Both Dr. Manhattan’s Deaths Explained (TV Show & Comics)

Both manhattan deaths

Dr. Manhattan cannot die. At least, that is the dominant theory. The character has survived death, and as a being of energy, he has proven that he cannot be destroyed as per the natural laws of the universe he exists in – energy cannot be destroyed; it just changes form. And yet, Damon Lindelof’s critically acclaimed Watchmen TV show shows the death of Dr. Manhattan. Likewise, he seems to “die” during the Doomsday Clock comic book event. Is he really dead? Why did he have to die?

  • Article breakdown:
  • In the Watchmen TV series, Dr. Manattan seems to have sacrificed himself to prevent anyone from obtaining godly powers and to destroy the racist group in Tulsa.
  • In the comic books, Dr. Manhattan removed himself from existence by returning to history and preventing himself from ever being created because Superman’s heroism inspired him.

Dr. Manhattan’s deaths

I have already discussed Dr. Manhattan’s powers and abilities, concluding that it seems that he cannot die. Yet, there are two iterations of the character that have indeed died (or seem to have died); one is from Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen TV series, while the other is from Doomsday Clock, a massive crossover event that changed a lot in the DC Universe. We are going to discuss these two events in the article.

How did Dr. Manhattan die in the Watchmen TV show?

This is a very big question and one of the more controversial points in Lindelof’s TV series. Namely, at the very end, Dr. Manhattan – in the form of Cal Abar – dies as the Tulsa-based racist group called the Kavalry harnesses his powers. Luckily for the world, Ozymandias was there to save the day, once again with his alien squids, and the world was saved, with Angela Abar seemingly inheriting Dr. Manhattan’s powers thanks to an egg. Here’s the scene for you:

The reasons for Dr. Manhattan’s death in the TV show are vaguely explained. Dr. Manhattan seemingly sacrificed himself to prevent the Kavalry from obtaining his powers, affirming what Ozymandias said: “Anyone who seeks to attain the power of a god must be prevented at all costs from attaining it.”

Yet, it remains unclear why he didn’t just kill all of them. The series offered an even vaguer response in the form of Dr. Manhattan’s omnitemporal omniscience, suggesting that it was a future he could not have prevented.

This is just untrue since Dr. Manhattan has proven – in the comic books – that he can interfere with the events around him, so while the TV show did explain Manhattan’s death, we cannot but disagree, adding that its treatment of Dr. Manhattan character – unlike most other elements – wasn’t that good.

How did Dr. Manhattan die in the Doomsday Clock event?

As far as we know from the comic books, Dr. Manhattan cannot be killed by anyone… except himself. Namely, in Doomsday Clock, Dr. Manhattan seems to die (although we have yet to see how permanent that is).

Superman vs Doctor Manhattan banner 2 e1567717457674

Namely, Dr. Manhattan, upon seeing Superman’s humanism, decided to once again become a true superhero and reconnect with his human side, so he went back in time and changed the timeline so that he was never even created (thereby triggering the famous grandfather paradox, but even if DC says that Manhattan is “dead”, we don’t believe it to be that easy).


Who Is Smarter: Dr. Manhattan or Ozymandias?

So, Dr. Manhattan seems to have developed a moral code that made him realize that humanity is worth preserving, which is why he “killed” himself by never creating himself, but as we stated – we’ve yet to see how permanent that is.

What do you think about Dr. Manhattan’s deaths? Let me know in the comments below!

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