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Courtesy of HBO

November 10, 2019

HBO Reimagines ‘Watchmen’

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HBO has officially entered into the race of superheroes gracing the small screen.

HBO’s new series Watchmen, an adaptation of the D.C. comic and continuation of the 2009 film of the same name, takes a look at a dystopian society filled with masked policemen, raining squid and the darkest take yet on the American hero. In the premiere episode titled “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice,” we end with more questions asked than answers received. Taking place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a time jump from 1921 to 2019, we’re taken through a city of turmoil. The 1921 Tulsa race riot is where the story begins, giving viewers a glimpse of the horrors that occurred and demonstrating how that terrible moment in history will play an even larger role in the episodes to come.

Flash forward to 2019 and we can see that there are racial tensions, along with anti-police sentiment, still at play. As seen by the reemergence of the 7th Kavalry, a white supremacist organization known for their Rorschach mask appearance and for their role in an event known as the “White Night,” where police officers were targeted and killed in their homes, forcing the Tulsa police force to hide their identities and subsequently wear masks as well.

The lead character Detective Angela (Regina King) finds herself thrown into the mix as a retired police officer following the events of the “White Night.” She now owns a bakery in the town of Tulsa but only as a front for her vigilante lifestyle of working as an off the book’s hero/vigilante/detective. That label has yet to be determined, but the hooded black leather and face paint costume choice could provide some choice assumptions. Regardless, Detective Abar looks to be walking into a dark storm on the horizon with the sudden return of the 7th Kavalry.

Elsewhere, the character of Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons) looks to be in as mysterious a storyline as ever.  Living in a castle far away from any of the action occurring in Tulsa, Adrian seems to live a life of solitary asides from his few groundskeepers, maids and butlers who seem to be more on the inhuman side. Judging from his sinister tone and speech on the world being ready for a change, it looks as though Adrian will play a much larger role in the episodes to come.

With only nine officially announced episodes in the season, it looks as though well be in for a rough ride of turmoil in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and possibly on an even larger scale down the line. With mentions of President Robert Redford and the infamous godlike Dr. Manhattan it’s exciting to see where HBO will take their version of Watchmen.

 

Jonathan Klobus is a senior in the College of  Agriculture and Life Sciences. He can be reached at jklobus@cornellsun.com.