Who’s Watching the Watchmen?
Photo: DC Entertainment
Hi Marvelous Movies!
I recently saw the announcement about a Rorschach miniseries coming out sometime this year. I haven’t read the original comics, but I loved the movie and the recent TV show. I was wondering if you guys knew the answer to “Who watches the watchmen?” I mean, it seemed like a pretty central question, but it was never really answered. Or was it?
Raimi Sees, Jr.
Hi, Raimi! Thanks for writing in! Gosh, this is a great question that in true Watchmen fashion has more than one answer!
In the comics (and subsequent adaptations), the answer was that no one was really watching the Watchmen. Sure, costumed vigilantes were outlawed. However, that only served to draw most super-powered beings out of the shadows and into legitimized law enforcement. Super-powered beings became agents of the government, which wasn’t so super for the rest of the world. Other superheroes either hung up the cape or went even further underground. In the end, they either vanished out of sight and out of mind, or they became the government, and Americans have always done a super-excellent job of holding bad government officials to account. As a widely-admired, American politician once said, “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
We are Watching the Watchmen
In the real world, it is increasingly becoming clear that we are the ones watching the Watchmen. The movie was released to universal acclaim and blockbuster success, a first for a DC property. The HBO show had such a powerful impact that it is literally re-writing history books. Nite Owls across the country would stay up late every week to catch the newest episode.
It is, however, becoming increasingly obvious that the people who are not watching the Watchmen work for DC or Warner Bros. Alan Moore’s extremely lucrative miniseries has now spawned a veritable comic book empire that is making Moore and Moore money for DC. Between the movie, the TV show with its original story, the Before Watchmen prequel series, the recent Doomsday Clock pseudo-sequel, and this new Rorschach miniseries, and the Comedian specials, the franchise is getting milked for all its worth. So, while the rest of the world is watching the Watchmen, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are watching their bank accounts and are entranced by the Spectre of future profits.
Hope that answers your question, Raimi! We sure hope that the next time you look on the mighty works of Alan Moore, you don’t do so and despair!