Watchmen 11 (August 1987)

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Adrian revealing his master plan, or just rambling on about himself, takes up most of the issue. At first, the amount of ego Moore gives him is a little jarring, but it soon becomes almost soothing, all because Moore understands the importance of a great final gag. Even when it’s about the end of the world.

While his unveiling is great, the best part of the issue is the supporting cast all coming together across the street from the newsstand. Moore lets his cynical characters clash with the idealistic in little and big ways–the lovers physical fight, the marrieds argument, the comic book reader rebuffing the newsstand vendor’s overtures of friendship–it mirrors the unvoiced conflicts of the main characters.

There’s also, finally, Moore’s subtle reveal of title’s origin. Just one dialogue balloon, it’s a jarring reveal, because it shows how much Watchmen is about.

Moore overreaches, but gloriously.

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