Alan Moore’s influential graphic novel typifies the now-popular “anti-hero” character that permeated graphic novels from the 1980s on. With gorgeous illustrations from Dave Gibbons, Watchmen centers on six superheroes living in an alternate universe where superheroes are acknowledged. Because of this, a world event like the Vietnam war has a different outcome. However, the public and the police soon grow wary of these superheroes, so they are officially banned through formal legislation. This rich text turns superhero conventions on their head by humanizing the characters, and is a must-read for anyone looking to familiarize themselves with the graphic novel genre.
Image via Powell’s.