Every time a new superhero blockbuster comes out, it’s as if a comic-book shop has exploded, showering chunks of itself across the country: bat-logo on a billboard here, Superman on the subway there, Spider-Man in the supermarket checkout line. The campaign for the latest superhero movie, Watchmen, is a bit of a buzzkill, however, because alongside the gorgeously angst-laden posters of people sulking in the rain, we have to listen to endless defensive lectures on the “importance” and “influence” of this comic book. It was the only comic book included in Time magazine’s list of 100 best English-language novels! People have written respectfully about it in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. It’s a masterpiece!
It’s also a failure.