What's the Difference between Watchmen the Graphic Novel and Watchmen the Movie?

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Released: 1986
Author: Alan Moore


Released: 2009
Director: Zack Snyder
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In the Graphic Novel In the Movie
Edward Blake/The Comedian
Edward Blake/The Comedian
Portrayed by: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Dr. Manhattan
Dr. Manhattan
Portrayed by: Billy Crudup
Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias
Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias
Portrayed by: Matthew Goode
Portrayed by: Jackie Earle Haley
Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl
Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl
Portrayed by: Patrick Wilson
Laurie Juspeczyk/Silk Spectre II
Laurie Jupiter/Silk Spectre II
Portrayed by: Malin Åkerman
Hollis Mason/Nite Owl I
Hollis Mason/Nite Owl I
Portrayed by: Stephen McHattie
Young Hollis Mason
Young Hollis Mason
Portrayed by: Clint Carleton
Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre I
Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre I
Portrayed by: Carla Gugino
Captain Metropolis
Captain Metropolis
Portrayed by: Darryl Scheelar
Watchmen Graphic Novel vs Movie
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This Spoils the Ending
In the Graphic Novel In the Movie
   The story starts with the police in the Comedian's apartment after he has been killed. As the two cops discuss what happened, we see flashbacks to the comedian being beaten up and thrown out the window. The comedian doesn't speak. It starts with the comedian sitting his apartment. He watches TV and sees a report about the Doomsday clock and the possibility of the Russians dropping the bomb. The attacker kicks in the door and then fights the Comedian for a few minutes. It is a back and forth fight. The attacker gets the upper hand and just before he is thrown out the window the comedian says "It's a joke. It's all a joke. Mother forgive me."
   The cops investigating the comedian's death claim that Edward Blake was doing diplomatic work overseas. He is seen in a picture shaking hands with Vice President Gerald Ford. They suggest that Blake might have been a spook or black ops for the government. He is shaking hands with President Nixon in the picture.
   Rorschach goes into the comedian's apartment and uses a wire hanger to measure his closet. He notices it is shorter on the inside than it should be. He finds a button and it opens a secret door. He a costume with a hooded mask. He takes it out and lays it on the floor. He just finds the button in the closet. He opens the compartment and sees the costume. There is no hooded mask, and he doesn't remove the contents and lay them on the floor.
   As the comedian's blood is being washed off the pavement, Rorschach's diary is read. He voice over's his diary entry while he enters the comedian's apartment.
   Hollis is talking about a crook he had put away, and how he ran into him at the supermarket after he reformed his ways. Dan says he has to go. Hollis gives a brief history of why he and other cops started dressing up as vigilantes. He doesn't mention the reformed crook. As he leaves, Hollis asks Dan if he misses it, they both say no.
   Rorschach visits Dan to tell him about the Comedian and suggest that Hollis Mason might be part of it. Dan tells him not to go and scare Hollis. Rorschach leaves. Dan doesn't say that. He says he doesn't like Rorschach following him. Rorschach says he wants retribution for the Comedian's murder. Says Tricky Dick can't tell them what to do. Dan pleads that he can lead a normal life because no one knows what he looks like. He says Dan is hiding in plain sight. Then he leaves.
   Rorschach visits Veidt in his office. The two are alone. Rorschach is playing with a Ozymandias action figure. He mocks him for making money off his image and compares him to the Comedian. He indicates that the comedian would never do that. He warns him that someone might be killing masks. He leaves through the window. Dan goes to visit Veidt. Adrian is being interviewed and discusses his merchandise which helps pay for work with Dr. Manhattan. Dan is there playing with one of the dolls. Later Dan warns Adrian about Rorschach's theory about someone killing masked heroes. They discuss the possibility of nuclear warfare and if Jon can stop the Russians.
   As Rorschach enters Rockefeller military research center he comments on how his meeting with Veidt left a bad taste in his mouth. He thinks he is pampered and might be a homosexual. He doesn't mention Veidt. He says the meeting with Dan left a bad taste in his mouth.
   Rorschach recalls how all the former great Watchmen are washed up now. He says that Dollar Bill got shot. He leaves a few out, and says Dollar Bill got his cape stuck in a revolving door before being gunned down.
   Rorschach visits Laurie and Dr. Manhattan in the Research center. He tells them about the Comedian. Laurie talks about how he tried to rape her mother and beat her up. Rorschach warns the two about someone killing heroes. Dr. Manhattan sees that he is upsetting Laurie so he makes Rorschach teleport outside the fence. Dr. Manhattan says that Rorschach wants him to look into the future to see if the Comedian's killer is identified. He cannot see the future because of a temporal interference. It might be a future nuclear holocaust. Rorschach thinks that might be a reason to kill vigilantes so he questions Dr. Manhattan who says he must return to his work. He teleports him outside in the rain.
   Rorschach goes to a bar and breaks a guys fingers while asking the people if they know anything about the death of Edward Blake. They don't. This doesn't happen.
   After Dr. Manhattan gets rid of Rorschach Laurie says she feels bad. She says she is on edge. She asks Jon if he minds if she calls up Dan to go out. He says no. He is busy with his work. After Rorschach leaves, Dr. Manhattan touches Laurie's head so she can percieve time as he does. She sees a flashback of her mother having a fight with her father about the Comedian. She snaps out of it. Dr. Manhattan sees the future where Laurie wants to go out to dinner with Dan. He says to say hello. He knows she wants to go with him, but he can't, so she'll call Dan.
   When Dan and Laurie go out to dinner she asks him why they dressed up. She recalls her costume with its short skirt and the neckline going all the way down to her navel. She says her costume was "tight latex".
   After they eat dinner, Dan and Laurie go walking outside in a park. The continue talking about the old days. She doesn't mention Jon or nuclear war. The weather is clear. They stay in the restaurant and talk. Laurie tells Dan about Jon foreseeing nuclear war. She doesn't know if he cares about her anymore. It is raining heavily outside and she gets into a cab.
   There are excerpts from Hollis Mason's autobiography discussing his time as the original Nite Owl. This is left out of the movie.
   Laurie goes to visit her mother in the rest home in California. She enters her room and has flowers for her. She tells her that Jon teleported her there and she got sick in the bathroom. She then smokes a pipe and her mother coughs. We see Laurie teleport directly into her mother's room and she pukes in the bathroom. She has no flowers. Laurie doesn't smoke, but her mother is drinking a margarita.
   It a flashback Eddie beats and attempts to rape Sally. He gets on top of her as she lays on the floor. After Hooded Justice beats Eddie off, Eddie tells him he will get him back. He tells Sally to cover herself. He lays her against a pool table as he gets ready to rape her. Eddie doesn't threaten him and he doesn't tell Sally to cover herself.
   During Eddie's funeral, Adrian has a flashback to the first meeting of the "Crimebusters" The meeting is lead by Captain Metropolis. Captain Metropolis isn't there. Adrian is the leader and they are called the "Watchmen".
   During the funeral Dr. Manhattan flashes back to Vietnam. After he helps them win the war he is in a bar with The Comedian. They see Nixon emerge from a helicopter. We see Dr. Manhattan appear on the battlefield. He is a giant and he destroys several VC soldiers. Eddie uses a flamethrower on others. Nixon is not seen at all.
   Dan remembers when he and The Comedian broke up a mob when the police strike was on. Someone in the crowd throws a can and hits the Comedian in the head which provokes him to throw a tear gas grenade into the crowd causing them to disperse. Someone in the crowd throws a Molotov cocktail at the Nite Owl's ship and the Comedian jumps into the crowd. He punches a woman in the face and beats up several others. He then starts shooting at the crowd with his shotgun. He then fires tear gas from a launcher.
   When Moloch returns to his apartment after Blake's funeral, Rorschach is hiding in his fridge and burst out and tackles him. He opens the fridge and finds a note that says, "Behind you" and Rorschach slams him into the fridge. Then he tackles him.
   Edward Blake's tombstone says he was born in 1924. Rorschach says it was 1918.
   After Laurie realizes that Jon has duplicated himself to have a threesome with her and to keep working, she gets angry and throws a beaker through his chest. He reassembles the broken pieces and holds it in his hand. She throws a piece of machinery through his forehead that smashes into a tv behind him. The TV is fixed almost immediately.
   Doug Roth talks to Janey Slater at his office before Dr. Manhattan is interviewed on TV. He goes there and tells him about it. Dr. Manhattan gets upset when everyone is questioning him. He teleports everyone away from him. He later goes to his apartment and finds someone painting a Radiation Warning on is door. He teleports himself to Arizona where he looks at an old picture of himself and Janey, then to Mars. While he is questioning Dr. Manhattan on TV, he brings out Janey Slater to show him how sick she is. The reports start questioning him and he teleports himself to Mars.
   After Dr. Manhattan leaves for Mars, the Russians invade Afghanistan. In the war room someone tells Nixon it will take 7 days for them to be ready for a nuclear attack. The Russians are waiting at the border of Afghanistan but don't attack. It will take 2 days for the strike to be ready.
   A man who works at a newsstand talks about the state of the world. A young black kid sits on the ground reading a comic called "The Black Freighter" Rorschach comes to the news stand to ask for a subversive magazine. None of this happens.
   After Dr. Manhattan leaves the interview and disappears, the government comes to his and Laurie's apartment. They take her and want to question her and give her a cancer scan. This isn't shown.
   As a 16 year old, Jon's father tells him to give up on the watchmaking business because of the H-Bomb being dropped on Hiroshima. We only see 16 year old Jon working with the watch pieces. His father tells him he is doing a good job.
   Jon goes to work at the Gila Flat's research facility and is introduced to Wally Weaver, who is an assistant. Jon says that Wally was his friend from college.
   Jon and Janey are in the Bestiary when Jon remembers that he left her broken watch in his lab coat in the Intrinsic Field Chamber. He gets locked inside and Dr. Glass tells him he can't let him out before he is blown to pieces. Wally, Jon and Janey are all leaving the IF Chamber, when Jon remembers that he left his watch in there. He gets locked in and it is Wally who tells him he is locked in.
   Wally dies of cancer in 1971 when he is 34 years old. He dies in 1981 and is much older.
   Dr. Manhattan intervenes in Vietnam and after more than two months the Viet Cong surrender. It only takes one week for them to surrender.
   Veidt is talking to his secretary on his way to some meetings about his toy line. He is walking when a gunman approaches and kills his secretary. Veidt knocks him down and he dies on a poison capsule. He is having a discussion with Lee Iaccoca and several other leaders of big oil companies. He tells them he will make them obsolete. The elevator opens and the gunman shoots his secretary in the leg, then kills one of the men before shooting Iaccoca in the head.
   Moloch leaves Rorschach a note for him to meet. He goes to his apartment and thinks he might have information about the attack on Veidt. Someone has called in a tip to the police. Rorschach finds out the guy who tried to kill Adrian worked for Pyramid Security and he recognized it from something he saw at Moloch's apartment, so that is why he goes there.
   Rorschach jumps from the window of Moloch's apartment and is beaten and apprehended by the police. After he jumps he takes on 10 cops and beats them up. He is finally overpowered.
   Rorschach was born in 1940 making him 45 years old in 1985. The television report of his arrest says he is 35 years old.
   Rorschach tells his shrink in prison about how he got started. He worked at a garment company and they made a dress for a woman that she didn't like. He kept it and turned it into his mask. It had moving liquid between latex, so it was always changing. He later read that the woman was raped and murdered and none of her neighbors did anything about it, even though they heard it all. He became Rorschach after that so he could look at himself in the mirror. His mask isn't discussed. He only tells the story of the child kidnapper that he killed.
   Rorschach handcuffs the child murderer to the stove. He hands him a hacksaw and pours kerosene over everything. He tells him he shouldn't waste time trying to saw through the cuffs. Then he drops a match and walks out. He just hacks his head to pieces with the cleaver.
   Laurie is at Dan's underground lair and she sees his ship is on, so she goes inside. She tries to find a cigarette lighter but hits the flamethrower button. She enters the ship and turns it on. She isn't smoking and hits the flame thrower button because she is curious.
   Dan and Laurie kiss and attempt to have sex. Ozymandias is on the TV doing gymnastics. After Dan wakes up next to Laurie from his bad dream he goes downstairs and puts on his night vision goggles. She comes down and he tells her about his dream. The TV shows the Russians advancing on Afghanistan. She finds him standing naked without his goggles and he doesn't mention the dream.
   Dan and Laurie take Archie through the tunnel and then out through the roof of the warehouse. Laurie spots the fire from the air. The ship comes out from under the water. Dan is monitoring the police radio and hears about the fire.
   Dan uses water cannons on Archie to douse the flames, while Laurie helps the people board the ship through the ramp. Dan gets on top to fly to give the people more room. Dan uses his Gatling gun to bring down the rooftop water tower to control the fire. Laurie then jumps from the ship and crashes through the ceiling. She helps the people onto the ship and barely escapes an explosion.
   Big Figure goes to see Rorschach and tells him he has been in jail for 20 years. He says it has been 15 years.
   During the riot, Big Figure arrives at Rorschach's cell and Lawrence has an arc welder with him. The intend on cutting the bars with it. Rorschach gets him to put his arms in and he ties them there. Mike then slits his throat so they can get through. After they cut the lock, Rorschach stands on his bunk and breaks the toilet so the water spills out. The bare wire of the arc welder causes Mike to be electrocuted. They have a circular saw. They use it to cut off Lawrence's arms so they can cut the lock. Mike enters the room and Rorschach throws him down and his head hits the toilet breaking it. The water hits a bare wire from the light and electrocutes Mike.
   When Nite Owl and Silk Spectre come to break Rorschach out, they first go to his cell, but find he isn't there. Then the see him and he is wearing his prison uniform. His Shrink goes to his office to hide from the riot. Rorschach is there and demands his face. He puts his disguise back on and is heading to the toilet when he is spotted by Dan and Laurie.
   Dan, Laurie and Rorschach return to Dan's house to pack some things because they fear the police will come for them. Laurie goes into the living room, and Jon is there reading Nova Express. When the open the door to Archie, Jon is there waiting.
   When Laurie arrives on Mars she can't breath, and Jon points at her throat allowing her to breath. He creates a force field around her where she can breath.
   When Laurie realizes that the Comedian was her father she throws a snow globe at Dr. Manhattan's Mars construction causing it to crumble. Jon touches her and lets her see her past where she realizes Eddie was her father. She runs over and hammers it with her hand, causing it to break.
   A gang of thugs breaks into Hollis Mason's house after Rorschach is busted out of prison. They beat him to death. Later when Dan and Rorschach find out, Dan goes crazy. We don't see Hollis getting killed.
   Dan tries to access Adrian's computer and when it asks for a password he first tries Ramses. It doesn't work, so he tries Ramses II and it does. He first tries Ozymandias followed by Pharaohs. He sees a book about Ramses II and tries that successfully.
   Before going to Antarctica to see Adrian, Rorschach tells Dan he must check his mail. He drops his journal into the mail. He drops it through the slot of the New Frontiersman office.
   After they crash on Antarctica, Dan and Rorschach ride on Hoverbikes to get to Veidt's lair. They just walk.
   Adrian brings his three assistants to the vivarium to toast their accomplishments. He poisons them and then opens the glass so their bodies are frozen. He has several workers with him. He poisons them, and then leaves as the reactor built by Dr. Manhattan vaporizes them.
   Dan and Rorschach find Adrian and he is eating. He sees their reflection in his gold serving tray. He attacks Rorschach and whips the bowl lid at Dan hitting him in the mouth. Adrian is watching a bank of televisions and Rorschach attacks and Adrian beats him off. He throws a chair at Dan.
   After beating up Dan and Rorschach, Adrian reveals his plan. He created a monstrous life form and teleportation. The life form looked like a giant centipede. He planned to teleport the monster to New York. But the teleportation didn't work and the item would explode on arrival. He wanted humanity to fear an alien attack. He used a psychic's mind to program the explosion to cause everyone to have nightmares about it. He replicated Jon's power. He wanted to use it to make people think that Jon was responsible for killing millions of people. They would unite against him.
   Adrian destroys half of New York. He blows up Tokyo, London, Paris, Beijing, Moscow and New York.
   Dan and Laurie have sex. Outside Jon destroys Rorschach. Dan goes outside and watches as Jon destroys Rorschach.
   When Dr. Manhattan and Laurie fight she leaves. Manhattan is alone working and there is no one on the TV screen Dr. Manhattan is working with Adrian Veidt live on the TV screen. When Laurie storms out Veidt tells Manhattan over the screen not to worry she'll be back, and Manhattan replies "No. She won't."
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