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HBO's Watchmen Is Now Officially Connected To The Comics

Tom King and Jorge Fornes' Rorschach solo comic starts with a bang — several of them, actually — and keeps its audience on the edge of their seats through its entire debut issue. Though the neo-noir thriller sets readers up for a bevy of twists and turns in the coming months, one detail in particular has fans wetting their futuristic Veidt Enterprises underoos: it seems to confirm that the critically acclaimed Watchmen series on HBO is now comic book canon.

The reveal comes a few pages into the story. A would-be assassin (or is he?) shot at the scene of his failed (or was it?) attack on a presidential candidate is found to have been wearing a Rorschach mask. The mask is a cheap knockoff, described as "just Halloween stuff," the kind that denizens of this universe could find anywhere. Discussing this detail, the FBI agent assigned to the case remarks that Rorschach outfits are still "a pretty popular costume. Even after Oklahoma."

At present, the biggest Rorschach-related event to take place in Oklahoma is part of HBO's Watchmen, in which members of the Seventh Kavalry don the monochromatic masks in a Klan-adjacent stab at uniformity. The program's inclusion in DC Comics continuity would send waves through the multiverse, especially considering that it would open the door to more stories based around the Watchmen TV series, which may be gone for good.

Rorschach seems to be bringing back HBO's Watchmen

The Watchmen universe has always had a tricky place in DC continuity. As one of the company's most highly regarded and time-tested books, the story has been a tempting target for expansion, but the self-contained nature of writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons' work has made bringing it into the DC fold a difficult proposition. It had the distinction of being one of the few popular comic book properties to be largely left alone after its 1986 debut, and remained that way until the release of Zack Snyder's Watchmen movie in 2009. Since then, the story has been developed into the 2012 prequel series Before Watchmen, 2017's inter-universe crossover Doomsday Clock, and the HBO sequel series. If Rorschach really was referencing the HBO show, it would mark the first time that the program has made its presence felt in the comics.

Interviewed on the subject of tackling Rorschach in the back of the comic's first issue, artist Jorge Fornes described the prospect as daunting, saying, "At first just thinking about Watchmen was quite intimidating, but we aspire to create an independent work respecting that great legacy, so that readers can enjoy it regardless of everything they've read or seen about this universe."