HBO’s Watchmen Comic-Con Trailer Offers Many Details About Series

author img
BY September 4, 2019

Some months ago, we got a teaser trailer offering the first look at Damon Lindelof’s adaptation, or continuation, of Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore’s genre-changing graphic novel. Now, HBO’s Watchmen Comic-Con trailer, dropped for the gathering despite no panel on the schedule, provides us some real concrete details about the world of this series. Where the Watchmen teaser left us with only questions, the Comic-Con trailer provides some answers or, at least, details about the story the series will try to tell. HBO’s Watchmen series, from what’s revealed in the Comic-Con trailer, will not be the typical superhero story. In fact, this story seems like it will touch on themes very relevant to the real-world’s problems with civil outrage and the accountability of people who work for public institutions.

“Who Doesn’t Want a Secret Identity?”

Don Johnson plays a character whose name we don’t yet know, but his role is a little clearer after seeing the Watchmen Comic-Con trailer. We hear his monologue over scenes of a masked vigilante group breaking into Angela Abraham’s (played by the inimitable Regina King) home. This appears to be a speech given at the funeral we see briefly in this trailer and HBO’s teaser trailer. This finally explains the yellow facemasks the police seem to wear in the show. The masked vigilante group, obviously inspired by the late Rorshach’s journal published at the end of the original Watchmen story, targeted police. So, in order to protect police officers, they now get to hide their identity. This parallels the increasing problem civil liberties groups encounter in the real-world when trying to hold peace officers accountable for suspected wrongdoing.

Silk Spectre, Agent of the FBI

Another huge revelation in HBO’s Watchmen Comic-Con trailer is the reveal of a familiar character to fans of the graphic novel. Jean Smart introduces herself to The Abrahams after the funeral as an agent of the FBI named Laurie Blake. In the graphic novel, the second Silk Spectre is Laurie Juspeczyk who learns that her father was actually Eddie Blake, the Comedian. It appears in the HBO series she’s ditched her costume and adopted her father’s last name. She also makes a sly comment about not being able to tell the difference between a masked vigilante and a masked police officer. We see her working with Abraham, dressed in her costume, as well as other masked figures, like Tim Blake Nelson’s Looking Glass and Andrew Howard’s Red Scare. But she also appears to take a shot at a masked vigilante in a bank, who we guess is Damon Vance’s Mothman.

Inside Archimedes, the Owlship

In HBO’s first Watchmen trailer, there were few signs of connectivity between the original story and the new series. One thing we all recognized, however, was the familiar Owlship used by Nite Owl flying around a battle happening near what we think is Don Johnson’s farm. The Watchmen Comic-Con trailer shows us what’s happening inside of it, and it appears that the cowboy-hat-wearing Johnson is piloting. This makes us wonder if Johnson isn’t playing Dan Dreiberg, though his southern accent wouldn’t seem to fit with that character. Perhaps, he’s just a Nite Owl enthusiast, who got his hands on the ship. We also see the ship use its signature flame-thrower to take out a drone, to which Abraham’s replies enthusiastically, “Oh shit!”

OG Watchmen Back in Action Including Doctor Manhattan!

Laurie Blake is not the only original characters from the graphic novel back in action. We already knew that Jeremy Irons would play an older Adrian Veidt, Ozymandias, living in exile after his attack on New York that ended the graphic novel. (This ending is different from the film, and Lindelof said he envisions this series as a sequel to the graphic novel.) Yet, thanks to the publication of Rorshach’s journal, it appears that Veidt is wanted (at least for questioning) and inspired the masked vigilante gang known as “The Kavalry.” We see a headline saying Veidt is presumed dead, but we also see him celebrating a birthday and, presumably, blowing up some buildings from the comfort of his living room. Yet, he’s not the only one. We meet Lou Gossett Jr.’s mysterious character who warns of a “vast, insidious conspiracy” and then jokes he’s Doctor Manhattan.

Doctor Manhattan is the only technically “super” character in the Watchmen universe, the rest are just regular humans in costumes. Abrahams replies to Gossett that Manhattan lives on Mars, which we see a far-off shot of in the trailer. Yet, the structure the glowing-blue Manhattan stand next to, crumbles into dust. But, at the end of the trailer, we see a man in a suit walking through a veritable sea of destruction. He then picks up a blue Doctor Manhattan mask and his skin is the same color. It’s definitely Doctor Manhattan, but is he coming to Earth? We first thought this might a flashback to the “psychic attack” that ended the original story. This could still be part of a flashback, but the inclusion of Doctor Manhattan in the series would be fantastic.

HBO’s Watchmen Comic-Con Trailer Shows This Series Could Be GREAT

Throughout the history of the Watchmen, fans are very protective of this story. So much so that Lindelof took to Instagram with a lengthy open letter to fans basically promising not to screw it up. While we live in an age of angry fandom, some backlash will be inevitable. Yet, from what we see in HBO’s Watchmen Comic-Con trailer, this series has the potential to do exactly what the graphic novel did, at least in terms of theme. Most of us remember that The Watchmen served as the first deconstructionist look at superheroes. Yet, Moore and Gibbons also made it about the politics of the Silver and Bronze Ages as well. Nixon, the Cold War, and growing authoritarian action all underscored the superhero critique. This series seems poised to do the same thing with modern-day politics and deconstruct popular genres in today’s entertainment.

There is the “inspired by true events” show American Hero Story which we see in the Watchmen Comic-Con trailer opening, featuring Hooded Justice. Fans know the real story, so it will be interesting to see the story the citizens of the Watchmen world are getting. Also, police dramas are huge on both network and cable television, where things like civil rights are often presented as impediments to the hero’s work. Knowing Lindelof and from what we see in the trailer, it seems this is a theme under examination as well. HBO’s series are known to push limits, and Lindelof’s last project The Leftovers showed he could blend high-concept sci-fi with deeply personal themes. Can literary lightning strike twice?

Featured image via screengrab

TV Shows

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

Leave a comment


TV Shows
Recap: Game of Thrones Season Premiere Takes Its Time Getting to the Action

After 20 long months, fans got to see the Game of Thrones season premiere. Read all about what happened, and what it can mean for the future!

BY Joshua M. Patton April 15, 2019
MarvelTV Shows
Marvel’s Runaways Season Three Teaser Shows The Team in Dire Straits

Marvel’s Runaways season three teaser dropped this week, and the clip raises a lot of questions about what’s ahead for theses super-teens.

BY Joshua M. Patton July 28, 2019
TV Shows
Good Omens: So Good, People Want it Off “Netflix”

So, I just finished watching Good Omens on Amazon and was about to sit down and write a review for the series, and we’ll get to that, but first, this little bit of news from the Guardian: More than 20,000 Christians have signed a petition calling for the cancellation of Good Omens, the television series […]

BY Roman Colombo June 21, 2019
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition is Jam Packed with Content

There’s nothing like a good redemption story. We see it all the time in comic books. A villain suddenly sees the error of their ways, turns good, and we love them for it. We don’t see it as much with video games, and no, I don’t mean characters. If a game is cast aside as […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 4, 2019
Super Mario Maker 2 Update – What’s New?

When it comes to popular Nintendo Switch games, Super Mario Maker 2 has been huge. The game is still seeing a ton of players daily, months after its release. The developers at Nintendo working on the game are ready to send more content to the game as well. In an update coming on December 5th, […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 2, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure Shortage in Japan Sparks Apology from Nintendo

It seemed a little like a joke at first, but Ring Fit Adventure is a hit. The Nintendo published fitness game for the Switch is huge all over the world. Of course, Japan took to the game quite fondly. Even here in the United States, people are really into this game. Essentially, you track movements and […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 1, 2019
RuneScape Glitch Almost Destroyed the In-Game Economy

RuneScape is a historic MMORPG with a fervent player base to this very day. For nearly 18 years, the game has brought 200 million accounts into its fantasy world. For a lot of people, a few hours on RuneScape is a part of the normal daily routine. There is a new version of the game, […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 27, 2019


Rene Auberjonois Has Died at 79: Beloved Character Actor Played Hundreds of Roles

Rene Auberjonois, a character actor who appeared in so many things I couldn’t sum them up in one headline, has died at the age of 79. Whether you knew him from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, his voice work, or works even older than that, there’s a good chance that he has touched your life. […]

BY Salomé Gonstad December 9, 2019
Kevin Feige Shows Eternals Footage at CCXP and Says the Film Will Redefine the MCU

The Brazilian comic-con, known as CCXP, is one that rivals the San Diego Comic-Con in terms of scope and fan passion. So, when Marvel announced its presence there, fans knew they were in for something special. What they got was Kevin Feige and some footage from Eternals exclusive to CCXP. We don’t have a clip […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 9, 2019
Watchmen on HBO Dedicated Penultimate Episode to Dr. Manhattan to Tell It’s Most LOST-Like Story Yet

One of the key hallmarks of Damon Lindelof’s breakout show LOST was the non-linear narrative featured in many of the episodes. Divided into “present-day” stories and “flashbacks,” these disparate narratives combined to tell a story that couldn’t be told without them both. In the first episode of Watchmen on HBO to feature Dr. Manhattan, the […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 9, 2019
Crisis On Infinite Earths Hour 1 Review: A Whirlwind of End of the World Action

The opening moments of Hour 1 of CW’s Crisis On Infinite Earths featured a handful of amazing cameos and a short explanation of what the multiverse is. We saw Robert Wuhl on Earth-89, where Tim Burton’s Batman is still kicking ass, apparently. There are short glimpses of the cast of Titans, though it’s likely recycled […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 8, 2019