Soon, we will.
At least, that's what Warner Bros. and DC Comics are counting on when their next comic book adaptation, "Watchmen," hits theaters in March. Many moviegoers got a sneak peek of the film before seeing " The Dark Knight."
Plainly defined, "Watchmen" is a 1986 graphic novel written by British writer Alan Moore ("From Hell," "V for Vendetta") and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. It is perhaps the most celebrated title in comicdom and has been showered with accolades including a Hugo Award, science fiction's highest honor. Time listed it as one of its top 100 English-language novels.
"Watchmen" touched on many Reagan-era themes, including the Cold War and the nuclear arms race. But, ultimately, it moved comic books away from the kitschy, kids-only image of the '60s and '70s and proved the genre could handle more complex, adult drama.
Originally released as a 12-issue limited series, "Watchmen" focuses on a group of retired heroes living in an alternative version of 1985 New York. When one of them, The Comedian, is murdered, the rest uncover a plot that could spark a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Here's what you need to know to enter the "Watchmen" world.
The CharactersDr. Manhattan (a.k.a. Jon Osterman)
Played by: Billy Crudup ("Almost Famous," "Big Fish")
Trapped inside an intrinsic field generator during a test run, scientist Jon Osterman was ripped apart by the ensuing explosion. Somehow his consciousness survived, and he rebuilt himself as a glowing, blue-skinned being with a dislike for pants. The only super-powered hero in the Watchmen universe, Dr. Manhattan can do just about anything, from rearranging any kind of matter to teleportation.
Interesting fact: Crudup will star in the upcoming film, "Public Enemies," which was filmed around the Chicago area. He'll play J. Edgar Hoover, who allegedly also had issues with clothing.
Rorschach (a.k.a. Walter Kovacs)
Played by: Jackie Earle Haley ("Little Children")
Wearing a black-and-white mask that resembles a Rorschach test, this vigilante patrols the streets of New York. Spewing conspiracy theories and smelling like a trash bin, Rorschach is considered more of a brutal nuisance than a help. But he's the first to realize that The Comedian's death is more than just a run-of-the-mill homicide.
Interesting fact: As in the graphic novel, the inkblot pattern on Rorschach's mask will change in the movie, thanks to motion-capture technology and visual effects.
The Comedian (a.k.a. Edward Blake)
Played by: Jeffrey Dean Morgan ("P.S. I Love You")
Amoral, misogynistic and a borderline sadist, The Comedian took pride in doling out punishment, which he served not only to criminals, but to protesters, women and some of his colleagues. It was all part of his little joke with the world. You know, the one about the heroes being as bad as the villains.
Interesting fact: Morgan has made a career of playing characters who don't last through the third act, including transplant patient Denny Duquette on " Grey's Anatomy," demon-fighter John Winchester on "Supernatural," and Nancy Botwin's husband Judah on " Weeds."