Chapter 11: "Look on my Works, Ye Mighty..."

     Watchmen is a trademark of DC Comics Inc., copyright 1994.  
These annotations copyright 1994 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 pure white field.
     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 Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem _Ozymandias._
     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 1 minutes to midnight.

Cover: Veidt's vivarium, seen from the outside through a snowstorm.  
The shape of the opening is that of the blood spatter on the smiley-face; 
it will reappear later this issue.

Page 1, panels 1-7: A white field.  The speaker is Adrian.

Panel 2: The reference is to William S. Burroughs.  It is said that 
he wrote _Naked Lunch_ by writing all the components and then scattering 
them randomly on the floor.  Other books written using this technique 
include _Nova Express_, 1964.  As Burroughs is a particularly '60's sort of 
writer, this novel  may have inspired the name of the magazine.

Page 2, panel 1: The practice of reading the future in goat entrails 
is most often associated with ancient Greece, where it was known as 

Panel 2: It's not dated, but this is the second of November.

Panel 4: Veidt's clock is wrong, or in his nervousness he read it too
quickly; it says only eleven fourteen PM.

Page 3, panel 3: That's "Sweet Chariot" sugar Rorschach's eating.  
(We saw him pick it up from Dan's apartment in 8:22:3.)

Page 4: Turned off, all the screens show white fields.  Once again, 
the tape reels bring to mind the radiation symbol.

Panel 5: The "no time like the present" line is ironic, as the 
balloon overlaps the painting of Alexander the Great.

Page 5, panel 2: The sign reads, "Do Not Enter When Red Light Is On."

Page 6, panel 1: Referring to the Pale Horse concert.  That's Aline 
walking by the mailbox, and the woman by the radiation sign is Gloria Long.

Panel 5: The _Gazette_ headline reads, simply, "War?"  Aline is 
referring to the "Pink Triangle" poster.

Panel 7: Notice the Gordian Knot truck.

Panel 9: Tying into the "escape" reference, the magazine in the 
background is titled "Holiday" something-or-other.

Page 8, panel 4: Adrian's parents were named Friedrich Werner and 
Ingrid Renada Veidt.  Clearly his background is Germanic.  (Did they come to 
this country to avoid Hitler, by any chance?)

The clouds in the background form a white field.

Panel 6: Alexander is best known as Alexander the Great.  The "most 
of the civilized world" reference is a trifle exaggerated; he never so much 
as made a toehold in India, and never went any further east.

Page 9, panel 1: We've jumped back in time here; the time clock shows 
11:20 PM.

Panel 2: The supporting cast are beginning to gather.  Amusing that 
the Gordian man calls Joey "fella." "Guppie" is slang for "gay urban
professional," an analogue to "yuppie."

Also, notice Aline's jacket and haircut; apparently it's in imitation 
of Red D'Eath, and not gang colors.

Panel 6: The Hiroshima lovers, and a "Badges not Masks" sign on the
mailbox. (Has no one done any cleaning in the city since '77?) The 
splotch of paint underneath vaguely approximates the shape of the blood 

Panel 7: "Knots," by R.D. Laing.  This is a real book, published in 

Page 10, panel 2: This is a real legend, and suggests strongly that 
Veidt owns the Gordian Knot Lock Company.

Page 11, panel 2: Note the time on the clock.

Panel 4: From their unmoving postures (here and on the next page), 
the logical assumption is that Veidt drugged the wine.  He pours himself 
a glass but leaves it untouched.

Panel 5: The triangle behind the "V" logo (which I don't think we've 
seen before) symbolizes a lot about the story, and suggests (by its 
resemblance to the logo) that Veidt owns Pyramid Deliveries, and hence, probably, 
theship in issue #10.  He may also own/control the _Nova Express_.

Page 12: The snow forms a white field.

Page 13, panel 2: This is page 9, panel 6 from another angle.

Panels 4-5: Amusing that practically every popular term for African-
Americans up to that time gets used in these two panels.

Page 14, panel 5: Compare Dan's speech with the dead butterfly.  The
butterfly probably symbolizes the Earth, surrounded by the cold of 
space and easily destroyed (by the nuclear arsenal).  See page 21, panel 1, 
and 22, panel 7. 

Page 15, panel 4: The time in New York is about 11:43.  The two plots 
inKarnak and New York are proceeding at different rates.

Page 16, panel 3: The reflections in the dish bring to mind a) the 
motif from issue #7, and b) Mason's jack o'lantern from issue #8.

Page 17, panel 5: This panel is unusual in the series, in that it has
"motion lines." Most of these panels don't attempt to show the 
passage of time in this way; even if action is occurring, they resemble 
photographs (or stills from a movie, which, combined with the nine-panel grid, 
may be the intention).  Compare page 16, panel 7; although Veidt is hitting
Rorschach here, there's no motion line to indicate his fist's path.  
Only the word balloon keeps it from being a totally frozen moment in time.
(Cf. Scott McCloud's _Understanding Comics_ for a discussion of time 
in comics.)

Page 18, panel 6: Heroes fighting on mistaken pretenses is one of the
older cliches in comics; Marvel popularized it in the '60s.  (Before 
that, hero crossovers were uncommon enough that having the heroes fight 
would be a waste.)

Panel 9: This is the earliest version of his wall of screens; notice 
the time on the clock.  The top screen is Washington, D.C.; the lower 
right appears to be the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination.

Page 19, panel 2: He's breaking up one of Moloch's gambling dens; the
picture on the wall brings to mind Hell, and "Dante's" (the den Dr.
Manhattan attacked).

Panel 4: Once again, notice the time on the clock.

Page 20: The showing of _The Day The Earth Stood Still_ at the Utopia 
is appropriate; it was a 1950's film with a strong anti-war message.

Page 22, panel 4: The spark hydrant patent must be worth a fortune.  
Is Dimensional Developments the forerunner of the Institute for 
Extraspatial studies?

Page 23, panels 2-6: The background here replays page 20.

Panel 7: Steve probably got suspended for the raid on Dreiberg's 
building.  The car clock reads 11:24.

Pages 24-25: This explains Blake's speech to Moloch from issue #2.

Page 26, panel 2: The blood on Veidt's face resembles the 
smiley-face, seen here and on the last page.

Panel 6: There's a Mmeltdowns ad in the center of the panel, above 
the police car.

Page 27, panel 1: Villains in '40s movie serials were infamous for
explaining their schemes to the heroes, allowing the heroes to foil 
them.  For some reason, Republic has become synonymous with this sort of 

Panel 2: Yet again, look at the clock.

Panel 3: Something's starting to happen at the institute...

Page 28: This page marks one of few times the nine-panel grid is more
finely subdivided.  The supporting cast rollcall, one last time:

Panel 1: Joe and Steve.

Panel 2: Joey and Aline, surrounded by Mal's Rorschach cards.

Panel 3: Mal and Gloria with more of the cards.

Panel 4: Milo and the Gordian Knot man.

Panel 5: The watch seller.

Panel 6: Bernard and Bernie.

Panel 12: This shape brings to mind the spatter on the smiley-face, 
and the
cover/first panel of this issue.

Panel 13: A white field...

Quote: Note that, in the original poem, this line is immediately 
followed by "Nothing remains." Shelley's poem is about a traveller, describing 
something he saw in the desert: the remains of a giant statue 
dedicated to Ozymandias, the only remnants of his past glory.  Knowing the poem 
(it's about the only thing Ozymandias is remembered for), it seems odd that 
Veidt would choose such a failure-oriented pseudonym.  Or is Moore telling 
us that his plan will only work in the short term?  After all, Veidt 
controls the world economically, but it probably won't last after he dies (he 
has no heir, and no one who even approximates his level of intelligence).  
If Adrian has a flaw, it's short-sightedness.

Pages 29-32: "After The Masquerade: Superstyle and the art of 
humanoid watching." An _Nova Express_ interview by Doug Roth with Adrian, 

Page 7, paragraph 1: CREEP stands for Committee to Re-Elect the 
President. A real-world organization, it had the same purpose (in 1972).

Bottom: "Photo Courtesy of Triangle, Inc. (c) 1975." The triangle 
image again; presumably it's another one of Veidt's organizations.  
(Actually, Veidt may have made himself a corporation for tax purposes, and this 
could be its name.)

Paragraph 7: The "also-rans" referred to are Mick Jagger, Bruce
Springsteen, and Red D'Eath.  Red certainly isn't an also-ran ten 
years later (look at his influence on styles in New York), and in our world
Springsteen wasn't, either.

Paragraph 11: The Constitutional amendment scam refers to the repeal 
of the 22nd Amendment, allowing Nixon to go beyond 2 terms.

Page 9, photograph: The screens have several themes of the series.  
To the left of Veidt's forehead is a campaign ad for Nixon.  Above it are 
people protesting somthing (what, I wonder?  Not the Vietnam war, or 
costumed heroes).  To the right, a Nostalgia ad.  Next tier down, far left, a
Mmeltdowns ad.  Left and right of his face, war images.  Far left of 
his shoulder, Benny Anger.  Bottom left, another war image (Hiroshima?) 
and, next to that, a mutant Mickey Mouse.

I have no idea what the numbering scheme on these screens is, by the 
way.  The top tier goes 23-97-obscured-31, and the next is 
49-obscured-obscured-57, so there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.  These could be 
the station numbers, of course, but we only ever see one that's not UHF.

Paragraph 3: The "unpleasantly specific disease" referred to may be 
AIDS.  There is a persistent conspiracy theory that AIDS was specifically
engineered to wipe out some part of the population, either blacks 
(absurd, since it makes no discrimination for race), drug users (but it's 
spread other ways), or gay men (since proven much less likely).  The idea 
that it was intended to wipe out gay men seemed more plausible in '85, when 
the disease seemed mostly confined to them.  This can be chalked up to
differences between the worlds (though it does explain the absence of 
any references to AIDS in the series, something that was very much in the 
news of the time).

The "Puppet of Peking" reference fits well into the mid-'70s venue.  
I would like to have heard more about China in the series; in our world 
Nixon opened relations with it well, but there's no reference to it in the
series.  With the much stronger role of the U.S. in international
relations, he may not have felt the need.

Page 10, paragraph 5: These are real composers.  I gather he likes 
Linette Paley, too.  (Cage is John Cage; I don't know Stockhausen or 
Penderecki's first names.)

Paragraph 15: Compare this with his comments on page 22, where he 
says that the masked crimefighter trend would bottom out by the late '70s.

Bottom: An early Nostalgia ad.  The quote is the title of a Bob Dylan 
song, which is about the old world order reversing itself.  It would fit 
well thematically on a hypothetical soundtrack.             Doug Atkinson