When I first read Watchmen in my early 20s, I read Dr. Manhattan as simply the blue-skinned naked guy, and the only character in the series with true super-powers.
He was interesting, but only that.
Later, in my mid-thirties, I picked up the bound collection and read the series again. I was astounded when I realized that Dr. Manhattan was (or could be interpreted as) a metaphor for God. At least the way I viewed God at the time: all-powerful, yet challenged in his ability to relate to humans; able to solve problems with a gesture, but absent when needed most by others; all-knowing, but oddly restrained.
It took some life experience for me to see it.
I never cared for heroes--or gods-- who refuse to embrace the awesome responsibility brought about by incredible ability.