Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
The John Byrne Forum
Byrne Robotics > The John Byrne Forum << Prev Page of 34 Next >>
Topic: Alan Moore and the Rights to Watchmen (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Robert Walsh
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 24 July 2008
Posts: 456
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 10:40am | IP Logged | 1  

I'd put telepathic alien monster right up there on the unrealistic scale as a shape-shifting artificial humanoid construct and his ultimate fate, so if realism was the primary goal of either series, that's a pretty big FAIL.

But I doubt realism was the primary goal of either series. There's a level of realism at play in WATCHMEN, but only insofar as how people react to things. First group of super-heroes are emulating the comics, but with no real reason to exist, the fad quickly fades. That's pretty much the level of realism at play in the comic. Something is introduced (realistic or not) and the book attempts to portray a realistic response to that influence. Doctor Manhattan is about 10 times as unrealistic as the teleporting telepathic monster, but after the world experiences the initial shock, it follows how the world would change if such an entity existed and was supporting the U.S. government.

And only a few years later, Ronald Reagan would give a speech in front of the U.N. that would seem to support the reaction to the teleporting monster. So, in that respect, I'd say the ending was a fairly realistic reaction to something that could be described as "unrealistic" such as the alien invasion of Ronald Reagan's speech.

Not to downplay my enjoyment of Next Men in the slightest, which I enjoyed quite a lot; but a super-hero team being used as a publicity stunt for a comic book company is pretty low on my list of "realistic" responses to the knowledge that real super-hero existed. Seems like video game companies, movie studios, and the government would all have significantly more juice than a lowly comic book company. It works in the context of the story, because it's a very comic-centric tale (especially within the story line that it appeared); but realistic... not even close.
Back to Top profile | search
 
William McCormick
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 February 2006
Posts: 3297
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 11:09am | IP Logged | 2  

A realistic portrayal of superheroes is just about anything from 60's Marvel. If they act like they do in Watchmen, then they aren't superheroes. Hell, they aren't even heroes.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Tim Farnsworth
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 July 2010
Posts: 817
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 3  

When I read Watchmen in high school, I think I fixated a bit on its realism - whoa, there's actually a carbon dioxide tank on Rorschach's grappling hook gun! Stuff like that. Later I came to see that it plays fast and loose with the realism, but the book never dropped in my esteem because it's emotional realism and character realism always seemed very true. I love its cast of flawed but sympathetic characters and their mundane problems sets against an apocalyptic scenario. To this day I can turn to most any page in it and get a great reading experience. I don't find any of it boring.

And I should say that at the same time I was discovering Watchmen, I was devouring JBs Superman run along with plenty of other unabashed superhero adventure comics. I never felt Watchmen had to be at odds with them - it could just be its own thing. I lament its influence on other superhero books, but it's got so much to recommend that I find myself returning to it every few years.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Ian M. Palmer
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 1342
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 11:50am | IP Logged | 4  

Millionth time? An exploration of some ideas about psychological realism...

IMP.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Matt Reed
Byrne Robotics Security
Avatar
Robotmod

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 34059
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 11:59am | IP Logged | 5  

 Matthew McCallum wrote:
Does the prospect of more Watchmen hold any interest?

Nope, not the slightest bit of interest for me.

Back to Top profile | search
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 125708
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 12:04pm | IP Logged | 6  

Not to downplay my enjoyment of Next Men in the slightest, which I enjoyed quite a lot; but a super-hero team being used as a publicity stunt for a comic book company is pretty low on my list of "realistic" responses to the knowledge that real super-hero existed. Seems like video game companies, movie studios, and the government would all have significantly more juice than a lowly comic book company. It works in the context of the story, because it's a very comic-centric tale (especially within the story line that it appeared); but realistic... not even close.

This comment would make SO much more sense if I got from it even the least suggestion that you had actually bothered to read NEXT MEN.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Matthew McCallum
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 03 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2710
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 12:25pm | IP Logged | 7  

Does the flaw in that analogy even need to be mentioned?

***

Yes. The characters exist now. Logical obstacles to further stories about them, as far as I can see, are none.

One of my concerns, Ian, is that such a project would be akin to either Hamlet: The Early Years or Hamlet 2: The Saga Continues. There is so much weight in the original piece that it burdens whatever direction you might want to take with those characters.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Tim Farnsworth
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 July 2010
Posts: 817
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 12:49pm | IP Logged | 8  

I'm oddly torn on the notion of Watchmen follow-ups. The (hopefully) smart side of me thinks, "Of course it's a terrible idea. Watchmen stands alone perfectly as it is and follow-ups can only serve to diminish the world Moore and Gibbons built."

But I have an inner dumb guy, too. That guy imagines there are some great, strange tales to tell about the times when Rorschach and Nite-Owl were partners. And wonders about some of the stuff that was mainly offscreen in Watchmen, like how a flamboyantly villainous guy like Moloch operated within the relative realism of Watchmen's setting during his "vice den" heyday. I'd even be interested in a post-Watchmen story about where life goes for Dan and Laurie, as there'd been a suggestion they were going to pursue more superheroing. You could use their new adventures as metaphor for the unique trials of married life, their previous adventures being analogous to the confused but exciting world of singles.

Now keep in mind, Dumb Guy Me also found the Watchmen movie crassly enjoyable. I can't vouch for him, but there he is :)

With the right creative team, I'd try out a Watchmen follow-up. Not quite sure what that team would be, but just for fun lets say Brian Wood writing and, uh, Michael Lark on art. Possibilities, I say!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Victor Rodgers
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 26 December 2004
Posts: 3508
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 2:09pm | IP Logged | 9  

The only "realistic" depiction of a superhero I've ever seen was thefirst issue of "Kiss-Ass," when the kid put on the superhero outfit,and immediately got his butt kicked and ended up in the hospital.  Therest of the series was pure fantasy, but I thought that first issuereally captured what would happen if someone put on a flashy outfit andtried to fight crime.   He'd get clobbered.

******

If they are trained im not sure why they would. Hell I could take some weapons and successfully ambush meth heads running a lab. Not sure why somebody with years of training couldn't.


Edited by Victor Rodgers on 26 July 2010 at 3:46pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robert Walsh
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 24 July 2008
Posts: 456
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 2:37pm | IP Logged | 10  

This comment would make SO much more sense if I got from it even the least suggestion that you had actually bothered to read NEXT MEN.

* * * * *

So, was there not an artificial shape-shifting construct that would later become <spoiler deleted>? Did a comic company not use the Next Men in cheap publicity stunts?

I know Danny sought them out because he had read one of their comics and they shamelessly exploited the situation. Throughout the story, you had introduced a number of comic-centric comments. When the characters were working for the government, they were fitted with special equipment to help them control their powers, one of the characters made a comment about the guys writing the comics. And during the photo-shoot, we got a bit of commentary about current super-hero designs (especially the Battle Thong). Given these sort of references, it made perfect sense to have a story arc centered around comic publisher, since it sounds like you had quite a bit to say about the comic industry.

But I wouldn't call it "realistic"... enjoyable, yes. Logical in the context of the story, yes. Realistic, not in the slightest.


Back to Top profile | search
 
Josh Goldberg
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 25 October 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2037
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 3:37pm | IP Logged | 11  

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: those seeking a realistic portrayal of superheroes should seek out "The Greatest American Hero" on DVD.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Brad Krawchuk
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 19 June 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 5822
Posted: 26 July 2010 at 3:58pm | IP Logged | 12  

But I have an inner dumb guy, too. That guy imagines there are some great, strange tales to tell about the times when Rorschach and Nite-Owl were partners.
---

Why? I'm asking honestly here. In the context of the story, the most exciting, dramatic, and epic thing they ever did was the story told in the book! I mean, before that, they just went around and roughed up some drug dealers, thieves, and other random criminals, a few who took garish costumes for themselves. 

They didn't fight supervillains though! It's not like Rorschach and Nite-Owl took on the Sinister Six, or even just Sandman or Rhino or Joker or Penguin or Two-Face. They had no such Rogues Gallery! 

Remember the scene in Watchmen where Dan and Laurie help the people in the burning building? THAT'S the most exciting thing they do! That's part of the setting of Watchmen. You start telling "adventures" and suddenly you're not in that world anymore, because the one time they actually needed to be super-heroes was the story we already read!*

*P.S. ... and they FAILED. 


Edited by Brad Krawchuk on 26 July 2010 at 4:00pm
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 

<< Prev Page of 34 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login