Chapter 4: "Watchmaker"

     Watchmen is a trademark of DC Comics Inc., copyright 1995.  
These annotations copyright 1995 by Doug Atkinson.  They may be freely 
copied anddistributed, provided the text is not altered.

     Certain notes are true for each issue.  Each one is written by 
AlanMoore, drawn and lettered by Dave Gibbons, and colored by John 
     Moreover, each issue has a continuing motif, a reoccuring object 
or pattern that is seen on the cover, the first and last page (usually), 
and throughout the issue.  This issue's motif is the picture lying in the 
dust on Mars.  Another trend is the title, which is always an excerpt from 
an apropos quote shown in its entirety in the last panel.  This issue's 
titleis from Einstein.
     The clock appearing on the covers counts the minutes to 
midnight, similar to the clock in the _Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists_, 
which is an estimate of the world's closeness to nuclear war.  The clock 
stands at 8 minutes to midnight, and advances by one minute per issue.

Cover: The old photo of Janey Slater and Jon Osterman lying on the 
sand of Mars.

Page 1, panel 1: Dr. Manhattan's skin is still the color he changed 
it to in #3.  He eventually lets it revert.

Panel 2: Dr. Manhattan has an unusual time sense: he seems to 
experience past, present, and future events simultaneously.  He will refer to 
his knowledge of the future but will not attempt to act on this 

Panels 9: The picture in the dust again.

Page 3, panel 3: The _Times_ headline reads, "Atomic Bomb Dropped On
Hiroshima."  (The _Times_ probably became the _Gazette_ at some 
point.) The bomb was dropped on August 6th, so it's not unreasonable that they'd 
find out on the morning of the 7th.  (It's not clear if the Nagasaki bomb 
was ever dropped or not; it's never mentioned, but then again, how often 
is it mentioned in our world compared with Hiroshima?)

Page 4, panel 1: Wally Weaver is known later as "Dr. Manhattan's 
pal." This may be a reference on Moore's part to "Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen."

Page 5, panel 1: The Bestiary, when it was new.  Interesting that Jon 
has this flash from the future.  Notice the way the objects in panel 2 
roughly mimic the layout of the people in panel 1.

Panel 4: The writing on the bulletin board, "At play amidst the 
Strangeness and Charm," alludes to two properties of quarks, strangeness and 

Panel 9: The picture in the dust.

Page 6, panel 3: The time the photo was taken.

Page 9, panel 3: Presley: Elvis Presley, real-world rock star.

Page 10, panel 1: Four years later, to the day, Dr.  Manhattan fails 
to prevent Kennedy's assassination.

Panel 4: Completely reassembled now.  It is unclear whether or not 
his blue skin is a matter of choice.

Page 12, panel 6: The symbol is a stylized version of a hydrogen 
atom, the simplest atom possible (one proton and one electron.)

Panels 7-8: The name refers to the Manhattan Project, which designed 
the first nuclear bomb.

Page 14, panel 1: The Red Cross charity event for Indian Famine 
relief, shortly before Nite Owl's retirement, mentioned last issue.

Panel 2: The name of this "crime-den" is "Dante's," a reference to 
the Italian author best known for the Divine Comedy, which included a 
trip to Hell.  The name and red lighting seem to be intended to invoke a 
hellish atmosphere.

Panel 3: That may be Milton Glass in the back behind the two 
uniformed men.  Since he was also visible on panel 5 of the last page, it appears 
that he stayed with Jon for a long time.

Page 15, panel 6: Just one of the technological by-products of Dr.
Manhattan.  Rorschach's mask is another, and probably Archie is too.  
(Does the industry depend on his continued presence, or has he set up the 
means to synthesize more?)

Panel 7: Dealey Plaza in Dallas is where Kennedy was assassinated.

Page 16, panel 8: These are the same earrings we've seen Sally 
wearing.  Presumably there's some sort of magnetic means of keeping the nuclei
floating in the middle (and it's probably another technological by-

Page 17, panel 1: The Crimebusters' first/only meeting.  Jon wears 
less and less of the costume as time goes on.  (We saw the meeting in issue 

Panel 3: A flashback to #3, page 4, panel 1.  (Note Laurie's 

Page 18, panel 2: Laurie could be anywhere from fifteen to seventeen,
depending on what source one accepts for her age.

Panel 6: Notice the time on the clock.

Page 19, panel 3: It has been said, outside the series, that earlier
Presidents were wise enough to realize how dangerous involving Dr.
Manhattan in international affairs could be.  After this, relations 
with the USSR and China fell apart.

Cuba: Refers to the failed U.S.-sponsored invasion of the Bay of 
Pigs.  Jon may mean that Kennedy avoided sending him in, or that he avoided 
mentioning it anywhere.  The former seems likelier, as our Kennedy was willing 
to accept responsibility for the invasion's failure.

Panel 4: The woman clinging to Blake is apparently the same as the 
one in issue #2.

Panel 6: Notice where the drool is splashing on the smiley-face 

Page 21, panel 1: The main headline reads, "Third Term for Dick?" 
referring to the amendment repealing the 22nd amendment (which limits 
Presidents to 2 terms).  The secondary headline reads, "Ozymandias Quits: Smartest 
Man in World Goes Public."

Panel 4: More Dr. Manhattan spinoffs.  The airships have periodically 
been seen around New York earlier.  The key word here may be "safe:" part 
of the reason for the decline of dirigibles was the destruction of the 
hydrogen-powered _Hindenberg_.

Panels 5-6: This provides a significant glimpse into Adrian's mind.

Page 22, panels 2-6: The riots before the Keene act (in Washington 
this time). The signs read: "Give Us Our Police Back!" "Badges Not Masks," 
and "Ban Vigilantes Now." The building in panels 3 and 6 is the White 

Page 23, panel 3: The Iranian hostage situation occurred when student
militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Teheran in 1979.  Apparently the
situation was solved much more quickly in their world.

Page 24, panel 3: The picture in the dust again.

Panel 4: A Gunga Diner is the background: note the Mmeltdowns and 
Nostalgia ads, the "Four More Years" sign, the issue of the New Frontiersman, 
the airships in the background, the ball-pipe, and the time on the 
clock.  New York is taking on the familiar shape of the series.  The hat the man 
on the left is wearing is a Veidt product.  (The vents on the sides suggest 
that there's something interesting about that hat; maybe it has a built-in
radio, or maybe it's air-conditioned.)

Panel 7: The watch is frozen at the same time Janey's was (assuming 
the hand on the right is the minute hand).

Page 25, panel 2: A flashback to #2.  Note that Jon is not 
omniscient; he may be able to see things happening anywhere, but he's still limited 
in his interpretational abilities.  The man in the coat is Moloch.

Panels 3-8: Flashbacks to #3.

Page 28, panel 3: The picture one last time.

Panel 6: Einstein's quote refers, not to the atomic bomb, but to 
quantum mechanics; quantum mechanics destroyed any view of our universe as
deterministic, and Einstein didn't care for the resulting uncertainty. This is
 particularly ironic, since Dr. Manhattan's time sense suggests that
his universe is indeed deterministic.

The title of this issue, "Watchmaker," refers also to the famous 
"argument from design," saying that the universe as a complex creation must 
have a creator.  The metaphor was first proposed by William Paley in 
_Natural Theology_; his example was that of finding a watch somewhere, and 
that its complexity implied a matchmaker.  This term has come to symbolize an
intelligent creator, and thus is particularly appropriate to Dr. 
Manhattan, as is "The Judge of All the Earth."

Pages 29-32: "Dr. Manhattan: Super-Powers and the Superpowers" by 
Milton Glass, who directed the Gila Flats institute.  A summary of Dr. 
Manhattan's strategic importance.             Doug Atkinson