This weekend I re-read one of my all-time favorite comic books, the classic Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen, which takes place in the mid-1980s, was the first and probably still the best attempt at showing what a real Earth would be like if it were inhabited by super-heroes. The story examines how the world is changed politically, technologically, and socially when a few super-folks appear on the scene, especially one incredibly powerful man who happens to be American. The characters are developed in great depth, and all this plays out as the world careens toward a disastrous U.S. - Soviet war while great mysteries and plots are revealed.
The list of praise for Watchmen is practically endless. It's the only comic book/graphic novel on Time Magazine's list of 100 greatest novels, and the only one to win a Hugo award. Joss Whedon and Damon Lindelof are among its fans. New articles are still being written about it. Blah blah blah. Just read Watchmen. And re-read it: every time you do, you'll find new bits of story, new meaning, and new visuals that you didn't notice before. Watchmen is still great, even though I was surprised to find that the pages of the book, now 20 years old, are starting to smell like old comic books.