Chapter 12: "A Stronger Loving World"

     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 spattered blood, and 
free-associating scene changes.
     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 "Santies" by John Cale.  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 midnight.

Cover: Blood running down the big clock at Madison Square Garden.

Page 1: Mass death and spattered blood at the Pale Horse concert.  
The shattered glass is ironic, since "Krystalnacht" refers a night of 
terror against Jewish-owned businesses in Nazi Germany; the "Krystal" part 
refers to the broken glass of the windows.  Notice the prominence of the 
knot-top hairstyle.  The blood above the sign in the lower left is in the same 
shape as that on the smiley-face button.

Page 2: Mass death and spattered blood on the street.  There's an 
airship crashed into the building on the upper left.  We see the source of 
the tentacle on page 6.  The watch seller's wares lie in the front.  
Notice the "War?" headline.

Page 3: Mass death and spattered blood at the Utopia.  That's the 
watch seller in the front, and the Gunga Diner's elephant on the right, and
"War?" headlines on the street.

Page 4: Mass death and spattered blood at the Gunga Diner.  More 
"War?" headlines.  Joe lying against the police car, and, presumably, Steve 
on the right.  Rorschach blots.

Page 5: Mass death and spattered blood at the Promethean.  Left to 
right: Joey, Aline, Steve, Mal and Gloria, the Gordian man, and Milo.  
Scattered Rorschach blots and "War?" headlines.  Hiroshima lovers still on the 
wall. A bottle of Nostalgia below Mal's foot.  Chrysler Building on the far
right.  Judging from the time clock, time is passing as we slowly pan
through the city (it was 12:00 at Madison Square, and 12:02 here).  
Or the clock is fast.

The positions of the two couples (Joey-Aline, Mal-Gloria), resembling
intimate embraces, are, frankly, somewhat sick on Gibbons' part, but 
it seems to fit somehow.

Page 6: Mass death and spattered blood (and ichor) at the Institute 
and the newsstand.  Bernard is covering Bernie.  "War?" headlines, a no 
longer Mint copy of "Tales of the Black Freighter," and the poster torn so "Gay 
Women Against Rape" reads "WAR" at a distance.  (I have a suspicion Moore 
chose the phrase just for this scene.) The spatter on the plug from the 
spark hydrant also brings back the smiley-face.  Below the Bernards is the
Rorschach card from #6.

Page 7, panel 2: They left early on the first, and it's very early on 
the third.  Did the tachyons cause the delay?  His teleportation seemed 
to be instantaneous in the past.

Panel 3: Tachyons are theoretical particles that move faster than 
light, and hence travel backwards in time.  They're messing up Jon's time 
sense.  Note that he never made any references to the future past issue #9,
although he made several future references to events before then.

Tandoori is an Indian dish sold at the Gunga Diner.  It involves 
cooking in a clay oven on a spit.  My coorespondents highly recommend it; I've 
never had it myself.

Page 9, panel 1: It's a few minutes before Jon and Laurie left New 
York (compare clock here to page 8, panel 6).

Page 10, panel 6: Not quite everyone; he missed the courier.  
Interesting that he'll freely admit to killing half of New York, but not his own
servants.  Probably the New York killings seem less personal and 
therefore less severe.

Page 11, panel 3: Another mis-colored word balloon.

Page 13, panel 1: Another radiation symbol.

Panel 4: "Stand Back When I.F. Subtractor is Activated." I.F. stands 
for Intrinsic Field.  Also, a skull-and-crossbones, evoking issue #5 and 
the Black Freighter story.

Page 14, panel 2: The Subtractor panel has a Veidt logo.  Naturally 
it was built by the company, but this seems a little much somehow.

Page 16, panel 2: Leaving out Dr. Manhattan, the advanced technology, 
and the psychic, this is about the only totally implausible event in the

Page 19, panel 1: "A pregnant woman, convinced her unborn child was 
eating her..." Reference issue #8, page 11, panel 5: "Illustrating that 
sequence where the young chew their way out of their mother's womb was quite 
an *experience.*"

Panel 4: Mr. Healey is probably the British Prime Minister (not 
Margaret Thatcher, as in our world)...

Panel 5: ...but Gorbachev was still the leader of the Soviet Union.

Page 20, panel 4: Another mis-colored word balloon.

Panel 6: Nixon is on the right, below Dan's word balloon.  On the 
screen below we can see the Chrysler Building.

Page 22, panel 7: The silhouette calls to mind the Hiroshima lovers

Page 24, panel 5: More spattered blood.

Page 25, panel 6: Jon's walking on water here marks a shift for him; 
he's becoming more God-like in his symbolism.

Page 26, panel 5: I'm not sure if those are meant to be real
constellations, but they don't resemble any I'm familiar with.  They 
could be Southern Hemisphere, I suppose.

Page 27, panel 4: Jon's comment about creating human life fits his 
godly transformation.

Panel 5: Jon's speech is one of the more profound statements made 
here, and speaks heavily of Adrian's short-sightedness.

Page 28, panel 1: A jump ahead to Christmas '85.  The Christmas cards 
speak heavily of peace. 

Panel 3: This is an actual episode of "The Outer Limits," involving 

Panel 5: And this is the actual opening to "The Outer Limits."

Panel 7: These are presumably some of the emergency identities Dan 
had set up.  (Odds are Laurie and Dan were presumed dead in the mass 
destruction, and able to disappear without trouble.)

Page 29, panel 1: Veidt's business has continued successfully, and
Millennium has just come out.

Page 30: Laurie's suggestions here mimic the pattern her father's 
career took; he switched from a flimsy yellow costume to a leather one with 
facial protection, and began carrying a gun.  No wonder Sally's upset.

Panels 4-5, 7: Sally still has the Nostalgia bottle.  Symbolism?

Page 31: This page shows many of the changes Veidt's brave, new world 
has brought to the established themes.  The world has changed greatly in 
just a few months.

Panel 1: The Gunga Diner has been replaced by Burgers 'N' Borscht,
reflecting new friendliness with the Soviets.  The sign on the door 
reads, "Happy New Year All Our Customers." (Seymour is just leaving it.) A 
workman is scrubbing off the Hiroshima lovers, and another is removing the 
fallout shelter sign.  Pyramid Construction is rebuilding at the Institute 
for Extraspatial Studies site.  (The poster says "New Deal," possibly 
referring to this new friendliness; the graffiti below it reads, "One in eight 
[eight crossed out] 3 go mad" and an anarchy symbol.) The New Utopia's 
playbill reads, "Tarkovsky Season This Week: The Sacrifice and Nostalgia." 
(_The Sacrifice_ is a Swedish film, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, about an
upcoming holocaust and peoples' reactions to it.  I can't find 
_Nostalgia_ in my video guide.) The new spark hydrant is a different shape.

Panel 2: At the site of the newsstand, there's a redesigned spark 
hydrant and a _Gazette_ box; the headline reads, "RR To Run in 88?" The 
fallout shelter sign is gone from the Promethean building.  The "RR" referred 
to here is Robert Redford, an actor.

Panel 3: The workman is putting up a sign reading, "One World: One 
Accord" with crossed Soviet and American flags over the Earth.  The 
redesigned Promethean sign reads, "Promethean Cabs + Limo: Bringing Light to the
World," with an "Under New Management" sticker.

Panel 4: A Millennium sign has replaced Nostalgia.  The graffiti 
read, "Quantum Jump" and "New Deal."

Panel 5: Seymour is wearing Veidt sneakers.  The graffiti on the left
reads, "Watch the Skies" (a reference to the phrase "Keep watching 
the skies," used in '50s SF movies).  The headline reads, "NY Survivors 
Reveal Nightmare Under Hypnosis;" the newspaper shows Gorbachev shaking 
hands with Nixon.  Next to it is a copy of "Tales From The Morgue," a horror 
comic (which may be increasing in popularity now) in the EC vein (so to  
Notice the similarity between the double-P Pioneer logo and the 
Rumrunner logo.  (The box by Seymour's right foot also has something akin to 
the Rumrunner logo.)

Panel 6: The graffiti has been painted over.  Across the street at
Woolworth's, a "Sunbursts" sign has replaced "Mmeltdowns" (a more 
peaceful image).  Notice the clock.

Page 32, panel 4: A sly nod, of course, to ex-cowboy actor Ronald 
Reagan, who became President in 1980 in our world.

Panels 6-7: As Seymour reaches for Rorschach's journal, the spatter 
of ketchup across his T-shirt brings us back to the beginning.             Doug Atkinson