Irredeemable is an American comic book series written by Mark Waid, drawn by Peter Krause and Diego Barreto, published by Boom! Studios; the series follows the fall of the world's greatest superhero, the Plutonian, as he begins slaughtering the population of Earth. His former allies, the superhero group The Paradigm, attempt to find a way to stop his rampage while dealing with their own problems of betrayal and hopelessness. Irredeemable #1 premiered in April 2009, the series ended in May 2012, after thirty-seven issues and one special. Peter Krause was the artist for the first twenty-four issues, after which Diego Barretto took over as artist. A spin-off titled Incorruptible was released in December 2009, which follows one of the Plutonian's greatest enemies, Max Damage, on his journey to become a superhero in the wake of Plutonian's fall. Waid brought both series to a conclusion in May 2012. Initial pre-publication publicity utilized the tagline "Mark Waid is Evil! Mark Waid is Irredeemable!", which culminated with the release of a limited edition "Mark Waid is Evil" tee-shirt at the 2009 New York Comic Con.
On February 23, 2009, Boom! Studios released a trailer, by Craig Kennedy at CK Creative, for the series on YouTube and posted the first 7 pages of the first issue on the company website; the first issue, which included an afterword by Grant Morrison, featured a cover by John Cassaday, a 1-in-4 variant cover by Barry Kitson, a 1-in-50 incentive cover signed by Mark Waid with artwork by Jeffrey Spokes. The incentive variants by Spokes for the first 12 issues of the series will spell out Irredeemable, with one letter being featured on each cover. A silver holofoil edition, limited to 500 copies with a cover stating "Mark Waid is Evil", was released at the 2009 Emerald City Convention; the first issue sold out of Diamond Comics Distribution on the day of release, which caused the publisher to solicit a second printing of the comic. The second printing's cover is a sketch version of Kitson variant and a 1-in-20 incentive reprinting of the Spokes cover, not signed by Waid. In April 2011, Krause announced that he would be leaving the series to focus on opportunities outside of comics.
Krause claimed that he made the decision in February 2011 after finding himself facing stress and deadlines from multiple commitments. These commitments resulted in art duties for multiple issues of the series being shared between Krause, who drew pages involving the Plutonian, Diego Barreto, who drew pages relating to the Paradigm. Starting with Irredeemable #29 in September 2011, Krause left the series, being replaced by Diego and his father Eduardo Barreto. On February 3, 2012, Waid announced that he was bringing both Irredeemable and Incorruptible to an end with issues #37 and #30 in May 2012. Waid stated that he was "stretched thin right now both and professionally", that the cast of Irredeemable were moving towards the series ending he had planned, so Waid desired to "go out big and grand". Waid did not rule out revisiting the Irredeemable series in the future to explore some of the characters but intimated that this would not be possible for some of them, following the series' end. Irredeemable is author Mark Waid's third and "most complex" story concerning the "cost of superheroics" or the "path of villainy".
Kingdom Come concerned the "ethical price of heroism" and Empire premised the ultimate failure of superheroes, but Irredeemable is "about how the lessons we learn about right and wrong as children can become warped and twisted when challenged by the realities of the adult world." Waid realized that the concept was one he could never properly explore at either DC or Marvel Comics, a "Twilight of the Superheroes"-style story revolving around the premise of "how does a man go from being the world’s greatest superhero to its greatest supervillain?"Waid's premise stems from the rejection of the idea that, in "superhero comics, pretty much everyone who’s called upon to put on a cape is, at heart equipped for the job." He expounds of this by stating that: The beauty of Superman is that he can deal with that level of adulation without it going to his head, without it warping him, but he's a special individual. We presume, whenever we write superheroes and we come up with superhero origins, that anybody who gets the powers of a superhero — if they are like Spider-Man and they've got things they've got to work out that issue and responsibility and power and responsibility — we assume that they have the emotional makeup it takes to overcome these things.
Well, what if you gave that level of power to someone who, at heart, didn't have that emotional capability? Waid further notes that, "by the classic superhero rules," a hero can't concern themselves with what people think of them, but that if "you are so far removed as to not care what people think of you, it takes one less step to not care what people think."During the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International, Waid stated that he had developed ideas for ending the story but had no end issue planned while sales of the book continued. During the same event, he added that he did not have any intention of rehabilitating the Plutonian character or redeeming him for his actions, saying "There's no hope for Plutonian...but that said, I never said the title Irredeemable refers to Plutonian." The Plutonian, a powerful being once thought to be the world's greatest superhero, has now become its greatest supervillain. He has destroyed Sky City – the metropolis he once protected – and murdered millions of people across the globe.
The series starts with the Plutonian killing his former ally, the Hornet, his entire family. The remaining superheroes, the Paradigm – Bette Noir, Charybdis, Qubit and Kaidan – search f
The Universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars and all other forms of matter and energy. While the spatial size of the entire Universe is unknown, it is possible to measure the size of the observable universe, estimated to be 93 billion light years in diameter. In various multiverse hypotheses, a universe is one of many causally disconnected constituent parts of a larger multiverse, which itself comprises all of space and time and its contents; the earliest scientific models of the Universe were developed by ancient Greek and Indian philosophers and were geocentric, placing Earth at the center of the Universe. Over the centuries, more precise astronomical observations led Nicolaus Copernicus to develop the heliocentric model with the Sun at the center of the Solar System. In developing the law of universal gravitation, Isaac Newton built upon Copernicus' work as well as observations by Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler's laws of planetary motion. Further observational improvements led to the realization that the Sun is one of hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way, one of at least hundreds of billions of galaxies in the Universe.
Many of the stars in our galaxy have planets. At the largest scale galaxies are distributed uniformly and the same in all directions, meaning that the Universe has neither an edge nor a center. At smaller scales, galaxies are distributed in clusters and superclusters which form immense filaments and voids in space, creating a vast foam-like structure. Discoveries in the early 20th century have suggested that the Universe had a beginning and that space has been expanding since and is still expanding at an increasing rate; the Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological description of the development of the Universe. Under this theory and time emerged together 13.799±0.021 billion years ago and the energy and matter present have become less dense as the Universe expanded. After an initial accelerated expansion called the inflationary epoch at around 10−32 seconds, the separation of the four known fundamental forces, the Universe cooled and continued to expand, allowing the first subatomic particles and simple atoms to form.
Dark matter gathered forming a foam-like structure of filaments and voids under the influence of gravity. Giant clouds of hydrogen and helium were drawn to the places where dark matter was most dense, forming the first galaxies and everything else seen today, it is possible to see objects that are now further away than 13.799 billion light-years because space itself has expanded, it is still expanding today. This means that objects which are now up to 46.5 billion light-years away can still be seen in their distant past, because in the past when their light was emitted, they were much closer to the Earth. From studying the movement of galaxies, it has been discovered that the universe contains much more matter than is accounted for by visible objects; this unseen matter is known as dark matter. The ΛCDM model is the most accepted model of our universe, it suggests that about 69.2%±1.2% of the mass and energy in the universe is a cosmological constant, responsible for the current expansion of space, about 25.8%±1.1% is dark matter.
Ordinary matter is therefore only 4.9% of the physical universe. Stars and visible gas clouds only form about 6% of ordinary matter, or about 0.3% of the entire universe. There are many competing hypotheses about the ultimate fate of the universe and about what, if anything, preceded the Big Bang, while other physicists and philosophers refuse to speculate, doubting that information about prior states will be accessible; some physicists have suggested various multiverse hypotheses, in which our universe might be one among many universes that exist. The physical Universe is defined as all of their contents; such contents comprise all of energy in its various forms, including electromagnetic radiation and matter, therefore planets, stars and the contents of intergalactic space. The Universe includes the physical laws that influence energy and matter, such as conservation laws, classical mechanics, relativity; the Universe is defined as "the totality of existence", or everything that exists, everything that has existed, everything that will exist.
In fact, some philosophers and scientists support the inclusion of ideas and abstract concepts – such as mathematics and logic – in the definition of the Universe. The word universe may refer to concepts such as the cosmos, the world, nature; the word universe derives from the Old French word univers, which in turn derives from the Latin word universum. The Latin word was used by Cicero and Latin authors in many of the same senses as the modern English word is used. A term for "universe" among the ancient Greek philosophers from Pythagoras onwards was τὸ πᾶν, tò pân, defined as all matter and all space, τὸ ὅλον, tò hólon, which did not include the void. Another synonym was ho kósmos. Synonyms are found in Latin authors and survive in modern languages, e.g. the German words Das All and Natur for Universe. The same synonyms are found in English, such as everything, the cosmos, the world (as in the many-worlds interpr
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Superhero comics are one of the most common genres of American comic books. The genre rose to prominence in the 1930s and became popular in the 1940s and has remained the dominant form of comic book in North America since the 1960s. Superhero comics feature stories about superheroes and the universes these characters inhabit. Beginning with the introduction of Superman in 1938 in Action Comics #1 — an anthology of adventure features — comic books devoted to superheroes ballooned into a widespread genre, coincident with the beginnings of World War II and the end of the Great Depression. In comics format and costumed heroes like Popeye and The Phantom had appeared in newspaper comic strips for several years prior to Superman; the masked detective The Clock first appeared in the comic book Funny Pages #6. In the Great Depression and World War II era the first Superhero Comics appeared, the most popular being Superman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman and Captain America. After World War II superhero comic books declined in popularity, their sales hindered in part by the publication of Seduction of the Innocent and the investigations of The Senate Subcommittee hearings on juvenile delinquency.
By 1954 only three superheroes still had their own titles. Beginning in the 1950s, DC began publishing revised versions of their 1940s superhero characters such as The Flash and Green Lantern with more of a science fiction focus. Marvel Comics followed suit in the 1960s, introducing characters such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, the X-Men and Iron Man who featured more complex personalities which had more dramatic potential. Superhero Comics became much more political and dealt with social issues such as the short-lived run of Green Lantern/Green Arrow by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams and the Captain America story arc of the superhero's political disillusionment by Steve Englehart; this was supplanted by more sophisticated character driven titles of The Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont and John Byrne for Marvel and The New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez for DC. Anti-Hero becomes popular with appearances of the Punisher, Ghost Rider and a 1980s revival of Daredevil by Frank Miller.
Superhero Comics became darker with the release of landmark deconstructive works such as Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, which led to many imitations. In the 1990s, Image Comics released successful new characters including the Anti-Hero Spawn which were predominantly creator owned as opposed to Marvel and DC's which were corporate owned; the Comic Book Mini Series Kingdom Come brought an end to the popularity of the Anti-Hero and encouraged instead a reconstruction of the genre with superhero characters that endeavored to combine artistic and literary sophistication with idealism Superhero film Benton, Mike. Superhero Comics of the Silver Age: The Illustrated History. Taylor History of Comics. Taylor Publishing. P. 226. ISBN 0-87833-746-6. Benton, Mike. Superhero Comics of the Golden Age: The Illustrated History. Taylor History of Comics. Taylor Publishing. P. 202. ISBN 0-87833-808-X. Garrett, Greg. Holy Superheroes!: Exploring the Sacred in Comics, Graphic Novels, Film. Westminster John Knox Press.
P. 216. ISBN 0-664-23191-8. Howe, Sean 2012). Marvel Comics: the Untold Story. First ed. New York: Harper. 485 p. ISBN 978-0-06-199210-0 Jacobs and Gerard Jones; the Comic Book Superheroes, from the Silver Age to the Present. New York: Crown Publishers. Xi, 292 p. ISBN 0-517-55440-2 Klock, Geoff. How to Read Superhero Comics and Why. Continuum International Publishing Group. P. 204. ISBN 0-8264-1418-4. Knowles, Christopher. Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes. Illustrated by Joseph Michael Linsner. Weiser. P. 256. ISBN 1-57863-406-7. LoCicero, Don. Superheroes and Gods: A Comparative Study from Babylonia to Batman. McFarland & Company. P. 249. ISBN 0-7864-3184-9
A comic book or comicbook called comic magazine or comic, is a publication that consists of comic art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panels that represent individual scenes. Panels are accompanied by brief descriptive prose and written narrative dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Although comics has some origins in 18th century Japan, comic books were first popularized in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1930s; the first modern comic book, Famous Funnies, was released in the U. S. in 1933 and was a reprinting of earlier newspaper humor comic strips, which had established many of the story-telling devices used in comics. The term comic book derives from American comic books once being a compilation of comic strips of a humorous tone; the largest comic book market is Japan. By 1995, the manga market in Japan was valued at ¥586.4 billion, with annual sales of 1.9 billion manga books/magazines in Japan. The comic book market in the United States and Canada was valued at $1.09 billion in 2016.
As of 2017, the largest comic book publisher in the United States is manga distributor Viz Media, followed by DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Another major comic book market is France, where Franco-Belgian comics and Japanese manga each represent 40% of the market, followed by American comics at 10% market share. Comic books are reliant on their appearance. Authors focus on the frame of the page, size and panel positions; these characteristic aspects of comic books are necessary in conveying the content and messages of the author. The key elements of comic books include panels, balloons and characters. Balloons are convex spatial containers of information that are related to a character using a tail element; the tail has an origin, path and pointed direction. Key tasks in the creation of comic books are writing and coloring. Comics as a print medium have existed in America since the printing of The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck in 1842 in hardcover, making it the first known American prototype comic book.
Proto-comics periodicals began appearing early in the 20th century, with historians citing Dell Publishing's 36-page Famous Funnies: A Carnival of Comics as the first true American comic book. The introduction of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Superman in 1938 turned comic books into a major industry and ushered the Golden Age of Comics; the Golden Age originated the archetype of the superhero. According to historian Michael A. Amundson, appealing comic-book characters helped ease young readers' fear of nuclear war and neutralize anxiety about the questions posed by atomic power. Historians divide the timeline of the American comic book into eras; the Golden Age of Comic Books began in the 1930s. The Silver Age of comic books is considered to date from the first successful revival of the then-dormant superhero form, with the debut of the Flash in Showcase #4; the Silver Age lasted through the late 1960s or early 1970s, during which time Marvel Comics revolutionized the medium with such naturalistic superheroes as Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four and Lee and Steve Ditko's Spider-Man.
The demarcation between the Silver Age and the following era, the Bronze Age of Comic Books, is less well-defined, with the Bronze Age running from the early 1970s through the mid-1980s. The Modern Age of Comic Books runs from the mid-1980s to the present day. A notable event in the history of the American comic book came with psychiatrist Fredric Wertham's criticisms of the medium in his book Seduction of the Innocent, which prompted the American Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency to investigate comic books. In response to attention from the government and from the media, the U. S. comic book industry set up the Comics Magazine Association of America. The CMAA instilled the Comics Code Authority in 1954 and drafted the self-censorship Comics Code that year, which required all comic books to go through a process of approval, it was not until the 1970s that comic books could be published without passing through the inspection of the CMAA. The Code was made formally defunct in November 2011.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a surge of creativity emerged in what became known as underground comix. Published and distributed independently of the established comics industry, most of such comics reflected the youth counterculture and drug culture of the time. Many had an uninhibited irreverent style. Underground comics were never sold at newsstands, but rather in such youth-oriented outlets as head shops and record stores, as well as by mail order. Frank Stack's The Adventures of Jesus, published under the name Foolbert Sturgeon, has been credited as the first underground comic; the rise of comic book specialty stores in the late 1970s created/paralleled a dedicated market for "independent" or "alternative comics" in the U. S; the first such comics included the anthology series Star Reach, published by comic book writer Mike Friedrich from 1974 to 1979, Harvey Pekar's American Splendor, which continued sporadic publication into the 21st century and which Shari Springer Berman an
William "Bill" Willingham is an American writer and artist of comics, known for his work on the series Elementals and Fables. William Willingham was born in Virginia. During his father's military career the family lived in Alaska and three years in Germany. Willingham got his start in the late 1970s to early 1980s as a staff artist for TSR, Inc. where he illustrated a number of their role-playing game products. He was the cover artist for the AD&D Player Character Record Sheets, Against the Giants, Secret of Bone Hill, the Gamma World book Legion of Gold, provided the back cover for In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, he was an interior artist on White Plume Mountain, Slave Pits of the Undercity, Ghost Tower of Inverness, Secret of the Slavers Stockade, Secret of Bone Hill, Palace of the Silver Princess, Isle of Dread, In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, the original Fiend Folio, Descent into the Depths of the Earth, Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords, Against the Giants, Queen of the Spiders, Realms of Horror, the second and third editions of the Top Secret role-playing game.
He wrote and illustrated a couple of 1982 adventures for the game Villains & Vigilantes for Fantasy Games Unlimited, Death Duel with the Destroyers and The Island of Doctor Apocalypse. Willingham produced the alien race design artwork for the original Master of Orion video game, he first gained attention for his 1980s comic book series Elementals published by Comico, which he both wrote and illustrated. He contributed stories to Green Lantern and started his own independent, black-and-white comic book series Coventry which lasted only 3 issues, he produced the pornographic series Ironwood for Eros Comix. In the late 1990s, Willingham produced the 13-issue Pantheon for Lone Star Press and wrote a pair of short novels about the modern adventures of the hero Beowulf, a fantasy novel Down the Mysterly River published by the Austin, Texas writer's collective, Clockwork Storybook, of which Willingham was a founding member. In the early 2000s, he began writing for DC Comics, including the limited series Proposition Player, a pair of limited series about the Greek witch Thessaly from The Sandman, the series Fables.
In 2003, Fables won the Will Eisner Comic Industry awards for best serialized story and best new series. He describes himself as "rabidly pro-Israel" and says that Fables "was intended from the beginning" as a metaphor for the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, although he argues that Fables is not "a political tract, it never will be, but at the same time, it's not going to shy away from the fact that there are characters who have real moral and ethical centers, we're not going to apologize for it."Willingham worked on the Robin series from 2004 to 2006, established Shadowpact, a title spun off his Day of Vengeance limited series. He wrote Jack of Fables, an ongoing spin-off of his Fables series, co-written by Lilah Sturges. At the 2007 Comic Con International, he announced that he would be writing Salvation Run, a mini-series about supervillains who are banished to an inhospitable prison planet, he handed over the writing to Sturges after two issues because of illness. He worked on DCU: Decisions, a four-issue mini-series that deals with Green Arrow's endorsement of a political candidate.
Again with Sturges, he began writing the Vertigo series House of Mystery, DC's Justice Society of America with issue #29. In 2009, Willingham agreed to write for Angel by IDW Publishing, initiated a new storyline titled "Immortality for Dummies". At 2013 NY Comic Con it was announced that Willingham would be writing a seven part mini series for Dynamite Entertainment; the series is Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure and includes some of Dynamite's licensed and public domain characters in a steampunk setting. The series was released in January 2014, a collected edition was published in January 2015; the issues listed include those where writing credits are for at least one story included in the issue. Other sources"Bill Willingham at Pen & Paper RPG Database". Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Official website Bill Willingham at the Comic Book DB Bill Willingham at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Bill Willingam at Library of Congress Authorities, with 62 catalog records
Watchmen is a science fiction American comic book limited series by the British creative team of writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins. It was published by DC Comics in 1986 and 1987, collected in a single volume edition in 1987. Watchmen originated from a story proposal Moore submitted to DC featuring superhero characters that the company had acquired from Charlton Comics; as Moore's proposed story would have left many of the characters unusable for future stories, managing editor Dick Giordano convinced Moore to create original characters instead. Moore used the story as a means to reflect contemporary anxieties and to deconstruct and satirize the superhero concept. Watchmen depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s and their presence changed history so that the United States won the Vietnam War and the Watergate break-in was never exposed. In 1985, the country is edging toward World War III with the Soviet Union, freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most former superheroes are in retirement or working for the government.
The story focuses on the personal development and moral struggles of the protagonists as an investigation into the murder of a government-sponsored superhero pulls them out of retirement. Creatively, the focus of Watchmen is on its structure. Gibbons used a nine-panel grid layout throughout the series and added recurring symbols such as a blood-stained smiley face. All but the last issue feature supplemental fictional documents that add to the series' backstory, the narrative is intertwined with that of another story, an in-story pirate comic titled Tales of the Black Freighter, which one of the characters reads. Structured at times as a nonlinear narrative, the story skips through space and plot. In the same manner, entire scenes and dialogue have parallels with others through synchronicity and repeated imagery. A commercial success, Watchmen has received critical acclaim both in the comics and mainstream press. Watchmen was recognized in Time's List of the 100 Best Novels as one of the best English language novels published since 1923.
In a retrospective review, the BBC's Nicholas Barber described it as "the moment comic books grew up". After a number of attempts to adapt the series into a feature film, director Zack Snyder's Watchmen was released in 2009. A video game series, Watchmen: The End Is Nigh, was released in the same year to coincide with the film's release. DC Comics published Before Watchmen, a series of nine prequel miniseries in 2012, Doomsday Clock, a 12-issue limited series, a sequel to the original series that premiered in 2017, both without Moore's or Gibbons' involvement. Watchmen, created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, first appeared in the 1985 issue of DC Spotlight, the 50th anniversary special, it was published as a 12-issue maxiseries from DC Comics, cover-dated September 1986 to October 1987. It was subsequently collected in 1987 as a DC Comics trade paperback that has had at least 24 printings as of March 2017. In February 1988, DC published a limited-edition, slipcased hardcover volume, produced by Graphitti Design, that contained 48 pages of bonus material, including the original proposal and concept art.
In 2005, DC released Absolute Watchmen, an oversized slipcased hardcover edition of the series in DC's Absolute Edition format. Assembled under the supervision of Dave Gibbons, Absolute Watchmen included the Graphitti materials, as well as restored and recolored art by John Higgins; that December DC published a new printing of Watchmen issue #1 at the original 1986 cover price of $1.50 as part of its "Millennium Edition" line. In 2012, DC published Before Watchmen a series of nine prequel miniseries, with various creative teams producing the characters' early adventures set before the events of the original series. In the 2016 one-shot DC Universe: Rebirth Special, numerous symbols and visual references to Watchmen, such as the blood-splattered smiley face, the dialogue between Doctor Manhattan and Ozymandias in the last issue of Watchmen is shown. Further Watchmen imagery was added in the DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1 second printing, which featured an update to Gary Frank's cover, better revealing the outstretched hand of Doctor Manhattan in the top right corner.
Doctor Manhattan appeared in the 2017 four-part DC miniseries The Button serving as a direct sequel to both DC Universe Rebirth and the 2011 storyline "Flashpoint". Manhattan reappears in the 2017–18 twelve-part sequel series Doomsday Clock. In 1983, DC Comics acquired a line of characters from Charlton Comics. During that period, writer Alan Moore contemplated writing a story that featured an unused line of superheroes that he could revamp, as he had done in his Miracleman series in the early 1980s. Moore reasoned that MLJ Comics' Mighty Crusaders might be available for such a project, so he devised a murder mystery plot which would begin with the discovery of the body of the Shield in a harbour; the writer felt it did not matter which set of characters he used, as long as readers recognized them "so it would have the shock and surprise value when you saw what the reality of these characters was". Moore used this premise and crafted a proposal featuring the Charlton characters titled Who Killed the Peacemaker, submitted the unsolicited proposal to DC managing editor Dick Giordano.
Giordano was receptive to the proposal, but opposed the idea of using the Charlton characters for the story. Moore said, "DC realized their expensive characters would end up either dead or dysfunctional." Instead, Giordano persuaded Moore to continue with new characters. Moore had believed that original characters would not provide emotional resonan