Wednesday, February 13, 1985

Watchmen Chapter XII: "A Stronger Loving World"

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

Cover: The cover image is a clock at a hair before midnight, drenched in blood.

Page 1: The clock is at midnight, a yellow circle stained with blood, while the repeated classic blood-drop shape is found on the sign on the lower-left of the frame. The two bands playing this concert were "Pale Horse"--named after the steed that death rides in the book of Revelation--and "Krystalnacht"--named after the pogrom near the beginning of the Holocaust in which the streets were filled with glass. The date is November 2nd, the "Day of the Dead".

Page 3: The Utopia is showing "The Day the Earth Stood Still", a movie about an alien who comes to earth to stop humans from destroying themselves in nuclear war.

Page 6: Note "THE VEIDT METHOD-I WILL GIVE YOU BODIES BEYOND YOUR WILDEST IMAGININGS". As noted, in this context it has triple meaning: The face meaning of bodybuilding, the fact that New York is now littered with thousands of dead bodies, and the fantastically grotesque body of the dead alien. Note the drop of blood on the hydrant's right "eye".

Page 7, panel 1: Note the shape of Laurie's teardrop.

Page 7, panel 3: Note that Jon is completely unfazed by his surroundings.

Page 8: More subtle than usual, Jon is narrating Laurie's actions.

Page 8, panel 4: Laurie is picking up the gun.

Page 11: Jon's dialogue and action in panels 3&4 is repeated on the next page.

Page 14, panel 2: Adrian shows more remorse over the cat than over millions of New Yorkers.

Page 14, panel 5: As Laurie creeps up behind him, "...something he wasn't expecting."

Page 17, panel 3: "...light?"

Page 19, panel 7: Once again, in front of the Gordian Knot mural.

Page 20, panel 7: Rorschach's "No compromise" face, as seen in I.24.6.

Page 23, panel 1: Rorschach's face suggests the shape of Dan and Laurie.

Page 27, panel 1: It seems that Adrian's dream is the closing scene of "Marooned". Adrian, alone on an island far away from the rest of civilization, has built a route to his society's salvation on the backs of dead men.

Page 28, panel 1: Echoing Jon, Sally says "It never ends. Never." "Peace on Earth", while a pretty standard Christmas greeting, seems particularly appropriate.

Page 28, panel 3: "The Architects of Fear" was a real episode of The Outer Limits in which scientists pretend that earth is being invaded by aliens to avert nuclear war.

Page 29, panel 6: Laurie is talking about herself, of course.

Page 30, panel 3: Her description sounds a lot like the Comedian's old costume.

Page 31, panel 1: The Institute for Extraspatial Studies is of course gone, but the new building going up is being built by "Pyramid Construction", no doubt owned by Adrian. The Utopia has been replaced by the "New Utopia", and is playing some films by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, "Nostalgia" and "The Sacrifice", the latter being the story of a man who vows to God to give up everything to save the world from nuclear holocaust. Now that the Russians have become allies, the Gunga Diner has been replaced by Burgers 'n' Borscht.

Page 31, panel 2: The news kiosk has been replaced by a vending machine. Headline says "RR" is considering a run for the presidency. This turns out not to be Reagan.

Page 31, panel 3: In the place of the fallout shelter sign, a poster advertising the new peace with the Russians is being placed.

Page 31, panel 4: Veidt's new "Millennium" line has been released. Rather than focusing on the past, the focus is on the future. Note the people on the sign are looking to our right, towards the future in comics language. The graffiti has a far more positive tone.

Page 31, panel 5: Note V's on Seymour's shoes; are these Veidt brand shoes? Also, Pioneer Publishing's logo is visible in the background, similar to the Rumrunner's logo, it bears some resemblance to a skull.

Page 31, panel 6: There is a clock in the background at 11:55 as Seymour enters the office.

Page 31, panel 7: Another clock is found inside the office

Page 32, panel 4: "Who wants a cowboy actor in the White House?" Indeed.

Page 32, panel 5: Ketchup drips on Seymour's shirt, as yet not fully seen.

Page 32, panel 7: Seymour's hand hovers over Rorschach's journal, which holds the biggest story the New Frontiersman or any other paper will ever see, as indeed, the very fate of the world may be in Seymour's hands. The happy face logo with characteristic red drop shape is the final image, and we are left wondering what the real end of this story will be.

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