HBO's first Watchmen trailer reveals much less than it masks, quite literally: it begins with a character in a Rorschach mask saying, "We are no one, we are everyone, we are invisible." Even after this teaser, we still don't know a lot about what's happening in the new series created by Damon Lindelof.
From what little we see, alongside the promised soundtrack courtesy of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and HBO's desire for the series to replace Game of Thrones in the ratings department, we can tell that dark times are ahead in this serial adaptation of the DC comic.
10 It's A Sequel
Ever since rumors of a new Watchmen series have circulated the Internet, fans have wondered whether or not it will be a prequel, sequel or a complete reboot of what we've previously seen in the film. After witnessing the trailer, we know it's going to be a sequel.
Not only are the characters we know older or gone, but there are homages to them in a more modern time. In fact, while the actual sequel to the original graphic novel begins in 1992, this one looks like it's in present day. Damon Lindelof previously stated that there are no plans to "adapt" the original 12 issues of canonical material, which he claims are sacred, but to issue a remix instead. Perhaps the time period has something to do with that.
9 Rorschach Has Fanboys
An army of Rorschach-masked individuals reminiscent of Anonymous seem to be at the heart of this trailer, and at first glance they may be the villains of the series. Of course, this is Watchmen, and it's going to have a much darker tone than that: it's more likely that they are taking up arms against a corrupt police force in the series since superheroes are typically outlaws in this world.
The opening remarks that one of the masked individuals says during the opening of the trailer deliver a chill, but the warning that they are everyone, and that they are invisible, is a reminder that anyone is capable of anything in this universe.
8 The Police Also Wear Masks
Although we witness masked individuals appearing to enter conflict with the police, we also see police officers wearing masks in the trailer. What this means, we don't yet know, but it could be a way for the cops to either unite against the vigilantes together, or even to mask themselves to remain unidentified during acts of corruption.
In fact, the one person who specifically appears to don a mask, as well as a badge, is Regina King, who is prominently featured in the trailer and promotional materials with her face mostly covered. If she's going to be the new Rorschach, that's very exciting news. With the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and three Primetime Emmy Awards winner starring, HBO may just get the ratings they're hoping for. For now, we only know her character's name is Angela Abar.
7 There Are Pirates And Castles
Make no mistake, this series takes place after the events of the film, which was based on the graphic novel of the Watchmen. So why are there castles and pirates in the trailer? The flag surely alludes to the Tales from the Black Freighter, a fictional comic book series that a child in the graphic novel reads.
Tales from the Black Freighter is about a man whose ship is attacked by the Black Freighter, and how he tries to warn everyone that it's coming. This may work as a parallel to what's happening during the events of the show, or it may work to fill some space since 10 episodes have been made. Oftentimes filler is fantastic, though--just look at the backstories of the gods featured in Starz's American Gods to see how well that can work out.
6 Ozymandias Returns
Jeremey Irons is set to return to Ozymandias, so it appears as if he may have gotten away with his crimes against humanity so far. The weird thing is that in the trailer, we see him behave a little more like a different fellow Watchman.
Meditating in his study, Ozymandias looks much more like Doctor Manhattan, in the character's trademark meditative pose. What kind of clue is this? While we don't know if this means Manhattan is returning, Ozymandias is channeling his energy somehow or, as some fans are theorizing, he's creating an entirely new Doctor Manhattan, we are sure that it's a delicious teaser that provides plenty of food for thought.
5 The Owlship May Crash
While Nite Owl is not listed as a returning character or named as any of the cast members, there's definitely a flash in the trailer that looks like the Owlship crashing, which would be canon with the 2017 comic sequel, Doomsday Clock. Several moments in the trailer appear canonical to that work so it's possible that there are many more spoilers than we think.
Fans point out that Nite Owl would be an old man at this point, but that doesn't mean that there's no possibility of a new Nite Owl taking his place. In fact, passing on a mantle in honor of retirement is a common theme among not just Watchmen but DC heroes in general.
4 Vigilantes May Not Be Good Guys, Either
If the trailer paints the picture of Rorschach-inspired vigilantes staging an uprising against a fascist police state, it still may not depict the masked vigilantes as heroes, either. Between their warning, their church meeting space complete with Psalm 65 and a cross in the background ("Praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Zion") and their hailing of Rorschach himself, whom we knew to be a violent sociopath in the comic, they could mean something terrible. They look like angry, impressionable young men in a chaotic time, which can be dangerous.
Religious zealots? Violent incels? Anything is possible with the modern setting, and whether or not they're actually heroic, it appears that the wrongs of the world certainly weren't all righted with the actions of Ozymandias last time around.
3 It's The End Of The World
...and Don Johnson feels fine, or at least he appears to as he reveals the news. This is a huge motif in the Watchmen series; even if we, too, continue to rapidly propel forward toward our own Doomsday clock, which recently moved two minutes to midnight, this is still set in an alternative history.
Fans familiar with Zach Snyder's previous film know Ozymandias took out thousands of people in order to save the rest of the world in his own corrupted vision of superheroism, and we may be facing a similar situation this time around. So when Johnson's character, who has yet to be named, grins about the end of the world, it very well may be just that.
2 There Is An Amusement Park Massacre
If we can believe our eyes--and trailers can be misleading, so this may not be set in stone--there is going to be an amusement park massacre in this series. There are some pretty messed up scenes that happen in the 2017 comic that could allude to this very scene, but it will likely be different according to the poetic license HBO usually takes with the source material.
Still, witnessing all of those people taken out only reminds us about how it all went down with Ozymandias in the last film on a much greater scale, which bears the question: is this all the damage we'll see? The answer, of course, is probably not.
1 The Doomsday Clock Is Ticking
The ticking of the Doomsday Clock is prominent throughout the trailer, giving it an almost anxiety-inducing feeling similar to the one we get when we turn on the news today. Doomsday Clock is a 12-issue sequel to the Watchmen series.
Written in 2017 by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, it begins seven years after the original series and features a Black Rorschach, which might, in the TV adaptation, be Regina King. There are some great crossovers with the people of Gotham in this arc, including Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor, so if that's what this ticking is alluding to, we could be in for a really cool story.