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Monthly (Comic) Book Club - February - Watchmen13817

COLLECTOR dielinfinite private msg quote post Address this user
Watchmen




Week 1 (2/1-2/7): Issues 1-3 Please no spoilers for for the rest of the story







Discussion topic ideas:

* Thoughts on the story or artwork
* Details in the story, artwork, or presentation
* References to outside events or other works of fiction
* Making of/Behind the Scenes details
* Inspirations or works that were inspired by the selection

* Editions you will be reading from
* Items in your collection pertaining to this week’s selection




Nominations for next month’s reading selection:
- Nominations will be accepted until 11:59pm PST on Wednesday 2/3. On Wednesday I will make a post rounding up all the nominations after which voting will open until 11:59pm PST on Saturday 2/6 with the winner announced Sunday morning, hopefully giving everyone that wishes to participate time to get a copy to read for the following month.

- 1 Nomination per person
- Nominations should be about 12-16 issues (3-4 issues per week).
- Please post the exact issues included in your reading selection
- You can nominate a large story or smaller stories roughly fitting the length guideline above
- Nominations should be readily available, preferably in-print, and affordable (think less than $20)

- Vote for your 3 favorite Nominations, 3 checks for tour first choice, 2 for second, and 1 for third

- No Early Voting

- Nominee with the highest total checks is the selection for the following month. In the case of a tie, the nominee with the most 3 checks will win
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I’ll mostly be reading from a barebones trade that, if memory serves, I bought at a comic shop on my first trip to Australia some 13 years ago but I also have my copy of the Absolute Edition and my SDCC Convention Exclusive Artifact Edition which reproduces the original art boards at 1:1 scale. In this case it’s called an Artifact Edition as opposed to the Artist’s Edition because it does not include the whole story just the pages they were able to scan from various collectors.






One thing in the Artifact edition I thought you guys might get a kick out of are these records of Gibbons’ sales of the original pages for the first two issues




I might also use this opportunity to dig into the Watching the Watchmen book, basically Gibbons’ recollections on the making of the series




Issue 1
So one detail that caught me by surprise comes in the first few panels. Is a hot dog vendor spraying blood off sidewalk? Doesn’t the city have people for this kind of thing? lol

A detail that’s probably common knowledge by now is that the covers are detailed closeups from first frame of each issue. I think Issue 2 probably has one of my favorite covers in the series. I love the closeup of the angel in the rain!

One detail I hadn’t noticed until this reading was how rigidly the book is laid on 2x3 grid except for title page and last page with quote. Occasionally, if there was a need to make an impact, two rows will be merged to make a larger frame instead of a typical splash page like you would see in other comics. As the issues in this week’s selection progress, they seem to play a bit more with the page compositions. Sometimes they’d merge a whole row to make an extra-wide frame or play with combinations of frames singe-wide or double-wide frames but still adhere to the rigid framing throughout.

That was a tall building for Rorschach to climb! I know he never retired but still, that must’ve been like 20 stories up and the fact that he hit the right window from street level is impressive!

I had forgotten the detail that Rorschach had started investigating the Comedian’s death as just a random murder only after starting did he discover that the person murdered was a costumes vigilante. I guess you kind of get used to the idea of heroes all knowing each other and their secret identities that you assume Rorschach knew from the start, though perhaps the smiley face button he found gave him a hunch.

When speaking with Dr Manhattan was Rorschach eating a bouillon cube?

Under the Hood
I think this portion of the original Nite Owl’s book really emphasized the theme of succession and time in the Watchmen. Hollis is the original Nite Owl, inspiring other heroes after him but was himself inspired by comics of the time (Doc Savage, The Shadow, and Superman are mentioned by name) as well as his grandfather, in effect extending the Watchmen story back to the early 1900s

These chapters also describe first appearance of Hooded Justice, in this universe the first real-life costumed vigilante. The Watchmen tv series did an excellent job fleshing out, as well re-contextualizing, these accounts and from what I recall they seem to have gotten the details pretty much spot-on.



Issue 2
Issue two begins by repeating the alternating stories in alternating panels used in the first issue. The first issue began by cutting from the detectives at the crime scene back to the actual murder itself. Cuts back and forth between the Comedian’s funeral and Laurie speaking with her mom in California. Another similarity between the two issues is that one of the stories that is alternating from is mute instead the other story serves like a displaced narration. It serves its story just fine but takes on a different meaning when overlaid with the second story.

This issue could basically be summarized as a collection of flashbacks as various characters remember the Comedian.

Dr Manhattan's detatchment from regular people comes up again when Comedian kills the Vietnamese woman having first been shown in Dr Manhattan's first appearance where he claims he sees no difference between a living person or a dead one. The Comedian accosts him for having done nothing to prevent the murder despite have more than enough power to do so. I think it was also in this issue or the next where it is mentioned that he failed to prevent the Kennedy assassination, which feels like the situation in Vietnam repeating itself. Given all his power, how could Dr Manhattan fail to prevent something unless he didn’t actually try?

I didn't realize before how Rorschach seems much more stable during the Crime Busters flashback. He even has a different style of speech balloon than he does in the present. Nite Owl later mentions that Rorschach mostly works alone and Comedian says he has been crazy ever since he worked a kidnapping a few years earlier so it was clearly a conscious detail.

Under the hood
This selection describes the first incarnation of the Minutemen and I think jabs a little at the (im)practicality and silliness of superhero costumes, particularly with the hero Dollar Bill who is killed because of his cape, which are so ubiquitous in comic book hero costumes.

These chapters also round out the early heroes as imperfect individuals, such as Captain Metropolis' racism and Hooded Justice' approval of Hitler, in contrast to the beacons of morality some comic heroes had been, sometimes by force, historically portrayed as.

I'll have to rewatch the Watchmen series to see how accurately it captured the details of the early Minutemen. I don't recall Hooded Justice praising Hitler or going out withthe original Silk Spectre, for example. That said, Under the Hood is an autobiography/memoir so it can't be expected that he is 100% accurate in every recollection.


Issue 3
This issue fives us our first glimpse at the Black Freighter side-story. The narration here echoes the main story though we don't see much of the Black Freighter content yet, just that it’s the story of the lone survivor of a vicious pirate attack knowing that his hometown was next in the pirates' path.

The main story mentions how superhero comics were big in the 30s, just as the vigilantes in this world began appearing but had since gone out of style. I believe Dave Gibbons mentioned in an interview that the reasoning was that in a world where superheroes were real that they would not have the novelty they do in our own. As such super hero comics would not be as popular and that comics would focus on something else, in this case they chose pirates. Given how grisly the Black Freighter comic is, though, I imagine there was no Comics Code to deal with in this world.

Night Owl and Silk Spectre being assaulted in the alley and getting a rush from the fight reminded me of the scene in Frank Miller's Daredevil: Man Without fear where Elektra lures some thugs into an alley so she can enjoy killing them. I don’t think it was a deliberate reference or homage but there is a similarity there.

Despite Doctor Manhattan's established detachment it seems the revelation that he's likely responsible for his former lover's cancer, and combined with Laurie leaving him not too long before struck a chord and finally pushed him to express some human anger and frustration. Laurie had mentioned that she’s basically kept on the government’s payroll to keep Dr Manhattan ground and thus keeping him on America’s side.

In this world, Dr Manhattan was America's Russian deterrent and now that he's left Earth Russia is emboldened and begins an advance that threatens to turn the Cold War hot and trigger a nuclear war.

Under the Hood

This selection discusses the 50s and 60s, basically the period after the original Minutemen went into declinn. It brings up that the Comedian was still doing well despite most of the other heroes falling off the radar. Kind of made me wonder what his origin was. I think we get a decent enough idea of what got most of the main characters started but I don't think the Comedian's start is really discussed. It seems logical that he might've been in the military, given his outfit (which was a major departure from his original costume) and tactics. That combined with his cynicism reminds me a lot of the Punisher, especially given the connection to Vietnam but I can't remember if the Punisher's Vietnam connections were firmly in place by the time this was written regardless, it doesn't seem like something Moore would've been too bothered to read.

The story comes back to the identity of Hooded Justice and some of the information provided is not conclusive, emphasizing what I had mentioned prior about Mason not being omniscient in his writing so while I take it as a mostly accurate first-hand account, I think it leaves enough ambiguity and uncertainty.

The Watchmen tv series does a great job incorporating the information from Mason's account exploiting some of those uncertainties to further enrich the world and expand it to other major social issues beyond what Moore had chosen to focus on for his story. I honestly feel the tv series expansion in this area was so well done that I kind of accept it as canon as anything Moore wrote here.

This feels like a closing chapter of Under the Hood and it ends with the introduction of the next generation of heroes: Ozymandias, Dr Manhattan, and the second Nite Owl and Silk Spectre. It also finally tells us that it was written in 1962, which helps contextualize some of the "as of this writing" and "just last week" type references in the book.
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Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
I also have a barebones TPB (no special content, maybe an intro) that I've read a couple times but is buried in my basement right now. I'm hoping for a slow day at work so I'll be reading an online version of the individual issues.
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Issue 1: the series as a whole is held up as a dark and gritty kind of rebuttal to superhero stories, but man do they set the scene in the first three panels. Blood in the street, 'whores and politicians', the narrator (presumably a hero and at least the protagonist?) refusing to save people? The second set of three panels fills in the narrator's worldview a bit but those first three really tell you all you need to know.

On the topic of Rorschach getting to Comedian's room, the climb is impressive but I was thinking of how he decided to do that. I guess he doesn't want to go in the front door and have someone see him, but is firing a grappling gun from the sidewalk and climbing the side of a building really more discreet? It does serve to set him up as a Batman type though: grappling gun, shadowy, obviously some detective skills once he gets in the room. Nite Owl obviously has a Batman vibe too.

Every time you get Rorschach's internal monologue, you wonder why he's a crimefighter. He doesn't seem to care for people or the city at all.

I had forgotten that the Comedian is apparently listed as 'extranormal', as Dr Manhattan puts it. What makes him extranormal?

Laurie is right to be angry at Rorschach calling rape a moral lapse, and Rorschach's justification compared to how he feels about the rest of the people in the city is telling. When he later says that evil must be punished even when the apocalypse is coming, the definition of evil must vary from person to person.

Under the Hood is an interesting contrast in psychology between Hollis and Rorschach. It's also kind of funny to read about the first real-life superhero, Hooded Justice, having a noose as part of his costume given what we'll read about capes in Issue 2 (and have probably seen in The Incredibles).
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Collector KatKomics private msg quote post Address this user
Huh....might have to pick up the TBP for this month and then pass it to my kid!! No way am I letting him read a) the actual comics or b) the original hardcover edition!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatKomics
Huh....might have to pick up the TBP for this month and then pass it to my kid!! No way am I letting him read a) the actual comics or b) the original hardcover edition!!!


oh no!!! my b-day is coming up and now I have the cake and candles by my name!!!!
sh!t...no longer mid forties...47 is now late forties!!
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I think one of the things that jumps out about this series is how well developed Alan Moore’s characters are. It’s obvious that he spent a great deal of time contemplating what kind of person in a real world setting would put on a costume and fight crime along with the various psychological complexes they must have. From Rorschach, a psychopath with a compulsion to punish evil to the Comedian, a selfish, amoral mercenary type who views life as a joke and death as the punchline, to Hollis Mason, who seems to be a relatively normal, decent sort who became a hero because that’s what everyone else was doing and it seemed like a fun thing to do. Sally Jupiter became a hero out of a deep seated need for attention and adulation, even going as far as pushing her daughter into the business so she could live vicariously through her when she became too old to fight crime, creating a host of psychological complexes in the daughter. And then there’s Adrian Veidt, the self proclaimed “smartest man in the world” who became a hero simply because he felt he was smarter than everyone else and thus best qualified to solve all the world’s problems. The second Nite Owl was a mechanical genius who obviously admired the original, which influenced his career choice. And of course there’s Dr. Manhattan, who never set out to be a hero but was the victim of an accident that gave him godlike power and profoundly transformed his perception of reality. Moore basically puts all these diverse personalities together in a realistic setting and explores how their interactions would naturally unfold over the course of the story. I just wonder how long he worked on this series before it was published because it is all so well thought out, the characters so well understood by the author. I am so freaking jealous of Alan Moore’s brainpower!
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@KatKomics Happy B-day! The secret to staying young is to marry an older woman, that way you will always be the young one😉.
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COLLECTOR dielinfinite private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by xkonk
It's also kind of funny to read about the first real-life superhero, Hooded Justice, having a noose as part of his costume given what we'll read about capes in Issue 2 (and have probably seen in The Incredibles).


It should be noted that Hooded Justice has BOTH a noose AND a cape!

That said, the development for his character in the Watchmen series was great, and the explanation for the noose really worked for me. Definitely worth the watch if you haven’t seen it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelekrupp
I just wonder how long he worked on this series before it was published because it is all so well thought out, the characters so well understood by the author.


You know, I’ll flip through the Watching the Watchmen book to see if Gibbons has any insight on how long Moore might’ve worked on it before publishing.

It is well-known that Moore originally wanted to use DC’s recently acquired Charlton characters, which they bought in 1983, so assuming he started after the purchase you’re looking at maybe 2-3 years.
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Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite

It should be noted that Hooded Justice has BOTH a noose AND a cape!

That said, the development for his character in the Watchmen series was great, and the explanation for the noose really worked for me. Definitely worth the watch if you haven’t seen it!


I've heard nothing but good things about it, but I don't have HBO or HBOMax
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COLLECTOR dielinfinite private msg quote post Address this user
@xkonk Down to $20 on Blu Ray and $15-ish on DVD
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Issue 2: most of it is the Comedian's funeral, which provides the reason for characters to give us backstory on him and the previous superteams. The Comedian is sort of a practical version of the Joker: he thinks that the inherent unfairness of the world is a joke and he's also petty and violent, but instead of taking the unfairness into chaos he is a 'good guy' because he takes it out on criminals. His personal bad acts get covered up, and later he gets to use his violence to serve the country.

The extremely unflattering picture stands in contract to Sally Jupiter's take on things, which is that as time passes you want to focus on the positive. Rorschach isn't cut in with all the flashbacks but it makes you wonder what his take would be. Since we just read #1 though, we sort of know: he's willing to let the Comedian's personal failings slide because of his long dedication to crimefighting. Maybe Rorschach has taken some of the Comedian's view, too, after the kidnapping that was mentioned. I think it's interesting because if anyone was morally rigid enough to not forgive a thing like that despite other positive qualities, you would think it would be Rorschach.

We also get Moloch's story of the Comedian's visit, where he's obviously put off by something terrible that will happen. Given the Comedian's cynicism, history of fighting in the streets, and history of fighting for his country, what could be so bad as to spook him?

Under the Hood also relates to Sally's take on the past. Hollis admits that the early heroes were all too human: Nazi sympathizers, racists, perverts, and pathological. But they were trying! It's quite a leap and a lot to forgive. Two members of the Minutemen were expelled: the Comedian for raping and beating a fellow member, and Silhouette for being a lesbian. What an equivalence. You would think that Laurie would butt in if she were the cowriter. Hollis does admit that they set a bad example for future crimefighters though, so we'll have to see what he says later.
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And back on the practical matters of crimefighting: Hollis saying that his schedule was basically work, gym, six hours of sleep (at least at first) feels much more realistic than what you usually see in the comics. He says it's a wonder that his type of people could ever come together in a group but you would think at some point they would just crave the socializing.
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I don’t think the second excerpt from Under the Hood necessarily refers to Sally’s take on the history, I’m pretty sure it’s all Hollis, though clearly Sally and her history make up a substantial part of Hollis’ account.

I think you mentioned regarding an earlier chapter of Under the Hood that Hollis began crime fighting because “everyone was doing it.” I think that interpretation is incorrect. I think Hollis was driven to it more from a sense of adventure and optimism, especially given how some of the impetus was the bright colors and black and white morality of the first Superman comic. Remember he mentions seeing Hooded Justice, the first hero, and declaring to himself that he would have to be the second, so there wasn’t really a super hero fad yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xkonk
And back on the practical matters of crimefighting: Hollis saying that his schedule was basically work, gym, six hours of sleep (at least at first) feels much more realistic than what you usually see in the comics. He says it's a wonder that his type of people could ever come together in a group but you would think at some point they would just crave the socializing.


I think Rorschach touches on this during Ozymandias’ flashback to the Crime Busters meeting. Rorschach admits that working in groups together certainly helps, he’s been working with Nite Owl, after all, but feels that a group their size was too big and unwieldy to be effective and characterizes it more as a PR stunt. Given that the meeting was organized by the rapidly aging Captain Metropolis, and I think the Comedian says this directly, that it was likely more a desperate maneuver to stay relevant and continue playing at superheroes long after he should’ve retired.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite
I don’t think the second excerpt from Under the Hood necessarily refers to Sally’s take on the history, I’m pretty sure it’s all Hollis, though clearly Sally and her history make up a substantial part of Hollis’ account.

Oh, it doesn't at all. But with Sally and Laurie's talk at the beginning of the issue, it's interesting to see Hollis discuss the past. Laurie thinks that Sally's rape was awful and unforgivable; Sally seems to have moved on and has a different perspective on how to view the past; and then Hollis seems in the middle, seeing the flaws in his teammates but somewhat excusing it by saying they were all trying their best. I could imagine Laurie being a cowriter or just reading the book, seeing that Hooded Justice was a Nazi sympathizer, and having a very different take. Although she'd probably be happier with what Hollis says about the Comedian right after.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite

I think you mentioned regarding an earlier chapter of Under the Hood that Hollis began crime fighting because “everyone was doing it.” I think that interpretation is incorrect. I think Hollis was driven to it more from a sense of adventure and optimism, especially given how some of the impetus was the bright colors and black and white morality of the first Superman comic. Remember he mentions seeing Hooded Justice, the first hero, and declaring to himself that he would have to be the second, so there wasn’t really a super hero fad yet.

That was Mike, but I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dielinfinite

Quote:
Originally Posted by xkonk
And back on the practical matters of crimefighting: Hollis saying that his schedule was basically work, gym, six hours of sleep (at least at first) feels much more realistic than what you usually see in the comics. He says it's a wonder that his type of people could ever come together in a group but you would think at some point they would just crave the socializing.


I think Rorschach touches on this during Ozymandias’ flashback to the Crime Busters meeting. Rorschach admits that working in groups together certainly helps, he’s been working with Nite Owl, after all, but feels that a group their size was too big and unwieldy to be effective and characterizes it more as a PR stunt. Given that the meeting was organized by the rapidly aging Captain Metropolis, and I think the Comedian says this directly, that it was likely more a desperate maneuver to stay relevant and continue playing at superheroes long after he should’ve retired.


Yeah, things seemed a bit more positive for the Minutemen, although they obviously had some dark moments. It isn't surprising that a new group would try to get together though, and similarly not surprising that a member expelled from the first iteration would spike it.
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The power is out at the office but it's fine here at home, so more time for reading than I thought!

Issue 3: we start getting the parallel between the 'real' story and the Black Freighter story. It starts mostly to kind of poke fun at the newsvendor, blathering on about nuking Russia while the survivor in the comic story is terrified by all the death he's seen. It also contrasts the newvendor who sees everything and is *informed*, dammit, with the red-headed man who also reads the paper every day and thinks the world will end today (he's seen the signs).

Given all the moral judgment in the book, I noticed the jump between the picture of the figurehead in the comic and Dr Manhattan on the next page. We've seen a decent number of breasts so far in two issues and a couple pages, along with a rape and a pregnant woman being murdered, but they keep Manhattan covered up pretty well. Wouldn't want to offend anyone with the sight of a penis.

I like the semi-irony of the Gordian Knot Lock Co. Presumably they make locks so good that they can only be opened by breaking them... which is already what happened to Dan's door. I've been trying to pay more attention to the random signs and names to see if I catch things like that. I thought the name of Sally's retirement community was a reference to the river of forgetting in the Greek underworld, but that was Lethe, not Penthe.

@dielinfinite when I read issue 1 I thought Rorschach was eating a bouillon cube too, but here we see that Dan's low on sugar cubes, which come wrapped in little greenish wrappers.

We get really beat over the head with Manhattan's inhumanity this issue. We saw that he's literally inhuman in his first appearance, a giant blue naked man who can shrink back to normal and take things apart with his mind. His being multiple bodies to have sex with Laurie seems a misstep but more because she was surprised, perhaps. The real mistake was being in even more bodies, also doing his work and preparing for an interview while also having sex. Multitasking Laurie was the lack of humanity. That's relatively obvious already but then we also get Janey Slater talking about her failed relationship with Manhattan. That said, Manhattan is sitting on the bed looking at Laurie's bra, so perhaps his humanity is just hidden so far.

Speaking of humanity, the fight scene with Dan and Laurie in the alleyway is one of the things that I still remember from the Watchmen movie. It was mostly faithful but in the movie Dan and Laurie seem superhuman; they're too fast and strong. My memory is that they look at each other before the fighting starts and enjoy it. Here in the comic, they're surprised and less excited. Laurie looks angry while Dan looks sad that he'll have to fight. It's a very different tone. My memory of the movie was also that they sleep together right after that, but they don't here in the comic. The parallel with Manhattan's interview makes the same connection though.

Despite his apparent misunderstanding of human emotion, Manhattan certainly has his own. He's gets frustrated enough at the interview to teleport the whole crowd outside, and between that, Laurie leaving, and the military painting his door with a radiation sign, he decides it's time to take off.

Told in parallel with the Black Freighter again, it's a little unclear what the parallel is. Is Manhattan the freighter, bring doom? Is he the survivor in the story, who can't protect his family since he's been left alone? Or is that too literal and the focus should just be the matching themes?

It's a bit much that Manhattan leaving Earth is in all the papers the next morning. He goes to his home at a military facility, talks to one person, teleports to an abandoned place in Arizona, then teleports to (presumably) Mars, and someone tells multiple newspapers in time for the morning printing?

Under the Hood makes a chronological connection between the Minutemen and superhero comics in real life. Both were big in the early to mid 40s, died off around 1950, and then had to deal with Congress. The chronology for the story really starts to differ from our own in the 60s when Dr Manhattan arrives. We've already seen that thanks to him, the US would win Vietnam and Nixon would stay in office.

Hollis' feelings about new superheroes is a little odd. In the previous chapter he wrote about how the Minutemen all had hang-ups, and their team would lead to terrible things later on. He retires in '62 in part because Manhattan has made regular crimefighters obsolete. But when he gets a call about someone else taking up the Nite Owl name and gets on board, and he doesn't seem that put off by a friend's daughter (only 17, from what Laurie said in issue 1 I think) taking up the costume. He does say 'for better or for worse' in the next line, but it's oddly sanguine to me.
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lol! That’s a great little detail about the sugar cubes! I overlooked the detail that the sugar cubes were wrapped so I did’t put 2 and 2 together regarding Nite Owl being low on sugar.

I think the Black Freighter metaphor isn’t so literal as “this character is the Black Freighter” but a bit more general. I think the freighter is that impending doom that seems to be approaching, suggested by ticking clock at the end of each issue and made a little more concrete at the end of issue three where humanity destroying itself has become a very real possibility if not inevitability.

The survivor, who only barely survived the Black Freighter’s attack could be humanity itself as Nite Owl’s flashback with the Comedian showed, America and the world have been ravaged socially leaving a weakened survivor now helpless to stop the Freighter from an even deadlier attack.
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The story in “Tales of the Black Freighter” is representative of the ordinary humans depicted in the street scenes. They are aware of the likelihood of impending doom but it is beyond their control and they have absolutely no power to stop it. As the street sequences (and the black freighter story) continue, the cast of ordinary folks continues to build around the newsstand until the metaphorical black freighter “lands” near the end of the story.

As for the original Nite Owl doing what he did because others were doing it, you are right: he did it because he saw one other person doing it and decided that that was what he wanted to do. The others who decided to do the same thing around the same time were likewise influenced by the originator of the trend.
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Going back to @dielinfinite's comment about assuming all superheroes know each other, it's kind of funny that now it's become a trope. "I'm a reporter, Clark, of course I knew" or "I'm a detective, Barry, obviously you're the Flash". Everybody around a superhero knows their secret identity.

On the other hand, they haven't said (at least so far) that Rorschach teamed up with the Comedian at all, so they probably didn't really run in the same circles. Sally Jupiter knew that he was Edward Blake though. That makes more sense.
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I started reading it when I got back from Afghanistan. The TPB version from 2014. I'm like halfway through, and I need to start over because I read one issues, then a few months go by and I forget because of other things going on. My goal to contribute is to start over so I can be more fair about it. I did like the artwork and story from when I was reading it. I'll start over this week.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xkonk
Speaking of humanity, the fight scene with Dan and Laurie in the alleyway is one of the things that I still remember from the Watchmen movie. It was mostly faithful but in the movie Dan and Laurie seem superhuman; they're too fast and strong. My memory is that they look at each other before the fighting starts and enjoy it.



I’ll never consider Zack Snyder a great filmmaker but he does significantly better when he’s adapting an existing work almost shot-for-frame like he did with 300 and does again with Watchmen.

The two things you mentioned are small enough that they don’t bother me really. The thing about how they alleyway fight I think works because its still more or less on the arc the story puts the characters on though maybe gets us there a bit faster than when the book does. That said, I don’t recall them sleeping together after the fight in the movie but I haven’t seen it in a while.

The thing about them seeming superhumanly strong, I can understand where that criticism comes from though I think it the movie manages to toe the line between exaggerating realism and totally breaking it. With the alleyway scene it is more brutal and violent than in the comic but I don’t remember them doing anything too ridiculous that they would rate anywhere on the Marvel power scale.

I thing the opening scene of the Comedian’s murder pushing a little more where during the fight the Comedian smashes pillars in the apartment when his punch misses or when he has his head put through a marble countertop. At the same time the detectives do mention that the assailant must’ve been incredibly strong to have burst through the chained door and figured it would’ve taken two men to throw the Comedian hard enough to break the window. And on the Comedian’s part, I’m fine letting it slide as an adrenaline-fueled last stand.


Anyways, despite whatever deficiencies Snyder may have, the opening montage was great!


I think it does an excellent job of covering a lot of ground that Under the Hood does in the book in a way that film does very well.

Anyways, there is a special feature on the movie titled Under the Hood that I believe is an interpretation of the segments from the book so I’m curious to see how they did it. Maybe instead of a book it’s a documentary or interview style segment. I’ll give it a watch tonight and I’m sure I’ll bring it up later in the week.
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Collector EbayMafia private msg quote post Address this user
Looks like a fun discussion. I want to play but I’m traveling and need to get home before I can reread my TPB and add anything useful.
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Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
I liked the Watchmen movie more than most did (a movie changed from the source material! how dare they! etc etc). And it's been a while since I've seen it, so I could be misremembering. But given how much of the story is about the humanity of the crimefighters and how big a deal Manhattan is for being truly super, I thought that the movie spicing up everyone was a bit much. They're not really near 'normal' superhero status, like you said, but they shouldn't be super at all. More John Wick, less wire work.
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Collector Redmisty4me private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelekrupp
I think one of the things that jumps out about this series is how well developed Alan Moore’s characters are. It’s obvious that he spent a great deal of time contemplating what kind of person in a real world setting would put on a costume and fight crime along with the various psychological complexes they must have. From Rorschach, a psychopath with a compulsion to punish evil to the Comedian, a selfish, amoral mercenary type who views life as a joke and death as the punchline, to Hollis Mason, who seems to be a relatively normal, decent sort who became a hero because that’s what everyone else was doing and it seemed like a fun thing to do. Sally Jupiter became a hero out of a deep seated need for attention and adulation, even going as far as pushing her daughter into the business so she could live vicariously through her when she became too old to fight crime, creating a host of psychological complexes in the daughter. And then there’s Adrian Veidt, the self proclaimed “smartest man in the world” who became a hero simply because he felt he was smarter than everyone else and thus best qualified to solve all the world’s problems. The second Nite Owl was a mechanical genius who obviously admired the original, which influenced his career choice. And of course there’s Dr. Manhattan, who never set out to be a hero but was the victim of an accident that gave him godlike power and profoundly transformed his perception of reality. Moore basically puts all these diverse personalities together in a realistic setting and explores how their interactions would naturally unfold over the course of the story. I just wonder how long he worked on this series before it was published because it is all so well thought out, the characters so well understood by the author. I am so freaking jealous of Alan Moore’s brainpower!


I am mightily appreciative of your thoughtful appreciation, but feel compelled to share that while I find Gibbons' work rather brilliant, Moore is the ultimate naked emperor in the world of comic book writing.

The comics that inspired him in this endeavor are so vastly superior in every way to the hash of Watchmen that I continue to be astonished at the praise it receives.

I will say, however, that as utterly uninteresting as I find it from a literary standpoint, Watchmen IS the best thing (by far) that Moore ever wrote (Killing Joke being perhaps the most pointlessly disgusting comic book ever printed, including indies & undergrounds), and is at least readable if nearly without redeeming qualities beyond Gibbons' vision for the characters & world they inhabit.

It's also superior to the utter monstrosity and offensive mess of the OTHER supposedly great long-form effort of the era, the wretched Dark Knight Returns, so a best of the worst kind of thing...

----

EDIT an hour later to add: I forgot Moore wrote V, which is actually quite compelling though also quite flawed.
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Collector michaelekrupp private msg quote post Address this user
@Redmisty4me I agree with you on Dave Gibbons’ artwork. He is brilliant and his style a perfect fit for this story. I think it is safe to say that the book would not have been as good drawn by ANY other artist. As for Moore, I am afraid we will have to agree to disagree there. Since I dropped out of reading new comics in the early 1990s I cannot speak to his more modern stuff, but I certainly enjoyed his 80s work immensely. Watchmen, Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, even D.R. And Quinch are all high on my list.

As for Dark Knight, it is probably not in the same the same league as Watchmen but it is an important and influential work nonetheless, perhaps even having a bigger immediate impact on the industry than Watchmen. If anyone is up for discussing Dark Knight in the next installment I am all about it🙂.
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Collector Redmisty4me private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelekrupp
@Redmisty4me I agree with you on Dave Gibbons’ artwork. He is brilliant and his style a perfect fit for this story. I think it is safe to say that the book would not have been as good drawn by ANY other artist. As for Moore, I am afraid we will have to agree to disagree there. Since I dropped out of reading new comics in the early 1990s I cannot speak to his more modern stuff, but I certainly enjoyed his 80s work immensely. Watchmen, Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, even D.R. And Quinch are all high on my list.

As for Dark Knight, it is probably not in the same the same league as Watchmen but it is an important and influential work nonetheless, perhaps even having a bigger immediate impact on the industry than Watchmen. If anyone is up for discussing Dark Knight in the next installment I am all about it🙂.


We should definitely discuss Dark Knight next - unlike my mild disdain for Watchmen, I have REALLY strong criticism of it & its reprehensible author Miller.

And we CAN share an appreciation for Moore's V; it's so much better than anything else Moore has done that I inevitably forget, flawed though it is, that he actually wrote something that good, stained as it inevitably is by his monumental misogyny.
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Collector Maritimer private msg quote post Address this user
I read Watchmen when it was originally published. It was certainly interesting and thought provoking. The story was fine and I enjoyed Dave Gibbons art. I never delved into the deep meaning of it all and never gave it another thought until many years later (30+) when my LCS started a book club of it's own every second Thursday evening. All I can say is: it was the highest attended session by far and the most hotly debated! A couple of people almost wrote a thesis on it. I contributed somewhat to the conversation but mostly enjoyed sitting back and listening.

Have fun!!
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COLLECTOR dielinfinite private msg quote post Address this user
So I gave Under the Hood a watch and I found it interesting.

As I had expected it takes the form of an interview but with its own twist. It is framed as a talk-show, think Larry King, in 1985 looking back at their 1975 interview of Hollis Mason, who had just published Under the Hood. Most of Mason’s interview covers the material seen in the excerpts from the comic. However the talk show goes beyond just Mason and explores the phenomenon of masked vigilantes by interviewing other people, including Sally Jupiter. Interspersed is more footage of the original Minutemen.

It’s a great piece of world-building that acknowledges what was created in the original book but presents it using the tools of filmmaking.

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Collector xkonk private msg quote post Address this user
Looking forward to the next reading... I don't want to start off on a big Moore kick necessarily but I would be up for reading something else he did. The main limitation (a self-imposed one) is that we're aiming for 12-16 issues per month. V for Vendetta was 10, so that's close, but Dark Knight Returns is just four. It would be hard to stretch that without adding in the more recent additions.

Going by the suggestions from the initial book club post, I would go with Walking Dead or the Spidey books, neither of which I've read before. I've also been kicking around the Weapon X arc in Marvel Comics Presents, but that would be short even though it technically ran over 12 issues.
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COLLECTOR dielinfinite private msg quote post Address this user
I’d rather we explore a variety of works and not linger excessively on artists, writers, characters, or decades


REMEMBER! Get your nominations in before the end of the day tomorrow!

NOMINATION
Batman: The Long Halloween



Batman: The Long Halloween #1-13
Amazon: ~$19+

Early in Batman’s career the holidays are marked with grisly murders. Can Batman along with his allies bring the killer to justice before the calendar marks the next holiday?
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