I am about to watch the series premiere of Watchmen, based on the most celebrated graphic novel of all time! I have read the original graphic novel and seen the movie so I am intrigued about finding out which direction the show will take.
As a great man once said, “The world will look up and shout ‘save us’ and I’ll whisper ‘NO!!!'”
I noticed that many of the superheroes in Watchmen were based on other superheroes from both DC Comics and Charlton Comics. They were not carbon copies. They were reimagined into something new with their own unique flare. The Comedian was based on the Peacemaker, Ozymandias was based on Thunderbolt, the Silk Specter was based on Black Canary, Nite Owl was based on Blue Beetle, Rorschach was based on the Question, and Doctor Manhattan was based on Captain Atom. I am thinking of following Alan Moore’s example by drawing inspiration of other superheroes in order to create my own characters. I will also base my characters’ personalities on various aspects of my own. The only problem I have is trying to come up with original names for my superheroes.
I am starting to like the idea of overpowered superheroes because their immense powers not only make them formidable against super villains, but it also leads to interesting character developments. The two most prominent examples I can think of are Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen and Saitama from One Punch Man.
In the Watchmen graphic novel, Doctor Manhattan’s powers were displayed, but the true extent of his power was only implied. A greater look at Doctor Manhattan’s true power was seen when he defeated the combined strength of every superhero in the DC Universe. Saitama was so powerful that he could literally beat any opponent with one punch (except for a select few). The true extent of Saitama power has not been shown, but it is implied that if he wasn’t holding back he could destroy the world if he wanted to.
These two characters displayed a certain detachment from the rest of humanity as a result of their immense power. Doctor Manhattan’s cosmic and temporal awareness expanded his mind to such a degree that human affairs seemed completely irrelevant by comparison. Saitama’s detachment is due to the fact that he could not find an opponent that could satisfy his desire of an exciting fight. This resulted in not just his detachment from the world around him, but also an existential crisis as well. After all, absolute power is boring if you can’t find a worthy opponent.
I am thinking of making the main character of my new superhero series an overpowered character as well. His power will be on par with both Doctor Manhattan and Saitama, but his psychological development will be considerably different.
When I first read Watchmen, I was introduced to the concept of morally ambiguous superheroes who were just as crazy and twisted as the villains they fight. No character embodied this concept more than the Comedian AKA Edward Blake. When the Comedian started his superhero career, he was 16 years old and was more of a thug than a hero. He spent time with the Minutemen for a while before being kicked out of the team after he attempted to rape the first Silk Spectre. The Comedian then went solo as a vigilante and started attacking sleeper agents of the Japanese government. In 1942 when Blake was 18, his activities caught the attention and interest of the United States government and he was recruited to be the enforcer of the United States. Throughout his time working for the government, the Comedian fought in World War II, the Vietnam War, and the proxy wars of the Cold War. Compared to his fellow superheroes, the Comedian was well aware of just how high the stakes were to saving the world and believed it could not be saved by the likes of them. Despite his attempt to rape her, the first Silk Spectre AKA Sally Jupiter fell in love with Blake and they had a daughter, Laurie, together who would succeed her mother as the Silk Spectre. In his own twisted way, the Comedian was being a protective father watching over Laurie. He played a role in convincing Laurie to return to her mother after she ran away from home to join the Hippies and afterwards tried to bond with her after the Crimebuster meeting. The Comedian’s superhero career came to a violent end when he was 61 years old. After discovering a conspiracy that shattered his cynical worldview, the Comedian was brutally beaten and murdered in his own apartment before being thrown out his own window. It was Blake’s death that set the story of Watchmen in motion. I like the Comedian because he demonstrated that even a superhero can be as flawed and human.