Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Watching the Watchmen

Many fans already know that the Watchmen are gritty reinterpretations of Charlton characters acquired by DC Comics. After enjoying the film this week, I noticed similarities between the Watchmen and the Defenders as well.

What do you get when you cross Hulk's origin with Silver Surfer's powers and disposition? The answer, of course, is Dr. Manhattan.

With acrobatic skills, mother issues, and frustrations with men, Silk Spectre is the Hellcat of the Watchmen.

As a financial heir with modest self-esteem and a bird motif, Nite Owl is like a brainy rendition of Nighthawk (who himself was an homage to Batman).

It would be a stretch to describe Rorschach, the Comedian, or Ozymandias as direct counterparts to any of the Defenders. But their grim, violent, and self-righteous existentialism would be no stranger to the non-team of Marvel Comics.

A peripheral character in Watchmen history was Dollar Bill, who died with his cape stuck in a revolving door (providing a guilty moment of comic relief). For a time the Defenders also featured a minor character called Dollar Bill. He was the the documentary director responsible for Defenders for a Day, a goofy chapter in the team's own history.

Alan Moore wrote the Watchmen graphic novel, originally published as a 12-issue series in 1986-1987.

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