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HBO’s Watchmen SDCC 2019 trailer reveals Doctor Manhattan’s place in the world

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Damon Lindelof’s adaptation embraces a twisted, political future

Watchmen is arguably HBO’s biggest ticket release of 2019, but until now, little has been known about the series itself. The newest trailer from San Diego Comic-Con 2019 sheds some light on the television series inspired by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal work.

The three-minute spot features a slew of imagery and nods to the original comic: There’s a militaristic cult sporting Rorschach-esque masks, a police force in Silk Spectre’s characteristic black and yellow color scheme, and, of course, the temporal/existential anxiety pervasive throughout the original comic manifested in the form of a ticking clock. The final shot reveals Doctor Manhattan, back from Mars, presumably wondering what the hell is up.

The series is set in the contemporary era — just like the 1985 comic was — and shifts the focus away from the original cast of vigilantes like Night Owl or Silk Spectre (although an aging Ozymandias is present). There was initially some controversy over its existence — Alan Moore wishes the work to remain free of adaptation — but showrunner Damon Lindelof defended the decision, saying that he felt felt “compelled despite the inevitable pushback and hatred.” HBO isn’t the only corporation to back a continuation of the Watchmen story. DC Comics created their own sequel in Doomsday Clock, and you can learn more about it in our two-part video series on Watchmen.

HBO’s Watchmen will premiere this October.