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FTRS Watches: Watchmen

Let’s talk about a show that’s a sequel to a graphic novel!

San Francisco Premiere of “Watchmen” From HBO Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO

Back in the 1980s, the team of Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins published the original Watchmen comic series, which was later republished as a graphic novel. The graphic novel showed an alternative timeline where superheroes started to appear in the 1940s.

In 2009, Zack Snyder produced his own adaptation of the graphic novel with the theatrical release of Watchmen. Snyder’s film adaptation changed a few things from the graphic novel. Most notably, the ending was changed. Instead of a giant squid falling on New York City (yes, I’m serious), New York City and a few other cities are destroyed by energy blasts thought only to be able to be produced by Dr. Manhattan, who is nearly omnipotent.

And finally this year, we got a sequel the graphic novel. The series takes place 34 years after the events of the graphic novel, and the world is a much different place than we left it.


Ozymandias dropped the squid on New York City in an effort to bring the world together instead of plunging into World War III. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out exactly like he had hoped. Rorschach, one of the other original members, kept a journal of everything and sent it to be published before being obliterated by Dr. Manhattan at the end of the original graphic novel.

Inspired by the writings of Rorschach, a white supremacist group known as the Seventh Kalvary has been raising hell in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where this miniseries takes place.

Throughout the series, we follow Angela Abar, a detective for the Tulsa Police Department. She works here under the chief of police, Judd Crawford. [Styx] hits the fan in the first episode as Angela finds Judd hanging from a tree at the end of the episode. Who is there with him? An old man, later known as Will Reeves, in a wheelchair who freely admits to killing him.

While following the investigation into Judd’s death, the show also shows a few other stories, including following a young Will Reeves, whose parents will killed in a racially charged attack nearly 100 years before the miniseries. We also get more information about a younger Angela Abar at a couple different points in her life, as well as what Ozymandias (aka Adrian Veidt) is up to.

Getting into my actual review of the series, I want to say that I like almost every single thing about this series. The biggest thing I don’t like is the ending of it. The original Watchmen is a satire of superhero stories. The good guys don’t win, but everything presumably works out. Doctor Manhattan leaves Earth knowing that despite knowing how everything will work out, he is cursed not to be able to do anything about it.

At the end of the series, the good guys win. Both the Seventh Kavalry and Lady Trieu are defeated. Though Doctor Manhattan is killed, he passes his powers over to Angela, which I don’t believe makes any sense whatsoever. After receiving his powers, he is never happy, and he always feels like something is missing from his life, even after meeting Angela. It doesn’t make any sense.

Outside of that, I think this is a really great series. It takes a few different stories and weaves them perfectly. I also like how the show explores race relations. The stories of both Adrian Veidt and Will Reeves (once we get his full story about being Hooded Justice) are just incredible.

If this show sounds like something you’d be interested in watching, I would recommend taking the time to read the graphic novel. At the very least, you should take the time to watch the movie and do a little bit of research at the differences between the two. I would definitely recommend the series though with a score of 8 out of 10.