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21st October 2018
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My Science Fiction Life

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Comic: Watchmen

Creator: Moore, Gibbons


Realistic Superhero Comicarrow icon

I was about 26, I had already read From Hell and loved Alan Moore's style of writing
more from bearhatesjazz

The Dark Comesarrow icon

I remember reading this when I was at primary school - I must have been nine or ten. Whilst I didn't understand a lot of it at the time, it stuck wit ...
more from Irenicas

Forget Superman!arrow icon

I was 19 and waited two weeks for it to be delivered at my local comic shop. It was more than worth the wait!
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More recollections...

In Depth


A revolutionary take on superheroes which proved comic books aren't just for kids.

Watchmen, along with The Dark Knight Returns, helped to popularise the graphic novel, and thus bring a new audience to comic books - the fruits of which we're still very much reaping today. Watchmen's writer, Alan Moore, conceived of the project - originally issued by DC in a 12-issue comic-book form - as taking "familiar old-fashioned superheroes into a completely new realm", and with fellow Brit Dave Gibbons certainly succeeded in that aim.

Created in a mid-1980s climate when Cold War paranoia was still at its peak, the parallel universe presented in Watchmen is one where superheroes must register with the state, public opinion has turned against vigilantism, and the graffiti legend "Who watches the watchmen?" spreads across the city. While ostensibly tackling a straightforward murder-mystery plot and a suspected conspiracy against former superheroes, the labyrinthine structure and multi-layered narrative rewards multiple readings.

As well as dispelling the notion that comics were solely for children, Watchmen had much to do with breathing new life into old archetypes.

Sourdust recommends...

My Science Fiction Life contributor Sourdust picks his favourite stories from the site.

"The stories on this site reveal as much about the consumers of SF, as they do about the product," he says.

secretCharles on Life on Mars
Masterclass in missing the point...

third-doctor on Fahrenheit 451
…whereas this guy doesn’t, and is passionate without losing it.

Jim Lynn on Watchmen
Neat and informative – and I love the phrase “…refracts the whole superhero genre…”

Danfare on Metropolis
Thoughtful musings with a personal touch.

Beebwolf on Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Exposes the shallowness of the lazy critical orthodoxy

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