Chapter 9: "The Darkness of Mere Being"

     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 liquid-filled 
     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 Jung's _Memories, Dreams, Reflections._
     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 3 minutes to midnight.

Cover: A bottle of Nostalgia perfume, thrown by Laurie at the end of 
this issue.

Page 1: A flashback to last issue.  Jon is mistakenly given the 
darker blue skin tone here.

Panel 1: The thrown Nostalgia bottle.

Page 3, panel 1: The Nostalgia bottle.

Page 6, panel 7: Another liquid-filled sphere (see next page).

Panel 8: Is it possible Jon is doing something to help Laurie 
The clarity seems unusually good for a childhood memory.

Page 7: The man Sally is arguing with is Laurence Schexnayder, her 
soon-to-be-ex-husband.  They are arguing about a tryst she had with another 
man.  (His identity will become clear later.)

Panel 4: Sally had the same trophies here she has in Nepenthe 
Gardens.  The wedding picture and childhood picture of Laurie (on top of the TV) 
are notably absent later.

Panels 7-9: The liquid-filled sphere again.  (See issues 3 and 6.)

Page 8, panels 1-3: The sphere and the bottle.

Panel 4: A good guess, with the information she has, but wrong.

Page 10, panel 3: The bottle is a half-sphere, and the glass is two 

Page 11, panel 4: The year is 1962, and the "new boy" in question is
probably Nite Owl II.  Lewis will be admitted to a clinic soon.

Page 12, panel 3: Byron Lewis is Mothman.

Panel 7: The Nostalgia bottle again.

Page 15, panel 6: The hair is another hint to her parentage.  Compare 
hers to the other characters.

Page 16, panel 8: The Nostalgia bottle.

Page 20, panel 1: Not a sphere, but a circle of fluid...

Panel 2: Ford is Vice-President Gerald Ford.  Liddy is G. Gordon 
Liddy; probably CIA director at this point.  Al Haig is/was Secretary of 

Panel 4: In our world, Woodward and Bernstein's discovery led to 
scandal and Nixon's eventual resignation; they didn't get a chance to pass it 
on in this world.

Panel 5: Note the button.  I find it interesting that he wore it in 
both identities but his identity doesn't seem to have been public 
knowledge (Joe and Steve didn't know it back in issue #1, and Rorschach didn't even 
know it until then).  Especially since for a long time he only wore a 
domino mask, without even covering his hair...This is a government 
gathering, though, and maybe everyone here already knew.

The reference to JFK: It has been suggested that Blake had something 
to do with his assassination.

Page 21, panels 2 and 4: The streak of hair over Laurie's right eye, 
and the splash over the button, bring to mind issue #1's motif.

Panel 5: Once again the Nostalgia bottle.

Panel 6: This scrapbook is the backup to this issue.

Page 23, panel 4: The fluid-filled sphere again.

Page 24, panel 1: The broken sphere again, and notice the splash 
across her right slipper's right eye?

Panels 2-7: We find out here what this issue's motif actually means.

Page 27, panels 1-2: The coincidental smiley-face (tying in to Jon's
thesis) once again calls to mind the motif of issue #1.  This is a 
real crater, by the way, although the "eyes" are formed by cracks in the 
crater floor, not rocks as shown here.  Jon is undergoing a change of 
attitude here that will become clearer in later issues.

Pages 29-32: Pages from Sally's scrapbook.

Page 29, "Daily World" article: See the annotations for the "Under 
the Hood" section of #1 for commentary on the sdating of this article.

Paragraph 5: The movie takes years to be made; the review is on page 

Page 29, clipping, upper right corner: That's all it is, publicity.  
See page 31 again.  Incidentally, from the perspective of the readers, he
*does* keep the costume on all the time.

Page 31, letter, paragraph 2: This paragraph is extremely important 
to a lot of the underlying stuff in the story.  Nelly is, of course, 
Captain Metropolis, and H.J. is Hooded Justice.  The date of 1948, however, 
must be regarded as wrong; according to _Under the Hood_, Dollar Bill died in 
1946, and Sally married Laurence in 1947.

Page 32, paragraph 6: "One died recently" confirms page 31 
(Rorschach, #1: "Captain Metropolis was decapitated in a car crash back in '74").

As mentioned earlier, three known homosexuals (and two unknowns) out 
of 13 costumed heroes is an unusually high percentage.  The costumed heroes 
can't be considered representative of the population (otherwise one of them
should be black, for example).  Compare the end of #7, and Captain 
Carnage from #1: is Moore trying to use the "sex thing" as an underlying 
theme?             Doug Atkinson