It is often said that Watchmen is the most influential comic ever to be released. That comics wouldn’t be where they are without it, for good and for ill. But how did we get here, exactly? More to the point, just what influence did Watchmen provide to the larger world of comics? What, ultimately, is the legacy of Watchmen? Who watched the Watchmen?
It was inevitable that someone would create a map for a post-Watchmen world, in comic form. And that’s exactly what Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt (2019) is: not an exploration of what Watchmen is or means, but a rebuke, a retort, and above all else, a set of instructions that direct artists out from under the “iron hand” that Watchmen has on the medium.