Watchmen Trailer - Police Assembly

In the video, there are other men in Rorschach masks. The police, too, are wearing yellow masks, and some of them, like Looking Glass, have apparently fashioned their own unique costumes.

Watchmen Trailer - Don Johnson

The words “HBO Presents” appear onscreen, with the second word ticking forward like a clock hand. From here, the trailer introduces us to Don Johnson’s police chief, Judd Crawford, who helps walk us through what’s happening in this world. Vigilantes have come out of hibernation, with a gun-toting militia in Rorschach masks staging “coordinated, simultaneous attacks at the homes of Tulsa PD.”

Watchmen - Rorschach Militia

In a show that is sure to be meta, the Rorschachs could well serve as a parallel to toxic fandom, with its tendency to latch onto pop culture symbols and distort them to its own ends. Their reign of terror, we see, extends to the happy home of Abraham and her husband, played by Aquaman’s Yahya Abdul-Maheen II.

Watchmen Trailer - Regina King

It’s Christmastime and the lights of the Abrahams’ tree reflect against a clock in their living room as it ticks toward midnight.

Watchmen Trailer - Clock

Abraham fights off her own home invaders like someone with training, but another important person dies in the attack that night, as we next see a police funeral where officers wrap an American flag with a circular star pattern over a coffin.

Watchmen Trailer - Flag Coffin

Watchmen Trailer - Masked Cops

Another voice explains that after the attack, “the cops hide their faces, and now the bad guys don’t know where they live.” We see Looking Glass retrieving his costume from a storage shed, and its reflective surface appears all the more like a modern analog to Rorschach’s mask.

Watchmen Trailer - Looking Glass Mask Watchmen Trailer - Looking Glass Storage Shed

Instead of shifting ink blots, it’s a mirror that can reflect criminals own selves back at them. It’s worth noting here that the character description for Looking Glass pegs him as “a top interrogator and behavioral scientist.”

We also see Abraham suiting up in a hooded black costume, and from the way it’s edited, it looks similar to this official Instagram post, where she’s hooking a police badge on her belt. Will she, as a cop, take on the guise of the new Hooded Justice?

Watchmen Trailer - Egg Smiley

Brief flashes of Abraham fighting in costume are intercut with a classroom scene, where a plainclothes Abraham wows kids by making a smiley face of egg yolks, complete with a spot of blood in the eye—once again harkening back to the iconic Watchmen smiley face. The teacher doesn’t approve, but what’s more interesting than her reaction is the poster of “Four Important Presidents” behind her.

Watchmen Trailer - President Redford

Above George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, next to Richard Nixon, is a picture of Robert Redford. Readers may remember that the end of the Watchmen comic teased an ‘88 presidential run for Redford. This happened on the very last page, right before an assistant at the New Frontiersman magazine office reached for Rorschach’s journal in the crank file.

Cut to a soldier in uniform telling another little girl that “people who wear masks are dangerous … because they’re hiding something.” We see policemen in masks, unloading suspects in a garage as Jean Smart from FX’s Legion looks on.

A costumed Abraham storms into a trailer and punches a man in the face. Back at the funeral, Smart strolls up to Abraham and her husband and introduces herself as “Laurie Blake, F.B.I.” She appears to be an older version of Laurie Juspeczyk, a.k.a. Silk Spectre. Laurie was the daughter of Sally Jupiter and Edward Blake, AKA the Comedian. She had a relationship with Dr. Manhattan and later fell in love with Dan Dreiberg, the second Nite-Owl.

Watchmen Trailer - Jean Smart

The Watchmen comic ended with Laurie and Dan changing their appearance and assuming new names. Given her demeanor and the fact that she’s taken her father’s last name in the show, it looks like this Laurie has aged into some of her father’s cynicism. She even plays the deadpan Comedian for a second, giving what sounds like the setup to a joke: “You know how you can tell the difference between a masked cop and a vigilante? Me, neither.”

Watchmen Trailer - Little Girl

During this exchange, the girl we first saw Abraham talking to is standing right next to her and her husband. They’re with her at the funeral, so I’m guessing that the girl might be the orphaned daughter of Abraham’s partner. If it’s her partner who dies in the coordinated home invasions, this would give her a more personal stake in the war between the police and the Rorschachs.

As the David Bowie song “Life on Mars” kicks in, Louis Gossett Jr.’s unnamed old man shines a light in Abraham’s face, telling her, “There’s a vast and insidious conspiracy at play. If I told you about it, your head would explode.”

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