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New trailer for HBO’s Watchmen includes a nod to Rorschach’s most famous line

Plus a couple of other vigilantes

HBO is looking for its next big series as it bids farewell to Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies, and Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen is shaping up to be that series.

A new trailer for Watchmen from San Diego Comic-Con has premiered, building on moments from the first trailer. Some of Watchmen’s most beloved vigilante heroes, like Rorschach, appear alongside a number of new costumed heroes going about their day. There are references to Dr. Manhattan, and a previous class of vigilante fighters that longtime Watchmen fans will recognize. We even get a glimpse of Rorschach saying his famous, “all the whores and politicians will look up and shout ‘Save us,’ and I’ll look down and whisper ‘No,’” line. Or at least a nod to it.

The trailer is also another reminder that Lindelof’s Watchmen isn’t a direct adaptation of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel. Moore’s 1986 title centered on a group of superhero vigilantes operating in an alternate United States during the Cold War. It is widely viewed as one of the most important graphic novels of all time, and is even taught at colleges and universities around the world. Lindelof’s version will tell a different story, but set within Moore’s world. He’ll use Watchmen character Rorschach as a central point, which should appeal to comic book readers.

Lindelof, who also created Lost and The Leftovers, has spoken publicly about fan concern that Watchmen will do injustice to Moore’s work. That’s partially why they decided to go in a different direction. This won’t be a straight adaptation like Zack Snyder’s 2009 feature-film version, which divided critics but has a strong fan base.

“We have no desire to ‘adapt’ the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago,” Lindelof wrote on Instagram when the show was in early production. “Those issues are sacred ground and they will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted.” He says the show isn’t a sequel, but it does seem to take place in the world where the events of Watchmen happened:

Those original twelve issues are our Old Testament. When the New Testament came along it did not erase what came before it. Creation. The Garden of Eden. Abraham and Isaac. The Flood. It all happened. And so it will be with Watchmen. The Comedian died. Dan and Laurie fell in love. Ozymandias saved the world and Dr. Manhattan left it just after blowing Rorschach to pieces in the bitter cold of Antarctica.

Watchmen premieres this October.