It has been said before, and it will be said for decades to come, but if there is ever is a comic that someone needs to read, it has to be Watchmen. The characters and story interweave in this beautiful opera of personal struggle for redemption, freedom and peace. All of this culminates with the character of Adrien Veidt, aka Ozymandias.
Since the outlawing of vigilantism, Veidt reinvents his persona by creating a multi-billion dollar industry that develops anything from toys based on Veidts superhero exploits, to the development of clean energy alternatives. Considered the smartest man in the world, Veidt succeeds in all fronts that he ventures through and the world of Watchmen feels this heavily. Ads for his products plaster the faux- New York billboards ,and people are constantly seen using his products in all aspects of the story. This solidifies his overwhelming presence everywhere. Because of that fact ,his character has a big impact on many of the scenes in Watchmen. It makes sense that in the end, he is the one pulling all the strings.
Villains are always those who are crazier than us and bent on destruction or personal gain. But we completely understand very few villains, knowing that their own choices are not for personal benefit, but for the benefit of others or the entire planet. Only two characters come to mind when thinking of selfless villains: Mr. Freeze and Ozymandias. Ozymandias sees that through complete annihilation, the planet will be stronger and will have goals for themselves to work towards, ending all hatred between countries.
This flips the villain idea on its head when it becomes apparent that most characters are working for their own goals and their own personal satisfaction. The line between hero and villain is blurred, and it is incredible to see the transition between the characters and how they, like the audience, understands that the end justifies all means. It is truly a test of the character and reader ‘s beliefs because throughout the story, the reader is pounded with the thoughts of a certain masked individual to never compromise, “not even in the face of Armageddon”. Since the reader is ready to believe both sides of the coin, he/she is left to their own devices to try and comprehend what would be the ideal outcome for the ending that has been brought forth.
Villains often challenge other characters: Batman and Joker, Lex and Superman. But very few challenges the ideology of the reader. Ozymandias is not only a fantastic character to oppose our leads, but a fantastic character to oppose ourselves in some of the most talked about subjects in political history: how do we achieve peace?