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Trivia / Watchmen

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  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: According to many people online, one of Rorschach's most iconic quotes is "I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands around it." Except that line of dialogue, or anything remotely similar to it, never appears in any version of the movie or comic. It's a great line and totally in character for Rorschach, but it's not from Watchmen and nobody is quite sure how it came to be connected with the character or the work itself.
    • The quote sounds like a attested quote from the Emperor Caligula: "Would that the Roman people had but one neck!" It may be that the telephone game got into play (and since the sentiment is very Rorschachian, somehow got stuck to the character).
    • An almost identical quote was spoken by serial killer Carl Panzram, saying "I wish that you all had one neck and that I had my hands on it." While it would make complete sense for Alan Moore to have drawn inspiration from Panzram for Rorschach, whether he consciously did so is unknown.
    • The quote can be found on one of the promo posters that was released to advertise the upcoming series. It reads as follows: "You know what I wish? I wish all of the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it." Rorschach (1975).
    • On a similar note, Dr. Manhattan's line "I am tired of Earth, of these people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives" is often misquoted as "I am tired of this world, of these people", probably because the latter sounds more nonspecific and poetic.
  • Newbie Boom: With the announcement of the Watchmen film, people swarmed to read the original graphic novel which swelled the fanbase to massive size. That was until some realized what type of story Alan Moore was telling.
  • Public Medium Ignorance: Watchmen is frequently called a "graphic novel". However, it was originally published from 1986-1987 as a twelve issue standard comic book limited series. But immediately after the end of the limited series, it was compiled into what is more properly called a "trade paperback" (being among the very first comic book limited series to receive this treatment; Batman: The Dark Knight Returns also gets this misconception) and it is in this sole format that Watchmen is still published to this very day.
  • Theater attendance even took a hit when some people found that this film (based on a comic book previously not well known outside of hardcore comic book fandom) that looks like a cool superhero story was mostly deconstructing the medium.
  • Reality Subtext: The sudden surge of superheroes during World War II, decline in the late 40s and 50s, and resurgence in the 60s was meant to reflect the fluctuating popularity of superhero comic books during the 20th century.

    Comic Book 
  • Ascended Fanon: The fate of Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis has been a source of speculation owing to a couple resembling the two appearing on panel (and in focus) after their supposed demises. Dave Gibbons stated it wasn't intentional, but was far too good of a theory to refute.
  • Character-Specific Pages:
  • Creator Backlash: Alan Moore regrets that this book helped usher in The Dark Age of Comic Books, admitting that he was undergoing a Creator Breakdown while writing it. He has no issue with the comic itself though.
  • Creator's Favorite: When designing the characters, Dave Gibbons said Rorschach was his favorite to draw due to his relatively simpler features. He described:
    If I had a favorite character to draw, ... the one that I'll draw is Rorschach. Basically, you just have to draw a hat. If you can draw a hat, then you've drawn Rorschach, you just draw kind of a shape for his face and put some black blobs on it and you're done. So he's a favorite to draw in that circumstance.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Alan Moore does not like the idea of the Before Watchmen comics, and refused to read them or Doomsday Clock, and has abstained from watching the film adaptation or the HBO series. Dave Gibbons, on the other hand, was more open to the idea of prequels, even wishing the new team of writers and artists well; however, he insists that to him, these aren't canon at all, but merely derivative work. Gibbons also states that he is utterly indifferent to Doomsday Clock and that he categorically will not read them and that the interviewer should consider himself lucky that he got more than a "no comment" out of him. He also has a consulting credit on the show and drew the cover on a decorative Bible given to young Jon Osterman as a gift.
  • Doing It for the Art:
    • The endless subtle hints and foreshadowing, or minor connections within the Chekhov's Army that one can find during the second read through can not be a coincidence. There are also the very detailed instructions Moore gave to the artist.
    • Chapter 5 is palindromic both in shape, dominant colors and focus characters note . It's impossible to notice until someone mentions it. And then you realize the significance of the final words of the chapter: "Everything balances."
  • Follow the Leader: It, along with The Dark Knight Returns, is credited with ushering in The Dark Age of Comic Books and the graphic novel era.
  • Former Trope Namer: You Are Too Late, which used to be Thirty Five Minutes Ago.
  • Image Source:
  • Inspiration for the Work:
    • Alan Moore cited Harvey Kurtzman's satire "Superduperman" as his main inspiration for the comic. He also described literary inspirations such as Moby-Dick, Thomas Pynchon and Bertolt Brecht for his attitude to the plot. Will Eisner's The Spirit for its humanism, its use of New York locales, and its focus on ordinary people and how they relate to the Spirit was also an influence.
    • Steve Ditko was a major inspiration for both Moore and Dave Gibbons. The characters are derivatives of Ditko's Charlton creations, while Rorschach was intended as a Deconstruction of Mr. A. Both Moore and Gibbons also took inspiration from Ditko's eye for character creation to create figures who were iconic and recognizable even if they were one-shot characters. Gibbons also cited Ditko's art on his run of Spider-Man as a major inspiration, especially for its blend of real places with the bizarre and fantastic as well as his use of the 9 Panel Grid.
  • Quote Source:
  • Name's the Same:
    • The second season of The Wire also features a company called "Pyramid Delivery". In both works, the company turns out to be a front set up by the Big Bad (Adrian Veidt and The Greek, respectively).
    • Edgar Jacobi presumably bears no relation to the Tooth Fairy's first victim in Red Dragon, Edward Jacobi.
  • Throw It In: While Gibbons received extremely dense and detailed instructions from Moore's scripts, tiny details like much of the smiley face motifs throughout the book were added of his own volition.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Rorschach's original costume was a form-fitting white full-body leotard with his inkblot patterns all over it. Later they threw the hat and coat on him to better resemble the Question (which had the unfortunate effect of making him look like a tattooed albino flasher) and finally dressed him up completely, leaving only the mask with the inkblots.
    • The story was originally meant to star the heroes of the now-forgotten MLJ Comics stable, but when Moore realized he didn't have the rights to MLJ (MLJ's successor Archie Comics did; ironically, they would later license the MLJ heroes to DC for a period), he turned to Charlton Comics that DC Comics had recently bought —Captain Atom, the Blue Beetle, The Question, etc — but Alan Moore's story didn't mesh with DC's plans to integrate them into the revamped DCU that would follow Crisis on Infinite Earths, so he created a bunch of Alternate Company Equivalent that are now arguably more famous than the characters who inspired them.
      • One source say it would have taken place on Earth-Four if the Charlton characters were used.
    • At the time they were promoting Watchmen, Moore and Gibbons discussed a potential prequel idea around the Minutemen days, albeit insisting they weren't interested in any sequel of the comic, nor were they interested in other ideas floated to them by DC (such as comics focused on the Comedian in the Vietnam). Moore later said that had DC not stiffed him and Dave Gibbons, he might have eventually come around to work on Minutemen, which in any case would have been highly different from the series put out in Before Watchmen decades later.
    • Rorschach was apparently meant to survive at one point, but Alan Moore claimed that as he fleshed out the story, he came to the realization that Rorschach had no chance of making it through to the end.


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