It’s been over 30 years since Watchmen was first published, and not only is it still considered to be one of the greatest comic book stories of all time, it’s also been labeled a triumph of American literature in general. But if you ask longtime comic book writer and artist Ron Liefeld, the 2009 Watchmen movie is the superior version of the story originally delivered by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons.
Recently, comic book retailer Dennis Barger posted two screenshots highlighting the smiley face button Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s The Comedian is wearing at the beginning of Watchmen, where audiences saw the fight that culminated in Comedian being thrown out of his apartment window. Barger’s Facebook post included the caption “The best thing Snyder ever did!!!”, leading Rob Liefeld to say the following in the comments:
The movie is better than the book. Way better ending.
It’s unclear what exactly Rob Liefeld is referring to by the ending. As is usually the case with film adaptations, Watchmen took some creative liberties with the source material, so Liefeld could be addressing anything from how Doctor Manhattan was blamed for New York City’s destruction rather than a giant, faux-alien squid, or how Nite-Owl witnessed Manhattan killing Rorschach.
Ultimately both Watchmen stories conclude the same way: with Rorschach’s journal coming close to being discovered at The New Frontiersman, and the audience being left to guess whether or not the truth will come out. Nevertheless, if given a choice between the original Watchmen or the film adaptation, Rob Liefeld (whose work in the comic book industry includes co-creating characters like Cable and Deadpool, and being one of Image Comics’ founders) will take the latter over the former.
Rob Liefeld certainly isn’t alone in his admiration for the Watchmen movie; at the time of its release, it was met with polarizing reception, with some folks being over the moon for it and others harshly criticizing it. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum, there’s no denying that a decade later, Watchmen continues to be a talking point among the comic book fan community.
Watchmen was Zack Snyder’s second time tackling a comic book adaptation, the first being 2007’s 300, and he would later leave his mark on DC Comics universe with Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Snyder is currently hard at work on his upcoming Netflix movie Army of the Dead.
While the Watchmen movie didn’t get a film sequel, the mythos as a whole will be framed in a new light in HBO’s Watchmen TV series, which is set several decades after the events of the original tale. So far three of the original Watchmen characters are confirmed to appear in the series: Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, played by Jeremy Irons; Laurie Blake/Silk Spectre II, played by Jean Smart; and Doctor Manhattan, whose actor hasn’t been identified yet.
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