The more that I think about, the more I think that I might be a bit jazzed about something that everyone considers to be sacrilege.I will back track a little bit here. I am jazzed about the potential for something that everyone considers to be sacrilege. The sacrilege in question is a potential sequel that Warner Brothers seems to be moving on The Watchmen. One of the things that was essentially postulated in the original comic as well as movie was the theory that a mass destruction in New York City (that was made to look like the work of aliens) would have in unifying the world in the name of peace. The interesting part of this is that it was created in the pre-9/11 world of the 1980s. At the end of the book, there is a scene of things so peaceful that Rorshach’s journal is about to be read.
After the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we now have a better idea potentially of how a world would evolve after the mass destruction. First of all, there would be an economic crisis. Second, there would be a need to protect as well as ward off potential other alien invasions. Dr. Manhattan already had established a base on Mars. Given the support that the Watchmen threw behind Ozymandias at the end of the Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan’s Martian dream would suddenly become an important space outpost. After all, we are universally dealing with the alien threat here. We also know that the peace would be a temporary one. The urge to punish the alien invaders would be great. There would also be the counter urge to show sympathy for alien invaders that we do not understand. By proxy, the Alien threat is an analogy to a discussion of radicals who claim religion of Islam.
Think about it. In 26 years with a real sense of purpose and Manhattan’s ability to transport, Mars would now be a thriving economy on its own. Mars would be stocked with zealots who never forget New York or the alien threat. The ideological opposition would come from Earth of all places. They will not have seen another alien invasion. They will have moved on past 1986. The economy would have repaired. New York City would be rebuilt and the horrifying nature of the day would be gone. You would have a whole generation who never even knew. After all, isn’t there a Martian bulwark out in space somewhere to protect us from all of this.
For lack of a better term, the Martians outpost would develop into a Spartan society which would also have Dr. Manhattan’s influence of being a technological wonder. The catalyst for change and conflict would be Manhattan’s possibly conscience decision to either end or expand his existence. The point is that after 26 years, the leader of Mars would be gone. People of this generation may not remember the old Yugoslavia but Yugoslavia was a unified country under Grand Marshall Tito. The death of Tito brought back the old Serb-Croat conflict and eventually led to war. After Dr. Manhattan’s passing (however you wanted to handle it) Mars would devolve into a fractious society. A society that needed an intervention from the home planet.
You could then have the intriguing possibility of a civil war on an interplanetary scale. You have two worlds in crisis. You have a situation that needs… heroes. The complicated question of who is a hero and who is a villain in a post-9/11 world has been on the lips and tongues of men for a decade now. What would be the position of someone like Ozymandias whose desire to create peace through violent disturbance on one world now leads to a potentially bloody conflict on two? Where would the other heroes stand? What would the Rorshach diary do in the age of the internet? This would obviously be a conspiracy theorists holy grail with multiple websites devoted to its dissection and what Walter Kovacs (now revered as a cultish prophet) had to say about the end of the world. In a way, Kovacs voiced silenced would be louder in this world than ever. You would have an army of people running around exactly like him. Ozymandias would finally learn the incalculable costs of unexpected consequences.
In this day and age, we have seen that the curative power of what Ozymandias suggested was merely temporary. We have devolved into a society that can’t even decide on the proper way to deliver heartfelt sympathy. Watchmen at its best was an examination of the modern world if superheroes had existed. But in a society with uncertain villains (in which every one seems to believe that there cause is right) as well as the internet, the Watchmen may well need an update. Most of the problems come from an almost certain lack of involvement from David Gibbons or Alan Moore. As blasphemous as it may sound to die hard fans, this might not be an actual bad thing. Especially in comic books, a fresh take as well as new writers and artists on familiar material is often the best thing for a franchise. People have grown up now on the Watchmen. The theory that no one else would be even remotely competent to write a sequel to it in this day and age is ludicrous. Some will say that it will ’suck’ either way but there is potential for an exciting thought provoking film as well as franchise. At the very worst, a terrible movie will only demonstrate the true majesty of the original comic book.