Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ozymandias Adrian Veidt - Watchmen Characters (comics / graphic novel / movie)

Ozymandias aka Adrian Veidt is one of my top favorite Watchmen characters! I guess he is the only superhero or costumed hero in Watchmen, other then Dr. Manhattan aka Dr. Jonathan Osterman, who does possess some little superpowers; his "super-power" being some extreme IQ levels. Let me emphasize more though - this guy's intelligence levels are not comparable to your usual noble prize winner professors, in fact he is the type who would do the noble prize winning stuff while feeding his cat that he "created" himself! Yeah, Ozymandias genetically created a brand new species of "cats" (bubastis) just for kicks! Read again if you didn't get it the first time - He freaking created a new life form just because he was bored with regular earthly cats! The guy who invents new life forms just as a weekend project has to have some serious gray matter above the shoulders!

Further, the Ozymandias is able to process an amazing amount of information quite easily. Case in point - Ozymandias routinely watches hundreds of tv channels simultaneously to figure out where the world is going
(that's what the Watchmen movie iPhone & iPod Touch App shows in the background). Oh don't get me wrong, he doesn't use this to gather info to help save the world, he uses this talent to figure out what new products his company (Veidt Corporations) should start producing to maximize the profits! The guy has a practical outlook on life for sure!

But if thats not enough for you and you think he's just some couch potato then read on - Ozymandias singlehandedly beat up both Rorschach & Night Owl while making small talk to them, effortlessly killed the Comedian aka Edward Blake (ironical that it was Comedian who was primarily responsible for Veidt's plan) and almost "disintegrated" Dr. Manhattan aka Dr. Jonathan Osterman once!
Remember that Dr. Manhattan is the guy with quantum level control on the building blocks of the universe (whatever that means) and he can dispatch even the big guns like Superman and Hulk in a blink of an eye....and Veidt killed him so bad that Dr. Manhattan had to recreate himself at quantum freaking levels to come back from the dead! Yeah thats the type of bad-Ozymandias-ass dude we are talking about here!

Anyhow, back to the post - So basically Ozymandias is the smartest man on the planet and unlike many contemporary geniuses, he is actually in the peak human physical condition. It appears that he has actually used his brains to devise ways to improve the physical health and athletic ability to the extent that his reflexes are fast enough to even catch a bullet, literally. In the Watchmen storyline, he does catch a bullet fired by Silk Spectre who is pis-ed at him for disintegrating her ex-boyfriend Dr. Manhattan but poor Ms. Juspeczyk doesn't know that Veidt is totally at a different level. So well catching bullets and all, he is kinda pretty much at superhuman levels of physical conditioning. Oh by the way, for you science geeks who are calculating the impact of bullet hitting the palm and cr-p like that - he does kinda becomes unconscious for a little bit because of the impact or whatever so we are not talking Hulk or Wolverine here.....

He seems to apply his intelligence to all aspects of life from physical fitness, new business ideas, beating the sh-t out of other superheroes and super-villains alike and in general being the kickass type of guy all around. He very accurately predicted that normal populace will turn away from costumed vigilantes and stepped down from his role as Ozymandias using the superhero identity for publicity and thereby amassing some serious money. Now ain't that so cool? I mean the guy had fun playing superhero and all and when he got bored with it he simply made some money out of the publicity!! Now thats what I call the real smartass stuff!

The only problem with this guy is that he is just way too ambitious and lacks the regular empathy and emotions that you would expect in a benignant superhero. He figures that world might end by a stupid nuclear war in the coming years while fellow superheroes (minutemen / crimebustors / watchmen) waste their efforts fighting local crimes, and decides to solve the bigger problem of world peace all by himself! And as you would expect, he decides that the best way to bring world peace is to kill a few millions New Yorkers (yeah get rid of the wall st and kill the greed that's behind all this mess) and he goes on to create another new life form just for this purpose! Yeah, this dude totally loves creating his own life forms!

Unfortunately though the Comedian (Edwad Blake) has a bad habit of snooping around and accidentally learns about his master plan and is promptly thrown out of the window of a high rise by Ozymandias. This very event triggers rest of the Watchmen story with Rorschach getting suspicious about Blake's death and eventually learning about Ozymandias' master plan. Veidt doesn't care much ofcourse as his main obstacle in this plan is Dr. Manhattan who actually packs some too godlike powers to be dispatched by throwing out of the window! So our good old Ozymandias goes on step further and assaults Dr. Manhattan mentally and to such extent that poor Doc runs away all the way to Mars to escape from the harassment! But as might be expected of Veidt, he creates some Tachyons field and stuff that disrupts poor Dr. Manhattan's ability to predict future even on Mars!


All that said, the question whether Ozymandias / Veidt is to be thought of as a hero or a villain is very subjective. His plan does result in world peace and averts a nuclear war but then the way the plan was executed was criminal in nature; so someone like Rorschach would take it as a criminal activity that ought to be punished but someone more empathic like Night Owl will realize that even if the plan was ethically & morally screwed still Veidt did avert the virtual destruction of the planet. I personally am all for Veidt as I think that he is the only truly intelligent character in Watchmen who knows what he is doing and why.

10 comments:

  1. well all in all your a idiot then

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  2. haha, Thanks for the comment....I've thought of writing some more serious articles on watchmen but I figured that any nerd can do that...so these funny insights into watchmen graphic novel are somehow more interesting to write (and hopefully, read)!

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  3. Excellent plot-give away. In a sensible matter. I really like the focus on the chess thought here. And you pointed out a few elements I lost on the trail while reading Watchmen.

    Of course Veidt is the true superhero here. He makes a sacrifice in order to re-establish a new world peace (An attack on the USA not done by Russians in the cold war would puzzle both contries enough to join forces rather than focusing the energy on each other).

    But Veidts underlying motivation here is more profit on his businesses, which will have a boost regarding the fact that Wall St is down and out... Smart guy.

    Looking forward to see if the plot got lost on the way in the movie :)

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  4. @Anonymous

    Thanks for the comment. Yeah you are right, I should add a "spoiler alert" or something here :)

    Yes, I agree with you on Ozymandias / Veidt being the true superhero. It's only Ozymandias and Comedian who actually realized that fighting petty crimes won't solve anything in the bigger scheme of things and Blake inadvertantly inspired Veidt to go solo and solve the bigger problems.

    >>But Veidts underlying motivation here is more profit on his >>businesses, which will have a boost regarding the fact that Wall St >>is down and out... Smart guy.

    Excellent point there! I guess looking this way, Veidt is just one step away from becoming Lex Luthor - "I want to bring fire to the world.....and I want my cut!" :)

    Yes, I'm also curious what changes Snyder did to the plot other then the Squid thing. Hope, it stays more or less intact! Fingers crossed :)

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  5. your whole analysis on these characters are trite and supercilious. and who gives a fuck about the squid- it was an awesome movie anyway, but i wouldn't want to sit in a theater for 5 hours while they build the background to it.

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    1. first of all you are using the words trite and supercilious in the wrong context. secondly, you seem to be one of the many people in the world whose basis of "good" and "bad" function solely on subjective black and whites. you are the exact thing moore is criticizing, the American superficial ideology. the parts that were left out of the film were purposefully left out to leave the audience with a feeling of completion, whereas the graphic novel leaves off on a note that creates a discordance to which the reader must review and reconsider their own beliefs and ideology's about existence and morality of what is truly good and bad.

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  6. Yes, thats what the articles are meant to be. I mean we all understand what Watchmen is all about but what I happen to notice is that putting comic superheroes in a real world settings results in something that is both funny and sad in a way. It seems that while telling the story of these "superheroes" Moore did try to show us that these characters are leave out some details that just make it all look funny. Just another way of looking at it that most of the other Watchmen "fans" missed while reveling in the glory of "who watches the watchmen" part.

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  7. do yu know some locations of the happy face?
    nd do yu think its true that happiness comes at a price due to the blood on the face?

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  8. Veidt's aim was noble but his methods cannot be justified. Conspiracies always have a way of being revealed as with any lie (The journal in this case)
    I cannot believe he couldn't have came up with a better plan seeing he's meant to be the smartest human but then being smart is overrated, for some reason smart people don't always make the best choices. Regarding Veidt himself though, he's a megalomaniac that is not open other people's suggestions, seeing as he is 'above them', that is his flaw. As a fighter though he sure is unbeatable! How different things would have been if that Comedian didn't burn his world map all those years ago haha

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