Watchmania Discussion Points

We’re going to be getting together soon to talk the Watchmen graphic novel for a near-future Deadpanpalooza episode.
This is the best place to post ideas and suggested points, topics, and observations for the upcoming Deadpan Internet Cool Kid Watchmania Analysis Discussion.

There are no restrictions on the Watchmen and Watchmania topics discussed here. Be warned, if you haven’t read the book – – spoilers ahead.

45 thoughts on “Watchmania Discussion Points

  1. Well I won’t be at the discussion but I loves me some Watchmen, so mind if I contribute?

    When I first read The Watchmen, I read it as the individual comics back in the early 90s. I was not into comic books but was turned onto The Sandman first and was really not into Superheroes at all. I watched Batman and Superman at the movies and on TV like every other kid, but the superhero image was never appealing to me.

    Chicago Comics which is still the most bestest comic shop evar had these really awesome employees and they slowly turned me onto other titles. Watchmen was 1 of the titles I was told I would like because as the shop-owner said it was “anti-superhero”

    what do you think about it being anti-superhero? Do you really think its anti or is it simply more real? More of what an actual superhero would be like in our world? Or the world of the 80s really.

    Second.. I’m a visual artist, and visually interesting comics or covers always struck me. Sometimes I am not sure if my love for the Sandman is because of Dave McKean or Neil Gaiman. Dave McKean was a huge inspiration on me actually. I don’t think my art represents it now, but it did then.

    Ok sorry.. got off subject

    If anyone would want to comment on the craft of The Watchmen.. the paneled look and the artistic aspects of it I thnk that would be cool.
    What do you think of the

  2. I think we can definitely touch on the bizarre, cantankerous persona that Alan Moore shows to the public.

    And as Andrea said, I’d love to get someone’s take on the Watchmen as a purely visual piece. For me, it was always all about the story, so I’m not the one to go on about Dave Gibbons’ work here (which I can at least acknowledge is very good).

  3. I had some individual thoughts and then made the mistake of ready the wiki article about Watchmen that thoroughly explained everything. LOL So I’ll try not to say to much about what Moore was trying to do with this comic. I will answer Andrea with something I learned from the wiki article. The artist, Dave Gibbons, chose a nine panel layout because he thought that a rigid layout would command authority. Also, there was an attempt to use brighter, cheerier colors at the beginning of the story, and an effort to mute the pallet of color to darker shades towards the end to make the story seem more foreboding.

  4. Another interesting point, Moore designed the story so that the reader benefited from multiply readings. I recently started to reread it for the first time and discovered that Rorschach appears unmasked earlier in the story before his official unveiling. Neat stuff.

  5. I have three questions…

    Was ozmodius correct in what he did? (after all, the goal of world peace was achieved)?

    While the comic hinted at the events being circular (BSG quote “it’s happened before and will happen again”. Since Rorschach only knew Oz was killing masks, not his ultimate plan, will it really change things when his journal is found and released to the public?

    Why did Rorschach stink? Bad personal hygiene? Did I miss something? (in the journal he mentioned a few times how his landlady complained about the odor)

  6. ********** Spoilers within. Beware **************

    1. The title of “Watchmen” comes from a story written by Juvenal about guardsmen hired to watch the wife of a jealous husband. Juvenal posed the question “quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” or “who watches the watchmen?” Why is this an important question when reading “Watchmen”?

    2. Veidt, arguably the supervillan, saves the world. The heroes save the world through ineptitude. Discuss.

    3. The story closes with the quote “It would be a stronger world, a stronger loving world, to die in.” Does Moore have much hope that Viedt’s new world will be an improvement? Do we?

    4. Moore claims that the main character from “Tales of the Black Freighter” represents Veidt. Do you think he’s right? Why or why not?

    5. “Watchmen” is told during an alternate-history version of the cold war. Do you think this setting matters to the story? Why or why not?

    6. Can Rorschach, Nite Owl, The Comedian, and Ozymandias be considered four different versions of The Batman? What does it say that Doctor Manhattan, or “Superman”, was unable or unwilling to stop the plot?

    More to follow…

  7. Rhettro: I agree. The entire graphic novel was designed for multiple readings. For instance, on page 18 of chapter V, the second panel shows a poster saying “Utopia” and “Things to come”, clearly a reference to Veidt’s plans for bringing about his vision of Utopia.

  8. Okay to ditto’s Q4, unless you can prove Moore is lying, how can Moore be wrong when he makes a claim about what the Black Freighter means?

  9. You know, I’ve been wondering just how the Black Freighter story really ties in to the main Watchmen story. I don’t think I’d agree with the supposition that the main character in Freighter is Veidt. Veidt knew what he was doing from the beginning – the Freighter character descends into madness over time and ends up destroying that which he loved.

    Personally, I thought the whole Black Freighter storyline was pretty weak.

  10. From the Wiki article, there is symbolism between the main character of the pirate story using the dead bodies of his shipmates as a life raft and Veidt killing the Watchmen. But I never really made that connection. Moore did want to make a point that in a world were superheros were real, the comic book industry took a different focus as the public generally despised the superheros. Thus pirate comics being popular. But I did find the pirate story mimicked what was going on in the world of Watchmen, i.e. people put in disparate situations without really knowing what their end goal would be or what the fruits of their actions would become.

  11. The first couple of times I read the Freighter storyline, I didn’t care for it and didn’t really see how it fit into the story. I’ve since come to appreciate how it fits and mimics parts of the story. I think what Veidt destroys is his humanity. Also, note that Veidt references part of the story just before he asks Jon if he did the right thing at the end.

  12. Hi gang.

    I would like to participate but I don’t know if I can be finished in time. I am 2/3rd finished but won’t know until maybe Wed or Thursday if I’ll met the deadline.

    BTW: This story rocks! I don’t see how they could make THIS story into a movie. Oh, I can see them taking the characters and plugging them into a sequence of violent/action/explosion scenes and selling a lot of tickets but I can’t see them making THIS story into a movie. Far to cerebral. Far to “layered”.

    Also BTW: I have not read any of the comments on this page as I don’t want to be spoiled. I just popped in because Jack was looking for a head count. I also probably won’t be back here until I finish.

  13. Everyone,

    I would LOVE to record something and send it in for inclusion. I just don’t know if I will 1) find time this week, or 2) get my voice back. I am gonna try my best!

    If I do record something, it will be related to something Dre Hottie said above about “antihero.” I think the reason I love Watchmen (and Buffy TVS, and Firefly, and Battlestar Galactica, and LOST, and . . . ) is that it really tears down the notion of “hero.” I don’t think Watchmen is commenting on the antihero. I think it’s something else.

    Okay, now I’m inspired to write down my thoughts and record them! I can do it, I think I can . . .

  14. As I said before, I’m too chicken shit to talk. And unfortunately I will be sleeping when the conference happens, so unless I do something drastic like take a day off of work or just do without sleep, I won’t be able to just listen in.

    I am about 2/3 through my first re-reading. The first time was about ten years ago and I find the way I am mis-remembering the story to be interesting. I was very surprised at how early in the story that Rorschach gets unmasked.

    I had to ask my brother about the Raw Shark reference on the first read through. I had never heard of the Rorschach test (ink blot, yes. Rorschach, no.) and did not know how to pronounce it.

  15. I’m also rereading my Watchmen (wanted to leave it till the last minute so I don’t forget too much).

    I have to agree about getting more out of it the second time around..even though I know how it ends.

    After years of hype, the first time I read Watchmen I found it a bit disappointing.

  16. Jack, your surprise MAY take longer than I’d hoped… looks like the “maybe Friday” goal is going to be tougher than expected… MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA

  17. Damn, I was hoping it would be a contemporary piece starring the Hanson Brothers and an animated cartoon character with a breakfast cereal tie-in. Wait, no – that’s the crap they USUALLY pull.

  18. I finished reading last night which is something I’m now proud of.

    Between the story of the incident that caused Walter to become Rorshcach and the entire Black Freighter story (which while did work as an analogy of the main story was actually quite predictable) I’m amazed I made it through. My tolerance for things gruesome and disturbing is fairly low as I mentioned long ago when I asked you all if I’d be able to read it. The correct answer is, Yes.. 🙂

    The things I noticed and points I may talk about would be the interesting feelings that Sally Jupiter had for the Comedian. I can’t figure that out.

    Also, how Jon became so non-human. He clearly still had feelings for Laurie, but at the same time, it seemed he’d forgotten or lost the ability to really care about individuals.

    I definitely see the similarities between Veidt and the Freighter guy and I have an equal non-fondness for those characters.

  19. I just noticed that in the sequence where Jon leaves for good, Veidt mentions his dream of swimming towards something hideous..just like the Freighter bloke.

    Also if the Heroes didn’t should out a warning..Veidt would have been dead..

  20. Just finished my third read about half an hour ago to have it fresh in my mind for this afternoon. This time, I found myself much more appreciative of the limited view we get of the creation of the monster on the island as well as The Comedian’s stumbling upon the whole plot and kicking off the chain reaction of the story.

    I must say, for all Veidt’s protestations that he felt every death that he caused, I don’t think either I, or he, was convinced of that.

    Question for the panel – who was really the most disconnected from humanity, Manhattan or Ozymandias? Particularly after reading the “interview” at the end of chapter 11, I’d have to vote for Ozy. Manhattan was at least able to come back to appreciate the “miracle” that lead to Laurie being who she was and that such was the case for every person. Ozy ultimately lost sight of that critical detail so that it became easier for him to sacrifice millions in his quest.

  21. I think that Ozy is the hero of the story, doing what had to be done to save the world. And sometimes, the things that have to be done in order to save the world are horrendous. It makes him and Rorschach two sides to the coin. Both are dedicated to doing the right thing no matter what the cost is.

    Of course, it is easier to swallow Rorschach as a hero because he is poor. No matter what Ozymandius does, it will look like he was protecting his assets.

    Unless, of course, that’s exactly what he was doing? After all, you cannot continue selling Nostalgia after the world has gone and nuked itself to cinders.

    Ah, I don’t know. I don’t like Ozy and yet I cannot help but think that is an important part of the story.

  22. Now this seems an interesting point of contention. . .

    I think that Ozymandias’s actions – – killing millions of innocent people – – were NOT correct, even if some good followed. By the end of the story, he cares for no living being except for Bubastis, but he’s even willing to sacrifice her, to tidy up his “accomplishment”. Part of Watchmen’s statement is the de-humanization of those with excessive power and understanding: Manhattan, Ozy, The Comedian.

    We see the correct solution to the world’s imminent nuclear death carried out by Laurie Juspecyk – – she convinces the godlike Dr. Manhattan that life is worth protecting and preserving, and convinces him to return to earth. In a more traditional superhero story, this would have been the deus ex machina to win and save the day in the last minute. But Watchmen is anything but traditional.

  23. Notice he also told the other guys that his “servants” had gotten drunk and opened the roof, accidently killing themselves. CLEARLY he had drugged them and killed them.
    Was he lieing to the others about that … or to himself.

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