WATCHMEN- Doctor Manhattan





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Published on Mar 10, 2009

Doctor Manhattan

Jon Osterman's father was a watchmaker and he expected to become one himself, but following the destruction of Hiroshima by an atom bomb, the elder Osterman insisted that Jon become a nuclear scientist.

While working at a nuclear research center, Jon was accidentally locked into a test chamber and caught in an "Intrinsic Field subtractor" in 1959. This turned him into a blue-skinned superpowered being and he became a superhero contracted by the United States government, who gave him the name Doctor Manhattan. He is the only character in the story who possesses real superpowers.[4] He enabled the US to win the Vietnam War and his powers were such that he gave America a strategic advantage over the Soviet Union, which has increased tensions between the two nations at the start of the series.[3] Over time, however, Manhattan becomes more and more distant from humanity, illustrated in the fact that he wears fewer clothes over the passing decades to the point that by the time his girlfriend Laurie walks out on him, he wears no clothes at all (except in public appearances) and goes into self-imposed exile away from Earth.

Doctor Manhattan was based upon Charlton's Captain Atom, who in Moore's original proposal was surrounded by the shadow of nuclear threat. However, the writer found he could do more with Manhattan as a "kind of a quantum super-hero" than he ever could have with Captain Atom.[2] In opposition to other superheroes that lacked scientific exploration of their origins, Moore sought to delve into nuclear physics and quantum physics in constructing the character of Dr. Manhattan. The writer believed that a character living in a quantum universe would not perceive time with a linear perspective, which would influence the character's perception of human affairs. Moore also wanted to avoid creating an emotionless character like Spock from Star Trek, so he sought for Dr. Manhattan to retain "human habits" and to grow away from them and humanity in general.[1] Gibbons had created the blue character Rogue Trooper, and explained he reused the blue skin motif for Doctor Manhattan as it resembles skin tonally, but has a different hue. Moore incorporated the color into the story, and Gibbons noted the rest of the comic's color scheme made Manhattan unique.[5] Moore recalled that he was unsure if DC would allow the creators to depict the character as fully nude, which partially influenced how they portrayed the character.[6] Gibbons wanted to tastefully depict Manhattan's nudity, selecting carefully when full frontal shots would occur and giving him "understated" genitals — like a classical sculpture — so the reader would not initially notice it.[7]. In the Watchmen film he is played by Billy Crudup.


DC Comics


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