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Old December 14 2010, 02:15 AM   #1
sikkbones
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Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

Speaking to who I assume are superhero fans, what was your take on moores superheroes? Does it kinda put you off that they are protrayed to be people with serious problems? Does it affect the way you look at other comics?

Moore said he didnt believe in heores and WAtchmen was his take on what could happen when people put their faith in heroes, not just the flight and tights but also government officials as well. That if people become to complacent and trustworthy than they may end up with a result that they may not want, like veidts plan. Roreshack said it when he said that the world is only what we make of it. So if we dont like it we have to stand up and do somthing. This is seen in niteowl and silkspecter they give up and become half themselves, but then they buck up and save people from a burning buillding,but they come to their senses to late to stop veidt.

But I would like to purpose a thought. What if watchmen is a call for everyone to step up and be who they could be. I fyou dont like the way the world is do somthing about it, dont trust others to do it. Like niteowl, he didnt start to really be who he could be until he started to be niteowl again, he was only being half himself. Also I think moore did not take into account a heores part to inspire others. A heores part is not for people to become complacent, but to be inspired from and called to make themselves better at the example of the hero. Like silk specter inspiring John to action. Perhaps if john and the others would have acted sooner they would have stopped veidt and come up with a better plan.

Like the comidian he thought the world was just a joke, but then he got his wake up call. Perhaps if the other heroes had gotten an earlier wake up call things would have been different.

It shows that the heroes are human to, with bad backgrouds and their own faults, but at least some of them were trying, people put their trust in heroes, then turned on them and trurned to the government. both gave pretty bad results, but I think the point of watchmen was that people put their world in the hands of a few and they got what they got, Who watches the watchers? Who watches the heroes, the government? Maybe we should all get a wake up call (like john and nitowl, and silkspecter) and be the watchers. Otherwise we will be living behind a false pretense, like veidits grand joke. Even our heroes are flawed, they arnt perfect.

Moore said watchmen was what you get for being lazy and trusting in heroes. But the point of a hero is to have other people push themselves and be inspired by the hero (like niteowl II was from Nitowl I, and john was from silkspecter), did moore miss that, or was the point that the civilians missed the inspiration from the heroes and become complacent on them and later the government, and as such the heroes themselves became over whelmed and uninspired. And as such they themselves became complacent and to trusting to stop veidt?

Your thoughts on all of the above?
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Old December 14 2010, 04:54 AM   #2
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

I was glad they got rid of the giant squid.
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Old December 14 2010, 05:48 AM   #3
Admiral_Young
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

My thoughts on the original post is that I thought "Watchmen" was a very good social commentary on not just losing faith in heroes but also in governments and those who are supposed to be acting in our best interest. You could lump superheroes in with that group too. They're supposed to be watching over us, protecting us from the "bad guy". Moore's point as I have come to understand it was what happens when the line blurs and the good becomes the bad? The inspired becomes complacent? Corruption was certainly a part of this considering that he chose to have Nixon as a multiple-term President.
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Old December 14 2010, 08:01 AM   #4
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

You will break your brain trying to make sense of The Watchman. Taken together it's an incoherent mish-mash of super-hero tropes, 80 TV drama, and shallow, trite, adolescent politics. It falls apart if you blink at it hard.

Watchman had only one thing going for it. It's execution. Taken as 12 vignettes, it's a superb display of sequential art storytelling.

Mechanics aside, the effect of the book on super-hero comics was poisonous.
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Old December 14 2010, 12:24 PM   #5
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

Dennis wrote: View Post
I was glad they got rid of the giant squid.
Hey, Moore, where's that sick squid you owe me?

I'm glad they left out the Tale of the Black Freighter as well.

The trouble with Watchmen is that the deeper you analyse it, the shallower and more derivative that it seems. It's an enjoyable enough slant on the superhero schtick, but it's not life changing.
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Old December 14 2010, 02:24 PM   #6
JoeZhang
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

It's an enjoyable enough slant on the superhero schtick, but it's not life changing.
But was itgenre changing? I'd say so.
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Old December 14 2010, 02:35 PM   #7
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
It's an enjoyable enough slant on the superhero schtick, but it's not life changing.
But was it genre changing? I'd say so.
Possibly so, but I haven't really read any comic books since I was a young lad. Watchmen was an exception at the recomendation of a friend. Otherwise, I think I grew out of such things.
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Old December 14 2010, 02:44 PM   #8
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

Dennis wrote: View Post
I was glad they got rid of the giant squid.
Yawn
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Old December 14 2010, 02:48 PM   #9
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

Watchman exploited previously unexplored regions of the comic book medium in a way that could never be translated to film. To do so is to spectacularly miss the point by an embarrassing margin.

It's no wonder that a film being made left Moore palming his face.
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Old December 14 2010, 03:08 PM   #10
Anwar
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

It and Dark Knight Returns were both very influential on the comic book genre, for similar reasons.
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Old December 14 2010, 03:12 PM   #11
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

To be fair, Moore on principal hates every movie adaptation made of his work.

I'd also dispute the OP's contention that Watchmen was Moore's view of Superheroes.
His work on Superman and the Superman clone, Supreme, shows a long abiding respect respect for the superhero genre.

Rather Watchmen according to those that knew Moore was Alan Moore throwing down the gauntlet to the rest of the comics industry, an attempt at showing them the boundless potential that there was in comics as a storytelling media and a challenge for them to follow.

Unfortunately the only lesson that anyone took from Watchmen was deconstruction as the next fad. It took twenty years for the comics industry to take to heart the lessons that Moore was trying to impart.
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Old December 14 2010, 03:23 PM   #12
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

JoeZhang wrote: View Post
It's an enjoyable enough slant on the superhero schtick, but it's not life changing.
But was it genre changing? I'd say so.
Absolutely. It changed the conventions of storytelling in the superhero genre permanently. Even those writers who "return" to a more traditional take on these characters are responding to Watchmen in one respect or another - including Moore himself with Tom Strong and Supreme.
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Old December 16 2010, 09:02 PM   #13
Myasishchev
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

Shazam! wrote: View Post
Watchman exploited previously unexplored regions of the comic book medium in a way that could never be translated to film. To do so is to spectacularly miss the point by an embarrassing margin.
None of which, or few of which, were integral to the story. There's never been any special reason why Watchmen couldn't be filmed, outside of time, budget, and artistic constraints, few of which seemed to affect the final product of Snyder's Watchmen.

Is it as good a movie as it was a comic? Of course not. Alan Moore is the Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick of comics. No one is ever going to accuse Zack Snyder of being a formally innovative director, or a revolutionary genius.

That said, one need not be a genius to turn in great work: and I think Snyder did a very good job of making the world's most faithful comic-to-film adaptation while disengaging it from the stylistic tricks Moore and Gibbons employed in that medium.

And let's be clear, a lot of them were tricks.

There is no reason both cannot coexist as viable works. A Watchmen adaptation is far less offensive than, say, a Watchmen sequel.

Now, if we wanted to identify an unfilmable comic, Alan Moore competes far better with Promethea. There are sequences in that which I believe would be literally unfilmable in the linear storytelling medium of film. Whereas the nonlinearity in Watchmen is portrayed in a linear, relatable--dare I say cinematic?--manner.

But even then I don't think it couldn't be adapted, just that it would suffer far more than Watchmen in the transition.

Edit: ah! But there is at least one truly unfilmable comic that I can name--Grant Morrison's Animal Man. A movie adaptation of Deus Ex Machina would be hilariously wrongheaded.

It's no wonder that a film being made left Moore palming his face.
It's no wonder, but of course Alan Moore has no basis on which to actually judge the project, given that he never saw it. Also, he's so consistently dickish about it, I'd discredit his opinion even if he had seen it.

Dennis is right about the squid, but I suspect it's for the wrong reasons.

Re: the OP, I think the principal point of Watchmen is that, realistically, anyone deranged enough to dress up like an owl (or a rorshach blot, or a flamboyant Egyptian) and beat up criminals, is going to be fucked up and very possibly sociopathic. Also, that superpowers would render you mad, even if you started out more or less normal. This is also the point far more forcefully made in Miracleman.

Of course, Moore's bitterness is in part born from how he didn't realize is how many stories featuring deranged assholes people would ultimately want to read, regardless of the technical proficiency thereof.

And, on a tangent, just because I feel like bitching about Alan Moore's bitching:

It's also in part born from his own ego, in the sense that he considers himself the only victim of creator abuse who ever lived, or at least the only important one, and the paranoiac reactions he has to certain things. He's a great man, but can be really, really infuriating.

You'll rarely hear me defend Geoff Johns, but Alan Moore must be able to compartmentalize his thoughts quite well to accuse Johns of doing nothing more than stealing his old "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps" ideas (as he did in a recent interview) when his own masterworks pull ideas freely from the works of Ditko, Wein, Orwell, Lovecraft, Verne, Crowley, and whoever wrote Allan Quatermain, not to even mention Baum, Carrol, and Barrie, who are likely still rolling in their graves, or alternatively masturbating in heaven.
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Old December 16 2010, 09:17 PM   #14
Allyn Gibson
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

Hound of UIster wrote: View Post
To be fair, Moore on principal hates every movie adaptation made of his work.
That is not true. Moore approves wholeheartedly of one adaptation of his work. Some Doctor Who fans (Altered Vistas) did an animated adaptation of one of his DWM comic strips, and Moore says that they "got" it. (See here).

Everything else? Well, not so much.
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Old December 16 2010, 10:07 PM   #15
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Re: Watchmen and Superheroes and the point behind the story

I think that Synder's film adaptation may, ironically, possess a clearer vision in some aspects than Moore's original work. That Snyder emphasized certain characters more, like making Dan and Laurie less pathetic human beings who were capable of better standing up for their principles than in the book, strengthens some parts of the story considerably.

Personally, trying not to read too much into Watchmen, I always felt that it's really very simple, and accusations that it's "pseudo-intellectual" attribute that trait to the wrong source: Watchmen was never trying to be /that/ smart. Readers however, desperate to "smarten up" comics took it and overanalyzed it.

I think the parable in Watchmen is pretty basic; it is a deconstruction of the super hero, yes, but it isn't an indictment of the super hero. It's just about what would happen if folks tried to do the super hero thing in real life, that is more than a one-note joke like recent works such as Kick Ass. Things go generally badly for the real life heroes because life is messy and has nasty consequences that fiction glosses over, but not entirely badly. The heroes do inspire some people, and especially in the film, some of them can find redemption and that their efforts are not in vain.

All the politics and philosophizing surrounding that core theme is just a bunch of flavor text that was drawn from the contemporary world at the time the story was written. It's not supposed to hold up to much scrutiny.
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