Laugh and the Watchmen Laugh At You

I was flipping through the zero issue of Talon today in the shop, and I noticed something that I couldn’t believe, bothered me, made me laugh, and then made me furious, in that order. This right here:

And, look. I’ve been pretty dispassionate about the Before Watchmen thing because, hey, DC is wearing it on their cooperate sleeve about how skeevy it is. Otherwise, they might have had even one inkling of shame about putting this out.

And people, just a reminder; that thing wasn’t a joke, or a parody, or anything else. DC straight up put that shit in Previews and sent it to retailers to possibly order, which is fucking insane. But, on the same token, you kind of have to respect the sheer chutzpah of that. Oh, you liked the most widely-read comic of all time? HAVE SOME GODDAMN TOAST.

This, though, is just… it’s missing the point in a way that’s past baffling to the point of “well, hey maybe it’s a parody”. Hit the jump to see the rest. [Note- I’m not going to scan any pages of Watchmen, because, look, you’ve all read it. You know what pages I’m referring to.]

The point I was trying to make, before I suddenly remembered that DC put out a goddamn toaster for the only comic to ever make it on Time’s 100 best novels (which, yes, we could debate the relative merits of mainstream recognition of comics, but why bother), is that I’ve ignored the titles pretty well. And, largely, I’ve heard that’s the right decision; they’re almost automatically not going to compare (even if I’m not the biggest fan of Watchmen), and they read like the purest form of fanfiction with some nice art. But that, I mean, Jesus fuck, IGN. What the fucking fuck is wrong with whichever reviewer wrote that? Because, look, in case anyone doesn’t get (one of, since there are a ton of other themes and motifs in Watchmen) the point of the Comedian in Watchmen, it’s that he’s a detestable character.

That’s literally his whole point. His being such a complete shit of a human being is exactly why no one cares about his death except the obsessive moral absolutist Rorschach. His shittiness is one of the main reasons the Minutemen fail! He’s the corruption of humanity among the superheroes! He’s the fucker who drags down the world that people try to save! Alan Moore didn’t just “forget” to make him interesting, rather than disgusting, to the reader. He serves a purpose! A purpose that Azzerello seems to have missed the point of so far that I’d hesitate to think he’s even read the comic. And one more thing: you can have a series with a main character that isn’t very interesting to the reader, and build a world around them. Lots of comics do it by accident, and Ennis’ Punisher run was based off of Frank Castle being as distant and inhuman to the reader as possible. The minute you make the Comedian sympathetic and interesting to the reader, and distract them from all the raping and murdering he does in Watchmen, you’ve failed.

Ziah Grace

Ziah works at a comic shop and has seen Space Jam. You can contact Ziah at zbg333 [at] gmail [dot] com