Thursday, July 2, 2009

Watchmen a new look at the super hero

A genre is a group of diffrent works that exhibit similar characteristics to each other. These can be horor, drama, chick flicks, action, along with many others. But most works play with the rules of genre by crossing over to others or re telling a story from a genre in a new way while still leaving its base elements intact so itcan still be recognizable as that genre. A genre that has been part of almost all cultures is that of the super hero. A super hero is a tale of a man or a woman some times in costumes is is above the law and uses a great skill they posses to right the wrong that either the law is commiting or is unable to right. The graphic novel by Allen Moore "The Watchmen" is a story that fits into and would be known as a super hero story. It is about a group of people who dress up in costumes and fight crime trying to right what they precive as wrong using there diffrent skill sets. But unlike most super hero storys where the super hero is seen as the moral light of the story and it is unquestioned that they are doing this for good, Moore brings in the moral ambiguity of what is right, along with raising questions of the mental health of these people who dress costomes to fight crime.

The story includes super heros that strongely resmble ones that have already been established within the super hero genre. Fist is the comidian who is very patraotic he wheres a star and american flag emblems that can be easly associted with the all american hero captian america. He also works for the goverment like captian america did along with going to war like the character captian america did in world war two. But unlike the genre's typical hero of captian america who the viewer feels is morrally correct fighting fascism Moore sets the comadian in the vietnam era along with post vietnam conflicts. The viewer is shown gurrialla warfare that the comdian is engaged in he is shown buring people alive with a blow tourch gunning down a prenught woman along with helping topell south american regimes that had justifiablely setup there owen socalist goverments like chile in the real world. In most storys of super heros like captian america there is no doubt that his engament in warfare for the united states was the right thing to do he was morraly correct coragious and it was compeltely nessasary that he engaged in combat. Moore on the other hand has show a hero that was in warfare that the society had questioned weather it was nessary or justified and with in that warfare the reader sees that the acts that were commited would make any person feel the violence was just a act of murder. Another example of his use of existing heros from the genre is Rawshack who is resembles the hero Batman. He had a trublent child hood and is uncompomising he has no super powers and uses his dective skills to slove crimes along with his martial arts skills. But unlike Batman he was rasied by prostuite till he was put into a group home. He is almost illitarate and has terrable hygine the reader also discovers that his secret identity is that of a man who walks the streets holding a sign that talks about the end of the world. Lastley unlike bat man who always wins with his uncompomising attitude and seems to never to be able to be killed Rawshack meets his death for he is unable to compromise and is killed by another "hero" for if he spoke his mind he would cause more death and devastation. Moore showing the reader his childhood of a prostitue mother absent father (who he speaks of as if he knew) along with his secret identedy of what most would call a crazy person who yells about the end of the world shows the reader unlike most of the gerne that the mental health of someone who goes out and fights crime at night in a mask is very questionable

These Heros create a story that we are all very famialir with a group of people deciated to righting the wrongs of society or the world that the law can not do themselves but unlike the typical story of a super hero with in the gerne even though Moore makes his chacters paraell to those the reader knowes we see that he strayes from the typical making there moraltiy questionable along with there mental health

1 comment:

  1. Good ideas. Recognize that your first line is more or less in direct opposition to both Chandler and Fish, who argue that internal characteristics are the least important aspect of what brings a genre together. I like that you're disagreeing: the piece would be stronger if it acknowledged that disagreement--it would make it about more than alan moore. Also, remember to attend to all aspects of the assignment--quoting Chandler twice was required, and would have helped with focus. As for the subject, perhaps you also have moved toward a genre that Watchmen, along with Dark Knight Returns, basically created around that time--a certain kind of dark, adult comic that came to dominate comics (even those not designed for adults) basically until now. So in many ways Watchmen used one genre to create another.