What’s “Watchmen” About?
Over at The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon has asked readers to let him know how they would answer the question, "What’s Watchmen about?" It’s a nice feature, as I believe Watchmen to be one of those projects that has been held in high regard by comics fans for so long that it’s difficult to think outside of our comics fishbowl and explain why it’s such an important story to someone with little knowledge of the industry.
Here’s the answer I gave Tom, which I came up with pretty quickly due to having been asked that same question by someone yesterday:
Watchmen examines the relationship between superheroes and society and the ways in which this relationship changes over time given a variety of real-world factors. What would happen when the shine wears off and things like politics, economics, racism and the knowledge of one’s own abilities far and beyond that of everyone else come to the surface? The story examines all of this by way of a noir-style murder mystery in which one of the former "superheroes" investigates the mysterious death of a former member of the superteam "The Watchmen."
That was my three-sentence answer that skips over so much of what makes Watchmen great to comics fans, but is most likely to hook newcomers to the comics scene. In this case, it seemed to work, as the person I told this to called me up an hour later to say he’d watched the trailer again and now definitely wants to see the film.
You can read more responses over at The Comics Reporter, but feel free to add your own to the comment thread here or email Spurgeon (via the link provided in his post) in order to have your answer added to the feature.