Watchmen (Series) (DC Comics)

Watchmen is Alan Moore's seminal comic series. It has been proclaimed one of the greatest literary works ever created and was the only comic book to be featured in Time Magazine's best 100 English-Language novels from 1923 to present.

"Who watches the Watchmen?" This slogan was everywhere: on the Universal Product Code box of direct market comics; adorning the bottoms of letter columns, and in provocative full page house ads. DC knew it had its hands on something truly great, and it wanted to whet the appetite of as many fans as it possibly could. When the first part of the 12 issue maxi series, "Watchmen" hit the stands, readers weren't quite sure what they were going to get. But when word of mouth began to spread about both the quality of Alan Moore's scripting and Dave Gibbons' detailed drawings, "Watchmen" became a fast seller and a fan favorite.

The writer had originally intended for his opus to chronicle the future of the fondly remembered heroes from the defunct publisher Charlton Comics. However, DC soon decided it had its own plans for those heroes and so Moore created new characters to give "Watchmen" its own distinctive universe. The story itself is a masterful example of comic book storytelling at its finest. As the obsessive Rorscharch began to investigate the murder of his old teammate the Comedian, a mysterious conspiracy unraveled that both saved the world and damned it. Filled with symbolism, foreshadowing and ahead-of -its-time characterization thanks to adult themes and sophisticated plotting, "Watchmen" elevated the super hero comic book into the realms of modern literature.

Publication information

Publisher: DC Comics
Publication date: September, 1986
Number of issues: 12

Creative team

Writer(s): Alan Moore · Dave Gibbons


"Watchmen" was a 12-issue maxiseries published from September of 1986 through October of 1987, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. The events of the story take place in 1985. The title takes its name from a popular translation of a latin phrase, "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?":[1] "Who Watches the Watchmen?"
Publication History
Although Alan Moore has stated he originally wished to use the old characters from MLJ Comics in the story, which were no longer being published at the time, he was unable to obtain usage rights. Dave Gibbons, who had worked at Charlton Comics, inspired him to use the old Charlton characters instead. However, Charlton had recently been bought by DC, and as they intended to introduce those characters into mainstream continuity, they were unavailable as well. As a result, Moore simply made his own new characters based on the Charlton characters .
A film adaptation was released in 2009, along with a video game, Watchmen: The End Is Nigh and a direct-to-DVD story, Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter. From 2012 to 2013, DC also published an addittional tie-in, Before Watchmen, which covered the lives of most of the Minutemen before the events of the series. 


In the 1985 of an alternate reality where superheroes are real (though only one, Dr. Manhattan, has superpowers), one of the vigilantes, The Comedian, is brutally murdered. This causes one of his former colleagues, Rorschach, to investigate on his death, and uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes.


  • Rorschach
  • Ozymandias
  • The Comedian
  • Nite Owl (Dan Dreiberg)
  • Nite Owl (Hollis Mason)
  • Doctor Manhattan
  • The Silk Spectre (Laurie Juspeczyk)
  • The Silk Spectre (Sally Jupiter)
  • Captain Metropolis
  • Hooded Justice
  • Mothman
  • Dollar Bill
  • Silhouette
  • Moloch 


In 2005, "Watchmen" became the only comic book to appear on Time Magazine's List of 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.
The characters are mostly inspired by Charlton Comics characters:
  • Rorschach is based on The Question.
  • Nite Owl is based on The Blue Beetle.
  • The Comedian is based on The Peacemaker.
  • Doctor Manhattan is based on Captain Atom.
  • Ozymandias is based on Thunderbolt.
  • Silk Spectre takes inspiration from several female heroes, including Nightshade, Phantom Lady and Black Canary.

 Issues in this Volume

 At Midnight, All the Agents...
 Absent Friends
 The Judge of All the Earth
 Fearful Symmetry
 The Abyss Gazes Also
 A Brother to Dragons
 Old Ghosts
 The Darkness of Mere Being
 Two Riders Were Approaching
 Look On My Works, Ye Mighty...
 A Strong and Loving World