Watchmen / Alan Moore : 5 of 5
Even though I was aware of the premise and significance of Watchmen, undoubtedly the best graphic novel ever produced, until recently I had never actually read it. But after seeing the movie trailer and all the bookstores stocking up on copies, I decided it was time, and now I can join everyone else in praising this incredible work! There's so much to say about this comic masterpiece, originally published as a twelve issue mini-series, that I don't really know where to begin, except by saying it's every bit as riveting as any contemporary, mature, best-selling, traditional novel. It's full of intense themes, shocking scenes, and some really disturbing circumstances, but every single page makes you want to keep reading and go further and further into its world! The plot revolves around a group of masked heroes, now retired after being disbanded by law, who are being murdered, and some of the group decides to investigate. Through each of the chapters you really get into the psyche of each character, not only through the story itself, but also through "additional material" (such as fake book excepts and magazine articles), all of which are amazing. This is also set against world tensions leading to a possible world war, making the whole thing even more dramatic! The artwork and page layout are really beautiful, but not so artsy that they overshadow or take away from the incredible story, which is really the star - Watchmen has some of the most fully-developed characters and detailed backstory I've ever read. Now that I've read it, I know the movie doesn't have a chance of fitting even half of this story into the plot, but of course I'm still excited to see it!