My favorite graphic novel is The Watchmen by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins. It was even named one of Time’s hundred best novels of the twentieth century. The BBC called it the “moment comics grew up.” I was late to the party. When it came out in the 80s, I wasn’t interested because it didn’t have Batman in it. It wasn’t until I saw the first teaser trailer for the movie adaption in 2009, a trailer that rocked “The Beginning is the End is the Beginning” by The Smashing Pumpkins. I immediately bought the graphic novel, read it, and I’ve never been quite the same since.
I’m embarrassed that I took that long to take an interest in it. I Iove anything that chips away at the established order of things. Watchmen did more than just chip away at comics. It took a big, bloody axe them. In the Watchmen universe, the Batman analog, Nite Owl, can’t get it up without the costume. The Captain America analog, The Comedian, is a war criminal. And the Superman analog, Dr. Manhattan, is so far superior to ordinary humans, that he finds it increasingly difficult to muster even the slightest of concerns for them. Oh, and it’s the genius super-villain that saves the world with the steep price of a few hundred thousand lives.
The Watchmen universe was it’s own thing, existing in a reality separate from the rest of the DC universe, but now the two universes are aligning in a new series called The Doomsday Clock. Writer Alan Moore, a devilish Grizzly Adams analog, must be sick to his stomach at this turn of events. It’s no secret that Moore hates DC and now DC is aligning it’s own universe with it’s greatest parody. Can you imagine Dr. Strangelove being merged with The Sands of Iwo Jima? Shaun of the Dead with Dawn of the Dead?
I’m torn on this turn of events. Ultimately, I think Moore’s creation should be left alone, but at the same time, this could be just crazy enough to work, if, and only if, The Watchmen characters are treated with keen self-awareness.
Did I buy the first issue? All four covers.
Is DC about to go existential on us? Thoughts?