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Title: Watchmen
Author: Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
Number of Pages: 416 pages
Book Number/Goal: 23/50 for 2011
My Rating: 3.5/5

Summary: In an alternate 1985, masked heroes exist, but with a few exceptions have been banned by the US government since the seventies. When one of the remaining active heroes is murdered, another exiled to Mars, and a third thrown in prison, two retired heroes team up to try and find out what's going on, but what they discover is beyond anything they could have imagined.

Review: I hated the art for this, but the story was interesting, if a bit hard to follow at times due to the way I couldn't keep anyone straight at first and it kept jumping all over the place in the timeline. Once I got a few chapters in, it was easier to keep everyone straight, though. This did interesting things with the idea of superheroes, making it a bit more realistic. None of the heroes or villains have any sort of superpowers, except for Dr Manhattan, and I like things like the way the heroes were inspired to start fighting crime by reading comic books, and the government ban and such. Like, one of the things that I find hard to deal with in US superhero comics is how everyone exists in the same universe. Like, I really think they should be separate. I don't think they necessarily cross over well. But they are all supposed to exist at once. It strains my credulity (one superhero is something I can accept; fifty with fifty different powers and origins less so). Anyway, so I liked the "realism" of this set-up. I wasn't that thrilled with the big reveal, idk. But still, I enjoyed it overall.

But one thing I cannot not comment on, and that is the wtfery of Sally's plotline/backstory/reveal/whatever you want to call it. Like, really? Really? The last we see of her, she is KISSING A PICTURE OF THE COMEDIAN? Because I guess all these years she has been pining for her rapist? Way to fucking go, Alan Moore. Gross. And it's not like we ever see a single redeeming thing about The Comedian. He is a thorough asshole, who killed a woman he got pregnant and raped another woman and is a total asshole in general. But Sally not only got over the rape enough to have sex with him again (just once? more than once? it wasn't really clear to me), but has apparently been in love with him all these years. If this had been a physical copy I read, I really might have thrown it across the room at that point. Also, just in general, and this has probably been noted by people who read comics more often than I do, but jfc, Moore has issues with women.
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Title: V for Vendetta
Author: Alan Moore and David Lloyd
Number of Pages: 288 pages
Book Number/Goal: 56/75 for 2009
My Rating: 5/5

In the post-apocalyptic "future" of the late 1990s, Britain is under totalitarian rule, but a mysterious man known only as V is about to change all that.

This is pretty much right up my alley storywise. The art...well, it was bearable to get the story. I would have much preferred it as a novel, though, because the art definitely didn't add anything to me. I'm not a fan of most western comic styles and this seemed worse than most in that it was so dark and everyone's faces were half in shadows all the time, so I had real trouble distinguishing characters (especially since aside from V and Evey, they were pretty much all Generic White Guy With Short Hair). But as with many less-than-stellarly-drawn manga, it's well worth it for the story.

I kind of feel frazzled at the moment, so I don't really have much to say beyond that, though there were definitely things that didn't sit well with me, most notably the fact that while it makes sense for the government as set up here, having all the people of color and queers sent away to concentration camps sure makes for a convenient excuse to tell a story about only straight white people (except for that one tragic lesbian whose tragic life and death is nothing more than a tool to cause straight people to change). I wasn't too thrilled with the portrayal of women here, either.


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