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By Alan Moore (Author), Dave Gibbons and John Higgins (Illustrators)

> Review by Carolyn Marcille

Sometimes, the graphic novel wrongfully suffers from misconceptions about its worth. But without a doubt, Alan Moore’s Watchmen proves the validity of the form. The astonishingly intricate world-building required to produce a work of such staggering prescience is both humbling to and demanding of even the most casual readers. It could easily be said that Watchmen requires a working knowledge of the Cold War, postmodernism, deconstruction theory and nihilism. But don’t let that scare you; Watchmen can still be interpreted and enjoyed on a number of different levels. At its most basic reading, the non-linear story arc follows a group of deposed costumed heroes who regroup to fight corruption from within, only to become entangled in a plot so chillingly executed that the world will tremble. But if you go deeper (and you should), you will discover an ossuary containing long-cherished beliefs about the people we think protect us. The story is a warning against nostalgia, the vagaries of modernity, and about how little we’re involved in the decisions that have the most effect on us. Read Watchmen to arm yourself against illusion, and to strengthen yourself for survival in a world you cannot ever fully understand.

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