Watchmen finally reveals a huge spoiler and we’ve collected all the clues that led to this moment!
Spoilers ahead if you are not caught up on Watchmen! Dr. Manhattan has been masquerading as a human all along, were you surprised? Though Watchmen starts nearly 30 years since Dr. Manhattan left to Mars, this alternate world is still obsessed with him.
Maybe it’s that humans are haunted by the things that could have been had the god-like being remained a servant to humankind. Or perhaps it’s the world’s way of hoping that clinging on to Dr. Manhattan will somehow bring him back. Even though they all believe that Dr. Manhattan is still sitting pretty on Mars, he is always at the center of civilization.
Not everyone believes that Dr. Manhattan is still checked in on another planet, though. Lady Trieu admitted to Angela Abar that Will Reeves believes Dr. Manhattan is living on Earth disguised as a human. Truthfully, if Dr. Manhattan chose to stay on Earth, a disguise would be the only way he could live peacefully. While the world yearns for Dr. Manhattan to return for several positive reasons, their inability to treat him as anything else other than a weapon or a tool to be used tarnishes any hope of his return in full blue form.
And who better to know about Dr. Manhattan’s whereabouts than Lady Trieu, who owns and monitors the transmissions sent from the phone booths that go unanswered on Mars. Lady Trieu also admits that the plan she and Will hope to foil is that of the 7th calvary, who believe they have discovered the identity of Dr. Manhattan and hope to capture him and then become him.
While Angela quickly dismisses Lady Trieu’s claims, she never asks who it is that they believe is Dr. Manhattan, and that’s because she already knew. Angela’s husband, Cal, is Dr. Manhattan.
It was not an unlikely outcome for Cal to be more than he appeared. Thus far, Cal has been a great husband, father, and babysitter. But that’s as far as his character really goes. It also looks like Cal had been altered with some form of deliberate amnesia. It would make sense that Dr. Manhattan would need to disengage from his true self since he had lost all sense of what it is to be human and was sometimes inappropriate.
Dr. Manhattan, with no censor in human form, would surely blow his own cover. Because Cal’s in danger and can no longer walk around oblivious of his true identity, Angela pulled out a hammer to bring Dr. Manhattan back to life. She apologetically took to Cal’s head with a hammer creating a hole and dug into it until she pulled out Dr. Manhattan’s telltale hydrogen atom.
The atom must have been the source of the amnesia, because shortly afterward, a familiar blue glow washes over Angela’s face. This time she speaks more candidly, suggesting that she’s activated the real Dr. Manhattan.
While it might feel like Dr. Manhattan’s reveal was in deus ex machina fashion, some breadcrumbs foreshadowed this reveal. No need to rack your brain trying to remember them, we’ve listed some of the clues that led to the moment everyone had been waiting for in the following slide…