a child with a mother that is a hooker. Among other things. And during the movie, they made it look like the Silk Spectre may have wanted to get raped after all. First she fights back then she lays there as if she is just going to take it. HMMM sends kind of suspect. Anywho just read the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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."
Fantasychild More than 1 year ago
Although I am not a huge fan of this genre, a friend recommended this book to me, and I trusted his judgement. I am glad I did! It was far more thrilling and interesting than I expected. It does perhaps not turn me into an avid follower, but I definitely enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for the tip!
corbindemonhunter More than 1 year ago
I never read a graphic novel in my life but this is and has been the only graphic novel I have read. This book has a great plot that has twisted plots and stories of each character. Each character has there own problems to deal with. I recommend this book for someone who feels like reading something different and also before watching the movie.