I assume most of you are familiar with the Watchmen. Maybe not the amazing comic series from 1986 but probably at least the amazing film from 2009 from which this figure is based. The comic series was a 12 issue story line written Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons and is often heralded as the greatest graphic novel of all time. I’m not sure if it is but I’ll be damned if I can think of a better one. This was a comic written for grown ups, and drawn for grown ups to I suppose. Because even though I was a card carrying comic book nerd in 1986 I didn’t take a second look at this thing. Looked boring and dry and old. It wasn’t until I was older that I discovered this series in a collected format and was blown away. The creator Alan Moore had a falling out with the publisher DC comics over the ownership of the book and has washed his hands of any licensing of the property. His name does not appear anywhere on the film and from what I know he refused to accept a single cent from it’s box office returns. These legal issues kept Watchmen off of toy store shelves and out of cinemas for many years before some sort of resolution was made allowing Zack Zynder to direct his movie version. The movie was fantastic, in some ways surpassing the comic in my mind. I hope Mr. Moore watched it at some point to bask in the joy of his material being adapted into something great for a change. Apparently he was pretty sour on how other movies based on his comics have turned out, films like From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentleman and V for Vendetta.
In Watchmen, which takes place in the 80s there is a team of super heroes called The Watchmen. We are introduced to them after the team has already broken up and their hey day has long since passed. it’s a grim story that jumps around a lot through different eras, including the birth of the first super team that inspired the Watchmen, the Minute Men. One Minute Men member who I particularly liked was Nite Owl, who had a very classic golden age look about him. In the present storyline set in the 80s the original Nite Owl, Hollis Mason is old and retired but he’s a mentor to a new Nite Owl who has taken Hollis’s name as a sign of respect. When the movie came out the Hollis Mason Nite Owl retained his classic golden age look where as they totally cool-ified the modern 80s Nite Owl. Instead of the frumpy doofus in a brown leotard as he’s portrayed in the comic, Nite Owl was given a layered chain-mail like armor more akin to a golden Batman
As cool as all the Watchmen movie toys were the only one I bothered to pick up was the Hollis Mason version of Nite Owl. You may wonder why as this figure is clearly hella gay looking where as I could’ve went with modern Nite Owl who was a total bad ass. Well I have shelves full of bad asses but the retro look of this figure was just too unique for me to pass up. he looks like he’s straight out of the 40s. Those cheesy little patterned shorts like Robin the boy wonder used to wear, the short sleeve large collared shirt, the cowl that resembles a WWII pilots leather cap, not to mention the domino mask, it’s all awesome! The articulation is lacking on this figure but the paint choices are spectacular. And look at the sculpt on the face, this guy means business. He’s so corny and cool at the same time. In hindsight I maybe should have bought more of the Watchmen figures but I’m still convinced I picked up the best of the bunch. 8 out of 10.