Watchmen by Alan Moore

by
Watchmen by Alan MooreWatchmen by Alan Moore
Illustrator: Davd Gibbons
Published by DC Comics on 2005 (first published 1986)
Genres: Graphic novel, Science Fiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 416
three-half-stars
Add: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
It all begins with the paranoid delusions of a half-insane hero called Rorschach. But is Rorschach really insane or has he in fact uncovered a plot to murder super-heroes and, even worse, millions of innocent civilians? On the run from the law, Rorschach reunites with his former teammates in a desperate attempt to save the world and their lives, but what they uncover will shock them to their very core and change the face of the planet! Following two generations of masked superheroes from the close of World War II to the icy shadow of the Cold War comes this groundbreaking comic story — the story of The Watchmen.

This is a tough review to write. On the one hand, I found the Watchmen boring for the most part. It picked up a bit at the end, but I was never really invested in the story. The world wasn’t going to explode, and if it did, I didn’t really care about any of the people anyway. I also thought it was a bit heavy-handed.

On the other hand, putting it back into the time it was originally published, in the 80s during the cold war, the alternate history he painted probably stuck a bit closer to home. Our political outlook, the world’s threats are not the same now as they were then. He also does a fabulous job of weaving together everyone’s stories and provided a comic book within his novel portraying pirates and allowing it to mirror his real world. The popular comic is about pirates, not superheroes. Superheroes, or at least costumed adventurers, exist is the real world, have been outlawed actually, and are therefore not comic book material.

I like how each of the characters, “superheroes” and regular folk are morally gray and they create events and have reactions true to their personalities. It’s not good vs evil. Most are a little of both, or neither, and how you interpret them probably shows as much about you as it does them.

I can’t really comment much on the art. I don’t read many graphic novels and each artist has their own style. I liked the art in the is one, it’s clear and there is so much to each pane, beyond the main characters and the dialogue. Sometimes, I had to remind myself to stop and actually take time to look at the illustrations.

Overall, it’s one I’m glad I finally read, even if I can’t exactly say I enjoyed it.

About Alan Moore

Alan-Moore

Alan Moore (born 18 November 1953) is an English writer primarily known for his work in comic books including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell. Frequently described as the best graphic novel writer in history, he has been called “one of the most important British writers of the last fifty years.”

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Spotlight: Rise of the Iron Eagle by Roy A. Teel, Jr.

by
Spotlight: Rise of the Iron Eagle by Roy A. Teel, Jr.
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Rise of the Iron Eagle by Roy A. Teel Jr.
Series: Iron Eagle #1
Published by Narroway Press on May 28, 2014
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 290
Add: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon
The city of Los Angeles is no stranger to violence. It has both a colorful and grotesque history with it. Sheriff's Homicide Detective Jim O'Brian and FBI Profiler Special Agent Steve Hoffman are also no strangers to the violence of the sprawling metropolis, but in the past decade something has changed. There's a serial killer preying on other serial killers - some known by law enforcement, others well off radar. "The Iron Eagle," a vigilante, extracts vengeance for the victims of Los Angeles' serial killers. His methods are meticulous and his killings brutal. With each passing day, "The Iron Eagle" moves with impunity through the streets of Los Angeles in search of his prey. O'Brian and Hoffman create an elite task force with the sole purpose of catching "The Eagle" and bringing him to justice. But the deeper they delve, the more apparent it is that he may very well be one of their own. As the two men stare into the abyss of their search, the eyes of "The Iron Eagle" stare back.

Excerpt from the opening of Chapter 8:

John walked into Starbucks at the corner of Topanga and Lassen just before six thirty a.m. He got a coffee and a copy of the Daily News, and the headline said it all, “‘Billy the Kid,’ Crips Gang Member and Serial Rapist, Body Found in Legion Park: Iron Eagle Said to Be Killer.” He shook his head, “I should really start looking for the people who leak this stuff.” He walked to a flower shop a few doors down to purchase a dozen long-stemmed red roses. His truck was parked in front of Country Deli, a local landmark for nearly fifty years. He knew the area very, very well, but he knew it for all the wrong reasons. He pulled out of the lot and headed west through the neighborhoods of oak and eucalyptus trees, following Lassen as it turned from a busy thoroughfare into a quiet neighborhood of post-World War II homes and horse properties, until he reached the entrance to Oakwood Cemetery.

He parked his truck outside the large black wrought iron gates and the ivy covered brick walls of the cemetery and walked through the entrance and up the steep incline of the main road. He walked past a blue and white striped tent; a small backhoe sat quietly where fresh earth had been moved, and a concrete burial vault sat on the ground next to the newly-opened grave. He walked out into the cemetery grass and stopped in front of a grave marker set beneath a huge California Live Oak. He looked at the gray and white granite and its inscription, ‘Amber Lynn Swenson.’ He knelt and brushed away the fresh cut grass, so the whole inscription was revealed. ‘Loving Wife and Beautiful Soul. April 8, 1978 – March 20, 2003.’ Placing the flowers on the stone, he sat down, leaning his back against the tree. “I miss you, honey. I miss my best friend.  I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long.” He heaved a sigh as a tear rolled down his face, and he whispered, “I’m still looking for him, Amber Lynn. For the man who took your life and our life together away.” He wiped the tears from his eyes, his lower lip quivering. “I know I’ve told you, and I don’t know if you are somewhere where you can hear me or not, but I’m sorry. If I had just been on time that night, he wouldn’t have gotten you.” He wiped the stone with a handkerchief from his pocket and laughed. “You always made fun of me for being old fashioned … but you were glad I had it the night I asked you to marry me. How could I know that this same piece of linen that dried your tears of joy at our engagement would later dry my tears of sorrow at your funeral.” John paused for a moment, his anger rising up. “He’s still out there, Amber, hurting women and children. I can’t let that continue. I will find him…and I will avenge you and all the others he’s tortured and killed. He’s a sly one; so far below the radar not even law enforcement sees his pattern or knows that he even exists. The randomness of his killings and the large area that he covers is his protection. I thought I had him with Roskowski. He was evil but wasn’t the man who did this to you.”

He stood up and walked toward the unmarked piece of land next to Amber’s headstone. “This is my spot, baby, right next to you. I’m not afraid of death…I’m afraid of dying before I catch him and bring him to justice.” He leaned down on his hands and knees and gently touched his lips to her name. “Rest, my angel. The next time I come back, it’ll be to tell you that I got him.”

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About Roy A. Teel Jr.

Roy Headshot

On May 11, 1995, at 30, Roy’s life was irrevocably changed. After walking into the hospital, he was admitted and later received the worst possible diagnosis – Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. His doctors gave him two years to live, and he left the hospital in a wheelchair. After battling Multiple Sclerosis for nearly 16 years, Roy began devoting his energies and passions to the full-time art of storytelling. His disability has brought with it an unforeseen blessing. He can finally take medications to alleviate some of the pain from his MS and focus on the pleasures of character creation and the joys of putting words to paper.

As an author, Roy A. Teel Jr. is very diverse, and his works include both fiction and nonfiction. His previous works include The Way, The Truth, and The Lies: How the Gospels Mislead Christians about Jesus’ True Message (2005), Against The Grain: The American Mega-Church and its Culture of Control (2008), Light of Darkness: Dialogues in Death (2008), and And God Laughed (2013).

In 2014, Roy began publishing his latest and largest project – a 15-book geographically-centered hard-boiled, mystery, suspense, thriller crime series: “The Iron Eagle Series.” The main character, a former Marine Corps Black Operative turned rogue FBI agent, hunts serial killers in Los Angeles. Each novel addresses different subjects, and while fiction, all titles deal with real world subject matter. “The Iron Eagle Series” is not about things that can’t hurt you. What happens in these novels can happen to any one of us if we let our guard down and/or are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Roy lives in Lake Arrowhead, CA with his wife and children.

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