[Trigger warning: discussion of rape, rape culture, rape-related tropes found in Watchmen.]
…so here we go.
One of my big problems with Watchmen is how stupidly the near-rape is handled. And it’s EPIC stupid.
It’s full of every dumbass cliche there is,…
Really? Silk Spectre I falls in love with him after he tries to rape her and beats the shit out of her. SS II specifically states how cool he is, and flirts with him openly. Ozymandias respects him. Rorschach praises him, that leaves almost no POV characters left who don’t openly express admiration for him. And, this stuff doesn’t happen in a vacuum…using rape cliches isn’t excused because the writer is talented, unless the cliche is subverted or presented in some manner that illuminates the characters in a new way. This doesn’t. In my opinion, of course. The victim falling in love with her rapist is a hoary cliche and there’s nothing here to elevate that cliche away from its crappy peers. Brilliant book. It doesn’t mean it’s without problems.
I always thought it was MEANT to be full of cliche, since the book was about comic books, more than about their characters.
I just figured everything and everyone was a trope in Watchmen, they were cardboard characters to emphasize the cardboardness comics can have and are sometimes assumed to have, a commentary as much as any kind of story- also a commentary on how un-heroic heroes often get written as in the name of gritty-dark-background possibly.
So it didn’t really reduce my personal opinion of the book, although it still definitely had me cringe a little*- I just figured it was more purposeful cliche served in “Golden and Silver Age” cheese sauce.
*Ok I cringed a LOT.