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HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ – All the Easter Eggs from the Comic



Now and for the next several weeks you’re sure to read all about HBO’s Watchmen and all it’s racial and political commentary—about how it’s tackling all the Important Issues of Our Time and how brave and challenging, it is, and so on…but one shouldn’t forget the series’ primary tonality, which is seriocomedy. Which means the show (thankfully) isn’t taking itself too earnestly. And it shouldn’t. Seriousness wouldn’t be in keeping with the humor and irony and general absurdity of the original graphic novel. Because: Blue. Demi god. Space penis. Boy, was the 1980s a weird time for literature.

Well, here are all the metatextual references so far during the series. Enjoy all the squids and campiness.

(Note: We’re likely not going to catch everything, so feel free to leave a hateful comment, pinpointing our failings and inadequacies; we are only human.)


All Dr. Manhattan Everything (Episode 3)

The circle ring and dot stands in for a hydrogen atom. It’s the symbol Dr. Manhattan singes into his own forehead, something he “represents”: a bomb. Throughout the episode, we see scene-after-scene featuring some form of blue light. We get it, we get it. Sooner or later, Doc Manhattan is probably coming back.


The Joke (Episode 3)

Blake’s joke is full of comic references, since its premise involves the fate of three characters: Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias), Dan Dreiberg (Nite Owl) and Dr. Manhattan. Manhattan’s conclusion that he’s already in hell is itself an allusion to a joke that Rorschach tells in the comic. That’s an easter egg inside an easter egg! Also that Laurie Blake—Silk Spectre in the comics—has changed her last name to “Blake,” alludes to her biological father, The Comedian (also Blake). Oh, and Blake is here introduced telling a joke.


The Owl (Episode 3)

Laurie keeps a pet Owl in her apartment. In the graphic novel, Laurie and Dan Dreiberg (Nite Owl) began a relationship. In the series, it’s mentioned that Laurie has another “owl” in a “cage.” Based on Peteypedia files, we know that Dreiberg was arrested and imprisoned back in 1995—could Laurie possibly find a way to get her owl out of its cage?


The Millennium Clock (Episode 3)

Clocks clocks clocks. This giant one, called the “Millenium Clock” was built by Lady Trieu, who apparently purchased Adrian Veidt’s entire company after he skipped town/”died”. The quote she used at the inaugural ceremony—”Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair”—comes from a poem by Percey Bysshe Shelley, and the title of the poem references Vedit’s pharaoh moniker: “Ozymandias.”


The Black Freighter Inn (Episode 3)

“Tales of the Black Freighter” was the name of the comic within the comic in Watchmen. The comic is read by a boy at a newsstand (see below in episode 2.) Here, it’s the name of a cheery-looking inn.


The Cemetery (Episode 3)

In Greek mythology, “Tartarus” was a part of the underworld where the wicked suffer eternally. So Hell. In Blake’s joke, Dr. Manhattan concludes that he’s already in hell, i,e., on Earth, alive. The moody funeral procession for Crawford plays the role here of The Comedian’s funeral in the graphic novel: both occur during the first third of the story; both stir up a lot of shit. The picketed signs outside of the cemetery also appear in the comic, held notably by Rorschach.


Adrian Veidt’s Poses (Episode 3)

The cross-legged meditative position is the exact one Dr. Manhattan employs after building his universe on Mars. Veidt’s been spending quite a bit of time thinking about the blue man. Perhaps he’s closer to Manhattan than we know.


Ozymandias Revealed (Episode 3)

The purple mask and robe, the gold plate with the eye, the headband; the uniform is taken directly from the graphic novel.


The New Frontiersman (Episode 2)

There exists in the Watchmen graphic novel two competing news publications: the liberal, anti-superhero Nova Express and the hawkish, pro-superhero New Frontiersman. In the novel, TNF is responsible for publishing Rorschach’s journal. In the HBO series, the newspaper is owned by one Roger Ailes, in a not-so-subtle nod to an equally hawkish real life news empire.


The Newsstand (Episode 2)

Throughout the graphic novel, there are cut-away sequences involving a newsstand owner and a young boy. The boy is reading a comic. The man spouts on about recent news, the growing nuclear threat, the end of the world, etc. Their conversations persist throughout the novel until, during the penultimate chapter, well… we don’t want to spoil too much here.


Hooded Justice (Episode 2)

In the same way that a comic exists within the Watchmen graphic novel (a comic within a comic), a TV series called American Hero Story exists within HBO’s Watchmen (a show within a show).

The hero of the show is Hooded Justice who, in the graphic novel, is the very first masked superhero. His “body” is also discovered in the river, just as the series depicts the event. The slow-motion, ultra-violent fight cinematography of the show within a show may also act as a nod to Zack Snyder’s 2009 adaptation. That’s a lot of references.

Watch Zack Snyder’s Watchmen Movie Here


The Stage Performance (Episode 2)

Not so much an easter egg as a straight up plot exposition: the stage performance at the end of the episode. The performance depicts the origin story of Doctor Manhattan who was trapped in an “intrinsic field” chamber and incinerated. He was then reborn as a matter-bending, near-clairvoyant demigod. Just like in the theater production, his girlfriend watched him both die and become reincarnated.


“Nothing Ever Ends” (Episode 2)

The phrase, repeated by Jeremy Irons’ character, is also the final words that Doctor Manhattan utters to Adrian Veidt, the graphic novel’s primary antagonist. Veidt, who was also known as the masked hero “Ozymandias,” orchestrated an attack on NYC to unite the U.S. and Soviets in nuclear peace. Irons’ repetition of the lines seems to confirm his identity as an older version of Veidt.


Nite Owl Goggles (Episode 2)

Angela’s night vision goggles are taken directly from the graphic novel’s Nite Owl character who uses the device one night in his apartment. They’re a bit more badass in the HBO version.


Discovery of the Costume (Episode 2)

We pointed out in episode 1 (below) that the death of Chief Crawford imitates the death of the Comedian from the graphic novel. After the Comedian’s death, Rorschach sneaks into his apartment and finds his costume behind his dresser, confirming his superhero identity. In the same order of events, Angela finds Crawford’s other identity. Not very superhero like. But that’s exactly the point.


Rorschach Masks / Journal (Episode 1)

The primary protagonist of the graphic novel, Rorschach, a journal-keeping vigilante who spends the novel investigating the death of his colleagues, dies just after he releases his incriminating journal to the press. In the journal, Rorschach reveals that fellow former crimefighter, Ozymandias, is responsible for a terrorist plot on America. Rorschach’s revival in the series implies the fervor created by this publication. Enough fervor to form a cult and begin killing cops, apparently.


American Hero Story (Episode 1)

The campy origin story of masked vigilantes appears in the graphic novel through cut-aways and several flashbacks. Here on the bus: “Hooded Justice,” one of the first vigilantes in the Watchmen universe.


Veidt Officially Declared Dead (Episode 1)

Adrian Veidt, aka “Ozymandias,” may be the closest the graphic novel ever comes to an antagonist. He plots to unite the U.S. and the Soviets by destroying Manhattan. At the conclusion of the novel, Rorschach’s journal unveils his plan. In present day Tulsa, it appears a disgraced Veidt is still making headlines.


Smiley Faces (Episode 1)

The graphic novel opens with an image of a blood-stained smiley face button belonging to the Comedian. The smiley face has been the major aesthetic motif of most Watchmen adaptations, including Zack Snyder’s 2009 film.


Vietnam, U.S. State (Episode 1)

In the graphic novel, the U.S., with the help of Doctor Manhattan, declares victory in Vietnam, altering American history from what we know. As the series takes place almost three decades later, we find out that such a victory entailed Vietnam’s becoming a U.S. state. The series lead, Angela Abar, is a U.S. citizen born in the former independent country.


Robert Redford, U.S. President (Episode 1)

Toward the end of the comic, we see newspaper reporters discussing the possibility of actor Robert Redford running for president in 1988. In the show, it seems like Redford has set a new standard: he’s been president for around 30 years. Of course, in our timeline, the actor who took the presidency in in the 80s was one Ronald Reagan.


Squids! From the Sky! (Episode 1)

In the novel, Veidt completes his master plan of avoiding nuclear exchange between the U.S. and Soviets by dropping a giant squid on Manhattan and killing some three million people (the fear created by the event unites the superpowers.) Why there are still squids left over in the TV show is unclear. Perhaps the cover-up persists.


“Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?” (Episode 1)

The latin phrase bears the series (and graphic novel’s) title: “But who will guard the guards?” or “But who will watch the watchmen?” The phrase comes from Roman author Juvenal’s “Satire VI.” A theme of the novel’s concerns constraint on power. The scene here is made especially ironic considering the decision reached at the meeting: to forgo police code and issue orders to arm each officer–pretty much the definition of unchecked power. Who’s watching these watchmen? Apparently, no one.


Under the Hood (Episode 1)

In Crawford’s office is a book entitled “Under the Hood.” The book, an autobiography of crimefighter Hollis Mason, appears throughout the graphic novel. Manson was both a cop and a vigilante.


The Owl Ship (Episode 1)

Manson’s vigilante persona: Nite Owl. Nite Owl’s vigilante successor, taking his name, builds an “owl ship” that looks a hell of a lot like this one used by Crawford in the series. An homage to his favorite cop/superhero? Or perhaps something of more direct lineage? We’ll have to find out.


Watches (Episode 1)

Tick tock. Watches figure predominantly into the Watchmen world, and not just for reasons of wordplay. Dr. Manhattan’s origin story involves being incinerated while attempting to retrieve a pocket watch. Throughout the novel, he ruminates on time and relativity. His father was also a watchmaker before convincing a young Dr. Manhattan to study physics.


The Blood Drip (Episode 1)

The final shot of the first episode is also the reverse of the first “shot” of the comic, where we zoom out from a smiley face button stained with blood. The button belonged to the Comedian, whose murder incited the events of the graphic novel. Here, the murder of Chief Judd Crawford acts as a similar narrative event.


Watchmen (2019 Edition)

Where it all began . . . 

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Try These 4 Pushup Variations for a Better Bodyweight Workout




Men’s Health/Eric Rosati

When you drop down to pushup, are you really thinking about what you’re doing? You’ve probably been pumping through the bodyweight staple since elementary school, so it’s easy to think you know just about everything about the exercise. It is pretty simple, after all—what you’re doing is literally in the name.

But there’s more nuance to the move than just hitting the ground and pushing off. Your body position is essential to get the most out of the pushup (learn more about that here). Your ultimate aim when doing the exercise is just as important, according to trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S.

“Let’s talk about the goal of a pushup,” she says. “The perfect pushup isn’t doing the most reps. A perfect pushup is lowering all the way down and then extending all the way back up to the starting position.”

Atkins notices that a certain type of person she works with commonly skips out on that form and care for speed and brute strength. Dudes, she’s talking about us.

“Most of my male clients forget the extension at the top and are instead worried about how many they can do,” Atkins says. The trainer suggests that guys who are trying to get more out of their pushups should instead try to vary the intensity of your workouts by adding elements of instability and movement. This four-move series gives you an opportunity to do just that, with three challenging pushup variations and one regression.

Perform each variation for 10 reps

  • Hands Elevated Pushup
  • Iso Pushup Hold
  • Lateral Walk and Pushup
  • Pushup and Shoulder Tap

    You can insert these variations into your workouts in place of standard pushups, or you can take them on as a series, performing 3 to 4 rounds through the whole set.

    Want to learn more moves from Atkins? Check out our series full of her workout tips, Try Her Move.

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The 20 Best Low-Carb Keto Snacks to Buy at the Grocery Store




EPIC Pink Himalayan & Sea Salt Baked Pork Rinds, Low-Carb, 4 Count Box 2.5oz bags

Epic Provisions


Get this—no carbs at all. Yessss. “That gas station snack you always avoided actually qualifies as a keto friendly food. Pork rinds are carb-free and are made up of fat and protein, fitting the keto bill,” says Rachel Daniels, MS, RD, and Sr. Director of Nutrition at Virtual Health Partners.

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What Is a Mandalorian? Explaining History of ‘Star Wars’ Species




  • The Mandalorian is now live on Disney+.
  • What is a Mandalorian anyway, though?
  • Some classic Star Wars characters are Mandalorians, including one of the most famous ever.

    With the launch of Disney+, that means there’s also the launch of The Mandalorian, the first ever live-action Star Wars series. The first episode is already live, and between callbacks to powerful substances and a wild ending (don’t click unless you’ve already watched!), the show is already at the top of every Star Wars fan’s chart. But for some more casual fans, there are a couple lingering questions; namely, what, exactly, is a Mandalorian? Who is this main character? And why does he look like Boba Fett?

    And we can answer a few of these questions right off the bat. A Mandalorian is a species in Star Wars, something of a subset of humans—they come from the planet Mandalore. Boba Fett, while technically not a Mandalorian himself (we’ll get to that in a little bit), is the platonic Mandalorian, and wears a set of traditional Mandalorian armor and helmet. The main character in The Mandalorian, now, is no one we’ve seen before (as far as we know); he’s played by Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal, and seems to be more on the anti-hero side than villain. That being said, he’s still a Bounty Hunter, and his goal is looking out for number one.

    There’s extreme backstory lore to the Mandalorians, a human race in Star Wars world based on the planet of Mandalore. For more in-depth reading, you can check out the Star Wars fandom page, which dives deep into the subject, which is mostly explored in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series (which sees the race co-opted and fought by none other than Darth Maul. It’s wild stuff!). But for our purposes here, we’ll stick to the basics.

    Outside of the cartoon series, the only Mandalorians have primarily appeared in the movies. Chronologically speaking, the first major Mandalorian character that is introduced to the story is Jango Fett, a villainous bounty hunter whose silver armor looks remarkably like the titular character of the TV show. Jango is eventually decapitated at the onset of The Clone War by Jedi Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson).

    Some of the extended universe stuff, however, puts Jango’s status as a Mandalorian in question. The Star Wars Fandom page says that despite his wearing Mandalorian armor, the fact that he was simply a human carrying out Palpatine’s evil made him not qualify; the planet of Mandalore supposedly considered him a pretender. Wookiepedia, however, paints a different picture, as Jango apparently rehabilitated his image in a novel called Order 66 (which is no longer considered canon).

    It’s also interesting to note that the most famous of all the Mandalorians—Boba Fett—isn’t, really, a Mandalorian at all. As you may recall in Attack of the Clones (as painful as that sentence is to write), Boba Fett is actually a direct clone of his arguably Mandalorian father, Jango Fett. So your own take on whether or not Jango qualifies as a Mandalorian—and whether a clone counts as anything other than, well, a clone—could lead to the answer of how you’d classify our friend Boba.

    That being said, Boba Fett stands for all the ideals that we would imagine a Mandalorian to stand for. First of all, he’s just a complete, inarguable badass—the man is probably the most famous bounty hunter in film history despite not even reaching seven minutes of total screentime in the original Star Wars trilogy. That’s gotta mean something, right?

    Surely, with a show called The Mandalorian, we’ll learn more about, well, the Mandalorians. But as of right now, we already do know quite a bit—and if the first episode is any indicator, we’ll have a pretty cool character to tag along on an adventure with.

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