Watchmen, Part One: God Exists, and He’s American

Topic: Watchmen (first half)
Geek: Eric

This week, we finally get to something I’ve been wanting to discuss since before we started this podcast: The graphic novel Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.

Even if you saw the mediocre 2009 film and didn’t like it, don’t close this tab. I saw it, too, and was confused more than anything else. It’s only in the shadow of the far, far superior book that its problems come into clarity.

But we’re not here to talk about a lousy movie (well, Emily and I talk about it a little bit). We’re (mostly) here to talk about a great book, which was also my introduction point to the world of “grown-up” graphic novels.

Published in 12 installments between September 1986 and October 1987, Watchmen is both a story about superheroes and a story about superheroes, and the comics that depict them. Along with the seminal Batman miniseries The Dark Knight Returns*, it interrogated ideas long taken for granted, like if/how super-powered beings (or, variously, normal-powered vigilantes with a lot of time and/or money) would actually fit in contemporary society, and whether these people claiming to be heroes could really be trusted in the first place.

For this week’s episode, Emily and I read the first half of Watchmen, which is six chapters long. Next week, we’ll be breaking it up with one of her picks, and then we’ll be back the week after with the back six chapters. So go pick up a copy of the book and join us!

*Zack Snyder, the same guy who directed that mediocre Watchmen movie, is currently in the process of adapting part of TDKR in the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film. Goody.