Watchmen: Birth of the Vigilante
Watchmen has been given credit to many things since it was released more than forty years ago. The comic has been credited with changing comic book history, it has been credited with improving story-telling in America and it’s also been credited with birthing the generation of vigilantes. It wasn’t until this comic book that other comics starting dressing their characters in a strange fashion, gave them a brute personality or provided them with out of this world powers. The idea of being this kind of person came across as a dream to millions across the globe. It resulted in dozens of individuals in North America & the rest of the world to try to act under some kind of vigilantism during the late 80’s/90’s and even now in the 2000’s.
One of the largest groups in history to serve as vigilantes was the “Guardian Angels”, created back in 1979 before the comic book. It was after the Watchmen was released that they saw an abundance of applications be sent into their various officers. Whoever joined the Guardian Angels acted as unarmed crime-prevention patrollers but there’s been many cases when one of the volunteers acted above the law, sending whoever committed the crime to jail themselves under citizen arrests. Eventually, this became the norm in the group, they slowly became armed with various weapons throughout the later decades and were trained in advanced citizen arrests. This lead to an abundance of criminals being caught in the middle of the crime.
Eventually, their presence just didn’t extend in the United States of America but its presence was felt throughout the globe in Japan, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, The Philippines, Italy, Australia and Mexico. This has made the Guardian Angels a worldwide group that protects the citizens. During the height in popularity in the United States, it was around the release of the Watchmen. Only a few years after did they start venturing out into different states & countries.
Many of the members from the age of the guardian angels have been caught saying that their love for vigilantism began when they first read the Watchmen. It was the idea of being a regular citizen just like Silk Spectre, the Comedian, Nite Owl & many others in the comic that made those people join. These characters seemed so realistic and the comic has been called the Citizen Kane of comics, in part due to its immensely realistic and compelling story. People felt a connection to these characters which drove them to joining the Guardian Angels or taking vigilantism into their own hands.