Trepidation about Watchmen: can you recapture a moment?

I’m going to see Watchmen this afternoon, and I’m nervous. The issue isn’t whether the movie will suck, or whether it will be faithful to the comic, or whether something will be lost in translation to movie format.

The issue for me is that the Watchmen was a moment in time, and that moment can’t ever be recaptured.

For me, reading the Watchmen was an intensely social experience, much like watching the first season of Twin Peaks or the first season of Lost. As each issue came out, friends would gather and pore over every frame, trying to find clues to what was “really going on.” As the pace of the issues slowed down toward the end, the wait was agonizing.

My memory of Watchmen has much more to do with how I felt as each issue came out and much less to do with the actual story.

For those youngsters (or late adopters) who read the Watchmen as a single graphic novel, the experience must have been very different. I’m sure that the latecomers can still appreciate it, but there is just no way that the experience of reading the whole thing from end to end is in any way similar to the experience of waiting a month between each issue. And the experience of watching the movie will be even less like my memory of the experience of reading the comic.

So that’s it in a nutshell. In fact, I’m so afraid of seeing this movie that I even considered not seeing it. We’ll see if I made the right choice.

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