Comparing the Graphic Novel and Film of Watchmen

Here is article I have for Comic Frontline. This is only the introduction of my feature series for the site.

Watchmen is one of the most popular and well written graphic novels. Like many popular novels on the market Watchmen received its own film adaptation. The film was released in 2009 and was directed by Zack Snyder. Both the film and novel represent the superhero genre, but unlike much of that genre there is a deeper existentialist layer.

Why has Watchmen changed the superhero genre forever? Before Watchmensuperhero comic books didn’t have any depth or deeper meaning. There were the bad guys and the good guys. The good guy, after some struggle, usually saved the day and there wasn’t much social commentary or character development involved in the process. In Watchmen the hero is equally a villain and every hero has some questionable motives.Watchmen was not just a superhero book, but also a social commentary of our world. (Klock, 150) After Watchmen was published in 1986 many readers wanted more stories with the complexity and depth of Watchmen. At the time it became clear that if the comic book industry wanted to survive it would have to change the depth and theme of its stories and create characters that would be more complex.

Watchmen was needed for the survival of the comic book industry. If Watchmenwasn’t written the comic book industry probably would have severely declined a long time ago. On the other hand, the film adaptation did not impact the movie industry in the same dramatic way. It didn’t even change the film superhero genre. Watchmen was released in 2009, but the superhero film genre started to become popular with Spider-man in 2002. The big bang of the superhero genre started the year before Watchmen in 2008 with the premiere of Iron Man. These are the movies that were the predecessors to the Avengers, which made over a billion dollars in the box office worldwide. To the mainstream audience Watchmenwas just another superhero movie. Its major impact on the comic book industry was not a factor to the film audience.

Read the rest of Part 1 at Comic Frontline:

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