What Is The Alternate History Of Watchmen?

Watchmen HBO 2019

With the release of HBO’s Watchmen, the show captured massive attention. HBO has added itself to the trend of turning graphic novels into television shows and producing a show for the century. The plot for Watchmen has drastic effects on the history of their world and viewers wonder just how much of a possibility is the alternate history of Watchmen in our world? Season one of Watchmen follows Angela Abar, a police lieutenant in Oklahoma who lives in an enchanting setting.

Tulsa is infested with storms of rainy squid, so it is encouraged that the residents watch out for squid while driving to work. Men wearing Rorschach masks carry a similar belief system to the Ku Klux Klan. The original Watchmen are of old age and live in an alternate history influenced heavily by their alter egos.

What Is It About The History Of Watchmen?

There’s a lot in the narrative and setting that allows the show to be more about showing and less about telling; the character’s decisions drop a long domino. These events could have occurred if the fictional characters actually existed. Think of Quentin Tarantino talking about the character Fredrick Zoller in Inglorious Bastard.

Looking glass, the police of Tulsa, and Angela Abar investigating a death in Watchmen.
HBO, 2019

If there had been a fredrick Zoeller who did what he did at that time of the war. I’m sure Goebells would have made a movie about him. The way America made a movie about Audie Murphy. If fredrick Zoeller looked like Daniel Bruhl and Mr. charming, then he’ll be cast as the lead.

Quintin Tarantino

There’s always a question in fiction: What if fictional characters existed?

What If Dr. Manhattan Won The Vietnam War For America?

One thing that Dr. Manhattan is known for is winning the Vietnam War for America in the past. History is merely a subplot, but the show creates a setting that could have occurred if America did win the Vietnam war. The setting takes place in the 51st State of America, Vietnam. Dr. Manhattan alters history and expands on the thought of What If America Won The Vietnam War? In S1, E7 of Watchmen, the viewer follows Angela Abar in her childhood of living in the 51st State of Vietnam. What gives the setting a sense of history is the parade taking place.

The reveal of Dr. Manhattan in the play "the Watchmen's son."
HBO, 2019

The parade celebrates Dr. Manhattan for winning the war for America. The subtext here implies a celebration of the United States celebrating their win over Vietnam. Didn’t America want to win the Vietnam war? This altering of history shows the effects of what could have occurred if America did win, such as the anger the Vietnamese carry for losing the war. Later in the scene, a bombing occurs during the parade because of a man who lost his parents during the war. 

Redfordations In Watchmen

A discussion in politics that’s been in debate for some time is whether or not African Americans should receive compensation for slavery. Redfordations is a form of financial compensation for slavery for African Americans and Angela Abar receives compensation for the death of her great grandparents. The idea of redfordations expands on the effects that could occur if financial compensation for slavery were to exist. A recurring theme in this show is racism. Certain members of society are against the idea of Redfordations because of their perception of African Americans. 

In the background is a poster of president Redford, Nixon, Lincoln, and Washington.
HBO. 2019

In the series premiere, a child asks Angela Abar if the redfordations paid for the bakery that Angela is soon to open. Angela becomes confused and Lily-Rose, daughter of Angela, proceeds to attack the child who asked the question. Outside that classroom, conflict with redfordations is an ongoing issue. Viewers of Watchmen can imagine the extent of the conflict, including public debates, protests, and certain candidates with intentions of making redfordations nonexistent. The Seventh Calvary, the racist group, expresses their dislike towards African Americans receiving financial compensation for slavery.

The Squid Storm Of Tulsa

You heard it right. Apparently in Tulsa, there are squid storms where squid starts falling out of the sky. The reason for the squid storm existing is to have the world believe in an inevitable alien invasion. This is a lie, Ozymandias is the true creator of the storms. Ozymandias storms create a sense of peace among countries because everyone fears foreign invasion. The bogus story of the storm alters history by creating world peace. Although world peace is a part of Watchmen’s world, it is not real-world peace. Every country lives in fear of a higher power taking away their freedom (does that ring a bell about Vietnam?)

The Squid Storms of Tulsa.
HBO, 2019

Certain conspiracy theories suggest the government likes to create hoaxes in order to maintain peace in the world. I’m not sure if they are true, but since there are people believing in conspiracy theories, It adds to the reality that certain people may develop side effects of believing in certain conspiracy theories. By having the characters in Watchmen believing the storms are a hoax, such as Looking Glass, adds a layer saying that although there is an objective peace, in reality, not all is peaceful in the subjective realm.

Ozymandias Garden Of Eden

Will humanity ever reach the point where we can artificially create human life? This question becomes a reality within Ozymandia’s paradise. His Adam and Eve are servants to Ozymandias, which feeds into his god complex. If a scientist were to create their own Adam and Eve, I can imagine them developing a god complex of their own. Losing sight of the real intention of creating life in the first place. With science evolving at an exponential rate, Ozymandias is not too far from being real.

The Masked Police & The Use Of Weaponry

The police of the Watchmen, specifically in Tulsa, have passed a law allowing anybody working for the law to be masked. This decision creates a lot of domino effects in terms of identity. Many of the officers face danger when fighting crime because of how they expose their identity to enemies. While officers may believe this to be a great idea, many civilians gain a distrust for the enforcers of the law. This act takes place in certain countries, for fear of their police officers quitting the force.

The police waring masks in watchmen
HBO, 2019

According to Watchmen, the police also have strict gun laws for their officers. The debate about officers using deadly force has been a hot topic of our era, and America is known for having one of the highest rates for the use of deadly force. Officers in the show have to be granted access to their firearms by a character named Panda, who is strongly against the use of firearms. This law has to be a result of the high number of deaths by police officers, and it’s good to wonder how this will affect the number of deaths by police officers. 

This Is Only The Exterior Of The Watchmen

If the viewer hasn’t given this show a chance, I would recommend them to witness the genius captured. Keep in mind the squid storms, the redfordations, the war of Vietnam, the masked police, and the garden of Eden. They will uncover more that will make them truly enjoy the show.

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