Bucket of Blood was the name of a character and one-off story featured during the hiatus that occurred in the Red Star over New York storyline. Essentially a filler issue due to creative strife on the magazine, the story is considered by many fans to be a "dream issue" and thus not officially a part of WatchmeX continuity. Despite this, Bucket of Blood offers tantalizing glimpses into the previously unexplored background of key characters and ties together several storylines as well as foreshadowing the Squid Invasion arc.
Main Story Edit
In a brief pause from the action, an exhausted Adrian Veidt, now President of the United States takes an impromptu leave of absence and returns to the previously abandoned Karnak to reflect on his past. While there he discovers a mysterious series of objects, left by persons unknown. Among the objects are a single ball of hashish, a tattered Tales of the Black Freighter comic book and a bottle of Nostalgia perfume filled with a strange blue substance.
Taking a leap of faith and eager for new knowledge, Veidt eats the drug, drinks the liquid and begins to read the comic. He soon begins to hallucinate, seeing himself amidst the pages of the book (critics christened this unique experiment "breaking the fifth wall") and engaging in conversation with one of the characters within.
The character, formerly known simply as The Mariner, now calling himself Bucket of Blood and acting as captain of the Black Freighter attempts to explain to Veidt through a series of non sequiturs the existence of parallel worlds and true dimensional travel. The horrors of this earth, where the Black Freighter and its crew have obliterated the entire planet are made apparent as they sail on through the comic but Veidt dismisses the analogy and claims that only his genius and skill have saved the WatchmeX earth and only he can continue to keep it in check. When it's revealed the blue liquid he had drunk was actually the semen of Dr. Manhattan, Veidt laughs and proclaims Osterman's rebirth as the second coming of Christ.
In response, the Captain offers Veidt a glimpse of his future and the sea around the ship begins to reveal hundreds upon hundreds of Manhattan's Xexius alien squid, foreshadowing a future storyline. Revolted, Veidt makes his escape but because of the unique properties of Manhattan's love yoghurt, as Veidt ends the hallucination and leaves the Black Freighter earth, the Mariner is seen to follow him. When Veidt recovers and wakes fully however, Bucket of Blood is nowhere to be seen, leading the character and readers to wonder if the event happened at all.
Mentally shaken by what he has seen, Veidt begins to prepare a series of contingency plans both for the eventual return of Dr Manhattan and for a possible Squid Invasion.
This was the second time the Tales of the Black Freighter made an appearance within WatchmeX, the first being at the conclusion of the Dr. Blackhattan storyline. Though no mention of that character is made during Veidt's trip several theories exist that it was Blackhattan himself who prompted Veidt to undergo the procedure.