Tonight Watchmen premieres on HBO, and fans who are familiar with the movie or the comic may be wondering about two of their favorite characters. Is there any chance that Rorshach or Doctor Manhattan will be back on the TV series? Here’s what we know so far.
This article will have major spoilers for the comics and the movie, along with some minor spoilers for the TV series, so only read on if you’re OK with being spoiled.
Rorshach Died & Won’t Be Returning, But He Has A Lot of Followers
Rorschach died in both the comics and the movie, so he won’t be back on the show, which takes place about 30 years after the comic ended. However, a lot of people are wearing his mask, and one character even has a more modern-looking mask. So it’s understandable why some viewers might be confused.
In the comics and in the movie, Rorshach discovered that Veidt was planning to create a catastrophe and kill millions in New York in order to unite the world against a common enemy and avert the possibility of a nuclear holocaust. The plan was already in motion by the time the heroes discovered it, so Nite Owl, Silk Spectre II, and Doctor Manhattan agreed to keep the truth quiet when the U.S. entered a peace accord with the Soviet Union. But Rorshach could not get on board with that plan and he secretly wrote all the details down in his journal. Doctor Manhattan killed Rorshach (disintegrated him) because he knew that Rorshach would tell the truth and break the peace that had been achieved.
Of course, some fans may be secretly hoping for Rorshach to come back somehow, since Doctor Manhattan is so powerful. But there have been no hints that might happen.
At the end of the comic and movie, Rorshach’s journal was delivered to New Frontiersman, a right-wing newspaper. We’re never told if they published the details of the journal.
In the TV series, a group that call themselves the 7th Cavalry now wear Rorshach’s mask, so it seems like his journal did get out in some way.
Some Think Doctor Manhattan Is in the Trailer
Doctor Manhattan’s character hasn’t been listed on any cast lists for the show, but there’s a chance he could be on the TV series. He’s still alive, according to the trailer, so there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t show up.
The last we saw him in the movie, the world had blamed him for the explosive catastrophe that killed millions, thanks to Veidt’s plan, and he had to flee to Mars. But THAT ending is not canon for the TV show. Instead, the comics’ ending with the giant squid that served as the common enemy of mankind is the ending. So Manhattan was never blamed for that catastrophe. He still left to live alone in the galaxy and find a world “less complicated than this one.”
In the trailer, it looks like he later returns to Mars.
Some believe that the end of the trailer shows Manhattan living among the people.
You can see a blue hand in this clip from the end.
Here’s hoping that means he’s coming back.