Monday, July 23, 2007

Naked Superheroes

I am not a comic book geek. Though never diagnosed, I think that I have a mild form of dyslexia which makes it very hard for me to track text when there’re a lot of other things happening on the page. For me, comics are very slow going, difficult to follow, and tough to understand. I can devour a 1,500 page Thomas Pynchon novel more easily than a collected comic series most of the time, so the comic content really has to be amazing for me to invest the time and effort. I have recently gotten into more comics, thanks to Joss Whedon’s foray into the genre of late. Buffy Season 8 is currently underway in comic form, so what is a girl like me to do but figure out how to read the darn things?

Ironic has been nudging me in the right direction for the past few years. Most recently, she sent me a copy of Watchmen for my birthday. I just finished the 12 issue series yesterday, and I’m here to tell you all, it was well worth the investment. I would recommend this to anyone for the literary and pop culture references alone.

Watchmen was written back in the 80s, is truly iconic in comic geek circles, was named one of Time magazines 100 best novels, and is being adapted into a feature film for next year. Because of all of those reasons, I’m not going to summarize the story for you, or tell you what I think the book MEANS, or what ARCHETYPE each character represents, or what SYMBOLS recur in the story. You’ll be able to find all of that easily enough, I would imagine. Instead, I’ll just say the following: this is my favorite kind of story. It reminds me a lot of Buffy, Angel, Battlestar Galactica, and other fantastic stories that are all just trying to say that humans aren’t perfect, but are pretty amazing anyway. It gives you masked heroes, and strips them down so that all their flaws (and occasionally their body parts) are clearly showing.

I loved it.

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