Of course we should be talking about the Watchmen pics!

If you’re a comic book fan, and you were anywhere near the web yesterday, I’m sure you saw these first released images from Zach Snyder’s Watchmen movie. So, here they are, with some thoughts.

I’m much more amenable to this film now than I’ve ever been. I’m not saying I’m for it, but I’m not as against it. In my favorite world, it stays a great comic book. But then, if this doesn’t absolutely suck, it might lead more people to read the original work, and that can only be a good thing, right? But it’s really too early to be able to say whether it will be any good or not. But I guess we do have something to work with.

First up is Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian. This is sort of the easiest character to cast in my mind, but you can always get things wrong. This seems to be OK. He looks the part I guess, and he’s the right build it seems. It’s funny looking at him though, because I’ve never seen this actor as anything but a really sweet, friendly guy, which is the opposite of the Edward Blake I remember. But those are the guys who surprise you, and I really like him as an actor. The costume isn’t that far from what I know, and looks like it probably would in the real world, so I think there’s a passing grade here.

Dan the Night Owl is up next. This is a tough one because he’s supposed to look kind of dumpy, and he doesn’t here. This is another example of taking a costume off the page, and transporting it into the real world. It looks a little like Schumacher era Batman sure, but I can’t say it’s entirely inappropriate for what he’d have on. I love Archie the airship in the back, and it looks pretty damn cool all around. This one seems like a bit of a casting error though. I’m not too familiar with Patrick Wilson, but Dan Dreiburg is a little older and a little further down the hill than this guy. The actor is in his mid 30’s, not his mid 20’s though, so at least there’s that. And he looks just a little silly, which is what I always thought Moore and Gibbons had intended. This is probably my favorite character from the book, because of his dichotomy where he is all these great things, but still very awkward and unsure of himself. Wilson’s work is indeed cut out for him.

Ozymandias is the one I’m not sure about. He’s got the Kilmer/Clooney era Batman muscles, which immediately brings up bad mojo, but then at the same time, Adrian Veidt is a character of huge ego, so it would make sense that he’d have an outfit that’s over the top. But then, his ego is also such that he would probably be pleased enough with his own body that he wouldn’t really feel the need for adornment. I always pictured his suit as one of more flowing and royal garb, more about comfort, elegance, and freedom of movement, rather than any kind of armor. My own Veidt wouldn’t be worried about needing armor, because he can handle anything thrown at him without it. He does have his Egyptian god thing going on, so it makes sense like that. I also didn’t think of of him as being in black, but I imagine tests with a more garishly colored outfit didn’t go so well. The world’s smartest man probably doesn’t go for that much pastel.

The iconic Rorschach is up next, and there’s not really much to say about him, because it seems to be a straight up translation from Gibbons’ pencils. It’s funny though, because I’ve been to enough conventions to see enough Rorschach costumes, and it’s easy enough to get it right without too much effort, and in comparison to the others, he seems a bit underdone. I don’t think that’s a bad decision, but it makes me with the other characters costumes were played down a bit. At the end of the day, the costume on this guy doesn’t matter nearly as much as the person playing him underneath that mask. There has to be raw, unbridled rage and hatred under that mask, brought into razor sharp focus by the actor playing him. That way, when he loses it at the end, it has the same impact. I’m really looking forward to seeing how he’s portrayed.

Last up is the young lady of the group, and it’s Laurie Juspeczyk, the Silk Spectre. This picture makes me think of a traditional superhero more than the others, mixed with a little bit of stripper, which is, I guess, what Silk Spectre always was. Her costume was always cheese cakey, and it might have been the cigarette holder, but I never quite took her seriously, or liked her that much. The actor, Malin Akerman is known to me only as they really hot chick living with Chris Meloni in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. She was suitably flighty in that I guess, so I’m adopting a wait and see attitude on her.

So there’s a quick breakdown of my initial reactions to the new Watchmen images. I’m certainly softening, and even in the process of writing this, I felt my anticipation rise, ever so slightly, as I wanted to see how they actually portray these characters who I am so familiar with. I’m turning into a cautious optimist, and it scares me.


  1. When I saw the first picture of the Comedian it looked a little "cartoony," like they just combined what they did with Sin City and 300 for a visual overload, but I guess we’ll have to wait for the trailer to make that observation.  The Night Owl and Ozymandias do seem reminisant of the 90’s bat suit but I don’t think that’ll ruin the characters or the movie.  And Rorschach looks like Rorschach, and I’m psyched that Jackie Earle Haley is playing him, he’s a great fit.  All in all I’m optimistic about the whole thing.  What a positive post.

  2. I’m still very skeptical about whether they’ll pull this off. So much of the comic is about our reactions to the nostalgic superheroes of the past, and that sense of nostalgia is absent in these pictures. The 90s batsuit style costumes… well I suppose that *might* serve as nostalgia for the ’90s, but I don’t think viewers’ reactions to that would be the same. People are either going to think the heroes wearing those costumes are completely cool or completely asinine. Veidt should never be mistaken for asinine. This is a melodramatic epic about world domination and nuclear energy that resolves itself with the appearance of a huge alien being. It draws heavily upon nostalgia, but I fear that even a hint of the absurd will completely ruin the mood and make the whole story a joke. Sally Jupiter looks like she just got done doing some Matrix-style martial arts moves in that costume. We’re not supposed to look at these characters and say, "Kewl kickass babe! Adrian Veidt loox like he cud beat the $hit out of ppl dammmmm!"

  3. Who’s got two thumbs and loves these pics?  This guy.

  4. Night Owl looks like too much of a bad-ass. Not the character. I have no problem with the other stuff.

    The book, among other things, was a commentary on what comics had turned into in the 20 or so years preceeding the books release. If Snyder is able to do the same thing, but only for comic book movie adaptions, then I think the movie will do fine. I think that’s why he choose the Schumacher-esc suits: as an example of comic adaptions done poorly.

  5. I like the Ozymandias picture because it got me wondering whether codpiece was one work or two — It’s two, I looked it up.

  6. Just noticed the gerter belt on Silk Spectre’s suit. Awesome.

  7. this looks like a little bit of AWESOME….

    the NIGHTOWL looks the best thus far… 

  8. The Hi-tech owl costume, and the classic looking Archie are going to look a little silly together. But that will probably work better that way. Making a Hi-tech archie would really take me out of the movie I think. Rorschach looks great! Hurrm.

  9. They nailed the Comedian, Rorschach is kind of a no-brainer, the other ones…I don’t know.  The aesthetic reminds of "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," which is worrisome.  Another film that comes to mind is "Mystery Men."  I’m still very curious about it and I’ll definitely see it, but nothing so far has really gotten me juiced about it.

  10. I think they all look pretty gnarly.  I agree with most of the nightowl comments that he looks a bit too bad ass.  Give him a little goofier look and I would be more pleased.  But archie does look sweet.  I think rorshach and the comedian look perfect.

    Cant wait to see how this movie turns out. 

  11. Really Like – Night Owl, Rorschach

    Like – The Comedian

    Dislike – Ozymandias, Silk Spectre

  12. Looking at the Nite-Owl pic more closely, he’s a bit more chunky that I original thought when I first saw the pic. He’s got bit of a belly, or maybe that’s just some stretching of the pic on my computer? I don’t know…but to me I don’t think they abandoned the chunk of the Nite-Owl completely.

  13. what i am really hoping is that these are the pictures of the characters from their days as superheroes, not as from the days when the actual story takes place. it would make sense for them to be in better shape and costumes back in the day and it would make sense to release pictures of them from that era instead of a pictures of how Night Owl should look which is superhero with a gut.

  14. lukehopkins, you beat me to the punch.  My thoughts exactly!  Lets wait until we see some story centric pictures to see where these characters are from a story that takes place over a pretty broad period of time.  That said, I think they look good to great.


  15. Look at the Night Owl pic.  No sculpted abs.  I think the guy may have a paunch but, as you said, for marketing reasons you can’t show that or it would look like a comedy to those who don’t know the story.

     Ozymandius is perfectly costumed for a guy marketing action figures of himself as in the comic.  Silk Specter probably captures her origin better than the comic.


  16. I dig the costume designs, but have a thumbs down for Ozy.  I get the feeling that his costume wasn’t so…superhero-y?  I really like the look of the Comedian, and hopefully that shot of Night Owl is of pre-dumpy Night Owl. 

    Overall, these pics look good though, which enhances my excitement for the movie.

  17. yeah, im sold, i mean this was honestly better than what i was expecting. i guess im moreworried how they do the story. it’s just so dense, i’m curious to see what they leave out.

    i actually think night owl looks cool. and ozy would be my least fav i guess, i agree, it is a little too batman and robin, but whatevs, no biggie… 

  18. I’ve got a lot of faith in Zach Snyder, considering he’s actually doing the Black Frieter as a bonus thing for the fans (but not actually in the movie), shows how dedicated he is to get everything thats great out of story.

    The only thing that really dissapointed me was not getting to see Dr.Manhattan. I have a feeling Billy Crudup is gonna kick ass at playing the Doc.

  19. I love these designs. As d1whowas said, the book art was a commentary of superhero comics of the day, and Snyder has modelled it to be a commentary on superhero movies of today. So I totally get why Ozy’s suit has nipples (and it’s clear from the book Ozy loves greek culture, of which most celebrate the human form, including nipples. Plus his expression is perfect!). Or why Nite Owl’s suit looks like Nolan’s BB suit (again, a deconstruction of modern day comic book films. And yes, he has a paunch!).

    You’d have to be an idiot to mess up The Comedian or Rorschach’s outfits, so no harm there. The one that really surprised me was Laurie. I really thought they’d stay away from that yellow, but no, they stuck with it and updated it to be faithful and yet outdated.

    Bottome line, the costumes in Watchmen are meant to look kinda silly. That’s the point. These film costumes look just as silly, but in an updated way. So bravo to Zack on that.

    But it’s the story that’s gonna count. 

  20. Yeah I think Night Owl is pre-outlawed supes, when he wasn’t as heavy. I just want to know if Doctor Manhattan is gonna have his gunk hanging out the whole movie as in the book.

  21. I feel like Ozy should not look as menacing. To me he alwasys seemed like he was one of the last people you would expect to be the bad guy.

    I really can’t wait for this movie to come out.

  22. First post!!

     I have been anxiously awaiting any sort of taste of the characters from this film!  Now that I have something, I must say I’m more excited for this than ever!  Are they all perfect?  No, but they’re pretty damn promising too!  The worst problem now is we still have a full year before we get to see the flick…

  23. I haven’t heard of any of these guys before… the only one who’s in a movie I’ve even heard of is Patrick Wilson (he was Raoul in the movie version of Phantom of the Opera), everyone else I’ve never heard of before… weird.

     That being said, this movie looks like it’s going to be good… not too suze about Ozymandias though, I still think of him in the purple robes he wore. This just looks like they’re trying to get the point across that he’s evil, which you didn’t really know ’til the end od the book 



    Ozy is a bit of a problem. His suit has underdeveloped trapezius muscles, which makes his head look like it was screwed on to an elongated neck. Plus, It may be difficult to believe that that Ozymandias can kill that Comedian.

    I am really, really impressed that they made the Night Owl look cool (though I would like to see it in brown).

    Just waitin’ for Blue-Boy to show up. Will they use CG, or Lou Ferigno body paint?  

  25. Dr. Manhattan is the one I’m most curious on how they’re going to pull off. Aside from Ozy I don’t have any problems with these costumes or the actor choices. I can’t want until the first trailer.

  26. Definitely should have dialed back the Shumacher-Batman vibe by an inch or two… can’t have this looking like mid-’90s "NightMan" episodes.

  27. You know, it’s really nice to go somewhere on the internet and read some positive comments about these pictures. I was at newsarama when they were first unveiled, and you would have thought that someone actually shit on their copies of Absolute Watchmen. 

    I think all of these comments, even the cautious ones are still optimistic.

    For my two cents, I think they look cool. Though I’ve always felt that Jackie Earl Haley was THE best choice for Rorschach. 

  28. I think all these pics are great and really seem to show that they are going to be faithful to the graphic novel. My only problem is how the general non-comic reading public will handle this. I think you really have to read the novel to appreciate the movie. Is there enough Fanboy love to make this movie a hit? I hope so!

  29. too much rubber, latex and plastic for my taste. is rorschach’s jacket’s leather too? the comedian is really the only one who needs that. dreiberg does looks a bit middle heavy, but was to sado-heroic for my taste. at least there are nipples. why can’t they use fabric for hero costumes in movies?

  30. @aremi,

    I agree with you on the whole rubber costume thing. But I think they want a look they can control. Something that doesn’t bunch up and makes the actors look more muscular than they are. Even Spider-man had fake muscles in the movies. Gone are the days of Adam West and George Reeves. You can’t get by on a natural physique.  

  31. the cool thing about this is that while these pics give an indication of the film is taking the story and characters it’s STILL not a full representation.

    these aren’t even stills. theyy’re the actors posing in costume. on the screen i imagine it’s going to looks different and that’s where my trust in zack snyder comes in… i genuinely trust the guy to not mess up the film or at least to have him try his best and not mess up the film.

    the guy must know that we would see ozy’s costume and automaticly think batman and robin but he made the choice to go this way anyways. i believe there’s a reason and i trust it.

  32. "it is a truth universally acknowledged that a graphic novel in possession of a good plot must be in want of a movie adaptation. Watchmen, bless its twisted heart, is totally unfilmable-not that people haven’t been trying to figure out how to turn it into a movie for twenty years, but it’s so heavily invested in being a comic book that to take it away from its native medium would be to rip all its bones out.  The most obvious sense in which Watchmen is tethered to comics is the fact that it’s specifically about comics’ form and content and readers’ preconceptions of what happens in a comic book story. Beneath that surface, though, it relies on being a comic book for its crucial sense of time and chronology." Reading Comics by Douglas Wolk, 2007

     I couldn’t agree more. Who’s with me? 

  33. Can we also talk about the history of Alan Moore’s comics being made into films? Have the films ever done justice to his work? Isn’t Watchmen sacred? I was lucky enough to read it before I heard too much hype about it.  I had only heard that it was "good" and "worth picking up" and when I finished reading it, I immediately jumped it to the top of my greatest comics of all time list (here I am, contributing to more hype), and everytime I read something that might knock it from that top slot, I need only read Watchmen again to reassure myself that that initial reaction was not hasty.

    Watchmen is indeed sacred and should be bastardized like this. 

  34. And clearly in that last post, I meant to say that "Watchmen should NOT be bastardized like this." Typo, sorry.

  35. didnt adam hughes design these?

  36. Rorschach FTW!

    I think the costumes are okay over all.  I’m just waiting for Moore’s backlash of someone crapping all over his peice of art like he usually does.  Does he hate everything?  I’m afraid to say too many bad things about him in the open since he scares the crap out of me.

    Not too mention his fans are ruthless…

    I await the lashing 

  37. actualbutt – Isn’t Watchmen sacred?

    answer – no. it’s just a book.

  38. My initial thoughts upon seeing Rorschach and the Comedian were ‘Yes, that’s spot on’. But looking at the others I have certain reservations.

    The way that the Nite-Owl costume is styled worries me. It’s not silly things like ‘That mask doesn’t have a full shoulder headdress piece’. I’m not a moron. I can live with little changes. It’s more that the more I look at that costume the more that I see Batman, and the less that I see Nite Owl. The angle of the goggles, the little ears on the mask, the large amount of black plastic on the costume? It looks like it’s all catered to make the guy into some kind of no-shit-taking, ass-kicking, unstoppable dark knight figure. Anybody who ever read Watchman knows that that overview would almost be a pole opposite of the character. Nite-owl is far more reserved, and does not like violence. It’s the key reason that he an Rorschach stopped working together. So I really hope that’s not the path they’re going down.

    The Silk Spectre confuses me, also. There’s emphasis in the book over this hereditary persona, of an inappropriately dressed female sex object of a character. This is a woman they made Tijuana Bibles about, who wore fishnet stockings (A la Black Canary), and who (and certainly in the incarnation in the present of the story) took on the role at a very early age. She’s supposed to look cheap, and inappropriate. But this design lacks any of that, in my opinion. In fact it looks as if it’s an X-Men movie uniform. Not a lot more. And I really wonder why that is.

    But the design which really worries me is for Ozymandias. The entire point of Ozymandias is that on the outside he is the physically representation of all that is bright and brilliant. A Peak physique, a costume modelled on a Greek God theme, emblazoned with reds and golds. Lots of gold! The great contradiction of the character of course – the irony and the point – is that while on the outside he is this shining beacon of gold perfection, in his person there are much darker elements. But in order for that to work, he HAS to visually bright. There should not be a single element of black in that costume. It kinda defeats the point. If it’s an attempt to externalise his personality, then it’s not necessary. If it’s just ‘Because superhero movies are all about looking like Batman’ then that’s just plain wrong.

    Either way these costumes worry me a little about the directions this movie might be taking.

  39. jstump: moore doesnt hate everything, just movies, especially when people attempt to make movies from his comics work

    and nickmaynard: that was a rhetorical question, watchmen IS sacred. its not just a book, its arguably the best the industry has to offer, and being so representative of comics as a medium, i think the movie is going to devalue any recommendation of the book to a non reader. im not saying they shouldnt touch it, but if it were to be interpreted into live action, i would hope they would have the respect to use a format befitting the content, like an HBO mini(maxi?)series perhaps.

  40. I would voice my opinion on The Watchmen and Alan Moore in general, but like I said I have a feeling that I would be lynched.  I know how vicious we comic fans can be… I know because I am one.

  41. These images look more than fine.  In fact, there is nothing that I can see wrong with these pics.  The fact that I can see live action representations of characters in a book that I tremendously enjoyed makes me happy. 

  42. @ActualButt – WATCHMEN might be the best comics have to offer (I believe it is) but that doesn’t make it sacred.  Nothing is above adaptation and interpretation, *especially* something owned by a corporation like WATCHMEN is.

    Also, according to an article in Entertainmant Weekly a while back, they *tried* to make it as an HBO mini-series, but HBO wasn’t interested. 

  43. @conor – yeah, every comic fan just seems to assume getting a high budget HBO series is an easy thing to do. i’ve heard bkv make that comment about his fans asking for a y the last man hbo series, too.

  44. well…



    HBO is stupid!!! 

  45. Patrick Wilson was in a really twisted movie called Hard Candy (and a slighty less twisted movie called Little Children) and he was outstanding in very complex roles.  Him being in Watchman make me even more stoked.