Watchmen, from comic books to TV shows...

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Watchmen d'Alan Moore et Dave Gibbons (DC / Urban Comics)
Watchmen d'Alan Moore et Dave Gibbons (DC / Urban Comics)

Watchmen: the masterpiece of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Before it was a movie and a TV series, Watchmen was a comic book. In 1985, after the purchase of a Charlton Comics superhero license, DC Comics Editions asked Alan Moore to imagine a fantasy story with characters with supernatural powers.

It partially takes up the protagonists of the initial series and invents for them a past but also a present and enemies. It also torments them in their inner self. Watchmen experience depression, insanity, doubt, old age and corruption.

The Watchmen story takes place in 1985. Alan Moore imagines a formidable uchrony (a fictional account of events from a historical starting point). The United States did not lose the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon is still in power since Watergate was stifled and the Third World War is imminent.

This distortion of history is the result of Dr. Manhattan’s appearance on Earth. Over-powerful, he would be the equal of God. Around him then sail other superheroes later nicknamed Watchmen: the Comedian, the Silky Spectre, the Owl, Rorschach or Ozymandias.

International tensions, plots, secrets and fights are at the heart of this fantastic saga crowned with numerous awards (Eisner Awards, Max et Moritz prize, prize for best foreign album in Angoulême in 1989).

New York Watchmen character

Published between September 1986 and October 1987, Watchmen consists of 12 issues. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons are then in tune and give their full measure to this fantastic saga.

In addition to the recurring characters, New York holds a central place in the comic book. As recounted in the New York Fantrippers Guide to 1000 Cult Places of Movies, Series, Music, Comics and Novels, the author duo brings to life scenes in the World-City for their heroes.

The Calvary Cemetery is the scene of the Comedian’s funeral. Defenestrated at the beginning of history, he is buried in this cemetery created in 1848 and in which more than three million people are buried. This is the largest cemetery in the United States.

A little later in the saga, Madison Square Garden, New York’s legendary sports and entertainment venue, serves as the backdrop for a spectacular confrontation. It is in front of his compound that the fight between the Watchmen and an Alien Squid takes place, destroying everything in its path and killing men and women by the thousands.

From comics to film

In 2009, Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures are teaming up to create a feature-length version of the Watchmen comic book. Zack Snyder, who had already worked on the adaptation of 300, another great comic book story, two years earlier.

Despite a large budget, the film divided the critics and did not bring in as much money as the producers had hoped. It should be noted that there are important differences between the albums and the feature film, which confused comic book fans. As usual, Alan Moore withdrew from production. Since The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, he refused to have his name credited in the credits of the films and even ceded all rights to Dave Gibbons.

The American director began shooting on September 17, 2007. Most of the film is shot in Vancouver, Canada.

For example, the Marine Building shows a scene where the Comedian proudly poses in front of a bank after having put a burglar out of business.

The Shannon Mews is used as a set for the scene where the same character is watching television. Later in the film, this beautiful house hosts a dialogue between Jupiter and the Actor.

The television series adaptation of the saga of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons began on June 1, 2018. Actors Regina King (Sister Night), Don Johnson (Judd Crawford), Tim Blake Nelson (Looking Glass), Louis Gossett Jr. (Will Reeves) and Jeremy Irons (Adrian Veidt) met in Atlanta, Georgia for the first shots. In the town, they used the corridors of the West Lake MARTA station, among other things.

They then toured in other cities in the state: Macon, Newnan, Tucker, Fayetteville, Brooks or Palmetto, but also in the MARTA train station in Chamblee, located 25 min north of Atlanta.

The Watchmen series is an integral part of pop culture. Albums of comic strip, film and series, she has many fans all over the world. A nice way to rediscover Alan Moore’s superheroes.

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By Anthony Thibault

Thursday, October 17, 2019

From the "Casimir generation", Anthony has kept (in addition to a passion for Goldorak) a taste for inventive images, experimentation and curiosity. Passionate about travel and pop culture, he co-founded Fantrippers with Nicolas Albert to share his passion with as many people as possible.

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