Numbers for questions added.
The Old Mixer wrote:
(1)That's all you got out of it? (2)No symbolism, (3)no subtext, (4)no historical context?
Plainly the sort of stuff that inspires terminal enthusiasm in a certain kind of young person.
(5)And what about enthusiasm in mainstream critics and college professors? On the contrary, while I appreciated Watchmen
a great deal when I first read it at the age of 17, I found that it grew and grew with subsequent readings over the years, particularly when I shared the book with others and we thoroughly discussed matters such as character motivations and symbolism. There are layers of depth in this book to be delved into.
I'm reminded of what Luthor tells Miss Tessmacher in Superman
: "Some people can read War and Peace
and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story."
(1)The other stuff is why the book is still worth reading and even taking seriously.
(2)Yes, there's symbolism but that wasn't my topic. Nor is it required to pay fealty to the book's use of symbolism when discussing the basic story.
(3)My recap of "who wins" explicitly reads the subtext, which I think is the real objection. A complaint that I ignore subtext is incorrect.
(4)The historical context of previous comic books and previous thought about comic book heroes is not of great interest. Others more interested in that topic should comment on that.
(5)Mainstream critics and college professors suffering "terminal" enthusiasm are wildly wrong and should be pitied. Genuinely comparing Watchmen to War and Peace would be a good example.
In general, although there are depths to Watchmen, there are also shallows. Diving in without caution is dangerous. Part of Watchmen's appeal to younger people (of all physical ages) is that rather crude pulp story.