Probably some spoilers for DC Universe Rebirth in here, if that’s still a problem for anyone.

§ August 19th, 2016 § Filed under watchmen § 10 Comments

Okay, for the life of me, I have no idea how I missed this on my pass through Previews for the most recent installment of the End of Civilization:

This is…just nuts, really. Now don’t get me wrong, I love ridiculous exploitations of the Watchmen property, mostly out of what I’ve described in the past as the “sheer hilarious gall” of the publisher to continue finding new ways to aggravate the purists. There’s a part of me that’s all “I can’t believe they’re still doing this” but it’s vastly overwhelmed by the cultural observer in me, fascinated by whatever new permutation is about to be inflicted upon us. True, the toaster set the bar fairly high in terms of sheer crassness, but I still have a soft spot for all these neat little Heroclix figures.

Anyway, what you see above is the listing in the August 2016 Previews for a bunch of Watchmen tie-in shirts, featuring the Big Three Super-logos all affixed with the bloodsplash that you’ll remember from the Comedian’s smiley-face button (and repeated as a motif throughout the story). Here’s a better look:

This…is a strange item, certainly, which will confuse anyone not up-to-date on current DC continuity (so pretty much “the population of Earth +/- 0.0001%”) and will wonder “why the red blotch? What does that mean?” Not that “being clear to the mundanes” has ever been a top priority with fan merch…it’s more for signaling to others in the same club, as was pointed out to me when I expressed curiosity over the choice of design for that Sandman “it was good being your raven” t-shirt that came out decades ago. Or of course I’m just overthinking it, and some folks out there will just like the design and not care a single bit if anyone else “gets it.”

The real purpose, however, is for fans to wear these shirts and remind each other that Watchmen is part of the DC Universe now, though to what extent exactly is not entirely known, beyond what was presented in the initial DC Universe Rebirth one-shot (though there are theories). Like I’ve said before, we’ll get some kind of event down the road where the Watchmen/DCU connection will be addressed in full, and that these shirts exist at all implies its inevitability. Whether this means “BATMAN VS. RORSCHACH, FOR ALL THE MARBLES” remains to be seen (but boy, I sure hope so).

10 Responses to “Probably some spoilers for DC Universe Rebirth in here, if that’s still a problem for anyone.”

  • Cue the “Wonder Woman’s on her period” jokes in 3, 2…

  • AbsalomDak says:

    Rorschach is dead and no match for Batman anyways. It’s Batman vs Ozymandias.

  • Argh!Sims says:

    I never pictured Wonder Woman as a Burgers & Borscht customer.

  • Andrew L says:

    I think what makes these designs confusing is lack of context. I wouldn’t remember where that mark was from right way without the header. For those who are Watchmen fans or have read that Rebirth comic they may see the red mark and get it but I think they would have been better with the whole button design with said Trinity symbol inside that. Idk just an idea

  • philip says:

    I would buy all four issues of the Batman v. Rorschach mini-series if they were in fact playing marbles throughout.

  • As a professional artist and designer I hate seeing stupid/poorly done designs’ when there was a more obvious choice that could have been made. While not commenting on whether Watchmen should or shouldn’t be in the DC Universe (frankly, I don’t care) but if approached to design a T-Shirt that would signify that inclusion, why not simply have the Comedian’s button, with the blood stain on it, attached atop each logo where they have that stain. It would make SO MUCH sense, since buttons ARE attached, often, on shirts. By doing so, it would easily “tell the story” of Watchman “joining” the DC Universe without looking like someone spilled red jelly on your Bat Man shirt.

  • I’ve been reading this blog for years yet civilization refuses to end. Although based on this, how much further can we descend? Hey, how about a bat-signal t-shirt colored with the Rorschach pattern? Or Harley Quinn with Manhattan’s forehead insignia? Or Changeling in the form of a green dog, tire tread on burst stomach?

  • Pedro de Pacas says:

    Richard touches on a good point – these shirts are a failure of design. But most of these nerdwear items are (horrendous).

  • MrJM says:

    Why are so few of us left active, healthy, and without personality disorders?

    — MrJM

  • Brian says:

    “I never pictured Wonder Woman as a Burgers & Borscht customer.”

    Between her role as peacemaker and her own experience working in fast food, I could see WW getting behind Burgers & Borscht…