‘‘Who Watches the Watchmen?’’:

Ideology and ‘‘Real World’’ Superheroes

This article “who watches the watchmen?” Has just changed the very perspective of the way we feel superheroes. We have always pictured superheroes to be perfect beings, gifted with extraordinary capabilities and always fighting evil to make everyday a peaceful day for normal humans to live in this tough world. Superheroes are just super beings totally free from every tie that control every city people. None of the superhero has any connection with politics, racism or religion. They have never caught any criminal in the name of any political parties neither got hold of any criminal group in terms of race nor have fought evil in the name of gods. They have done what must have been done, and it seems like there is no end to their selfless service.

However, all these super heroes don’t have any strings that are attached to real world? The worlds of super heroes don’t have any political issues or any social ties that make them work as per the rule of the state. It’s just not a real world that we are living. This article depicts the life of those super heroes who have to follow every law and order enforced by state and have to live accordingly.

The whole article revolves round only one word, and that’s Ideology. Every people living in a society have his own ideology. And when it means every people, it means their own personal ideology that makes millions and millions of ideology of their own. All people are driven by their own ideology. And the same thing applies for superheroes. Even super heroes have their own ideology to follow, their own ideology to embrace. This article depicts the real portrait of superheroes living with their own ideology. The very crime fighting group of super heroes well-known by the name of Watchmen became super heroes not because of their own responsibilities, but for some mundane reasons-money, power, fame and to promote their own ideology.

Every single character was devoted with their own personal reason in being a super hero rather than following their own heroic codes. Initially the very first groups of watchmen were known by the name of Minutemen. Every active member of Minutemen has ideal reason in becoming a super hero. Sally Jupiter; the first female superhero became crime fighting figure known as Silk Spectre in hopes of advancing her modeling career. She even persuaded Laurie Juspeczyk into the same name and profession of being a superhero. Dollar Bill gained his fame by working as “an in-house super hero by one of the major national banks.” Hollis Mason known by the name of Nite Owl had a desire to correct the “ethical revulsion’. Dan Dreiberg and ornithologist took over his name and lives as the new Nite Owl under Watchmen. Captain Metropolis a former marine lieutenant and later known as The Comedian became a super hero by his desire to enforce the law. Hooded Justice came into hero business in expression of “approval for the activities of Hitler’s Third Reich.” Mothman was motivated to become a superhero cause of socialist ideologies. Silhouette was an openly lesbian who was compelled to join the Minutemen cause of cultural ideologies. Rorschach followed the path of being a super hero out of guilt of his misbegotten upbringing and horrible events that he has lived. Adrian Veidt also known as Ozymandias has his own ideology to live with and wanted the world to be a perfect place for human civilization to exist. Finally, Dr. Manhattan originally called by the name of Jon Osterman was the only hero having serious superpowers, yet still there were more issues that he has to tackle to live as a superhero.

The article “who watches the watchmen?” Just sets the reader to think about what would happen to super heroes if they are tied by the strings of politics, religion and most importantly Ideology? It was Captain Metropolis also known as The Comedian who tried to bring the group of super heroes together under the name of “The Crime buster” and eventually heroes understood the very truth of co-existence that different people with different principles and ideology can never stay together and finally they started working in pairs or individual. It was The Comedian who has viewed the world and the ties that bring it in a coherent manner. His only ideology was to enforce laws and order to this cruel world. He has even understood the world is cruel, not because of unbalanced system that runs the world. It is because of many people with their desire to follow their own principle and ideology. Comedian knew that many people starts from the right path but without knowing where they have come they are already on the path beyond law and order.

More than ideology and principles Rorschach is driven by guilt, Guilt of seeing how pathetic humans have become, Guilt of seeing his own misbegotten upbringing. He just wanted to have that guilt erased. Every day he doesn’t face fear; he faces his own guilt in the eyes of criminals. On the other hand, Ozymandias has his own goals and beliefs. He always believed that it was his responsibility to save humanity from itself. And he played every super hero as the piece of chess in fulfilling his goal. He undoubtedly knew that the world itself is built of hatred; hatred to see each other living in this same globe.  He states “I was unable to unite the world by conquest… Alexander method…I would trick it; frighten it towards salvation with history’s greatest practical joke” (Moore and Gibbons Xi, 24). He frightened the world in the name of “alien life from” created by writers, artist, and media personnel and was transported to New York City with the help of Dr. Manhattan. His creation was relatively proved unstable. It was dropped right in the middle of New York instantly killing nearly 3 million of people. Ultimately making all the countries turn their nuclear weapons toward sky rather than targeting each other.  He feels that,” he is not out to conquer the world but rather to save it from itself.”

Dr. Manhattan always felt that other people seem to make all the moves for him.” His career was pushed to him by his father. Even after resembling his own particles of his body in reactor his complete actions were guided. He believed that people around him don’t know what he needed. If he is to have a symbol it shall be one he respected and then he carved the symbol of hydrogen on his forehead and cast his ties aside with the ones controlling him, he wears nothing at all symbolizing he has removed himself from the old state that controlled him.

When it comes to agreeing or disagreeing about the main theme of the article, first of all one must be clear about living without ideology and principles. Can anyone be a hero by bending the rules enforced by the state? Can anyone act selflessly? Within my reach, the answer is No. From the true core law is supreme of them all, and it acts upon everyone whether he is the one controlling the whole system of governing a country or it is waiter handling orders at restaurants. Laws and orders are for super heroes as well, and when they can’t act as per the rules of the state then the difficulty arises around every aspect of them working as a super hero. Their ideology also does make the difference. It’s their guiding principles that symbolize what kind of super hero they are, and how are they going to exist in this complex world of ours. Everyday people struggle to live one another peaceful day but the tie of the world just doesn’t make it easier. Therefore, they rely on their own principles to plan another day that suits them well. And same goes for super heroes as well when a particular day didn’t really work out as they have planned then they wait for another day which is sure to be in their favor.

From the beginning, this article depicts its importance. It shows us what is a real world? What kinds of people are living in this real world? It shows the life of a super hero who has to live within laws of the state with holding their ideology. It shows how much a super hero has to struggle if they live by the rules, walk with politics and fight crime as per their own personal ideology. It just shows the complete altered world of super heroes from golden and silver age. Even super heroes have a problem living within the society; the question is how much public have to compromise with everything in their daily life?

On the contrary, it shows that every one has his own choices to make. A choice that is to make with free will and it is up to them whether they are ready to accept the consequences. Even super heroes have their own choice; they lived with the consequences and perished after their age ran out. When super heroes living as local people can make their better choices, then why can’t we make a perfect choice that drives our lives ahead? These views just make this article to be important in every ways.


Hughes, J. A. (2006). “Who Watches the Watchmen?”: Ideology and “Real World” Superheroes. Journal of Popular Culture, 39, 546-557.