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Watchmen Trailer Reveals Cops, Conspiracies, And Dr. Manhattan

There is a vast and insidious conspiracy at play, and the doomsday clock keeps on ticking. 

HBO finally (and we do mean finally) released the first trailer for Watchmen – smack in the middle of the madness that is San Diego Comic-Con, where the premium cabler opted for an interactive, augmented reality experience over a traditional panel presentation for the series.

From the mind of Damon Lindelof, who grabbed the heart of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' graphic novel of the same name and squeezed it for all the juice it was worth, the Watchmen series takes place in a version of the United States different from our own, where the inverse of what we know is true. Masked superheroes are not venerated vigilantes but criminals — wrong-doers who must be hunted down and eradicated by cops, politicians, government officials, and anyone with any sort of power. 

The Watchmen trailer introduces us to a pack of police officers donning yellow masks, men and women seemingly a part of a cult honoring the fallen hero Rorschach, a group of heroes who are rising to lead a revolution against those who believe them to be evil, and individuals bent on stopping the rebellion from disrupting the current status quo. 

Where previous promos for Watchmen, a "modern-day reimagining" of the graphic novel set a full decade after previous continuities, have been incredibly vague, this trailer offers more insight into Lindelof's vision for the show and reveals a few details about the characters. Most notably, Regina King's character, Angela Abar, is a police officer who trades in her yellow mask for that of a hero when the world she thought was always so "black and white" begins to melt into various shades of gray after the Rorschach cult leads an attack on a group of cops. The trailer also teases that the general public believes Ozymandias, otherwise known as Adrian Veidt (Jeremy Irons), is dead — but that may not be the truth. 

And speaking of big twists, after the first look at Watchmen showed young children running about the city wearing masks of the big blue being Dr. Manhattan, the footage explains that he "lives on f****** Mars." He won't stay there, however, as the trailer wrapped up with Dr. Manhattan appearing back on Earth and picking up a mask from an abandoned street to presumably join the fight and crack the conspiracy. 

Many mysteries still swirl around Watchmen, but if this trailer does nothing else, it at long last gives fans a taste of what the show will be like. It seems to marry motifs from Moore and Gibbons' source material with fresh ideas birthed from Lindelof's brain (which also created the criminally underrated series The Leftovers) for what's on track to be a unique, harrowing, and thrilling new HBO offering. 

Also starring Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Tom Mison, Sara Vickers, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, James Wolk, Jean Smart, and more, Watchmen will premiere on HBO in October.