Sunday, February 10, 1985

Watchmen Chapter X: "Two Riders Were Approaching"

Spoiler warning: If you have not read Watchmen, do not read these notes. See intro/disclaimer.

Cover: The cover depicts a radar screen, and the reflections off the glass along with the two radar blips make the form of a happy face with a line passing through the right "eye". Note the clock stands at 11:59. The title of the chapter is "Two Riders Were Approaching", a theme that will be repeated profusely within the chapter.

Page 2, panel 1: During times of high tension internationally, the President of the United States carries a briefcase known as "the football", which has launch codes for our missiles. Here, President Nixon appears to be carrying a literal football, oddly enough.

Page 2, panel 6: Classic Ford slapstick; he was known for being fairly clumsy.

Page 2, panel 7: Two riders on planes are now two riders in trams.

Page 6, panel 7: Rorschach has a soft spot for children, too.

Page 7, panel 1: The servants and Bubastis mimic the pose in the previous panel.

Page 7, panel 4: "...problems to solve... It's the same old story." As the view pulls back to show the Gordian Knot mural.

Page 9, panel 2: Rorschach's coat must actually be pretty rank; a close look at the stain on the front indicates that it's ten-year-old crusted dog blood. Compare various shots of his coat with VI.24.4.

Page 12, panel 3: Two riders approach our protagonist.

Page 13, panel 1: In the background, two riders approach. On the back of the comic, Veidt promises, "I will give you bodies beyond your wildest imaginings," a phrase with triple meaning in the beginning of chapter XII.

Page 13, panel 7: "The Watchtower", a reference to the chapter's quote.

Page 14, panel 2: Rorschach's "Happy Harry" face. (See I.15.3)

Page 15, panel 3: Many of the employees of Pyramid Deliveries (owned by Adrian) were unwittingly in on the conspiracy.

Page 15, panel 7: Up until now, Dan was of course unaware of what had happened to Hollis.

Page 16, panel 7: Dan seems to have forgotten for a moment who he's talking to.

Page 17, panel 1: Note the logo: this is a Pyramid Deliveries ship.

Page 18, panel 2: Clock one minute to midnight.

Page 19, panel 7: From this panel throughout the next page, Rorschach unwittingly narrates Dan's thoughts and actions.

Page 20, panel 7: "Do you wish to add rider?" Of course, because it's two riders, right?

Page 22, panel 5: "It paints disturbing picture" as he approaches the "Hiroshima lovers".

Page 23, panel 1: Same exact spot, the next morning. Rorschach's journal is being picked up. On this page, the dialogue and "Marooned" switch off narrating each other panel by panel.

Page 23, panel 4: The "sentry" may be another implication of a clock at near-midnight, but it's not as clear as some.

Page 23, panel 6: The "sentry" is revealed to be a scarecrow, our first clear hint that the doom the protagonist is fighting against may be just in his head.

Page 23, panel 8: Two riders were approaching...

Page 23, panel 9: No, it's only the end of the world literally.

Page 24, panel 4: New Frontiersman's hall has been vandalized with Nazi graffiti.

Page 24, panel 7: Possibly the most important piece of mail the New Frontiersman has ever received, and the editor wants to burn it.

Page 28: Two riders were approaching...

Page 29: Notes from Adrian's desk. Adrian writes to his marketing executive, "The American public has never gone in for super-heroes in a big way." Also, he suggests the introduction of the "Millenium" line, seen in the epilogue of the last chapter.

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