'Watchmen' is already here and has become one of the series that I will most expect week after week. A great adaptation by Damon Lindelof whose love for the original comic is clearly seen with a fairly solid first episode which puts us thirty years after what happened in the work of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
Although the series is designed so that it can be seen by someone who has not read anything from 'Watchmen', as we might expect those who have read it we have been able to detect big winks and easter eggs from the original comic that add value (and in many cases it gives us a clue about the future) to the series.
By the way, if you have not seen 'It's summer and we're running out of ice'(phrase taken from the musical Oklahoma), refrain from continuing reading.
The successors of Rorschach
After the prologue set in 1921, we have the first appearance of the Rorschach mask worn by a member of 7K (or Seventh of Kaballería), who are successors of the ultraconservative and ultraviolent hero and who return to the light after three years since the infamous White Night: a coordinated attack throughout the city with policemen as a target.
During the video it is clearly cited the famous lines of the Rorschach diary. At the end of the comic, the newspaper ends in the writing of the ultraconservative pamphlet / newspaper 'The News Frontiersman', revealing Veidt's role in the alien invasion. The 7Ks are "truth" seekers, of which the "progres" media does not count.
By the way, the name can also be a veiled reference to some statements from Veidt to the NOVA Express, where he says that the society of the twentieth century is imagined as a race: in one lane are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and in the other the Seventh cavalry.
Dr. Manhattan on Mars
After having left, the galaxy, in the first episode of 'Watchmen' we see on a television the news that Dr. Manhattan has returned to Mars, where we see him try to build a structure. If you look, build and tear down a kind of castle similar to that inhabited by the not-so-mysterious "Lord."
Robert Redford, president of the USA
Adrian Veidt's plan to achieve world peace went through the election of Robert Redford as president of the United States in 1992. If we do the accounts, he has been the man "most powerful in the world" a quarter of a century long, beating Richard Nixon by more than five years (which, in this universe, would have been president from 1968 until, at least, 1985, it is not very well appreciated in the poster).
As of 1985 we do not know very well what has happened. We know that during the events of 'Watchmen' the president was going to undergo a third heart operation and in the series Gerald Ford (vice president at the time) is appointed as president between him and Redford. If he replaced Nixon after his death in the operation or if he waited for the 1988 elections, it is a mystery.
There is another note and is that, at the end of the comic, there is a newspaper that asks if "RR will stand for election in '88". Something that the Frontiersmen editor disdained for being a cowboy movie actor (Ronald Reagan had no political career in this universe, by the way).
In any case, Robert Redford performed throughout his successive mandates a series of compensation policies for the African-American population for all the grievances of the past. Aids that are called "Redfordations" by the rivals of this and the white supremacists.
Vietnam, US state 51
If you have seen the translated version, at least the subtitled in Spanish, you may have missed this detail since they have translated "state" as "independent" instead of "state" when talking about Vietnam as Angela Abar's birthplace ( King) We are in a world in which the US won its greatest military disaster. Well, more specifically was the Dr. Manhattan who won the Vietnam War.
Since then it has been a territory controlled by the Americans and in October 1985, when the bulk of the comic 'Watchmen' occurs, becomes state 51.
In Zack Snyder's film they did not dare to do, among other things, what they did Moore and Gibbons releasing an allegedly interdimensional giant alien squid (something quite lovecraftian if we get to see Moore's great influences) in New York, killing half the population of the city.
In the series it happened (and in fact this traumatic event is explored in one of the next episodes) and one of the consequences seems to be that it rains on the world occasionally squids little ones, with disgust and the risk that that entails.
American hero story
More than a nod to the comic, It is a small exercise of metatelevision: the series within the series. As in the comic Alan Moore offered us different glances at the time of the Minutemen (the first generation of superheroes in this universe), Lindelof offers us a vision (clearly fictioned) of these heroes through a television series that makes A nod to the famous Ryan Murphy franchise.
Not only that, but the promotion of the series speaks of the biggest television event of the millennium. Could it be that we meet the 'Defenders' (for being television) of the Watchmen universe? That is, is it a season of a series that has already presented the different heroes of that generation?
Who custodiet ipsos custodes?
Of course, another thing that had to come out in 'Watchmen' is Juvenal's famous speech normally translated (at least for comic purposes) as "Who watches over the watchers?".
This time pronounced as a war cry by the Tulsa police. We are in a world that, remember, banned vigilantism through Keene's law in 1977. Here we find one of the themes of the series: to what extent is it justified for the police to act as masked vigilantes?
'Under the hood' and the shadow of Night Owl
On the desk of Chief Crawford (Don Johnson) we can see a copy of 'Under the hood', the "revolutionary" memories of Hollis Mason, the Night Owl of the Minutemen. A book in which he specified the darkest details of this first generation of heroes.
We can also see a certain fondness for the character and his legacy. We see the boss drinking from an owl-shaped cup and in the assault on the 7K farm we see him aboard a police replica of the night owl ship.
The nod to Dollar Bill
Speaking of the assault on the farm. There you can see an old National Bank ad (somewhat racist, by the way) starring Dollar bill, the corporate / Hollywood hero member of the Minutemen.
Yellow and violet …
The use of color is very important for Damon Lindelof and his team. We have the yellow "Watchmen" omnipresent: the masks of the police, the headlights … everything has this color. But there is more: the main clue that the Lord of the castle played by Jeremy Irons is none other than the one officially declared dead (as we read in the newspaper) Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias, It is in the colors of their costumes and cake that his disturbing servants prepare for him.
… purple and red
It is not the only clue given to us through the colors of a suit. The one with the mysterious old man in a wheelchair reminds a lot of masked Justice, the missing Minutemen that we can see in American Hero Story promotional posters. The fact that it also holds a rope makes the reference even more evident.
The watchmaker's son
Another of the great reasons for 'Watchmen' is the use of the clock and time Towards the hecatomb. The 7K begin to recite an TIC TAC TIC TAC to say that time is running out; In addition, we see them remove batteries to watches. One of Veidt's servants also gives him a pocket watch very similar to the one we can see in the comic for his anniversary.
We also see how Veidt draws his dramaturgical side and announces that he is writing a five-act play entitled 'The Watchmaker's Son', a very direct reference to Jon Osterman, the civil identity of Dr. Manhattan, who was the son of a watchmaker. Does it have to do something with the place where Veidt is?
The last wink of the episode is, in fact, the most obvious and essential in the sense that it cannot be missed. The drop of blood splashing the plate of the Chief of Police of Tulsa It is the modern version of the Comedian's blood in the famous smiley.
No credits for Alan Moore
The last thing we could talk about the first episode is of How does the series accredit the original work? with a "Based on characters co-created for DC by Dave Gibbons"that draws attention for the absence of the other co-creator, Alan Moore. An absence that is not surprising at all because of the zeal of the Englishman with his creations and his works and his refusal for anyone to touch 'Watchmen'.
My opinion on this is that it is one of the great Cabezonerías and lost battles by the bard comiquero… as if I hadn't been working for DC for years and knowing what that meant about copyright. A core that, on the other hand, explain quite well in Xataka.