A Game Of Thrones-less HBO needs something new to entice subscription buyers. HBO Max will be something different — a folding of all Warner Media services into one — so HBO needs some attractions of its own. They’re banking heavily on a new Watchmen series….not an adaption, but a continuation.

The biggest risk here, besides the risk that angry sorcerer Alan Moore will turn the HBO executives into frogs, is that it all takes place in an alternate present day, just as the original Watchmen comic took place in an alternate present-day when it was published. Richard Nixon is no longer alive, and a lot of the heroes we saw in the original book would either be dead or too old to take part in anything. The trailer DOES confirm Ozymandias, but he’s the bad guy.

So the new Watchmen has no choice but to come up with some new characters. Many of them are extensions of what came before….Rorschach has inspired a militia of masked sadistic vigilantes, eager to look down from buildings, hear cries for mercy and whisper “no.” The local police department is now wearing Silk Spectre’s yellow-and-black costume scheme, for unclear reasons. But the main focus seems to be on an African-American family we know nothing about.

Dr. Manhattan is still around, but he’s a buzzkill at parties and he’s spending all his time on Mars anyway. We have no idea what to expect from the Watchmen series. It could be either a worthy follow-up, or worthy of the trash heap next to the Zack Snyder adaption. We’ll see! The premiere episode airs this October on HBO.

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