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?
In the second issue of Kingdom Come — Mark Waid, Alex Ross, and Todd Klein’s DC elseworld magnum opus — Superman makes his grand return from self-imposed exile in order to respond to a new generation of brutal, erratic “heroes” who do more harm than good. He travels to a seedy dive bar filled with punk rock aesthetics, disrespectful youths, and 90s armor clad brawlers, where we see a cameo of none other than Rorschach, from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. The implication is quite clear: Waid, Ross and Klein are responding to the influence Watchmen has on superhero comics, by taking Rorschach on his face as a violent, morally gray, and compromised hero that represents a new normal. Rorschach in the same room as these characters, where our point-of-view, Norman McKay, calls them “kids,” “monsters,” and “beasts” all before Superman, very paternalistically declares “Party’s over” has the same weight as father coming home to set the children right, crashing their fun and wondering “What happened to the world? Things were better in my day!” [Read more…] about Who Watched the Watchmen? Kingdom Come by Waid, Ross, Klein!