was created by Alan Moore
, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins in the mid-1980s. Both commercially and critically successful, it is considered to have been a critical factor in The Dark Age of Comic Books
Then, in 1989, an animated series was released by Happy Harry Cartoons
. Running one season of 13 episodes, it was considerably Lighter and Softer
so as to appeal to the target demographic. It was mostly forgotten until the Theme Tune Roll Call
was uploaded to Youtube
in 2009; the song became a viral video, and the series became a Cult Classic
, primarily due to the series being by and large So Bad, It's Good
with the occasional surprisingly well-written moment.
This series provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: When Moloch gets scared, he starts stuttering like Max Headroom.
- Adaptation Decay: Severely. Almost all the characters are nothing like their original selves.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Rorschach began doing this occasionally starting around episode 8.
- Cool Airship: The Owlship, never called Archie in the series.
- Cowardly Lion: Bubastis is shown to have some hidden superpowers, but is nevertheless a coward.
- Dirty Communists: "The Reds", dastardly so.
- Disneyfication: Of many family-unfriendly aspects of the original story. How does one adapt Laurie's sex scene with Doc Manhattan into a Saturday Morning cartoon? Make a scene of Laurie reading a bedtime story to Manhattan clones!
- Five-Man Band
- Heroes Love Dogs: Rorschach, with his beloved german shepherds, Fred and Barney.
- Historical In-Joke: When the Comedian discovers that Hooded Justice was working for J. Edgar Hoover; he is aghast and asks Hoover how he even knew Hooded Justice. "We met at the Y."
- Lighter and Softer
- Never Say "Die": Surprisingly averted.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Bubastis to Ozy. The writers have stated that Nite Owl was originally planned to have a talking owl, as well, but this was scrapped.
- The Obi-Wan: Nite Owl's friend Hollis Mason, who in a famous twist was revealed to be the original Nite Owl.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Rorschach.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Silk Spectre's relationship with the Comedian. With more emphasis on the "slap" aspect.
- Thememobile: Jonmobile - the car form of Doctor Manhattan.
- Those Two Guys: Nite Owl and Rorschach.
- The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: Even the most jaded critic has to admit that "The Last Testament of Hooded Justice" is a great episode.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Pizza for the Watchmen, Buby Snacks for Bubastis.
- Viewer Gender Confusion: Just what the hell is Bubastis anyway?
- Whole Plot Reference: "Tuesdays With Moloch" is Apt Pupil with a super-villain instead of a Nazi.