Rorschach Watchmen

Watchmen: Who's the Rorschach-looking character in HBO's first tease of the series?

Contributed by
Oct 15, 2018

HBO has launched the official Instagram account for its upcoming adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' influential graphic novel, Watchmen. The account already has one post of an individual wearing a police officer's uniform with a skin-tight yellow mask on their face.

Fans of the comic will no doubt make the comparison between this character and Rorschach, the grizzled, hard-boiled, violent, and noir-inspired detective from Watchmen, who wears a mask with ever-changing inkblot designs etched into the fabric, which lend themselves to his psychologically-related superhero name.

However, aside from the similar-looking mask, the character in the Instagram photo is nothing like Rorschach, who majorly distrusts authority figures like the police and would never wear such an ostentatious mask that would make him instantly recognizable by his enemies in situations that require him to creep around. 

This could be an alternate timeline where Walter Kovacs became a police officer, or maybe it's just a scene where Rorschach has to steal a cop's uniform for something. When Hollis Mason (the first Nite Owl) was a New York City cop in the '30s, he donned a costume under his uniform, so this could very well be a moment from his time spent on the beat. Of course, the yellow fabric could also be edited later in post-production like a green/blue screen. 

All of these presumptions are probably wrong, but anything is possible since the show's creator/showrunner Damon Lindelof has said that this take on the classic comic would be more of a "remix" of the original property than a straight adaptation of it (think Fargo). After all, Zack Snyder practically made a shot-for-shot version in his 2009 film version, so there was no need for another by the book (literally) interpretation. 

Even the logo used for the Instagram profile is a little bit different than the smiley face pin splattered with blood. It's just a black circle (almost akin to Dr. Manhattan's trademark symbol for a hydrogen atom on his forehead) with the blood streak. 

No specific air date has been set for HBO's take on Watchmen, but the series is expected to arrive sometime in 2019. Gibbons, who is actively involved with the project, has described the show as "refreshing and exciting and unexpected."

Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, and Jacob Ming-Trent, Jeremy Irons, Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Sara Vickers and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II are all a part of the cast. 


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