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The first trailer for HBO’s Watchmen shows off a post-Dr. Manhattan universe

Damon Lindelof’s spin on Alan Moore’s comics looks fascinatingly grim

Arguably the big-ticket item in HBO’s 2019 new slate is Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen, based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel of the same name. Though a few details have come to light — the series will be set in present day and won’t be a direct adaptation of the comic — the show has mostly been shrouded in mystery. The first trailer for the series paints a slightly clearer picture of what the show will be about, though it raises a few more questions, too.

The imagery we associate with the characters of Watchmen seem to have been appropriated by the populace, with Rorschach’s hood being used as by a militaristic cult, and Silk Spectre’s yellow and black color scheme incorporated into police uniforms. The other visual references to the original comics include a focus on clocks — in reference both to the motif of the Doomsday Clock and Dr. Manhattan’s father’s profession as a clock-maker — as well as brief glimpses at the aging Ozymandias (Jeremy Irons) and a pirate flag that recalls the comic within a comic, Tales of the Black Freighter.

Regina King in superhero regalia.
Regina King in superhero regalia.

“We convinced ourselves that they were gone, but they were just hibernating,” says Don Johnson’s Chief Judd, presumably in reference to superheroes, who are treated as outlaws in this series. Indeed, superheroes seem to be back in the game, as we see Angela Abraham (Regina King) suit up. The series’ official Instagram account also posted a first look at King’s character’s complete outfit. Her costume includes her police badge, as well as black paint around her eyes, a mask, and a black hood.

We also get a look at a mysterious figure wearing a reflective mask. Judging by the character’s svelte frame and the choice of voiceover, that’s most likely Tim Blake Nelson as “Looking Glass,” whose character description pegs him as atop interrogator and behavioral scientist,” and possibly “a bit of a sociopath.”

Also notable are glimpses at Panda (Jacob Ming-Trent), a cop literally wearing a panda costume, a walkway built around the top of the Washington Monument, Hong Chau sporting a bowl cut, and a scene of slaughter at a carnival reminiscent of the panels in the comics after the fake alien invasion.

Though there’s still not concrete premiere date, the series is set to debut this fall. In the meanwhile, take a gander at Panda, below.

Panda (Jacob Ming-Trent) in Watchmen.
Can’t miss him.