The Watchmen - Batman Connection
What happens when you cross The Dark Knight with The Watchmen? Think you know the answer? Guess again.
To many of us, Summer 2012 has turned out to be an exciting season with DC Comics. This year, they decided to begin it with Before Watchmen, a prequel series detailing the backgrounds of the characters from Alan Moore's limited series, while simultaneously preparing for the July 20th premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan's 3rd, and likely final, installment into the Batman franchise.
But did you ever wonder how closely the two are related? You might think there's barely a symmetry between them, but already the wheels are spinning. The closer you look - the more you delve into the basics of each character - the greater the link. And soon, instead of dismissing the notion, you'll be wondering which came first.
Let's take a look; below you'll find a generalized profile of each Watchmen, contrasted with Bruce Wayne's crime-fighting alter ego:
Rorschach - Walter Joseph Kovacs is the first of the Watchmen to stand next to Batman. Both, you'll notice, are dark, brooding characters with a vigilante and dark justice style of honor; the only difference is that the Caped Crusader will not kill. Rorschach, however, is no longer concerned about law and order, his moral ethics have turned him into a figure of fear and a killer. He's crossed the line. Lastly, the quintessential part of his character is his face: a fabric created by Dr. Manhattan that creates a myriad of strange shapes in black and white. Batman, coincidentally, bases his entire legacy on fear and the symbolism of the bat is not unlike the symbolic symbol-changing mask; after all, the goal is to appear beyond human and cause criminals to be afraid.
Nite Owl - Although the first Nite Owl was Hollis Mason, Daniel Dreiberg is the main focus, with his keen inventive abilities and trademark Owl-stylized gadgets.
Can there be any way to overlook the similarities between Batman and this member of the Watchmen? All you really need do is switch animals. From his Batmobile to his Batarang, everything Bruce Wayne fashioned typically has a leathery-winged symbol of the night; Dreiberg, on the other hand, works with the feathered version. And therefore, what we can encapsulate from the Bat-Owl link is that both are attempting to portray a theme and image.
Don't forget the utility belt, either; that's the key. From as far back as the 1950's, Batman was soon recognized by his belt of many wonders, each pocket having a component that could help him escape trouble.
Lastly, there's the cloak. Nite Owl's version has been seen to variate based on the weather. In The Watchmen Limited Series (1989) he replaced his long, leathery version with fur-lined, warmer version. Subsequently, Batman, although mostly sticking to his long, draped cape, has been known to use treated version for other purposes.
Silk Spectre - Laurie Juspeczyk is the daughter of Sally Jupiter; on it's surface, there are almost no similarities. Then it ends when you see her entire profile is based on acrobatics and a family name. As Silk Spectre, you can consider that Laurie would have easily qualified as one of the "Robins" - but her natural talents don't mean anything because she's trying to escape from her mother's legacy. In a similar venue, Bruce Wayne - while clearly agile - is living under the Wayne legacy; he constantly questions if he is serving them well or making a mockery of all they stood for.
Ozymandias Adrian Veidt: he's known as the Smartest Man in the World. He's also one of the richest. Not surprisingly, that falls right into the lap of Bruce Wayne. But there's more: did you know both characters lost their parents? It turns out that Adrian's story, recently published in Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1 (2012), shows that they were also accidentally killed. Shortly thereafter, he goes on a quest around the world to "find himself".
Both Adrian and Bruce study various forms of martial arts and metaphysical teachings as they wind their ways back to the places of their origin.
Dr. Manhattan - Now it's time to get interesting. After all, how could a blue-skinned creature, once human, but devoid of humanity and with incredible power, be anything like Batman? These two may very well be polar opposites.
Well, not entirely; look closer. In The Watchmen series, one carefully-placed element of Dr. Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan's original identity) is his faulty relationships with women. He loses touch with his first girlfriend and moves on to Laurie (Silk Spectre). Years later, he realizes that he's losing touch with the feeling world and she abandons him.
This is very much like a Batman story, especially where the female interests are concerned. A huge weakness in his character is his inability to return to humanity; this causes him to lose relationships, become estranged with many of his sidekicks, and on many occasions, threaten the existence of his superhero identity. For example, In Batman R.I.P. (2008), Wayne suffered a mental collapse, orchestrated by a villain who used the psychological flaw as a weapon.
And that, my friends, comprises the list. As you can see, the superhero identity of The Dark Knight as well as his secret identity counterpart, can be gleaned from each member of The Watchmen. It's no longer a question of if, but of to what degree?
Oh wait. What about The Comedian, you say?
Hmm. You might have me there. A psychotic madman who makes jokes while he kills...I'll have to think that one over.
: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct
. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under "safe harbor" provisions and will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. For expeditious removal, contact us HERE