Now this, I must say, is an excellent piece of fiction, no matter how you see it. The graphic medium gives it an extra facet in colours, forms and textures to idle the reader's imagination, thus the images conjured are forceful and in-your-face. However, Alan Moore goes up another level, as he cleverly crafted compelling characters of masked heroes - without the prefix "super", thus without special power, except for "Manhattan Man" - with frightening depth amid a 1980's apocalyptic backdrop.
Weirdos and costumed fanatics, the masked vigilantes are, on the surface. They have a great thirst for adventures, believe in serving the people, and can't sit and do nothing while crimes are being committed.
My favourite has to be "Rorschach", whose journal forms part of the story, as he hunts down the vigilante-killer, only to come face to face with a bigger conspiracy (sorry, I got to stop here to avoid a spoiler). He shows boundless mental strength, even with a tumultuous childhood, fighting crimes. In his view, no innocent human life should be lost and no injustice goes unpunished, even for a greater good - there is no death for a worthy cause - that is how much he values lives and truth. Yet, in his extremism and brutality, he spares no perpetrator - the ironies that life throws at us! For his beliefs, he walks this earth till his last breath.
"Watchmen" is brilliant in the way it lured the reader gradually into its main plot, beginning with the death of "The Comedian" - a retired masked hero who has turned to diplomatic work - masking a breath-taking catch. Another aspect which mesmerised me was the retelling of an old dark comic "Tales of the Black Freighter" (the Black Freighter is the name of a ghost pirate ship which collects damned souls.) at the most apt, reflective moments.