Watchman is probably one of the most highly regarded comic books in history. Its influence, both on future comic books, and the perception of comic books was huge.
It even influenced many things outside its medium.
But as a story, I found it far from perfect. Good, imaginative, and with a kick-arse ending....but not perfect.
Its pretentious and bloated. Large sections of it could be cut out, with little to nothing lost and the story would flow a heck of a lot better. Do we really need big written passages intermixed in with the comic? I like the idea of mix-medium storytelling, and seeing the characters perspectives in text is fine...but its done too much, breaks the flow, and adds nothing. Humanity sucks. I don't need to be told it again and again in different ways, and yet a large part of the comic does that.
Another waste of space is the "Tales of the Black Freighter". I love the idea of a comic-within-a-comic, and the idea that in a universe where superheroes are real, pirate storys have become popular in comics is great. But the story itself adds nothing, is pointlessly gross, and seems to be there more for shock value or filler. I'm aware of how it does tie in to watchmans ending, Ive even read how its a metaphor for other parts of the story. But these are so minor in comparison to the space it uses up,and to the story flow it interrupts, that I cant help thinking its an idea that was later attempted to be justified, rather then really being essential to the main story from the start. Skipping over TotBF and you lose nothing.
After reading this much you may think I'm being unfair on watchman, that I don't consider it a "masterpiece". But thats not quite true.
I really think the premise, the characters and (best of all) the Plot is spectacular.
Which is why I think its such a shame its padded out so much. If you read it, slip over the text, and the TotBF and your in for a hell of a ride.
I guess this is why I'm one of the few people to prefer the movie. In the case of Watchman "Less is Moore".
, Reviewed By Darkflame
Genre: Noir Sci-Fi
Watchman created by Alan Moore