How ‘Watchmen’ Balances Pleasing Comic Book Fans and Newcomers Alike

/Film | 11/16/2019 | Rafael Motamayor
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Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel Watchmen is a dense and complex work. When the HBO adaptation was announced, the biggest question would be how closely it would follow the graphic novel, and whether you needed to read it beforehand. The truth is, you can argue both for and against reading the graphic novel, it just depends on what you want out of Watchmen. This is a show that rewards long-time fans, but which also offers a unique experience for newcomers.

The first episode doesn’t really address the source material that much, except in passing. There’s that weird squid rain, a quick shot of a blue being living on Mars, and a TV show that we occasionally cut to that recounts the story of a group of superheroes. Other than that, we’re pretty much watching a standalone story.

Interview - Esquire - Damon - Lindelof - Creator

In an interview with Esquire, Damon Lindelof, the creator of HBO’s Watchmen, compared watching this adaptation to Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part II, which he saw before the first Godfather. As Lindelof tells it, “If you watch The Godfather 2 first, and you don’t even know that The Godfather exists, you can still totally understand it. That’s because it’s basically Don Corleone’s story with all De Niro’s flashbacks.” Crafting an adaptation of a popular property that welcomes newcomers is no easy task, and it seems like the creators of Watchmen didn’t take it lightly. “You can see our Watchmen before you read the graphic novel, but you might want to go back, you might want to read the graphic novel, because it will give you a deeper and more richer understanding of how all these things are connected, but you don’t need to.”

Indeed, Watchmen offers different experiences depending on how familiar you are with the story. You may argue that you...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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