Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Watchmen Supporting Cast

While the Crimebusters (or Watchmen in the movie) are the focus of Watchmen, there is a very strong supporting cast of characters that help to drive the narrative; the Minutemen, the psychologist and his wife, the newstand vendor, the kid reading Tales of the Black Freighter, the police detectives and the lesbian couple just to name a few.

How did you feel these characters added to the story? Were they vital or superfluous? How does their portrayal compare between the GN and the movie?


Nic said...

I totally missed that! (Although I remember being slightly confused while reading) When did the Crimebusters become the Watchmen? Is Watchmen a nickname or official?

In terms of the movie, I think adding the original Nite Owl, in the 1985 "current day" scenes for as little as they did, was reasonably pointless. If they couldn't develop his storyline, they could have left it out. I also think the psychologist's story probably could have gone from the GN. In the film he allows Roscharch's backstory to be told and I think that might have been enough in the GN. The only other purpose he seemed to serve was to highlight the bleakness of society.

detecktive said...

Watchmen was used in the movie I think because it would be more relatable for a general audience.

I think that 'Watchmen' in the comics is more of an idea than a name.

The graffiti line 'who watches the watchmen' that shows up on the walls I think is where they get the idea of watchmen from. I think people are rebelling against their costumed 'hero's' because they have become that which they are trying to destroy. Who would you rather be oppressed by; a criminal or a costumed hero? Both want to bend you to their will and choose what is in 'your best interest' for you.

In the GN that line is quoted in latin which translates to 'who watches the watchers' or 'who guards the guards'. This was a phrase coined by the Roman poet Juvenal and is trying to convey the concept 'who polices the police?'.

In the case of the Crimebusters (or Watchmen) this line has even more pertinence as the hero's aren't sanctioned by the authorities (other than Comedian and Dr Manhattan) and so really they answer to no one but themselves. Rorschach is a perfect example of this.


Most of the heroes retired when the law made it necessary for them to, so even though they were vigilantes, they at least abided by the rule of law to some extent.

Ironic though, as those still sanctioned by the govt were the most violent, brutal and uncaring of them all...doing things that were as bad or worse than the criminals themselves....at the govt's bidding?

Will the real criminal put your hand up?