Watchmen: HBO Series Gets Some Canon Love from Tom King's "Rorschach"

Fans of Damon Lindelof's pseudo-sequel "remix" of DC Comics' Watchmen still continue debating whether or not the multiple Emmy Award-winning HBO series should move ahead on a second season or if the second season should be a direct sequel or something set in another part of Lindelof's universe. BCTV has gone on record as saying that we'd love to see Lindelof take a more "executive creative producer" role to oversee the universe, but then open it up to a diverse line-up of writers and directors. But for now, things remain quiet- at least on the television side.

On the comics side, it appears writer Tom King had decided to go ahead and make the HBO series part of the canon of his DC Comics limited series Rorschach– and we see a sly reference in the very first issue. Of course, since King's series is seen as a pseudo-sequel to the original Watchmen from Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins, that ties everything together in a way that would probably make our brains bleed, we'll put all of that on hold for now. What we will do is give you a reason to go back and check out Rorschach #1 again- while trying to avoid "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" territory.

Rorschach contains a reference to the HBO series (Image: DC Comics)

Without going into specifics, someone in a Rorschach mask is killed attempting to do something, but the autopsy determines that the mask worn by the body in the morgue wasn't a legit Rorschach but a Halloween knock-off. As you can see in the image above, the narrator begins discussing how tough it could be to track the mask back to where it was sold and how it was "a pretty popular costume." It's the last line that's the thread that ties it all together: "Even after Oklahoma." Now for those of you who know the HBO series, then you know how important of a role that Tulsa, Oklahoma, played in the overall narrative- as well as the racist, Rorschach mask-wearing organization the Seventh Kavalry that attempted to steal Dr. Manhattan's powers (and we know how well that went).

With the comic book series set a year after the HBO series, the timelines line up pretty decently. Also, King made no bones about the fact that he was heavily influenced by Lindelof's series when the two spoke during a virtual panel session at DC FanDome. Crediting the series for getting him to reconsider writing a continuation of the "Watchmen" universe, King said that though Rorschach may not be a direct continuation of the television series, readers could still consider it as living in the show's neighborhood. "I don't reference it, or make it in the world, but I make it so nothing contradicts with the TV show. So if you've seen the TV show, you can imagine that this is happening a little bit afterwards."

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.