Watchmen – DC Compact Comics Edition
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist / Letterer: Dave Gibbons
Color Artist: John Higgins
Reviewed by Steve J. Ray


The Watchmen – DC Compact Comics Edition gathers all twelve issues/chapters of the classic comic series/graphic novel, making them available in one small, affordable, and easy-to-manage volume.

Let me state, right from the start… I’m a Watchmen fanatic. I was fortunate enough to be around when the original twelve issues were released, and I still have them. Back then collected editions/graphic novels were still quite rare, so reading comics episodically was the only way.

This story has, deservedly, become legendary, so you can imagine that reading it month by month must’ve been torture. The fact that it took 14 months for all 12 issues to come out (over 1986 and 1987) only added to that pain, and meant that I read, and re-read, my single issues multiple times. You can safely say that they’re far from being in mint condition.

In 1987 DC published a trade paperback collection which, compared to the lovely new Compact Comics edition, was a big, thick, and some would say imposing, book. I’ve read this collection at least once a year since it came out… so you can safely say that it’s far from being in mint condition.

Do you see a pattern emerging?


In 2005, Watchmen‘s color artist, John Higgins, recolored the story for the first Absolute Edition of the book. At first, I wondered why, as I was so in love with everything about the original version. However, seeing the new colors in the new Compact Comics Edition, printed on great quality paper, has more than sold me on them. Higgins hasn’t only made the book look better, he’s corrected some errors he felt he’d made in the original releases.

Yes, this new volume may come with a low price tag, but it sure doesn’t skimp on quality. The paper stock is thick and feels like a classic 80s comic as you turn the pages. The art is clear, the colors crisp, and the binding extremely strong… oh, and the size means that it’s far easier to handle, carry, and read, and it looks far less imposing than its predecessors.

Oh, and what a read it is.

While I’m still not best pleased with DC’s treatment of Alan Moore, it would be a crime to deprive modern audiences of this masterpiece. With this book, you don’t need anything else. Yes, there have been prequels, sequels, a movie, and a TV show (with a two-part animated release coming soon), but this is a true novel that totally stands alone. It’s also one of the greatest novels, graphic or otherwise, that’s ever been published. Don’t just take my word for it, just check Time Magazine’s list of the top 100 novels of all time.

If you’ve never read it before… you need this book. If you’ve got one of the big, chunky editions… you need this book.

Here’s the official synopsis:

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