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Damon Lindelof should have given Watchmen credit to late comic book writer Darwyn Cooke

  • "In over thirty interviews and awards speeches, Watchmen showrunner Damon Lindelof and writer Cord Jefferson have appropriately praised Ta-Nehisi Coates, Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore for inspiring the show," says Lee Keeler. "They have also thanked their producers, their fellow writers, their agents, the studio heads at HBO, and many more. There’s just one name that they keep skipping over: Darwyn Cooke." The episode that Lindelof and Jefferson won an Emmy for, “This Extraordinary Being,” borrows from Cooke's 2012 Before Watchmen comics "in a substantial way," says Keeler, noting that Cooke died in 2016. "That affair between Captain Metropolis and Hooded Justice? Darwyn Cooke. The gay outsider member of the superhero group who uncovers an evil underground syndicate, only to be blown off by teammates? Darwyn Cooke. The female heroine tripping out while facing down family issues? Darwyn Cooke. Those parts where Agent Blake pulls a gun, acting way more like her dad than her mom? Darwyn Cooke. The revelation that Black Hood is actually a black man who is dogged by the KKK his whole life? Darwyn Cooke. But to be fair, this last one is from Cooke’s 2004 series The Last Frontier, in which a character named John Henry is built like a tank, wears a hood and a noose around his neck. Given the other elements lifted from Cooke here, it’s safe to assume that this one makes the cut." Keeler goes on to point out that Watchmen borrows from  J. Michael Straczynski penned the Dr. Manhattan books. Keeler adds: "From a roundabout, corporate outlook, all of these points are fair game in terms of intellectual property. The bottom line is that DC and Warner Bros. technically own the rights to each of these moments and can license them out however they see fit....In an often-toxic comics industry that already cripples the rights of its creators as 'part of the biz,' it’s astonishing that such a successful HBO vehicle has yet to credit these artists. For a show that has made its reputation on justice and equity, such acknowledgments are very much in order."

    TOPICS: Watchmen, HBO, Cord Jefferson, Damon Lindelof, Darwyn Cooke