One of my big problems with Watchmen is how stupidly the near-rape is handled. And it’s EPIC stupid.
It’s full of every dumbass cliche there is,…
Really? Silk Spectre I falls in love with him after he tries to rape her and beats the shit out of her. SS II specifically states how cool he is, and flirts with him openly. Ozymandias respects him. Rorschach praises him, that leaves almost no POV characters left who don’t openly express admiration for him. And, this stuff doesn’t happen in a vacuum…using rape cliches isn’t excused because the writer is talented, unless the cliche is subverted or presented in some manner that illuminates the characters in a new way. This doesn’t. In my opinion, of course. The victim falling in love with her rapist is a hoary cliche and there’s nothing here to elevate that cliche away from its crappy peers. Brilliant book. It doesn’t mean it’s without problems.
Alan Moore has a bad track record when it comes to using rape in his stories.
Silk Spectre I doesn’t ‘fall in love’ with him. She has a messy affair that she doesn’t seem remotely proud about, and she’s one of the few characters who actually seems to understand how messed up she is. (She mentions to Hollis that she attends therapy/analysis, which is more than I can say for any of the other characters.)
Silk Spectre II thinks the Comedian is cool when she’s a teenager and doesn’t know any better. She hates him after she finds out what he’s done. She throws a drink in his face during a party held in his honor. She’s horrified when she realizes what his connection is to her. (And even Doc Manhattan considers the nature of her conception to be weird and statistically improbable.)
Ozymandias and Rorschach are both assholes with massive character flaws. Ozymandias is a ruthless consequentialist who thinks he can buy peace with blood. Rorschach is a dysfunctional, violent, right-wing sadcase. Their endorsement of the Comedian is not a good reflection of… well, anything.
Hollis, who is probably the most well-adjusted character in the story, thinks the Comedian is a dick.
I think you’re skipping the scene between Sally and her daughter, here.