Author: Alan Moore
Released: 1986
Genre: Science fiction/fantasy

The greatest superhero story ever told? In terms of Alan Moore's monumental graphic novel Watchmen, that's certainly debatable, but what's not up for questioning is the fanboy tome's status as the most inventive and dangerously subversive look at the masked avenger culture on the shelves. Deconstructing the likes of Batman and Superman, Watchmen imagines a society where caped crusaders aren't all that revered. In fact, they're downright villainized.

Fun Fact: Before director Zack Snyder's somewhat successful big-screen adaptation premiered in March 2009, several notable filmmakers tried, but were never fully able, to bring Alan Moore's daunting opus to life, including Terry Gilliam (Brazil, 12 Monkeys), Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan), and Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum).