WATCHMEN’s Official Companion Site Fills In Some Notable Gaps

What happened after the "event"?

We have several lingering questions after the thrilling premiere of Damon Lindelof's Watchmen, but fans of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' original graphic novel have a couple of questions in particular: What happened to Walter Kovacs, aka Rorschach? And how was Rorschach's journal received if and when it was eventually published by the right-wing conspiracy theorists at The New Frontiersman? And what about Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias – was he ever revealed as the mastermind behind what is being referred to in this telling as the Dimensional Incursion of Event (the D.I.E.)? How did he come to live in that castle all by himself with a couple of weird-ass servants with poor baking skills who mistake a horseshoe for a cutting implement? HBO has some answers, courtesy of a new companion website for Watchmen called "Peteypedia" – a reference to Agent Dale Petey, a character we've yet to meet on the series, but who appears to be instrumental in some capacity to this iteration of the story. 

As of now the site hosts only four PDF files, and each of them sheds a little light on Lindelof's universe – some more than others. In the first, titled "MEMO: The Computer And You," Director James Doyan addresses the Anti-Vigilante Task Force, encouraging them to become acquainted with a new electronic database. It seems that, in this telling, the world took the D.I.E. at face value; in its aftermath, and coupled with increasing distrust of Dr. Manhattan and his technologically-advanced ideas, people became massively technophobic. The early 90s saw a period of regression into luddite-like behaviors, hence law enforcement's reliance on pagers in the pilot episode. It's also worth noting that famous TV personality Dr. Oz has apparently become the Surgeon General of the United States. 

"RESEARCH: 'Trust In the Law'" offers an analysis and exploration of the silent film depicted in the opening scene of the pilot – a movie about Bass Reeves, a real-life hero who escaped slavery and became the first black deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi. 

The other two PDF files are the most significant, bridging the gap between Moore and Gibbons' story and Lindelof's series. First is a newspaper clipping with the headline "Veidt Declared Dead," which offers some explanation as to what happened to Veidt following the D.I.E. (an event he orchestrated in a deeply warped effort to save the world): Written by Ben Woodward and published in September 2019, the article relays the FBI's declaration of Veidt's death and subsequent acceptance by Trieu Industries, which has managd Veidt's estate since its acquisition of his holdings in 2017. Through this article, we learn that America has experienced a "blue wave" – a period of liberal governance – since 1992, effectively ending 24 years of conservative power. It seems that Veidt went missing in 2012, inspiring countless journalistic investigations, books, and conspiracy theories. He was last seen publicly in 2007, accepting an award from the government of Kenya, and became extremely reclusive in the years that followed. Veidt's patent for electric cars, which relied on a class of lithium created by Dr. Manhattan, became worthless as people came to believe that Manhattan had caused those close to him to develop cancer. Veidt also suffered a huge financial loss when his plan for a new brand called Millennium – intended to capitalize on his prediction of a youth-centric movement in response to the D.I.E. – backfired spectacularly. He was able to bounce back thanks to his patent for an advanced pet cloning technique, named after his famous lynx, Bubastis. Following the D.I.E., Veidt donated millions to hospitals treating PTSD in survivors of the event. 

Hilariously, the article references Veidt's lawsuit against Roger Ailes, who, in this reality, is the president of something called Newspaper Corporation of America. 

The last file is of particular import given the series' introduction of the Seventh Kavalry – an alt-right militia whose members have appropriated Rorschach's mask and his journal to support their toxic racist ideologies. In this memo, from Agent Dale Petey and addressed to the Anti-Vigilante Task Force, the author lays out his reasoning as to why the FBI should not declare Adrian Veidt dead; namely, to avoid giving the Seventh Kavalry additional ammunition. The memo makes reference to Laurie Juspeczyck, now an agent with the bureau operating under the name Laurie Blake. In the years since the graphic novel, Laurie continued working as a "masked adventurer," first as Silk Spectre, and later as The Comedienne (in honor of her late father, The Comedian/Edward Blake). At some point following her apprehension, along with Dan Dreiberg (aka Nite Owl), Laurie began working for the FBI. Dreiberg, the memo says, remains in federal custody and refuses to speak about Rorschach or the events in Antarctica. Rorschach's journal was eventually published by The New Frontiersman, but – owing to the publication's reputation – it was largely dismissed; some believed the journal was a fake, while others felt Rorschach's writings, which implicated Veidt in the D.I.E., were the ramblings of a madman. For his part, Veidt dismissed the journal as a fraud, calling it "fake news." As Petey explains, it doesn't matter if the journal was genuine or if Rorschach's accusations were true; he was, by all accounts, a mentally ill man whose sanity was questionable at best. 

Rorschach remains missing, as does Veidt, though Petey speculates that the latter may very well be plotting a "show-stopping comeback." And based on the trailer for the remaining episodes of Watchmen, that certainly appears to be a strong possibility.