Considering Watchmen: Poetics, Property, Politics

Considering Watchmen: Poetics, Property, Politics
Andrew Hoberek
Rutgers University Press
2014

Demonstrating a keen eye for historical detail, Considering Watchmen gives readers a new appreciation of just how radical Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s blend of gritty realism and formal experimentation was back in 1986, when the groundbreaking graphic novel was published. The book also considers Watchmen’s place in the history of the comics industry, reading the its playful critique of superhero marketing alongside Alan Moore’s public statements about the rights to the franchise. Andrew Hoberek examines how Moore and Gibbons engaged with the emerging discourses of neoconservatism and neoliberal capitalism, ideologies that have only become more prominent in subsequent years. Watchmen’s influences on the superhero comic and graphic novel are undeniable, but Hoberek reveals how it has also had profound effects on literature as a whole. He suggests that Watchmen not only proved that superhero comics could rise to the status of literature, it also helped to inspire a generation of writers who are redefining the boundaries of the literary, from Jonathan Lethem to Junot Di­az. Hoberek delivers insight and analysis worthy of satisfying serious readers of the genre while shedding new light on Watchmen as both an artistic accomplishment and a book of ideas.