Uneasy. That's a gentle way to describe my state of mind after reading Watchmen. Moore paints super-heroes as complex psychological beings. A super-hero as unrepentant rapist? One as sexually and mentally impotent without heroic deeds to be done? Clearly, the bright primary colors of Superman, Spidey and Wonder Woman don't suit Moore. And based on the absolute dire beauty of this work, I'm glad he gravitates toward shadow rather than light.
Moore's depiction of a 1980s world threatened by nuclear annihilation resonates with me, a child and teen from the late cold war era. What place does a super-hero have in a world with enough nukes to destroy true planet many times over? Is locking up vandals and rescuing kittens enough? Or, does Ozymandias' dilemma of sacrificing millions to save the rest of humanity better reveal the necessary scope of the super-hero's task? Is the super-hero a pragmatic builder of Utopias? A doer of small, token deeds within a corrupt society? A human or super-human? Moore asks the reader these questions and more. The answers might just make you queezy.