12 April 2011

The Owl's Legacy

Watchmen is an autobiography of the costumed hero of the late 1930's and 1940's named Hollis Wordsworth Mason, but also known as the Night Owl. A writer once told Mason to open with a sad story in order for the audience to sympathize with him. Mason's sad story occurred at his father's work in an auto shop. Moe Vernon was the boss. One day crazy Moe was wearing fake, foam, and pink breasts as a joke. He received a letter from his wife claiming she was having an affair with his head mechanic and leaving with all his money to Tijuana. Crying, holding the letter, still wearing the fake breasts, and listening to The Ride of the Valkyries Moe informed his workers of his wife's adultery. They all laughed at the sight of him! That night Moe committed suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide fumes. This incident will always remind Mason of The Ride to the Valkyries song and how it makes him feel sadness.
Now, in 1939 Mason is a New York police officer who at night becomes a costumed hero. The desire for adventure began in 1938 when the Superhero's were created, like Superman. Secretly Mason was fantasizing about becoming a hero himself. Then a masked man with a noose around his neck begins saving citizens from crime, which further influenced Mason to choose his vocation. Soon he began working out non stop, creating a name, and a costume. His name was the most difficult, but it was inspired by a work buddy that once called him a night owl. Finally, Mason began fighting crime, but there were seven other individuals who fought crime as well. Over time all superhero's came together to create the Minutemen, which is a gang of costumed hero's fighting crime to make their country safer. All is well for a while, but some superhero's left, some were murdered, crime lost it's excitement for others, and most importantly there were no costumed bad guys to fight against. And in 1949 the league ended. These superhero's were all human, they suffered downfalls and endured much pain, but they removed their costumes and stopped playing the savor. In the end, Mason the Night Owl retired from his police work and went back to mending vehicles because that was the last time he truly felt real happiness.
I very much enjoyed this reading compared to the others. It seemed so believable and extremely vivid. Mason is a person one can relate to, he is a normal person who achieved superhero status by working hard and being determined. Even though he took off his mask in the end, he did not stop being a hero. He left behind a legacy that influenced younger generations of costumed hero's. Mason's story portrays that anyone can change or make something better in this world.

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