The Untold Truth Of Watchmen

The Untold Truth Of Watchmen

Much the generally-accepted knowledge about
Watchmen and its making would likely be loudly shouted down by the book’s creators, Alan
Moore and Dave Gibbons. The inspirations for Watchmen, its creators’
intentions, and the contributions each brought to the table are often misunderstood or overlooked. It’s a strange irony that in a medium as concerned
with images as comic books, the writers tend to get most of the attention. Watchmen is no exception. As the comic’s artist Dave Gibbons said when
he spoke to Wired in 2008: “People unacquainted with graphic novels,
including journalists, tend to think of Watchmen as a book by Alan Moore that happens to have
some illustrations. And that does a disservice to the entire form.” While being interviewed by Neil Gaiman in
1987, Gibbons said it was his idea for the cover of Watchmen #1 to be of the now iconic
blood-smeared smiley face. It was Gibbons, with Moore’s input, who designed
the physical appearance of the characters. And perhaps most significantly, it was Gibbons
who brought life to Watchmen’s world. Watchmen was one of a number of superhero
comic book series published in the mid-’80s that are often associated with one another
because they’re said to explore the notion of superheroes as fascist figures. Examples include Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
and Marvel’s Squadron Supreme, in which superheroes with good intentions nevertheless turn the
U.S. into a totalitarian state. With brutal scenes in Watchmen of the Comedian
and Dr. Manhattan killing Vietnamese soldiers and civilians, Rorschach torturing victims
for information, or the Minutemen using their abilities and technology to break up protests,
it’s easy to see why readers make the association with fascism. But in a 1987 interview, Alan Moore said his
Watchmen characters weren’t fascists. “Rorschach’s not a fascist; he’s a nutcase. The Comedian’s not a fascist; he’s a psychopath. Dr. Manhattan’s not a fascist; he’s a space
cadet. They’re not fascists. They’re not in control of their world.” Arguably, Moore’s stated intentions were much
more damning toward superheroes than any series before or since. Moore said he and Gibbons weren’t trying to
reveal a fascist leaning in superheroes: “Our intention was to show how superheroes
could deform the world just by being there, not that they’d have to take it over, just
their presence there would make the difference.” When talking about what is unique about Watchmen,
the darker subject matter and the violence are the focus for most. What’s too often forgotten are the visual
innovations it brought to comic books. Take the covers, which were devoid of fight
scenes or heroes posing. They included a Rorschach drawing, a torn
black-and-white photo, and a spinning perfume bottle. Each cover was part of the first panel of
each issue. In a 1987 interview, Dave Gibbons said: “The cover of the Watchmen is in the real
world and looks quite real, but it’s starting to turn into a comic book, a portal to another
dimension.” A perfect example was its fifth issue, titled
“Fearful Symmetry.” Each page and panel of Watchmen #5 was designed
to act as a mirror to its opposite. Likewise, the scenes of each page mirror their
opposites. It isn’t a secret that the psychotic Rorschach
was based on the former Charlton Comics hero known as the Question. But what you may not know is that Rorschach
and his predecessor had a chance to meet one another. Kind of. In The Question #17, Vic Sage, a.k.a. The Question, finds himself leaning toward
more brutal tactics, lamenting the opportunities he’s given his enemies because he supposedly
hasn’t dealt with them harshly enough. While in pursuit of a fugitive, Sage takes
a plane to Seattle and picks up a copy of Watchmen at the terminal newsstand to read
on the flight. He doesn’t like Rorschach’s bigotry, but he’s
impressed with his skills in violence. He falls asleep on the flight and dreams of
the death of a private eye he knew except in the dream, Sage is Rorschach instead of
the Question. When he lands and starts working on his case,
he finds himself asking, “What would Rorschach do?” When a crook takes him out with a gun-butt
to the head, Sage utters Rorschach’s signature “Hurm.” Toward the end of the comic, he regrets trying
to emulate the more ultraviolent hero. When he’s cornered by the crooks and they
ask if he has any last words, Sage responds, “Yeah. Rorschach sucks.” HBO’s Watchmen debuted to rave reviews, and
pretty quickly, a couple of things became clear about the show. First, the events of the series take place
decades after the events of the original story. Second, and more importantly, HBO’s Watchmen
is a continuation of the comic book story rather than the movie. A brief, memorable scene in the first episode
confirms it. As Angela Abar drives her son home from school,
the city of Tulsa is pelted with a heavy torrent of tiny squid-like creatures. In the Watchmen graphic novel, we learn Adrian
Veidt, aka Ozymandias, is behind a conspiracy to violently bring about a utopia. Veidt recruits the world’s best scientists
to create a fake alien behemoth that he then transports to New York City the hope being
that the world’s powers will stop fighting each other and unite to face this new threat. In the 2009 film, this was changed so that
Veidt manufactures an attack that appears to be from Doctor Manhattan, with the same
results. Since we know the alien squid isn’t in the
film, HBO’s Watchmen can only be a continuation of the graphic novel. It could be these squid storms will be what
uncovers Veidt’s conspiracy, and we’re already seeing hints of that. In Watchmen’s second episode, a news vendor
is spouting conspiracies to a man delivering newspapers. One of the things Watchmen is known for is
its alternate history. In the graphic novel, Richard Nixon is serving
his fifth term as president, and the civil rights battles won in the ’60s and ’70s never
happened because the superheroes were there to stop the protests. So when the first episode of Watchmen opens
with a 1921 race massacre on the streets of Tulsa, you might think this is more fictional
world-building, but it isn’t. The Tulsa race massacre happened in the real
world, and if anything, Watchmen only shows the tip of the iceberg. The 1921 Tulsa massacre has been largely lost
from our history books because of systematic attempts to cover up the events. The Los Angeles Times reported: “In the aftermath of the killings, attempts
were made to cover up the events. Stories were removed from newspaper archives,
and some official accounts were destroyed.” This is likely part of the reason why the
official death count of the massacre is 36, but more recent estimates put the number closer
to 300 killed, along with around 800 injured. According to the Times story, the massacre
began after news circulated that a black man had assaulted a young white woman in an elevator,
though later reports suggested he may have tripped and fallen onto the woman on accident. The white rioters, supported by the Ku Klux
Klan, not only killed and injured black citizens, but they destroyed the black-owned businesses
of Tulsa, places so successful that Booker T. Washington had coined the community as
the, quote, “Black Wall Street of America.” If you’re familiar with the graphic novel,
the movie, or both, then one of the biggest differences you’ll notice right away is that
in HBO’s Watchmen, the masked men and women are working with the cops. In the original story, the Keene Act makes
masked vigilantes illegal except for those working for the government. “Congress is pushing through some new bill
that’s gonna outlaw masks. Our days are numbered.” The only heroes we see employed by the feds
are the Comedian, Doctor Manhattan, and Silk Spectre. The rest of the heroes are either officially
retired or, like Rorschach, renegades who the police would love to get their hands on. So it’s something of a shock when, with the
exception of the Rorschach-inspired Cavalry, all of the masked people of HBO’s Watchmen
are police. It seems likely this is a result of the White
Night, an event that took place some years before the events of the series, where the
Cavalry broke into the homes of most of the Tulsa PD and killed the officers and their
families as they slept. Most of the survivors immediately resigned,
though Angela and Chief Judd Crawford refused to back down. So presumably part of the reason for the masks
is to protect the officers and their families. But certain officers apparently get special
designation and rise above the yellow-masked rank and file. There’s Angela, aka Sister Knight, Looking
Glass, the Red Scare, Pirate Jenny, and Panda. At least one character from HBO’s Watchmen
also appeared in the graphic novel: Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias. In the first episode, Veidt enjoys himself
on a vast, idyllic castle property that he appears to share with two beloved servants. They serve him a cake with a single candle
and gift him with an old pocket watch. He tells them he’s written a play he wants
the pair to star in called The Watchmaker’s Son. This is a little strange already, because
you’d think in his waning years, the man who believes he saved the world would want to
write about himself. But if you know Watchmen, then you know the
Watchmaker’s son can only be Doctor Manhattan. Things get a lot weirder in the second episode. We learn who we thought were Veidt’s only
servants are part of a series of identical clones. Veidt watches a rehearsal of his play, which
climaxes with the accident that turns Jon Osterman into Doctor Manhattan, including
pyrotechnics that kill the actor playing him. “Three, two, one.” No one seems particularly upset with this,
and Veidt directs his clones to put the dead actor in the basement with the others. What’s not as dramatic but still noteworthy
is that his servants bring him another cake, but this time with two candles. Assuming these events happen concurrent to
what’s going on in Tulsa, we know a year hasn’t passed, which suggests the cake isn’t a birthday
cake after all, but something else. The image of the watch recurs over and over
again in the Watchmen graphic novel. Each chapter ends with a ticking clock. The fourth chapter, “Watchmaker,” goes back
and forth in time through the lens of Doctor Manhattan’s non-linear point of view. The symbol on Doctor Manhattan’s forehead
looks something like a watch face, though it’s meant to be an atom, as does the blood-splattered
smiley face that’s become so iconic in reference to Watchmen. HBO’s Watchmen continues this tradition, in
images and sounds. There’s, of course, the foreboding “tick tock”
chant of the Rorschach-inspired Seventh Kavalry. “Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock,
tick tock, tick tock, tick tock…” When the Tulsa PD raids a Cavalry safehouse,
we learn the group is using old lithium batteries from watches to build some kind of weapon. And there’s the pocket watch Adrian Veidt’s
servants give to him as a present, along with the name of his play, The Watchmaker’s Son. What does it all mean? On one hand, just as in the graphic novel,
the watches serve as a countdown to something cataclysmic. This is also likely the reason why the candles
on Veidt’s cakes increase by one each episode. On the other hand, Watchmen has always been
very concerned with time and how we perceive it, so the watches are a constant reminder
of our strange relationship with time. HBO’s Watchmen hasn’t forgotten its roots,
and the evidence is everywhere. There are plenty of callbacks to the graphic
novel, including technological advances clearly inspired by the heroes of the source material. In the first episode, after some of the Kavalry
members try to escape with their homemade bomb in a small plane, Judd and Pirate Jenny
follow in what appears to be the Owlship from the comic. In the second episode, we see someone in a
winged get-up inspired by the Watchmen hero Mothman. He falls out of the sky while the police are
investigating the crime scene where Judd was hanged, and the Red Scare beats the winged
interloper for his trouble. Apparently in the world of Watchmen, Mothman
technology is their version of drones. There’s also a “historical” show about the
Minutemen called American Hero. By the second episode, we get an entire bloody,
brutal scene involving Hooded Justice and a group of robbers. The hero was only seen in flashbacks in the
Watchmen graphic novel, and he’s a perfect addition here. Considering his hood, the noose imagery, Judd’s
death, and his seeming secret KKK past, there’s something disturbingly poignant about Hooded
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65 thoughts on “The Untold Truth Of Watchmen

  1. "The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking… The solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."

    — Albert Einstein 🕙 (Watchmen)

  2. Good show but what makes it work for me is how it connects to the original comic. Outside of Looking Glass, I'm not too interested in the new characters.

  3. One big problem that has been around for a long time is the simple fact that a lot of people just didn't get the core premise of the book. Watchmen isn't praising superheroes it's condemning them! As a concept!

  4. There are alot of bullshit claims made these days concerning race but what happened in Tulsa was no joke and should never be forgotten

  5. I'm very disappointed I taught it would haved been about the Comic Book, not about racism although racism is a serious matter.

  6. The show actually completely abandons the storyline and the characters, and the point, of the comics. It should not be called watchman. It should be called strong black woman. The show is full of sjw propaganda and antiwhite viewpoints. This show is not interesting and is just another example of something that was once good product, but is now ruined by liberal hatred and insanity.

  7. I saw the entire first episode by accident. My flight was delayed, and I went to eat something at an airport reataurant to pass the time.
    That show is awful!

  8. As long as people r being lied to they're happy. The moment they get hit with truth cognitive dissonance kicks in. The first 5 minutes of the 1st episode I'm sure had alot of people shaking in their boots.

  9. Of course you posted this AFTER episode 5, in which it's shown the Veidt DID creat the giant squid, and proved his intentions were to save yadda yadda….so… this vid is already out dated.
    The masked men and women ARE the cops, and they are still illegal as they are arrested in almost every episode, even set up to be arrested.

  10. Looper manages to quote Moore on "Rohrschach" not bein fascist, yet fails to mention that is the premise of the new series.

  11. Like domino effect, this show tells a story with grand brushstrokes in the same world of Watchmen. And how what happened in graphic novel has affected the entire world, which it should, and world's already existing issues like beliefs of right and left, racism, manipulation in the name of protection, shrouding common people with lies through means of power (those who can). And this is what graphic novel did, back then. Watching the representation of politics and life through flawed characters.

  12. Hooded justice….
    Killed his lover and the 2 lesbian heros from the minutemen.

    It happens in
    Comics the Minutemen
    Before Watchmen series.

  13. Loving it at the moment. Love how every episode is adding new questions and even the better news is that it's been planned for a single series so we'll hopefully be getting all the answers in the next 5 episodes

  14. This sounds like it was written by someone who read a summary of episode one and two, we’re on 5 now and this video contains blatant falsehoods and inaccuracies or theories that have been proven wrong by the show by now.

  15. If I hadn't completely lost interest after seeing the trailers, hearing the premise would have done it. I feel bad for Don Johnson slumming it.

  16. There's no untold truth Looper. Everyone knows it sucks. Those that like it will always point out acting, effects, and cinematography first.

  17. At first I thought this series was horrible but it’s gotten extremely good. Lindelolf did the same thing with The Leftovers. Another show that had a poor first season but turned into one of the greatest shows I’d ever seen

  18. I have a question when did y'all make this video? We literally 5 episodes in and y'all talking about questions that have already been answered now we got new questions. And the damn birthday cake marked how many days Adrian was in containment on a moon on Jupiter we getting to find out who put him there now and that same episode they did an entire flashback on the Interdimensional Spuid hitting New York. Catch up guys..

  19. So far I like it a lot. It's a very intense show that's telling an edgy story while blending historical events with modern issues. The biggest knock I would have on it are the significant changes from key elements in the source material but that could be seen as a "plus" from another perspective.

    Anyone who celebrated the "originality" or "freshness" of the movie Joker is being a hypocrite if they knock this show for the same thing.

  20. Remember when Watchmen was about NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION OF THE ENTIRE POPULATION that affects everyone? Gee, I wonder how they're going to top that and what the central tension of the HBO series will be about…oh, seriously? They went with chasing woke points?

  21. Read the graphic novel when it first came out back in the '80s. Saw the movie several times too. Loved them both even though the movie took some liberties, it was still pretty good. But the main reason I want to see this series is that so many people are triggered by it

  22. In the tv show, they are living in Veidt /Redforf's perfect world. Humanity has generally united and patched up strife, based on a lie. Powerful keep lying to keep the peace. The cavalry are a fringe group in one city and the white night was a shock. Larger forces and Senator K are manipulating them – foot soldiers- to make his own world. Some portal plan (time travel?).
    Masked law enforcement, masked vigilante, blunt force, blurred lines. Who will find the truth, will they have the integrity to do something with it?

  23. Watchmen movie – Rorschach: Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.

    Black chick in the first episode: I smell bleach.

  24. so what was the untold truth abt watchmen again??? bcz that just sounded like what the watchmen is actually about and everyone knows it where everything you mention is not untold, secret or hidden between the lines, its everything thats already clearly told very well known even printed when you read the comics right there in black and white or when you see the film/tv show! what are you going on about? your videos headings making no sense!

  25. I wish Rorschach came back from the dead to take down the cavalry. Yea he’s got conservative views but he would never be ok with killing innocent people. This show is a disgrace to Rorschach’s legacy I refuse to continue watch this awful show.

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