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?
After running Comic Book Herald for over a decade, I tend to have a decent pulse on how fans, critics, and creators feel about various comics. Or at least I thought I did, until Steve Morris with Shelfdust conducted a critics poll of the best 50 comic book events of all time, and I learned that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Dark Nights: Metal was at one point *barely* hanging on to the #50 spot. This was astonishing to me because Metal was a major reason why I started collecting print comics again in 2017 after a year-long hiatus (Mister Miracle was the other), and I quite earnestly consider it one of my five favorite comic book events of all time!
It feels essential to highlight my (apparently somewhat unusual) affections for Metal because its sequel, Death Metal, disappointed me on nearly every level. Given my past experience, and an adoration for Snyder/Capullo’s Batman (not to mention Last Knight on Earth!) hopes were extraordinarily high, and all for naught. Death Metal #1 opens with a soliloquy by Sgt. Rock about Turd Burgers, and well, Death Metal fits the bill:
“It’s like you’re at a drive-through and out comes your juicy half-pounder on one of them niiice french buns, curly fries too, and you take a bite and wham! Turd. And your fries? Kablam! Curly turds.”
Speaking of turds, let’s talk about Doctor Manhattan. [Read more…] about Who Watched the Watchmen? DC’s Death Metal!