Monday, March 9, 2009

Who Answers the AnswerMan?

For those unfamiliar with the characters and plotlines of Watchmen, the movie can be a bit obscure, and that's putting it mildly. Several of my non-geek friends (Yes, I have several) have asked me some clarifying questions after seeing the film and I thought it might be fruitful to share them here. Along with the answers, natch.

1. Who's that arguing with Sally while Laurie remembers her childhood?

That's Lawrence Shexnayder. I hope that clears everything up.

I know. I know. Lawrence Shexnayder is Sally (Silk Spectre I) Jupiter's business manager. He helps her cash in on her costumed identity during her heyday. When pregnancy forces Sally to retire, Shexnayder marries her in what he perceives as an extension of their business arrangement. As you might guess, the marriage is not a happy one. Lawrence is Laurie's step-father. He makes no secret of not being thrilled about her. Any more about the Shexnayder household would constitute a major spoiler, so I'll stop there.

2. How come Nixon is still President in 1985?

In the world of Watchmen, Nixon's victory in the Viet Nam War (with the considerable assistance of Dr. Manhattan) causes a grateful populace to repeal the 22nd Amendment and Nixon is serving his fifth term as Watchmen commences. His lengthy stay in office may account for the terrible make-up job he has.

3. So, should I know who these characters are?

Well, hopefully you do by the end of the movie. But going in, unless you're steeped in comic-book lore, probably not. Watchmen was a twelve-issue limited series that was published more or less monthly from 1986 to 1987, then collected into a graphic novel about a year later. The Watchmen characters had never appeared in comics before that series, and have never been used since.

Of course, you might remember the short-lived Watchmen cartoon series. See if this opening title sequence jogs any memories.

Just kidding. Thanks to my brother for calling that clip to my attention. Got questions about Watchmen? Or anything else? I'll take a stab at answering them. What the hey? Just post them at this blogsite.

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