Watchmen by Alan Moore and David Gibbons
I don’t know why this is one of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Novels of the 20th century. I’m sure as far as comic books go, this is one of the best, but as a novel? Then again, I haven’t read many comic books, so what do I know? And should I be calling them comic books or graphic novels?
The storytelling seems impressively sophisticated for a comic book. The non-linear plot masterfully unfolds an alternate Earth, fifty years of its history and two generations of crime-fighting superheroes. There are multiple stories intertwined within, although they don’t always come together well or pay off in the end – if I hadn’t already seen the extremely faithful movie I might have had trouble following the twisting narrative. The ending in the movie sure as hell made a lot more sense than the one in the comic book.
In an alternate 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.