Chapter 8: "Old Ghosts"

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

     Certain notes are true for each issue.  Each one is written by 
Alan Moore, 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 statuette of Nite 
Owl; more generally, there is a theme of reminisces of the past.
     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 title is 
from _Hallowe'en_ by Eleanor Farjeon.
     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 4 minutes to midnight.

Cover: The "In Gratitude" statue of Nite Owl.

Page 1, panel 1: Hollis' apartment.  Recognizable here are a can of 
Miller lite, the Nite Owl statuette, the Minutemen photo, and the "Hero 
Retires" front page.  In panel 5 we see it's from the _New York News_.

Panel 2: Sally's retirement home.  Note the Nostalgia bottle.

Panel 3: Today is the 26th, assuming that "last night" actually means
"early this morning." The calendar in panel 8 has it as the 27th, 
though.  (The fire would have made the news the same day, most likely.)

Panels 3-4: It's interesting to compare Hollis and Sally's viewing
material; Hollis is watching the news, Sally is watching a soap.  
It's probably the six o'clock news Hollis is watching (using the same
Afghanistan graphic as last night), making it about 3:00 in 
California and accounting for the differences in lighting.

Panel 6: Recognizable here are the "Silk Spectre" Tijuana Bible, the 
group photo of the Minutemen, and a magazine with a "Nostalgia" ad.

Page 2, panel 3: At the bottom of the panel is the Dr.  Manhattan 
issue of _Nova Express_.  Surprisingly, the "MultiVite" does not appear to be 
a Veidt product.

Panels 2, 6: The statuette is visible in the background.  Mirror 
image (Hollis' face) in 6.

Page 3, panel 1: Lovers graffiti on the wall.  This spread confirms 
the assumed layout of the corner.

Panel 2: The Pyramid Deliveries truck again.  "Spirit of '77" refers 
back to the era of the Keene act.  (The phrase refers to "Spirit of '76," 
used to refer to the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence, 
signed in 1776.)

Panel 3: The Utopia is now showing "The Day The Earth Stood Still."

Panel 4: Bernard confirms the date as the 27th.  There's a day 
missing here somewhere: #6 has the date of Mal's first session as the 25th, which 
would make the news broadcast Dan and Laurie watch in #7 the same day.  The
action of #7 only covers mid-afternoon on one day to early morning 
the next, so the tenement rescue would have been the 26th.  The only 
plausible explanation is that the media waited an extra day to report the fire, 
or that Hollis waited a while to call Sally.  (We can assume that page 3 
is the day after pages 1-2, but that doesn't account for Sally's 

Panel 7: The radiation sign is visible in the background, as is a 
_Nova Express_ and _New Frontiersman._ This panel is an echo of 6:16:5.

Panel 9: Obviously, this is Mal Long.

Page 4, panel 6: "Reds Cross Pakistan Border" (something that never
occurred in the real world).

Page 5, panel 5: Notice the various images in the screens.  Archie 
has a variety of cameras, apparently.

Page 6, panel 2: The speaker is Big Figure, somebody Dan and Walter 
put away in the '60's.

Page 7, panel 3: Figure's comment about "tomorrow, Thursday, Friday" 
places this scene on Tuesday the 29th.

Panel 6: The "valley of the shadow" refers to the 23d Psalm: "Though 
I walk through the shadow of the valley of death."

Pages 8-9: Obviously Fine knows who Dan really is.  The date is the 

Page 8, panel 1: The Gordian Knot man is back.

Panel 5: The _Nova Express_ cover has pictures of Dr.  Manhattan,
Rorschach, and Ozymandias, and the headline reads, "Superheroes in 
the News: Spirit of '77."  The _Gazette_ headlines read, "Tanks Mass In 
Eastern Europe: "Purely Defensive" Say Reds," and "California: Governor 
Reagan Urges Hard Line." (In the real world Reagan was President in '85, 
though he was California governor in the '70s.)

Panel 6: Dan must be worried about something; he has no specific need 
to fix the locks, since Rorschach hasn't broken them for a couple of 
weeks.  (Unless Gordian is just so overworked by Rorschach's breaking and 
entering spree that it took them that long to get out there.)

Panel 8: In reference to the "Sweet Chariot" cubes found in 
Rorschach's pocket.

Page 9, panel 1: Fine has spotted Laurie's ball-pipe.

Page 10: This is Hector Godfrey, editor of the _New Frontiersman,_ in 
the _Frontiersman_ offices.  The issue being pasted up is the backup for 
this issue.  Notice the style of the clock in the background.

Panel 5: This is the same picture on the earlier cover, and seen on 
the news in the last issue.

Page 11: The speakers are Max Shea (alive and well) and Hira Manish.  
Hira is left-handed.  Comparing it to the people in the background, the 
thing under the tarpaulin must be enormous.

Panel 4: Max is referring, of course, to "Marooned."

Page 12, panel 4: Is _Nova Express_ funded by Pyramid Deliveries?  
Things are beginning to tie together in minor ways.

Panel 6: The juice over the eyes calls to mind the blood-spattered 
smiley-face button.

Page 13, panel 2: This is Derf, who we saw in issue #1.  "Katies" 
refers to KT-28.

Panel 3: Joey again.  Aline is her ex-girlfriend.

Page 15, panel 4: The splash of blood brings to mind the blood on his 
coat from the kidnapper's dog in #6.  Interestingly, though, this seems to 
mark the beginning of a transition back to humanity for him: notice his 
attempts at friendliness and politeness in later issues.

Page 18, panels 4 and 6: His tracking the blood refers back to the 
first issue, page 1.

Page 21, panel 1: Notice that Rorschach, for all his personality 
flaws, is at least polite.

Page 22, panel 3: Rorschach is taking more sugar cubes, which 
reappear later.

Page 25, panel 2: The shape of the can on the lower right is 
interesting; it looks Japanese, or at any rate not American.  The "Black 
Freighter" page has a half-page ad (which had mostly phased out of our comics by that
time).  One of the comics advertised is "X-Ships."

Page 27, panels 5, 7, 9: I am not sure if these are genuine 
flashbacks or just symbolic.  Hollis could not have had the same dog with his when 
he was active as a hero (it would be at least 23), and he was never pictured 
with a masked dog anywhere else.

Incidentally, the man in the skull mask is Screaming Skull, and the 
Nazi with the monocle is Captain Axis.  He may be based on Captain Nazi, 
an enemy of Fawcett Comic's Marvel Family.  Moloch is visible in panels 
5 and 7. 

Page 28, panel 1: The hair across the eye leads back to the 

Pages 29-32: The 10/31/85 edition of the _New Frontiersman._

Page 1: Surely the "Issue IVII" is wrong.  "IV" is 4, and "II" is 2; 
even if this were the correct nomenclature, this isn't the sixth issue by 
any means (it's been published since at least the fifties).  (In our 
world it would say "volume," not "issue.") If it's meant as "42," which is 
more plausible (since Hector's father founded it), it should be "XLII." 
Maybe Hector just doesn't know much about Roman numerals.

Page 3: This cartoon, signed "F," is by Feinberg, who may be the same
Walt Feinberg who drew "Tales of the Black Freighter."

Page 4: Surprisingly, Godfrey is actually onto something here.  This 
is important information.  (There is evidence later that Deschaines 
actually was psychic, making him the only super-powered character in the 
series besides Dr. Manhattan.)             Doug Atkinson