Regina King is less than impressed by fans criticizing her new series Watchmen because it’s “nothing like the graphic novel”.
The star fronts the HBO series as a wife, a masked detective and a vigilante known as Sister Night, in the show that subverts the typical superhero narrative that the masked crusaders are always the good guys.
The show is based on the popular DC Comics series of graphic novels, published from 1986 to 1987, but King suspects the backlash has nothing to do with the ’80s publications.
“With some people, I wonder if it’s one of two things: were you truly a fan of the graphic novel? Because if you were, you’d realize there was a political story in there,” she mused in an interview with Digital Spy. “And two, did it feel less political for you because you, as a white man right now, watching this, it’s making you uncomfortable? Which one is it? A combination of both?”
The show contains several political references – it opens with a reconstruction of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre – when a white mob attacked and killed hundreds of black residents in the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma – and features a cult-like group known as the Seventh Cavalry, inspired by comic book character Rorschach, as Watchmen’s fictional successors to the Ku Klux Klan.
However, the star urged viewers to “keep watching”, explaining: “I would like for (viewers) to reserve their judgment until they get to the ninth episode. From there, then express what you feel. But please let your expression be truly what you feel.
“I won’t be satisfied with an answer that says, ‘I don’t like it because it wasn’t anything like the graphic novel.’ That wasn’t the intention,” she added. “I need you to dig a little deeper to tell me what it was that made you feel uncomfortable. I feel that that’s very fair… Now, tell me why you feel uncomfortable?”