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Watchmen is arguably one of the most celebrated graphic novels of all time created by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins. The motion picture debuted in 2009, directed by Zack Snyder and is produced by Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Deborah Snyder, and Herbert W Gains.
Watchmen is a vastly complex, multi-layered mystery adventure set in an alternate 1985 timeline in which costumed superheroes are part of everyday society in America. The Doomsday Clock which charts the United States' tension with the Soviet Union is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion, a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers, Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future.
Meet the Team
Edward Blake / The Comedian - Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays this ruthless, nihilistic, deep-sighted character only in flashbacks. His murder starts the plot in motion and is one of the only government-sanctioned superhero after the Keene Act of the 1960s banned all superhero activity.
Jon Osterman / Doctor Manhattan - A scientist played by Billy Crudup who is accidentally caught in an "Intrinsic Field Subtractor" in 1959. He subsequently gains godlike quantum superpowers thereby reconstituting his body with a sort of bluish hue. Gradually, Manhattan himself a quantum being living in a linear world grows distant from humanity all together. He walks around fully nude.
Dan Dreiberg / Nite Owl - Patrick Wilson plays this retired masked avenger who uses owl-themed gadgets and is romantically involved with Silk Spectre II. He takes the name of a former hero named Nite Owl.
Hollis Mason / the original Nite Owl - Now retired, the first Nite Owl was murdered on Halloween when a street gang confuses him with his successor (Dreiberg).
Sally Juspeczyk / the original Silk Spectre and mother of Laurie Juspeczyk who retired and changed her name to Sally Jupiter. The Comedian at one point tried to rape Sally, afterwards they consensually conceived Laurie.
Laurie Juspeczyk / Silk Spectre - Malin Akerman is the female heroine thrown in just because and who has a strained relationship with her mother.
Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias - Matthew Goode plays this self-absorbed retired superhero who drew his inspiration from Alexander the Great. He posseses full physical and mental capacity devoting his time now to "saving the world" and scorning humanity at the same time thus exhibiting villainous traits.
Walter Kovacs / Rorschach - Jackie Earle Haley is the vigilante who wears a white mask containing ink blots that constantly shift position resembling those of Hermann Rorschach's ink blot test. It's made of a material when Dr Manhattan fused together two pieces of latex with heat-sensitive liquids trapped in between creating black-on-white shifting color patterns, "always changing, never mixing into grey". A tailor in his former life, one of Kovacs' customers is murdered and his disgust at the crime-ridden city causes him to launch into a vengeance-filled crusade. He continues his one man battle to fight crime despite being outlawed and sees the universe in black and white much like his mask. He will not compromise and ultimately is taken out for being a right-wing nationalist believing in moral absolutism and objectivism, but not until sending his ever narrative diary to the newspapers to be exposed.
Alan Moore created the main characters to present four or five "radically opposing ways" to perceive the world, and to give readers of the story the privilege of determining which one was most morally comprehensible. Deep, dark, complex themes and motifs run deep throughout the story.
Trivia: Watchmen was originally published by DC comics as a limited series of 12 monthly comic books between 1986-1987; later they all were collected into a trade paperback called Absolute Watchmen. It is the only graphic novel to win the prestigious Hugo Award or to be named among Time magazines 100 Best English Language Novels from 1923-present. Dave Gibbons signed on as a consultant, however Alan Moore has publicly stated he wants nothing to do with films made of his works and refuses to see the film. Feel free to look around a bit.