There are also descriptions of the breakdown of the invincibility of superheroes into grieving, suffering, and hopeless individuals, alluding to the changing relevance of superheroes along with the priorities or idealisms of society. In as much as Watchmen having a storyline with masked heroes and beings with superpowers or machineries make it seem like a distant reality, with regards to the social problems tackled in all 12 issues it can be considered as a very realistic, maybe even a timeless depiction of how a society that grows to become apathetic and self-centred will eventually cause its own demise, whether or not superheroes or super villains existed or not.
Despite such attributes, because of the inclusion of superheroes in the storyline that the real life social issues tackled in Watchmen hinder some audiences into rethinking that some of the realistic aspects of the graphic novel’s story such as moral decay, political instability and possible destruction of the world through human pursuits to also be unrealistic, dismissing these as merely repeating occurrences that normally prevail in history and have been shaped by technological and scientific advancements. Disregarding the artistic aspects and focusing on the text, the use of soliloquy and retrospective thinking gave a unique edge on how Watchmen were presented to the audience.
Through diegesis or the presentation of the story through various vantage points, the graphic novel becomes marketed as something sophisticated and mature, which is one factor that separates it from earlier superhero comics that use simplified dialogues or straightforward script, which reflect the days when comics were mostly read by children (Romagnoli and Pagnucci, 2013). For example, one of the masked heroes that epitomises the use of monologues in narrating events through his perspective was a former crime-buster-turned-vigilante named Rorschach.
Rorschach or Walter Kovacs was often shown to utilise soliloquy in nearly all of his appearances, particularly whenever he implies writing most of his experiences in a journal as a means to immortalise the events as he experiences them. One example is in chapter I when Rorschach was speaking about the tumultuous times that will come upon by excessive reckless liberalism: “This city is afraid of me… I have seen its true face.
The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout ‘save us! ’… and I’ll look down, and whisper ‘no’” (Moore, 1987).
Moore, A. and Gibbons, D., 1987. Watchmen. New York: DC Comics.
Romagnoli, A. and Pagnucci, G., 2013. Enter the Superheroes: American Values, Culture, and the Canon of Superhero Literature. Lanham, MD.: Scarecrow Press.