Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Watchmen by Alan Moore

Just FYI, this is the absolute coolest image on the web that comes up for the search "Look upon my works, ye mighty, and tremble." Percy Bryce Shelley would be proud...

OK, on to business.

What the... holy... good .... what... huh?

OKay, so, I can't possibly discuss this book without spoilers. OKay, I can, I guess. Here goes: Watchmen is a comic book, about superheros, and what they'd be like if they weren't in comic books. Or if comic books weren't comic books. Or if they weren't comic books circa the 80's. Or something. IT was okay. IT had some very interesting ideas, and it was very artfully put together. Mr. Moore (the writer) is obviously something of a renaissance man, and the breadth of his knowledge is really fun to bathe in.

OKay, yeah, so, now spoilers.

WHAT THE HECK IS WITH THE END OF THIS BOOK?

Okay, if the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN's perfectly laid plan for bringing about world piece involves genetically engineering a gigantic squid creature and giving him the enormous mutated brain of a psychic, that's been filled with terrible stories and artworks by the greatest artists in the world, who are convinced to live on a secret island where they think they're doing concept work for a movie, where they are completely cut off by humanity, then put on a ship to go home, where towo of them have sex in teh basement only to realize there's a bomb that blows them all up in order to cover the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN's tracks, which have already been discovered by the superhero that raped the other superhero, who tells it to the old supervillain, who has cancer, because the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN wants to get the naked blue god man out of the way and stole his psychological profile (how the donkey do you do a psych profile on God? Hate's gold cows. Loves happy endings that somehow involve fire falling from the sky) and knows that he is estranged from everyone on earth except for his girlfriend who he loves enough to clone himself so he can entertain her while he develops uber-god-toys, and therefore reveals to the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN that he can get rid of him by giving cancer to everyone he used to know in order to convince people that the naked blue god man causes cancer, thereby making people yell at the naked blue god man, so that he moves to Mars to build a big thing that looks like Satan's cocktail glass, so that the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN can focus on the fact that his getting rid of three superpowered people has attracted the attention of the crackerdog superhero who is trying to prove that there is an evil force killing off masked people, but isn't immediately believed (it would seem) by the daughter of the rapist of the lady he raped who hates the masked guy because he doesn't hate the rapist who she later learns is her dad, or by the guy who eventually ends up with the lady because she needs to feel safe after the giant squid event that we'll discuss in a moment, and whose attention (that is, the attention of Captain Crakcerdogs) might attract attention to his plans, a threat easily alleviated when the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN actually hires a hitman from his own company to try to kill him (that is, to kill the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN, not the Silver Crackerdog), and killing his secretary then getting killed by the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN (who felt no threat because his smarts had taught him how to catch bullets) who puts a poison pill in his mouth and plays pantomime at trying to figure out who put the poison pill in his mouth before he dies, thereby CONFIRMING the theory of the Man Whose Known as Crackerdog (Crackerdog! Sing it in your best Zorro theme song voice, everybody!), and then killing the former evil supervillain who he gave cancer to and sending a message to Dr. Crackerdog from his former archnemesis, attracting him to the spot, where he is arrested by the police who are in search of him, because all superheroes are illegal except naked blue god man, and the rapist guy, and Don Quicrackerdog refuses to stop saving little old ladies, because he likes to break the fingers of evil badguys, thereby allowing the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN to continue his work, while distracting the daughter of the rapist and the guy who falls in love with her, because they now want to crack the Crackerdog Pimpernel out of jail because he might know who the masked person killer is (even though the masked person killer doesn't REALLY exist in the sense that they think he does), leaving them in sufficient disarray that naked blue god man has to pick up his former girlfriend and give her a ride on the Devil's martini glass of love around Mars while she convinces them that humanity is worth saving, leaving only Hong Kong Crackerdog and the guy who falls in love with the girlfriend of naked blue god man/daughter of the dead rapist who tried to help save the world to carouse the underworld, figure out that the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN owns the company that hired the distraction assassin, break into the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN'S office, crack his computer (if he's the freakin' world's smartest man, and his name is Ozymandias (the Greek name for Ramses II), why the flying donkey would he set his password on his computer to Ramses II? Buddy, seriously, umm... this was like a 39 second dictionary attack. Come on.) and discover his secret plan, thereby distracting them during the crucial period in which the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN arrives just in time at his secret base in Antarctica with his mutant supercat and send reverse tachyon rays in order to repel the powers of the naked blue god man, which doesn't work anyway, while the WORLD'S SMARTEST MAN teleports the squid into the middle of New York, because he orginally planned to have teleportation be his plan to save the world, but it didn't work very well, and he learned that it kills the people painfully and violently, thereby giving him the plan to teleport the gigantic squid whose super-psychic-brain would thereby kind of explode into a Hiroshima of psychic power that would make everybody's brains blow up, and make pregnant lady's think there babies were eating them alive, and give nightmares to sensitive people for a bajillion years, thereby convincing the world's governments that they should stop fighting because aliens are invading... well, I'm just not cut out to save the world.

4 comments:

hamilcar barca said...

i think that's a longer sentence than was given the Count of Monte Cristo.

Amanda said...

Oh Jase. Jase, Jase, Jase...

You know what this reminds me of? All those emails I used to send when i was in france, where the semi-colon button on the french keyboard was where the comma should have been and there was something even weirder where the period belonged, and it was one thing thing I just never learned to retrain my fingers for. All those letters used to go out as pages of a single run-on...

Nymeth said...

lol! I think the style in which you wrote this definitely helped get your feelings across :P

I spent like...a whole day musing about the ending. My guess is that Moore WANTED us to feel uncomfortable. One of the interesting things about Watchmen is that it blurs the line between hero and villain. I confess I didn't like Rorschach at all from the very beginning, yet he turned out to be the only one not to accept the unacceptable. And as a thank you for his stance, well, you know what happened to me.

After thinking and thinking I didn't find an answer, but I was glad that it got me thinking.

Jason Gignac said...

I have an acquaintance at work who ia a big graphic novel fan, and I asked him the same question - what's the big deal about this book? His response was that Watchmen is great beause it was the first one to really TRY to say something serious through a graphic novel. It's sort of the seminal work of the non-spandex-and-superheros comic book. I can make some peace with that - it's sort of the comic book equivalent of reading, say, Sophocles. Sophocles was really revolutionary in the way her wrote his plays, in that there was supposed to be actual dialogue between characters. You know, like acting. Reading it now, from the vantage point of thousands of years of people honing and fussing with Sophocles' new idea, Sophocles sounds a little fake, dated, and weird. I guess that's how I felt about Watchmen - it felt kind of clumsy, unsure of itself at times. I can appreciate that. If I had read more graphic novels before this one (I've only read one of the Sandman comics and Deogratias, in my whole entire life), I might have been able to appreciate it more.