Watchmen is a twelve-issue comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 limited series
Limited series
A limited series is a comic book series with a set number of installments. A limited series differs from an ongoing series in that the number of issues is determined before production and it differs from a one shot in that it is composed of multiple issues....

 created by writer Alan Moore
Alan Moore
Alan Oswald Moore is an English writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and From Hell...

, artist Dave Gibbons
Dave Gibbons
Dave Gibbons is an English comic book artist, writer and sometime letterer. He is best known for his collaborations with writer Alan Moore, which include the miniseries Watchmen and the Superman story "For the Man Who Has Everything"...

, and colourist John Higgins
John Higgins (comics)
John Higgins is an English comic book artist and writer. He did significant work for 2000 AD, and he has frequently worked with writer Alan Moore, most notably as colourist for Watchmen.-Biography:...

. The series was published by DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 during 1986 and 1987, and has been subsequently reprinted in collected form. Watchmen originated from a story proposal Moore submitted to DC featuring superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

 characters that the company had acquired from Charlton Comics
Charlton Comics
Charlton Comics was an American comic book publishing company that existed from 1946 to 1985, having begun under a different name in 1944. It was based in Derby, Connecticut...

. As Moore's proposed story would have left many of the characters unusable for future stories, managing editor Dick Giordano
Dick Giordano
Richard Joseph "Dick" Giordano was an American comic book artist and editor best known for introducing Charlton Comics' "Action Heroes" stable of superheroes, and serving as executive editor of then–industry leader DC Comics...

 convinced the writer to create original characters instead.

Moore used the story as a means to reflect contemporary anxieties and to critique the superhero concept.

[after Nite Owl asks what he would have done if his hired assassin had shot him first] I suppose I'd have had to catch the bullet, wouldn't I? [smirks]

[Tearfully]I did it...I DID IT!

Bubastis...Forgive me.

An intractable problem can only be resolved by stepping beyond conventional solutions.

So impotent...

(As he and Rorschach prepare for their confrontation with the mastermind villain.) Y'know, this must be how ordinary people feel. This must be how ordinary people feel around us.

(Standing naked except for his Nite Owl goggles) Hell, I guess I must look pretty Devo|Devo, right?

(Reacting to an insult from Rorschach) Who the hell do you think you are? You live off people while insulting them, nobody complains because they think you're a goddamned lunatic... Do you know how hard it is being your friend?

(Talking about crimefighting) Just a schoolkid's fantasy that got out of hand.

Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.