Superheroes have been in season for years now. And we, for one, can’t get enough of it. And if you’re like us and are looking for your next superhero fix after the Nolan’s Batman or the latest Joker, you need to check out HBO’s new series — Watchmen.
This amazing series is based on the award winning, classic, DC graphic novel from 1986-87 and is set in a world where all superheroes are outlawed and considered dangerous. After the 2009 film of the same name, the cult following of Watchmen has only increased. Looking forward to this new series? Here are a few things that you NEED to know before you start watching Watchmen.
1. It’s based on a classic graphic novel.
The original graphic novel, from the house of DC, is considered one of the best comic series ever made. It was even named in Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest Novels of All Time list. Watchmen took the concept of the superhero and brought it closer to real life. It spoke about superheroes not as infallible, larger than life characters, but as real human beings with real problems and real failings.
2. Meet the Watchmen.
Although they are never referred to as watchmen, there are 6 main characters in the universe, who used to be a part of a vigilante group called the Crimebusters. Edward Blake, better known as the Comedian, is a Vietnam vet and mass murderer whose death is the inciting incident of the story. Walter Kovacs a.k.a Rorschach is a vigilante who just wants to find out the truth. Laurie Jupiter, or Silk Spectre, is a vocal feminist and humanitarian. Doctor Manhattan is the only one who actually has superpowers. Daniel Dreiberg, who took on the title of Nite Owl, is the guy you might’ve mistaken for Batman for a second. And finally we have Ozymandias who is the supremely interesting anti-hero from the graphic novel. The name Watchmen comes from the Latin phrase Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, which literally translates to “Who will guard the guards themselves,” the modern version of which has become “Who watches the watchmen?”
3. The original story is set in an alternate universe where the US won the Vietnam War and Nixon became President for life
Set against the backdrop of the US and Soviet Union on the brink of Nuclear War, the story begins with the murder of the Comedian. And Rorschach decides to take the responsibility of uncovering the truth. In doing so, he gets his old friends together and we get glimpses into their past lives (some of these truths can be really uncomfortable). And (SPOILER ALERT) when they eventually get to the bottom of the mystery, they find that the Comedian was killed by one of their own — Ozymandias, who then releases a giant squid onto Manhattan to simulate an alien attack. The idea is that if the governments of the world think they’re being attacked by an invading force, they will leave going to war with each other. Ozymandias achieves his idealistic goal for world peace; but at a heavy cost, becoming the true anti-hero of the story.
4. So, what’s in the new HBO show?
After Watchmen was published, it changed the way superhero comics were seen by everyone. And its bleak themes and dark stories have inspired the way we look at superheroes today. It’s based on superheroes who are more human than hero, dealing with real world issues in an alternate universe. The issues that the original graphic novel dealt with, seem as relevant now as they were then, which makes the story world feel more gritty and real. Check out this video about Watchmen’s legacy.
The new HBO series is made by the same people who made ‘Lost’. It follows the original story to an alternate universe 30 years later, where vigilantes are outlawed. And it maintains the dark & gritty tonality of the original graphic novel. The new series boasts of a stellar cast like Jeremy Irons (maybe as Ozymandias) and Regina King (as Sister Night). We’ve even seen glimpses of Silk Spectre and Dr Manhattan across the teasers and trailers. And while we don’t really know where they’re going to take the story, but if the teasers are anything to go by, it looks like a power packed thriller.
The new Watchmen series is going to premiere on HBO. But Indian fans, don’t despair, Hotstar Premium has you covered. Catch the Watchmen on Hotstar Premium from 21st October onwards. And don’t forget to sign up for Hotstar Premium if you don’t want to miss out on any of your favourite shows!