The ‘Watchmen’ Visual Effects Reel Reveals What’s Really Behind The Looking Glass

The Watchmen season finale was a heck of a ride with plenty of discussion to be found in the aftermath. Naturally, that gave us an opportunity to rank the players and pretty much find out the true identity of Lube Man. One sobering real-life development is pointing toward the discovery of a mass grave from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre depicted in the series, but fans will also want to watch HBO’s new featurette about how the most astonishing visual effects of the season were accomplished.

Naturally, there’s a lot of focus on Big Blue. We get a glimpse of Doctor Manhattan’s materialization in the Abar homestead, as well as Jon Osterman’s creation of the Europa landscape and his visit to Adrian Veidt’s lair. The bare booty-factor gets a blur in this featurette, which is just fine because I’m sure folks can always click back to the episodes if they want to see the real deal again. Yet the biggest surprise for me in this whole reel is the revelation that Looking Glass’ mask was never actually made of reflective material. He wore a green hood the entire time! This information does drain a little magic out of the teeth-checking scene between Wade and Laurie, but it speaks volumes on the ability of Jean Smart and Tim Blake Nelson to still pull off a marvelously adversarial rapport with his green head in the picture.

Of course, HBO has previously pulled off some remarkable effects after inserting some ridiculous looking green objects while shooting scenes. Dany’s dragons on Game of Thrones, anyone? Those creatures are slightly more dramatic than the fun-house squid scene shown above, but the “real” versus “effects” are still quite a contrast to witness.