Posted by: kcgadiyar | December 9, 2008

Sundays with the watchmen #8: Special Tuesday Edition, Hollis Mason “Under the Hood” review

Moe burst open the door to his office with tears while everyone looked his way. He was still wearing the artificial breasts, and Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” could be heard booming from his room. In an almost inaudible cry he exclaimed, “Fred Motz has had carnal knowledge of my wife Beatrice for the past two years.” With this everyone started laughing. Half an hour later someone finally went to apologize and Moe said he was fine, apparently now without music or the breasts and doing routine paperwork as if nothing had happened. That night he sent everyone home early, ran a tube from the exhaust of one of the cars in through the window, started the engine and died from the carbon monoxide fumes. His brother took over the business and eventually reemployed Fred Motz as chief mechanic. ” – Excerpt from “Under the Hood” 

It is a known fact that Watchmen had to be padded out to reach 12 issues. The first 3 issues of the series have excerpts from Hollis Mason a.k.a The first Nite Owl’s biography “Under the Hood”



The excerpts are extremely well written. It starts off in Issue#1 with chapters 1 & 2, Then Chapters 3 &4 are in Issue#2 with Chapter 5 in Issue#3. 

The first chapter talks about the most tragic incident in Hollis’s life, the above mentioned “Ride of the Valkyries” moment. The secnd talks of how he found his calling to be a superhero. “Action Comics#1” is mentioned along with Superman. This is a very metatextual reference in this tale, setting it almost in the real world, with the only difference being that people got inspired by Superman and started suiting up to fight crime.

The 3rd and 4th chapters talk about the relationship with other heroes and how “Captain Metroplois” came up with the idea for the Minutemen which is presented as a “Justice Society of America” analogue in how it inspired younger heroes. 

Finally the 5th chapter talks of how the Keene act made superheroes react. 


Despite this being a last minute add-on, the material never seems substandard. Alan Moore has drafted a very good script for the novel. It is a compelling read in itself. Written in the style that most biographies seem to take, it tells us the life and times of superheroes taking different eras in each chapter. Good material to have as a backup. The best part of this as a backup is that reading it doesnt spoil the flow of the comic. The pirate story in future installments causes story momentum to grind to a halt.

Next week: Watchmen#8. 

Until Next Time,


Previous Installments:

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

Week 5:

Week 6:

Week 7:


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