For those unfamiliar with the book; here’s a little description of basically what Watchmen is all about.
The thing about Watchmen is it’s almost an anti-superhero book. Where in most comics the heroes are out saving people all the time, doing heroic things - Watchmen is essentially a drama with superheroes in the lead. The book takes place in an alternate 1985 where superheroes are part of the moral fabric of America, ever since the 1930s when the Superman comics helped to influence a cast of caped crusaders who went out to protect their neighborhoods. None of them had superpowers of any sort, they were just people spurred to protect common decency. They called themselves The Minutemen. The heroes became celebrities, but inside their little group (much like the Avengers or something of that sort) many were melting down. The Comedian attempts to rape The Silk Spectre, leading to his exile from the group and him becoming a rogue agent for the government who has lost all sense of morality (he is the one smoking a cigar in the pic). The Silk Specter fell in love with her agent, got married and settled down to have a kid. Then the rest of the group just kind of fell apart over the years.
Flash forward, during the years since that first stable of heroes many things have happened. After an atom-splitting related accident on the campus of a college led to Dr. Osterman becoming a walking god of sorts (the blue gentleman in the picture), America earns the upperhand in the cold war. Dr. Manhattan (as he is now called) is the first ever “Superman”, with the ability to do literally ANYTHING, he single handedly wins the Vietnam war for America and is the only real security from the soviets ever trying to nuke America. The original Silk Specter’s daughter, also known as The Silk Specter falls in love with Doc Manhattan and the two spend many years together. Although they never formed a real group like the original Minutemen; Doctor Manhattan, Ozymandias (the smartest man in the world), Rorschach, Comedian, Captain Metropolis, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II at least tried to unite under the Crimebusters label. When that fell apart though, it wasn’t long until the Keene act was written into law and becoming an adventurer was outlawed.
Now the only crimefighters out there are Dr. Manhattan and Comedian, who both work for the government - and Rorschach: the gentleman with the mask on in the center at the bottom of that pic. Rorschach has pretty much lost it in the years of adventuring and covering murder case after murder case - but it is he who stumbles upon the death of one of their own - and begins to consider a conspiracy at foot. Turns out, he might be right - and all masked aventurers might just be in trouble.
Every one of the books ends with about four pages worth of excerpts worth of information taken from fictional novels/books/newspaper clippings within the universe of The Watchmen. So the mythos is huge, but it’s only a 13 book series so I don’t think it is as impossible to bring to the screen as some would have you think. After seeing yesterday’s coverage of Comic-Con on G4TV, I see that indeed they have kept the inner pirate comic that takes place in the book - so I’d say Snyder is being pretty faithful in his adaptation which makes me happy. Although the trailer actually makes it seem more “action” oriented than any issue of the comic ever was