Alan Moore created a story so epic and timeless that a new generation is getting to experience it first hand. So who are these classic characters? Who are the Watchmen?
The man who started it all. With his death came a spiraling out of control trail of betrayals, lies, and some horrifying discoveries. If you’ve read Watchmen, you know this hero is no saint. Murder, rape, cruelty .. you name it and this man has probably done it. So why do we care about him? Because, he’s the first one to figure it all out. A dire plan has been sent in motion and the Comedian was the first one to pull away the veil. In his discovery, he’s faced with his own mortality and the disorder of the universe. Unable to deal with it, he’s sent into a depth of his own destruction which eventually leads to his death. The true culprit can’t have someone who knows what's coming, off running about, losing his mind. Because of that, the Comedian was killed.
We haven’t seen The Comedian in Rebirth so far. We do see his infamous smiley face button. In Batman #21 we see that, not only does this button symbolize the Watchmen, but it also has a kinetic energy around it. Again we find ourselves asking “what does it mean?!?” Will the Comedian emerge from death and grace us with his presences once more? If he does, does that mean history is being re-written before our eyes?
A girl so beautiful she entrances a man beyond care. Because of her, Dr. Manhattan feels a connection to a world he once knew. Her story weaves throughout Watchmen, and in the end she finds herself in a heartbreaking revelation of how she came to be. The man she hated, the man who raped her mother, The Comedian, is her father. A struggle of self-identity and loving a complicated man, brings Silk Spectra to her knees. In a moment of lust, want, and need she betrays her relationship to a God among men. Because of this betrayal she seals the world’s fate.
Silk Spectra was always a humanizing tie to Dr. Manhattan. When that tie was broken all bets were off. Because of her story we know a couple things: Dr. Manhattan is capable of love, or at least capable of caring about another person to an extent. We also know that because of her, Dr. Manhattan decides to go to Mars and may have created some life of his own.
A man beyond definition. One who sees the filth and grime that lies in wait. A guy whose righteousness was the end of him. His death was not in vain, for he had already delivered the truth, and the evil that Ozymandias had sculpted would be known. Easily a fan favorite, you can’t help but care about this broken man. Not as quick as the Comedian to catch on, but valiant all the same. Because of his actions this classic story was left somewhat open-ended and now we get to see the next chapter unfold.
A character whose death came too soon. Betrayed by the man who could have easily stopped everything, but instead stopped caring. Again, we beg the question, how much of this story is going to be rewritten? Honestly, as much as I would love to see Rorschach face splashed in ink once again, I don’t think it’d be fitting. I do hope we finally get to see the repercussions of Rorschach’s final actions as a hero.
Or as we’ve come to know him, Mr. Oz. A manipulative, insane, too smart for his own good man. In a twisted plan of saving the world, Ozymandias decided to play God. In order to save millions, all he had to do is kill thousands. With the world facing a single threat, countries would stop fighting and come together. In 1986 that threat was an alien attack, but in the 2009 cinematic rendition; the threat became Dr. Manhattan himself. He attempted to outsmart everyone, to his distaste the Comedian caught on too quick. So Ozy killed him. Ozy also attempts to kill Dr. Manhattan, which we then learn that the good Dr. is even scarier then we thought. Dr. Manhattan, as far as we know can’t be killed. Ozy is also the one who influenced Manhattan to kill Rorschach. Ozymanidas is the greatest puppet master anyone has ever seen.
We have seen time and time again that the puppet master that is Ozymandias is still very much the same. But what is his motivation? With the Superman Reborn story, we get the feeling that him and Manhattan are not allies. So what are they? The bigger question, for me at least, is did Rorschach’s plan work. Did the world realize what Ozy did to them, and therefore made him a hated outcast, and all his efforts worth nothing? A man with a plan is more dangerous than all the heroes combined. So what is Ozymandias’s plan?
Where to begin? Maybe with his omnipotence? With a thought this man can incinerate you. He knows all, he sees the past, present, and future. He can create, destroy, bend, obliterate anything with a simple contemplation. A man whose only link to our world cheated on him, and left him uncaring, uninterested, and unamused. What is a life to a God? He allows Ozymandias to use him, because it was just the logical thing to do. He can transport to any moment and any place he wishes. He sees you, even if you hide. There’s a reason Batman and Superman are showing fear and desperately trying to prepare for his arrival. If Dr. Manhattan places his gaze upon you, there is no hope, no attempt at winning, there is only death if he so chooses. Rebirth has hinted at this coming since day one. We’ve seen how worlds have shattered as the heroes struggle with their own stories and trying to keep one foot on the ground. A blue light has only grazed the pages and we’ve seen it’s destruction. So what will happen when he shows all of himself. And why in all the universes has he decided to come back?
Ariel DuPey | NCR