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50 Watchmen Quotes From The Greatest Graphic Novel Of All Time

Let these 50 Watchmen quotes remind you why it’s the greatest graphic novel of all time.

This classic story captured the hearts and minds of readers because it transcends era or genre. Watchmen has it all: complex characters, unique protagonists, moral dilemmas, iconic art, and authentic concerns that we deal with in our reality.

Some readers simplify graphic novels and comic books as literature for children or sci-fi enthusiasts. However, when art is written so well that it mirrors our times and allows us to truly see ourselves, it has the ability to change people.

Alan Moore’s Watchmen is more than just a superhero story. It is a human story, a story where fantastic abilities coexist in a world of crippling limitations.

watchmen quotes

If you are a comic enthusiast or you just enjoy well written and engaging tales, you should definitely read Watchmen the original graphic novel or you can check out the modern live action version on Netflix; both are incredible.

Enjoy these Watchmen quotes

1. “Things have their forms not only in space, but also in time.”

2. “Nothing’s that simple, not even things that are simply awful.

3. “’Up’ is a relative concept. It has no intrinsic value.”

4. “This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces.”

5. “Without my face, nobody knows. Nobody knows who I am.”

6. “We’re all puppets, Laurie. I’m just a puppet who can see the strings.”

7. “Does the human heart know chasms so abysmal?”

8. “Nothing is insoluble. Nothing is hopeless. Not while there’s life.”

9. “We are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later.”

10. “The dusk reeks of fornication and bad consciences.”

Watchmen Quotes That Take You Back To The Story

11. “None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with YOU. You’re locked up in here with ME.”

12. “All we ever see of stars are their old photographs.”

13. “It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us. Streets stank of fire.”

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14. “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? – Who watches the watchmen?”

15. “The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world.”

16. “No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.”

17. “We have laboured long to build a heaven, only to find it populated with horrors.”

18. “American love — like coke in green glass bottles…they don’t make it anymore.”

19. “Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.”

20. “Life could have flourished [on Mars] then. But Mars did not choose life. It chose this. It’s called chaotic terrain.”

Watchmen Quotes That Draw You Into the Story

21. “But…if me, my birth, if that’s a thermodynamic miracle… I mean, you could say that about anybody in the world!”

22. “Never despair. Never surrender.”

23. “A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally there’s no discernible difference. Life and death are unquantifiable abstracts. Why should I be concerned?”

24. “I live my life free of compromise, and step into the shadows without complaint or regret.”

25. “You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it.”

26. “My new world demands less obvious heroism, making your schoolboy heroes redundant. What have they achieved? Failing to prevent Earth’s salvation is your only triumph.”

27. “… and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout: ‘Save us!’. And I’ll look down and whisper: ‘No.”

28. “As I see it, part of the art of being a hero is knowing when you don’t need to be one anymore.”

29. “We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from another’s vantage point, as if new, it may still take the breath away.”

30. “Heard joke once: Man goes to doctor. Says he’s depressed. Says life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says, “Treatment is simple. Great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him. That should pick you up.” Man bursts into tears. Says, “But doctor…I am Pagliacci.”

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Other Watchmen Quotes

31. “Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose.”

32. “They say we have we created the man to end all wars; I say we have created a man to end all worlds.”

33. “Truly, whoever we are, wherever we reside, we exist upon the whim of murderers.”

34. “The superman exists and he’s American.”

35. “Things are tough all over, cupcake, an’ it rains on the just an’ the unjust alike…except in California.”

36. “He saw the cracks in society, saw the little men in masks trying to hold it together…he saw the true face of the twentieth century and chose to become a reflection of it, a parody of it. No one else saw the joke. That’s why he was lonely.”

37. “I leave the human cockroaches to discuss their heroin and child pornography.”

38. “I am brother to dragons, and companion to owls. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.”

39. “As I come to understand Vietnam and what it implies about the human condition, I also realize that few humans will permit themselves such an understanding.”

40. “People’s lives take them strange places. They do strange things, and… well, sometimes they can’t talk about them.”

Watchmen Quotes You May Relate To

41. “I am watching the stars, admiring their complex trajectories through space and time. I am trying to give a name to the force that set them in motion.”

42. “It’s early days. A few skeletons are bound to keep jumping out of the closet.”

43. “I still can’t believe it . . . him comin’ here everyday, nobody realizin’. Still, that’s life: lotta stuff happens under the waterline.”

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44. “When it’s done, only our enemies leave roses.”

45. “I am tired of this world, these people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.”

46. “Don’t tell me they didn’t have a choice. Now the whole world stands on the brink, staring down into bloody hell, all those liberals and intellectuals and smooth-talkers… and all of a sudden, nobody can think of anything to say.”

47. “I believe he’s a man of great integrity, but he seems to see the world in very black and white. Manichean terms. I personally believe that to be an intellectual limitation.”

48. “It doesn’t matter how “successful” each of us is in life. We’re all doomed to die. Why can’t anyone else see that?”

49. “I no longer wish to look at dead things.”

50. “As I see it, part of the art of being a hero is knowing when you don’t need to be one anymore, realizing that the game has changed and that the stakes are different and that there isn’t necessarily a place for you in this strange new pantheon of extraordinary people.”

One of the elements that has made Watchmen a classic is the rich complexity of the characters. Readers inevitably relate to certain characters in the story, some for their brutal honesty, others for their courage and others for their fallibility.

Even Dr. Manhattan, the most powerful being in existence still has human moments where he triumphs or succumbs to the human dilemma. That is what makes Watchmen special, other comics have entities who seem like “characters” made up for a comic book while Watchmen has a plethora of deeply developed stories for all of its iconic figures and each story is interwoven into actual political, social or historical elements in our world.

The Netflix version of Watchmen is one of the best shows on the platform. It intertwines the real-life tragedy of the Tulsa Oklahoma race massacre with the world of super-powered beings, allowing the audience to learn while they are entertained.

Clifton Sankofa
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