Chapter 1: "At Midnight, All the Agents..."

     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 blood-spattered 
smiley-face button.
     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 Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row."
     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 11 minutes to midnight, and advances by one minute per issue.

Cover: First appearance of the blood-spattered smiley-face button.  
The button belonged to the Comedian, who we first see in flashback on 
page 2. The shape of the blood stain reappears in issues 11 and 12.

Page 1, panel 1: The narration is an excerpt from Rorschach's 
journal.  We will see the journal later in the series.

The blood is from the Comedian.

Panel 4: Possible symbolism: "Followed in the footsteps" as the sign 
man tracks the blood on the sidewalk.  Rorschach believes his father was 
a war hero (see issue 6).  He sees President Truman as a good man, 
hard-working and honest; possibly his ordering the nuking of Hiroshima has 
something to do with this, too.

Truman: Harry S Truman, President of the U.S. from 1945 to 1953, 
taking office after the death of Franklin Roosevelt and elected to a second 
term in 1948.  He presided over the end of WWII, and ordered the atomic 
bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  His image is generally of a sincere man, 
who did what was necessary to end the war and served a good if 
undistinguished term afterwards.

Panel 5: The vehicle with the triangle in the circle belongs to 
Pyramid Deliveries.  The triangle is a continuing theme; its significance 
will be learned later on.  Pyramid Deliveries is owned by Adrian Veidt
(Ozymandias); he seems to be everywhere in this series.

If the vehicles appear strange, it's because they are electrically 

Panel 7: The first appearance of Joe Bourquin, who is a continuing

Page 2, panel 1: The first appearance of Detective Steve Fine, who is 
also a continuing character.

Panel 3: We see these flashbacks from another point of view in issue 

Panels 4-7: Edward Blake is in good shape because he's the Comedian.  
His identity is not public knowledge; he is well-known in diplomatic 
circles as Blake.  As the Comedian, he has been employed by the government since 

Panel 7: Steve smokes hand-rolled cigarettes.

Panel 8: We see how he got the scar in issue 2.

In our world, Ford was vice-president from 1973 (when Spiro Agnew 
resigned) to 1974, when Nixon resigned and he became president.  In their 
world, somebody, maybe the Comedian, snuffed Woodward and Bernstein before 
they could report Watergate, and this, combined with Nixon's popularity
following the victory in Vietnam, led to his serving at least five 

Page 3, panel 2: The theft of the money is curious.  The murderer had 
no need for it. If it was an attempt to make it look like a normal 
burglary, it failed, and the murderer should have known that.

Panel 3: This shows the source of the blood-spatter on the button.

Panel 6: Note the unusual design of the pipe (?) the man in the 
elevator is smoking.  Variants of it appear elsewhere in the series.

Panel 7: This panel is an example of a continuing narrative device
throughout the series: a narration box applying to the rest of the 
panel, although it's not directly related.  This is used to good effect in 
the "Tales of the Black Freighter" sections, for example.

Page 4, panel 1: Knot-tops are a popular hairstyle, especially common 
among certain street gangs. More speculation later.  KT-28 seems to be a 
popular street drug; the users refer to them as "Katies." 'Luudes are 
qualuudes, a real-world drug.

Panel 2: Visible in the background is a geodesic dome.  There are at 
least three of them in New York; one is called the Astrodome.

Panel 3: First appearance an issue of "Tales of the Black Freighter." 
 Note the other things on the newsstand: two pirate comics ("X-Ships" may 
be a joke on X-MEN) and a _New York Times_ with "Vietnam 51st State: 
Official!" as the headline.  As is demonstrated later, in this world pirate 
comics supplanted super-hero comics as the principal product of the 

Seeing the _Times_ is curious; the paper of choice in New York is the
_Gazette_, which appears to be the same paper under another name.  
Could it be an error on Gibbons' part?

Panel 5: First appearance of the Gunga Diner.  The person in the 
lower right-hand corner has a Knot-top.

The Gunga Diner is this world's equivalent of McDonald's, as the 
ever-present fast-food restaurant.  It was founded by an Indian who left 
the country during the famine in the '60's (see the poster on page 17).

If this newsstand is meant to be the same one that appears again 
starting with #3, it is misplaced (see notes for issue #5).

This panel is the first appearance of a reference to "Mmeltdowns," a
popular candy.  (See Ozymandias's interpretation in issue #10, page 

Notice the 25-cent fare on the taxi.

Panel 8: The sign man is apparently left-handed.  Right-handed people
generally wear their watches on the left wrist, so they can wind them 
with their right hand.

Page 5, panel 1: The first appearance of a dirigible, apparently a 
common means of transportation in this series.  (We never see one in 
anything other than a distant shot, though.)

Panel 3: The button reappears.  Rorschach is left-handed, as seen 
here and panel 6.

Panel 6: This is Rorschach's gas-powered grappling gun, built for him 
by Daniel Dreiberg (Nite Owl II).  The cartridge is carbon dioxide 

Page 6, panel 1: Here we see Rorschach's mask for the first time.  
Notice that the patterns are constantly shifting; the mask is formed by "two
viscous fluids between two layers latex, heat and pressure 

Rorschach's name comes from Dr. Hermann Rorschach, who invented a
psychological test based on interpretations of inkblots.  Inkblots 
are formed by pouring ink onto a piece of paper, folding it, and 
unfolding it, producing a symmetrical image.  The actual Rorschach test uses ten 
cards with multi-colored blots.

Also, notice again the geodesic dome in the background; this may be 
the Astrodome.  Its purpose is never mentioned, apart from being the site 
of a charity event Ozymandias performed at; but it's identified in issue 
#7, page 23.  (This structure does not exist in our New York; there is a
building named the Astrodome, but it's in Houston.  The dome is named 
after the Houston Astros; could there be a New York Astros in their 

Page 8, panel 1: This is the Comedian's equipment and second costume. 
 The picture on the left (which we see more clearly later) is a group shot 
of the Minutemen, a 1940's crimefighting team of which Blake was a 
member for a while.  (More on his past in issue 2.)

Panel 2: Although the patterns on the mask shift, he does have a few
repeating themes; one of them is the "surprise/shock face" shown 
here.  It is indicative of Rorschach's personality that, even though he didn't 
know Blake's identity until now, he still searched the apartment 
thoroughly and suspected the hidden panel in the closet.

Page 9, panels 1-3: The man pictured and speaking is Hollis Mason, 
the first Nite Owl.  He is speaking to Dan Dreiberg, who took up his 
name.  Mason was the second costumed adventurer.  On his wall are various 
pictures and clippings from his career; one is seen to read "Hero Retires: 
Opens Own Auto Business."  Note the time on his clock.  Phantom is his dog.

This panel shows another common device in the series; focusing on an 
image and shifting the scene around it (in this case, the Minutemen 
photo).  This is a cinematic device, adapted for the comics medium.

Panel 4: The statuette on the left was presented to Mason upon his
retirement.  The books are: Two copies of his autobiography, _Under 
the Hood_; _Automobile Maintenance_; and _Gladiator_ by Philip Wylie (one 
of the first novels about a superhero, and partial inspiration for 
Note the owl items.  The thing on the left of the mantelpiece bears a
passing resemblance to the lantern of the first Green Lantern, a DC 
Comics character, but this may be coincidence.

Panel 6: The "Pale Horse" graffiti refers to a popular band.

Panel 7: "Who Watches the Watchmen" was popular graffiti around the 
time of the Keene act.  It comes from the Latin phrase "Quis custodiet ipsos
custodes," a quote from Juvenal's _Satires_ and, of course, is the 
source of the title of the series.  The phrase never appears in its entirety 
in the series; it is always cut off somehow.  The state of the building 
says something about Mason's financial situation.

The Keene Act, re-illegalizing vigilantism, was passed in 1977; it 
was named after its sponsor, Senator Keene.  I don't think Keene was a 
real person, and we never learn his (her, for all we know) name or home 
state.  I'd guess he was from New York, though; NYC was the home of most 
costumed heroes, and hence would have been the likeliest site of the police 
(Interestingly, the Keene Act, although used differently, has been
introduced to the DC Universe.)

Panel 8: "Obsolete models a specialty." Mason learned his trade on 
internal combustion engines, not electric ones.  (It also serves as a 
commentary on Mason.) Note the "Gunga Diner" takeout box.  It should be clear that 
this isn't a very good neighborhood.

Page 10, panel 1: I have been told that this is a song by Iggy Pop, 
but have not been supplied a title.  More information would be 

The male Knot-Top here is Derf, who reappears later.  The headline 
reads, "Russia Protests US Adventurism in Afghanistan," and the storefront 
says "86 Buicks Here!"

The headline is a reversed version of news in our world; the US was
proposing Russian adventurism at this time.

Panel 2: The first appearance of Nostalgia, a Veidt product, which
reappears continually throughout the series.  Veidt products seem to
infiltrate every corner of life.  Also, Treasure Island, a comics 
shop which reappears a few times.  (Comics shops in our world often have
superhero, science fiction, or fantasy-oriented names; in this world, 
they probably have pirate-related names.)

Panel 3: The plate on the right reads "Floors 1-4 Dreiberg;" 
apparently Dan owns the entire building.

Panel 7: The calendar on the right appears later; it has a picture of 
an owl.  The layout of the calendar is interesting; in our world, the 
practice is to put Sunday on the left column, not Monday.

Panel 8: The can refers to "58 Varieties." In our world, it's "Heinz 
The slogan was invented in 1892; apparently there are at least 
trivial differences between our world and theirs going back a ways.

Page 11, panel 3: The button again.

Panel 5: The first appearance of "Sweet Chariot" sugar cubes.  (I 
don't know if these are a Veidt product; the "Chariot" reference is his style, 
but the name refers to a Gospel song, "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," which 

Panel 8: This is Dreiberg's workshop.  The thing under the tarps is
"Archie," his flying vehicle.

Page 12, panel 1: Dreiberg retired after the Keene act.

Panel 8: On the right is Dreiberg's Nite Owl costume, which we see 
clearly on the next page.

Page 13, panel 2: Rorschach and Nite Owl worked together during the 
'70's in the dock and warehouse district.

Page 14, panel 1: Another geodesic dome in the background.

Panel 4: The sign in the window reads "Stick with Dick in '84;" 
obviously a Nixon campaign sign.

Panel 5: The first appearance of Happy Harry's, a sleazy bar that 
Rorschach patronizes for information.  The headline on the paper reads, 
"Congress Approves Lunar Silos," and the graffiti reads, "Viet Bronx." (Meaning 
what, I wonder?  That the U.S. should spend more money on domestic affairs, 
or is there some sort of VC sympathy gang out there?)

In our world, international treaties prohibit nuclear weapons in 
space; evidently here, the US's increased clout due to Dr.  Manhattan 
stopped such treaties.

Panel 6: On the left is a woman with one of those pipe things; the 
man with the eyepatch has another common type of pipe.

Page 15, panel 2: Happy Harry himself.

Page 16, panel 1: "The Apple:" The Big Apple is slang for New York 

Panel 4: The man on the upper left has a type of ball-pipe not seen
anywhere else; it has two spheres rather than one.

Page 17, panel 1: The speaker is Adrian Veidt, formerly Ozymandias, 
another retired crimefighter.  We learn his background in issue 11.  Notice 
the time on the clock, the geodesic dome, and the dirigible.  The pointed
building to the right of the Veidt building is the Chrysler Building, 
a real-world landmark.

Panel 4: Dr. Manhattan, about whom we learn more later, is the center 
of America's current defensive strategy; he can theoretically destroy 
large chunks of Soviet territory and simultaneously 60% of incoming 
missiles fired at the US before they impact, thus giving the US an immense 
strategic advantage.  (See the essay at the end of issue #4.)

Panel 6: The poster reads: "Veidt: OZYMANDIAS Southern Indian Famine

Panel 7: This is just what Veidt did.

Panels 7-8: Actually, Veidt is almost the Aryan ideal; if anyone's a 
likely candidate for Nazi accusations, it's he.  A top physical and mental
specimen, handsome, blonde-haired and blue-eyed, of Germanic descent;
Hitler would have loved him.  He would have made a terrible Nazi, 
though, because he's too intelligent and self-willed.

In one sound, Veidt manages to convey his opinion of Rorschach's 
world-view; a nice touch.

Page 18, panel 1: There is a considerable difference of opinion 
between the two; their political beliefs and world-views are radically different.

Panel 2: "Be seeing you" was a common phrase on the British TV show 
_The Prisoner_; the feel of the show fits Rorschach's paranoia well.

Panel 3: Rorschach's exit through the window and Veidt's "Have a nice 
day" is either a very subtle hint, or just coincidence.

Panel 4: The _Gazette_ headline reads, "Nuclear Clock Stands at Five 
to Twelve, Warn Experts;" below it, "Geneva Talks: U.S. Refuses to 
Discuss Dr. Manhattan." (See the beginning of the annotation for an explanation 
of the nuclear clock.  Five to twelve is fairly close; the closest it's been 
in our world is 3 to twelve, during the Cuban Missile Crisis.) The 
Egyptian-style pen holder fits into Veidt's Egypt obsession.

Page 19, panel 1: "Rockefeller Military Research Center, Founded 
1981." The symbol on the left of the sign bears a striking resemblance to 
Superman's chest logo as it originally appeared.

Either Rorschach's watch is wrong, or the Veidt tower clock is wrong 
(it was midnight when he visited Veidt, and 8:30 now), or he has the 
power to travel through time.

Panel 2: Veidt's sexuality is never revealed.

Panel 4-5: The others referred to were all members of the Minutemen.  
More on them later.

Panel 5: The door reads, "Special Talent Quarters: Private."

Panel 9: The speaker is Dr. Manhattan.

Page 20, panel 1: Dr. Manhattan can change his size at will (among 
other things).  The woman is Laurie Juspeczyk, the second Silk Spectre and
daughter of the original.

Page 21, panel 1: Libya was at odds with the U.S. during the 
mid-'80s, but it sounds like they're being scapegoated here.  Dr. Manhattan must 
have been informed very quickly, since the police investigation was just
beginning on Saturday morning (the 12th).

Panel 6: As we see in the next issue, these "allegations" are true.  
The sugar cube is one he got from Dreiberg's apartment.

Page 22, panel 5: Dr. Manhattan can also teleport himself and others. 
He has complete control over matter (to put it in superhero terms).

Page 23, panel 7: The bestiary refers to a list of the subatomic 
particles whose existence has been confirmed, but The Bestiary is a place from 
Dr. Manhattan's past (see issues 3-4).

Page 24: A number of reoccuring themes on this page.  A Gunga Diner 
box, "Who Watches the Watchmen" graffiti, and a Nixon campaign poster.  
The "Krystalnacht" graffiti and the poster refer to Pale Horse's upcoming
Madison Square Garden concert (Krystalnacht is another band appearing 
with Pale Horse).  The shadows of the embracing lovers in panels 3-4 are a
continuing motif.  The curved surface above Rorschach's head is a 
geodesic dome.  A "Tales of the Black Freighter" appears in the trash in panel 

The band name, "Pale Horse," refers to Revelations 6:8: "I looked, 
and there was a pale [sometimes pale green] horse.  Its rider's name was 
Death, and Hades followed with him; they were given authority over a fourth 
of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, and pestilence, and by the wild 
animals of the earth." Part of the war imagery popular in popular culture.  
The band's lead singer is named Red D'Eath (more on this later).  The 
other band's name, "Krystalnacht," refers to a night of terror against Jews 
in Nazi Germany; the name derives from all the broken glass from broken

Page 25, panel 1: Another geodesic dome visible in the lower left.

Panel 2: Laurie is Dr. Manhattan's lover.  She's kept around by the
military to have some control over him.

Laurie is right-handed.

Panel 4: The red-headed woman also has the knot-top hairstyle; 
presumably she's not a gang member.  (Compare the hairstyles and fashions here 
to those actually in use in '85, and remember that this is a fancy 
restaurant.  Also, notice the two men embracing in the lower right-hand corner; is 
this an indication of social changes?) The chicken/turkey being served on 
the left of the panel has four legs and no wings; apparently genetic
engineering has gone a ways.

Panel 5: The skyscraper just under the moon may be the Empire State
Building, another real-world landmark.

Panel 8: The button yet again.

Page 26: Notice the similarity between this page and page 1.

Panels 4-5: Intriguing that Laurie, so critical of Rorschach earlier, 
finds this humorous.

Pages 27-32: Excerpts from "Under the Hood," Hollis Mason's 
autobiography, detailing his early life.

Page 5, paragraph 1: Mason was a fan of the pulps, one of the 
earliest sources of superheroic literature.  Doc Savage and the Shadow seem to 
be an influence on him.

Paragraph 4: Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman and 
perhaps the most important single work in the development of the superhero.

Paragraph 5: One of those magicians was Zatara, who was a continuing 
DC Comics character.  He and Superman were the only characters from 
ACTION #1 to last (he died in the mid-'80s, but he's still remembered).

Page 6, paragraph 1: "All these old characters are gone and forgotten 
now;" superhero comics never caught on in a world with real costumed 
adventurers.  Lamont Cranston is one of the Shadow's identities.  (Interesting that 
he mentions the pulps but not radio as an influence; the Shadow is 
better-known from radio than the pulps.)

Paragraph 4: The first costumed vigilante, Hooded Justice.  More on 
him in the next issue.
                        Chapter 2: "Absent Friends"

     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 graveyard and the
Comedian's funeral, with the other characters' flashbacks.
     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 Elvis Costello's "The Comedians."
     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 10 minutes to midnight, and advances by one minute per issue.

Cover: The angel statue in the cemetery.

Page 1, panel 1: The speaker is Sally Jupiter, Laurie's mother.  (Her 
name was originally Juspeczyk: she changed it to hide her Polish 
background.  Laurie changed hers back.)

Panel 2: Note the "Nostalgia" perfume ad and the issue of _Nova 
Express_.  (The title comes from a novel by William S. Burroughs of the same 

Note: My copy of the trade paperback (3d printing) colors Laurie's 
skin golden on pages 1 and 8 of this issue, making her look more like a
stereotypical comic-book Asian than the Vietnamese later this issue.  
This is, presumably, a production error.

Panel 3: The man in the lighter-colored raincoat in the middle is 
Dan, and the man he's shaking hands with is Adrian.  The limo is for Dr. 
Manhattan, not that he needs it.

Panel 5: Notice the police holding back the onlookers (protestors?) 
and the man with the "The End is Nigh" sign.

Panel 8: Sally's copy of the Minutemen group photo (we saw the 
Comedian's and Nite Owl's in the last issue.) We see here that the date is 
October 16.  Laurie is loading her pipe.

Page 2, panel 3: We see here that these pipes are lit by heating the 
ball (where the tobacco is stored).

Panel 7: The name of the retirement home is "Nepenthe Gardens." 
_Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary_ lists nepenthe as "A potion or drug used 
by the ancients to drown pain and sorrow; hence, anything causing oblivion."

Panel 9: Ashes from these ball-pipes are dropped out whole when 

Page 3, panel 2: Hollis Mason is the first Nite Owl.  Byron Lewis is

Sally's dressing table has a bottle of Nostalgia.

Page 4, panel 3: Tijuana Bibles are real (though Silk Spectre was 
obviously never really in one).  Their origin was unknown; the name derives 
from the theory that they were Mexican.

Panel 4: The speech bubble in the comic says, "Oh!  The door.  I 
wonder who it [is?]."

Panels 8-9: The taking of the Minutemen group photo in 1940; one of 
the last times the entire team was together.

Page 5, panel 1: From left to right, the team is: Mothman, Dollar 
Bill, Captain Metropolis, the Comedian, Silk Spectre, Hooded Justice, Nite 
Owl, the photographer, and Silhouette.  The headline reads, "Scientists 
Name First Artificial Wonder Element: Plutonium." The day is October 2, 
12, or 22, 1940.  (I can't tell if the paper is titled _Gazette_ or 

Research reveals that this is the right time for plutonium to be
synthesized.  This foreshadows the Manhattan Project, Dr. Manhattan, 
and the obsolescence of the old-style superhero.

Panel 2: The sign on the left reads, "Moloch's Solar Mirror Weapon;" 
the case on the right is "King Mob's Ape Mask."  The nameplate on the 
table is Mothman's, and the symbol on the back of his chair is presumably the
group's symbol.

Panels 3-4: Silhouette's line and Sally's response confirm a) 
Laurie's comment about the reason Sally changed her name (in issue #1) and b)
Sally's later comment (issue #9) about how Silhouette was an 
unpleasant person to work with.  (This line is Silhouette's only dialogue in the 
whole series; Dollar Bill has no dialogue at all.) Since Silhouette was a 
Jew who left Austria to avoid the Nazis, it makes sense she'd be against

Page 7, panel 6: There is evidence later that the Comedian's 
assumption here is correct (issue #9).

Panel 8: It is believed that the Comedian killed Hooded Justice in 
the '50's.

Panel 9: Note the time on the clock.

Page 8, panel 5: Again, my copy has two production errors: in this 
panel, Sally also has golden skin and her bathrobe is white.

Panel 6: I believe Varga is a real-world artist.

Page 9, panel 5: The attempted organization of the Crimebusters in 
1966.  From left to right: Janey Slater, Doctor Manhattan, Captain 
Metropolis, Silk Spectre II, Ozymandias, Nite Owl II, Comedian, and Rorschach.  
The newspaper reads "French Withdrawing Military Commitment from NATO" 
and "Heart Transplant Patient Stable." (Why are the headlines on the last

In our world, the first human heart transplant was performed on 
December 13, 1967.

It has been pointed out that the heroes gathered here cover the 
entire spectrum of motivations for super-heroics, and that we learn Captain
Metropolis' underlying motivations here (he wants to fight "social 
ills," as he sees them; some of his choices, such as "anti-war demos" and 
"black unrest," are very telling).  The Comedian's response is perhaps the 
second most pivotal event in the story (after the creation of Dr.  

This scene will be repeated numerous times from different points of 

Page 10, panel 1: Again, note the clock.

Panels 2-3: The headline reads "Dr. Manhattan 'An Imperialist Weapon' 
Say Russians." An internal headline mentions "Dick." The Comedian is 
wearing the leather costume he started wearing in 1941, but still has the 
domino mask (which he wore until the '70's).

Panel 5: Janey is saying something to Dr. Manhattan; we find out what 
in issue #4.

Note Rorschach's style of speech, and compare it to his later speech.

Page 11, panel 2: Moloch was a stage magician-turned-crimelord; he 
appears later this issue.

Panel 7: Nelson Gardner is Captain Metropolis' real name.

Panel 8: Nelson's speech, and Ozymandias' reaction to the Comedian's
outburst, are *extremely* significant.

Page 12, panel 5: Vietnam, 1971.  Dr. Manhattan's involvement led to 
a quick Viet Cong surrender.  (Note that this panel layout is unusual 
for the series; the nine-panel grid is usually altered only by combining 
panels, or occasionally by dividing the panels in half.)

Page 13, panel 1: VVN stands for "Victory in Viet Nam."

Panel 5: The yellow man by the helicopter is President Nixon; the two 
"V for victory" gestures is a mannerism commonly associated with him.

Page 14, panel 2: "Number ten" is slang for "bad;" "number one" is 
slang for "good." (This is authentic slang.)

Panel 7: Note the blood on the smiley-face button.  This incident is 
the reason Blake changed masks.

Page 16, panel 4: New York, 1977.  The riots during the police strike 
just prior to the Keene act.  The building on the left is "Treasure 
Island," the comics shop from the first issue; the beginning of a "Who Watches the
Watchmen" graffito is being added below it.

Page 17, panel 2: The symbol on the middle woman's T-shirt reappears 
later in modified form.  It's obviously a militant feminist symbol; I am 
unsure if it has been used in real life or is original here.

Page 6: The headline reads "Cops Say 'Let Them Do It;' Senator Keene
Proposes Emergency Bill." This leads to the Keene act, 
re-illegalizing vigilantism (see issue #4).  The spatter on Archie (to the right of 
the paper) is the same shape as the blood-spatter on the smiley face.

Page 18, panels 2-3: Jon Osterman is Dr. Manhattan's real name.  The
kidnapping referred to is explained in issue #6.

Page 19, panels 2-3: The Comedian's smiley-face button, last 
appearance.  Dan cleaned off the blood in 1:11:4.

Panels 4-5: The man placing the flowers on the grave is Moloch.

Panel 6: The man shaking hands with Dr. Manhattan here is Adrian, as 
seen by the cufflink.

Panels 7-9: The sign man is following Moloch; this is a clue to 
something that is revealed later.

Page 20, panel 1: The man on the left has a copy of the _New 

Panel 2: The headline reads, "Soviets Will Not Tolerate U.S.  
Adventurism in Afghanistan."  I'm not sure if this is meant to be the same 
headline as in issue #1, page 10, panel 1, or not.  If not, it indicates the 
Soviets getting more belligerent and confrontational.

Panel 3: The door is latched here, so Rorschach probably entered 
before Moloch arrived home.

Panel 5: Notice the "ice cream," "pizza," and "frozen" boxes.  
Evidently Moloch doesn't worry much about calories, or housekeeping.

Panel 7: Why didn't Rorschach suffocate?  It takes a while for water 
to boil.  Maybe this world has safer refrigerators...  (The glass milk 
bottle is interesting, by the way; one wonders if it's still delivered to 
the door, too.)

Page 21, panel 4: Rorschach gives us another clue to his identity 
here.  Since he doesn't have a vast army of assistants, he has to have seen 
Moloch there personally.

Panel 5: This is the first good look we get at Moloch's pointed ears. 
It is unclear if they have been surgically altered or are natural.

Pages 22-23: All will be made clear later.  This is a good summary of 
the plot underlying the whole series.  (Artistic note: All these panels 
are from Moloch's POV, which only changes a little, but does shift as he 
moves his head.)

The light changes because of the blinking "The Rumrunner" neon sign 
outside his window.

Page 24, panel 4: Laetril (or Laetrile) is a real-world drug, 
marketed as a cancer cure but ultimately found to be fraudulent.

Page 25, panel 1: "Enola Gay and the Little Boys" is a reference to 
the first atomic bomb used in WWII and the plane that dropped it.  This 
ties in with Ozymandias' theories in issue #10 about increased warlike 
imagery in times of international tension. 

Page 28, panel 7: The flowers on this page parallel the flowers on 
page 1.

Pages 29-32: More of _Under the Hood_.  This section has a lot of
information about the Minutemen.

Page 7, paragraphs 6-7: Part of the attention to realism that this 
series was noted for.  Most superhero costumes are very impractical and 
flourish by reader suspension of disbelief.

Paragraph 8: An interesting chronological problem.  He says he first 
became active in "the early months of 1939" and it has been said that he was 
the second costumed hero.  However, the first article about Sally in 
issue #9 is dated January 12, 1939.  Three months of preparation after Hooded
Justice's first appearance in mid-October, 1938, would put him right 
around that date; but it seems strange that Larry would prepare the Silk 
Spectre identity after only one costumed hero had appeared (one is a fluke, 
but two is a trend).  Moreover, the article referred to the "superhero 
bandwagon," which wouldn't have been the case this early.  The simplest approach 
is to assume that the date on the article is in error.

Page 9, paragraph 3: Captain Metropolis' "strategic approach" stems 
from his other career: "Marine Lieutenant USMC Nelson Gardner: Free-Lance
Consultant" (issue #9).

Paragraph 7: Hooded Justice wasn't actually interested in Sally; they 
acted as a couple to provide a smokescreen for his real interests.  (Issue 
#9 again.)

Photograph: I presume that's the "Solar Mirror Weapon" on the wall.  
That seems to be mistletoe Blake is holding over Sally.

Page 10, paragraph 2: What on earth was the "Solar Mirror Weapon" 
for, given Moloch's described MO here?
            	Chapter 3: "The Judge of All the Earth"

     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 "radioactive" 
     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 Genesis 18:25.
     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 9 minutes to midnight, and advances by one minute per issue.

Cover: The "Fallout Shelter" sign being put up on the newsstand.  
Note that the cropping makes it read "Allout Helter," and the smoke makes it 
read "All Hel." Also, the smoke forms the profile of a skull.

Page 1, panel 1: The captions in that style are from the "Tales of 
the Black Freighter" comic the teenager is reading.  They continue to 
appear on and off through the eleventh issue.  Some of the panels later are 
excerpts from the comic.  The story behind the comic itself is told in issue 
#5.  (Actually, the comic in question is a reprint.)

Pay close attention to the comic captions, and compare them to the 
ongoing story.  (All the "Black Freighter" captions are in the frayed-edge 

The speaker is Bernard the newsvendor (we learn his name in #11).

The radiation symbol appears in this and the next three panels.

Panel 3: On the right is an issue of _New Frontiersman_, a right-wing
newspaper, with a headline reading "Missing Writer: Castro to Blame?" 
and a photo of Max Shea (writer of "Tales of the Black Freighter." See 
issue #8.

Castro: Fidel Castro, communist leader of Cuba since the '60s.

Panel 4: The kid reading the comic is named Bernie, as we also find 
out in #11.  The ad on the back of the comic is for "The Veidt Method," 
Adrian Veidt's equivalent of the Charles Atlas ads.  Veidt honed his body to
"perfection," and here he's offering to do the same for anyone who'll
gamble a stamp.

Across the street are the offices of the Promethean Cab Company 
("Bringing Light to the World").  In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus 
defied Zeus' will by giving fire to mankind; he has become a symbol of
enlightenment.  This makes it likely that Veidt owns them, too, 
though that's never confirmed or denied.

The _Nova Express_ headline reads, "How Sick Is Dick? After 3rd
Presidential Heart-Op?" The _Nova Express_ is a left-wing newspaper, 
the antithesis of the _New Frontiersman._  Other magazines are 
"Bodyline," "TV Guide" [real-world], "Home Maker," and "Music," and an unidentified 
one that seems to be Japanese with a "Knot Top" headline.  (Are knot-tops 
a Japanese fashion imported to the US, or vice versa?  They seem to be
modeled on medieval samurai hairstyles.  Their popularity in the 
U.S. may be linked to Red D'eath.) On the ground is a "Gunga Diner" menu and 
takeout box.

Bernie is leaning against a public recharge post for the electric 

Page 2, panel 1: The newsstand is in front of the "Institute for
Extraspatial Studies."

Panel 2: The symbol for the spark hydrant bears a striking 
resemblance to that of the second Flash, a DC Comics character.

Panel 5: Atlas: Another Titan, this one responsible for holding up 
the world.  He's synonymous with endurance and perseverance.

Panel 7: The Express' reason for holding its front page will be found 
out later this issue.

Panel 9: Behind the sign man is a sign for the Utopia, a revival 
movie theater.

Page 3, panel 2: The _Examiner_ is probably a trashy tabloid; its 
title is similar to our _National Enquirer_, although it sounds more like the
_Weekly World News._

Page 4, panel 1: Laurie and Jon's bedroom at the Rockefeller Military
Research Center.

Page 5, panel 4: Another production error, Jon's speech bubble here 
is white in my copy.

Panel 9: The speaker here is Janey Slater.  The reference to JFK 
refers to Dr. Manhattan's ability to see the future; he does not attempt to 
prevent the things he sees.

Page 6, panels 1, 3, 5: Janey is being interviewed in the _Nova 
Express_ offices.  Her ashtray rests on the current issue.  Notice the 
similarity between the tape reels and the radiation symbol.  The ashtray is the 
first appearance of a minor theme (the zig-zag pattern on a round object.)

Janey also smokes a ball-pipe; her usage of "three packs a day" is 
probably figurative, although it's possible that the tobacco balls come in 
packs like cigarettes.

The layout of the buttons on the tape recorder is interesting.  In 
our world, the two leftmost buttons would be depressed to record; the 
third button would be "rewind."

Panels 4, 6: The cab is from the Promethean, and the driver (who 
reappears later) is named Joey.

Page 7: Another production error here; the interviewer's hands are 
that golden/orange color.

Panel 2: We learn here that Nostalgia is produced by Veidt.  Notice 
"Mutiny on the Bounty" displayed inside Treasure Island.

Since Laurie is paying with at least two bills, what does the "25c" 
mean, anyway?  25 cents per mile?

Panel 4: The workman is repairing Dreiberg's lock after Rorschach 
smashed it in the first issue.  He works for Gordian Knot Lock Co., which is
probably owned by Veidt (the Gordian knot was undone by Alexander the
Great, one of Veidt's heroes).  The motto on the truck reads, 
"They'll Never Undo This Sucker." Why did Dan wait so long to get it fixed, 

Page 8, panel 4: Odd that the teakettle uses a light, rather than a
whistle--it doesn't seem like the best attention-getting device.  Of
course, since the series doesn't use sound effects, there would be no 
way to indicate the whistle.

Panel 5: Rorschach ate or took the rest of his sugar in the first 

Page 9, panel 5: The teakettle is made by Veidt.

Page 10, panel 1: The image of Laurie reflected here foreshadows 
issue #9's motif, and the eyes, circle, nose (as the mouth) and slash of light 
repeat the smiley-face of #1.

Page 11, panel 2: The Utopia Cinema, which is showing "This Island 
Earth," (a real movie) reappears later.  This scene is seen from another 
angle on page 18, panel 1.

Panels 4 & 6: More ongoing themes.  "Who Watches the Watchmen" 
graffiti, a Pale Horse poster, an anarchy symbol, and the militant feminist 
symbol with "Castrate Rapists" underneath it.  The Japanese-looking characters on 
the jackets [do they mean anything?] suggest that the knot-top style does
indeed come from Japan.

Page 12, panel 3: The host is Benny Anger; he reappears in issue #7.

Panel 4: Is that a Veidt logo on the Krystalnacht poster on the 
right?  The graffiti reads, "[illegible] go mad." We learn much later that it's 
"One in eight go mad," though what this means is never clear.  (Something to 
do with the eight Minutemen, maybe?)

Page 13, panel 3: First appearance of Doug Roth (unless he was the 
one interviewing Janey, which is possible).

Panel 5: We see a flashback to one of these battles in issue #4.

Page 14, panel 6: Unlike most of the graffiti in the series, there's 
not enough given to make this graffiti decipherable.  What we can see 
says, "K-TO[part of another letter] KiN[cut off]."

Page 15, panel 1: The Washington Post is a real paper.

Panels 2,4,6: Dan and Laurie's reactions here resemble actions after 
sex; they're panting and sweaty.  Once they catch their breath, he rolls 
over and she lights up.

Panel 2: Another "Ozymandias Southern India Famine Relief" poster, 
first seen in issue #1.

Panel 3: The speech balloon is mis-colored again.

Page 17, panel 2: The sign is for the _New Frontiersman_ and reads 
"In your hearts, you know it's right" to which someone has added "wing." This 
is a reference to 1964's conservative Presidential candidate Barry 
Goldwater, who used this phrase, minus the addition, as a slogan.  He was 
perceived as being partial to nuclear war; his slogan was modified by LBJ 
supporters to "In Your Heart You Know He Might" (particularly appropriate to this

Page 18, panel 1: _Nova Express_: "Dr. Manhattan Cancer Link New 
Evidence; Inside: Janey Slater Speaks."  The new issue.  This is page 11, panel 
2 from another angle.

Panels 7-9: The radiation symbol again.

Page 19, panel 1: The symbol, this time being painted on their 
bedroom door.  The singer's rendition of "Walking on the Moon" by the Police
foreshadows Dr. Manhattan's trip to Mars.

Page 20, panel 1: The sign reads, "Gila Flats Test Base: Per Dolorem 
Ad Astra: Government Property: Keep Out."  This is where Dr. Manhattan 
worked when he had the accident that changed him (see next issue).  The 
Latin phrase means something like "Through Sadness/Pain/Anguish To The 
Stars." "Ad Astra Per Aspera" is a more commonly known phrase, meaning 
"Through adversities to the stars".  (The change may reflect Doc's reasons for
leaving Earth.)

Panel 3: The Bestiary, the on-base bar.

Panel 4: The first time Jon is shown in clear full-frontal nudity, 
rather than the sly covering positions used earlier.

Panel 5: The writing in the case reads "At play amidst the 
strangeness and charm."  "Strangeness" and "charm" are properties of quarks.

Panel 6: The picture is of Janey and Jon.  See next issue.

Page 22, panel 1: The _Frontiersman_ headline reads, "Our Country's
Protector Smeared by the Kremlin." The rising sun shows that this is 
an east-west street, with the Promethean on the north and 
newsstand/Institute on the south.

Panel 3: The _Gazette_ headline: "Dr Manhattan Leaves Earth."

Page 23, panel 2: More radiation symbols.

Page 24, panel 7: The "Sunday" designation sets today's date as the 

Panels 7-8: That's Nostalgia cologne Rorschach is swiping.  The way 
he's using it says something about his lifestyle; he doesn't bathe much 
(his smell is commented on later), just covers up the odor with cologne.

Page 25, panels 1-3: As has been said before, superhero comics never 
caught on in a world with real superheroes.  They seem to have died out 
during the early '40's.  (In our world it's "Flash," not "Flash-Man;" either the
newsvendor has a faulty memory, or the worlds had diverged enough by 
1940 to produce a minor change like this.) Pirate comics have been the 
most popular type of comic for a long time.

Page 8: "Russians Invade Afghanistan."  In our world this happened in 
1979.  Here, of course, the Russians held off due to Dr. Manhattan; but with 
him gone they went ahead and invaded.

Page 26, panel 1: The second speaker is President Nixon.

Panel 6: Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is on the right.

Page 27, panel 2: The bald man with the ball pipe is G. Gordon Liddy, 
seen again in #10.

Panel 4: Lots more radiation symbols.

Page 28, panel 2: The last radiation symbol of the issue.

Pages 29-32: The last _Under the Hood_ reprint, chronicling the days 
after the fall of the Minutemen.

Page 11, paragraph 3: I believe the date of Laurie's birth was 
changed in the paperback.  The typeface is slightly lighter.

Page 12, paragraph 3: Hooded Justice was likely killed by the 
Comedian.  (If Muller was Hooded Justice.  There is no direct evidence for this
anywhere in the comic; but the Mayfair Games DC Heroes Module, 
"Taking Out the Trash," agrees with this assessment, in the section co-written by
Moore.) Mason's statement about real life is later echoed by Veidt.
                          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 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 reoccurring 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 
title is 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 _Hindenburg_.

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.
                       Chapter 5: "Fearful Symmetry"

     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 
skull-and-crossbones, and mirror images in general.
     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 William Blake's poem "The Tyger."
     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 7 minutes to midnight, and advances by one minute per issue.

Cover: Reflection of the "The Rumrunner" neon sign outside Moloch's 
window.  The "RR" symbol and the bones give us a skull-and-crossbones, and the 
RR is a mirror image.  The "Forecast: Cloudy, heavy rain later" line on the 
paper is symbolic foreshadowing.  Rorschach is reflected at the very top.

A note on the layout of this issue: The entire issue's story pages 
are a mirror image.  Page 1 reflects page 28, page 2 reflects page 27, and 
so forth; the two-page spread on pages 14-15 is where the "mirror" 
lies.  Each page is a reflection both of layout and content.

Page 1, panel 1: The sign reflected again.  That's a copy of the 
_Gazette_ with the "Russians Invade Afghanistan" headline, and a Gunga Diner 
takeout box.

Panel 9: The speaker is Moloch.

Page 3, panel 4: Note the broken Gordian Knot lock.  It must be 
freshly broken; Moloch wouldn't have been able to close it if it were like 

Panel 6: Checking the refrigerator, remembering issue #2.

Panel 9: Rorschach signs all his notes with the "blot" symbol.  He 
doesn't write very well, as shown later; it's possible, though, that he used 
the capital "H" because it has horizontal symmetry.

Page 5, panel 5: Rorschach is correct in this assumption; the list in
question was the cancer list.  More later.

Panel 6: Rorschach either believes in checking every possible lead, 
no matter how remote, or is a raving paranoid.  The likelihood that 
Moloch could be behind all this is somewhat farfetched.

Page 6, panel 5: The Chrysler Building is visible in the background.

Panel 6: We see the island later.  (It all ties together.)

Since this is Monday, Rorschach must have great endurance to hold on 
so long.  He's probably used to it, though.

Panel 7: The puddle again.

Page 7, panel 1: The triangle symbol, with an Eastern connection.  
The smear of blood across the face repeats the smiley-face from #1.

Panel 3: The lamp in the upper right repeats the very minor theme of 
a zig-zag pattern on a sphere.  Officer Capaldi is the woman on the left of 
the panel.

Panel 6: Note the skull-and-crossbones in the "Grateful Dead" poster. 
(The other posters read, "Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life" 
and "No Nukes.")

Page 8, panel 1: The truck is, again, from Pyramid Deliveries, and 
gives us the triangle again.  (A triangle also has mirror symmetry.)

Panel 8: The early arrival of next month's comics explains how the 
kid has the new "Black Freighter" already.  Tuesday is a somewhat unusual 
day for a comics shipment to arrive, at least in our world.

Page 10, panel 1: The Gunga Diner interior.  The speaker is Laurie.  
Most of this page is seen in a mirror.

Panel 4: The Diner is across from the Utopia.  (The people walking on 
the street have been shown in passing before; the woman with the girl was 
seen in 1:4:5.) They're now showing "Things to Come" (reflecting the theme 
of change).  The "Y"-shaped symbols contain triangles and have a mirror-
symmetry themselves.

At this distance, Dan should probably be visible in the mirror.

Page 11, panel 1: The hands on this page belong to Rorschach.  Notice 
the symmetrical stain pattern on the plate, and the Heinz bean can.  
Rorschach wears his watch on his right wrist, a clue to his identity.

Panel 3: The pile of _New Frontiersman_ under the bed are another 
hint to Rorschach's real identity.

Panel 4: We see his mother in the next issue.

Panel 5: Another mirror-image; the "Hiroshima lovers" are a theme for 
the rest of the series.  "Who Watches the Watchmen" graffiti in the 

Panel 6: Once again, Rorschach is either investigating _all_ leads or 
is behaving like a paranoid loon.  Laurie is more plausible than Moloch, 
but not by much.

Panels 7-9: Rorschach is creating a Rorschach blot with the napkin; 
its shape is an upside-down question mark, perhaps referring to his
inspiration, the Question.  The gang sprays another "Hiroshima 
Lovers" image on the wall.  The man in panel 8 may be dropping the message
Rorschach picks up on panel 18; he faintly resembles the courier from 
issue #10, but is too far to really tell.

Page 12, panel 1: "Afghanistan: Is Pakistan Next?" The radiation 
symbol is still on the wall.  This page is the first to alternate real and 
"Black Freighter" panels.

Panel 5: Note the "...don't people see the *signs*? Don't they know 
where this is *headed*?" viz. the sign-man in the background.

Panel 7: The Chrysler Building is vaguely visible behind the 

Panel 8: Another mirror image, and streak across eye (related to the 
issue #1 smiley face).

Panel 9: Notice the "The End is Nigh" man going through the trash.  
>From this we can postulate the layout of this corner, Fortieth and 

 Gunga|   | Promethean
 Diner|   | Cab Co.
-------   ---------------   /|\
          Newsstand          | N
-------   ---------------    |
Utopia|   | Institute for
      |   | Extraspatial
      |   | Studies

(Does this corner exist in "our" New York?  What's located there?")

Page 13, panel 1: The shiny desk and floor provide another mirror.  
The hands belong, of course, to Adrian; the woman is his secretary.  The 
"V" has mirror symmetry, and the link on the desk forms an "X" (what this 
may signify I don't know).

Those are very interesting symbols on Veidt's computer terminal.  
Some of them make sense (an =, a :, a 0) but others are incomprehensible.  
Does he use some bizarre sort of code on his personal terminal?

Panel 3: Is Veidt foreshadowing the end of this issue?  Does he know 
too much?

Pages 14-15: This split-page panel is unique in the series.  The pool 
is another mirror surface.

Page 17, panel 4: The _Gazette_ headline reads, "Industrialist in 
Murder." Notice the sign man in the background.  The person by the corner 
might be Joey.

Panel 8: And the sign man is in the trash again; we learn the 
significance of this later.  Ironic line from the newsvendor.

Page 18, panel 1: The same graffiti we saw on page 11.  The hands in 
the panel (mirror image) appear on 2/3 of the panels on the page.  If 
alert, you can work out the identity of Rorschach here.

>From the slant, the writing could be by someone left-handed.  Moloch 
is left-handed; look at the way he holds the gun in the beginning of 
this issue.  If this is a fake, it's a good one.

Panel 4: Another Pale Horse poster on the left, above a torn 
Ozymandias Famine Relief poster; on the right, more "Who Watches the Watchmen?"

Panel 5: A Nostalgia ad.

Panel 6: Compare Rorschach's pulling on the glove with the woman's 
pulling on her stocking.  Is Rorschach being ironic when he says, "My 
spotless gloves," or is he overlooking their condition?

Panel 8: Note the similarity of mugger and victim's silhouette to the

Page 19: Another mirror.

Panel 6: On the table is "Under the Hood." The old heroes have been 
on Dan's mind lately.

Page 21, panel 2: Joey, last seen in issue #3.

Panel 3: _Hustler_ is a real-world "men's" magazine, noted for being 
more hardcore and pornographic than Playboy or Penthouse.

Panel 8: Another triangle image (compare with Pyramid Deliveries) and 
the militant feminist symbol.  The poster read, "Pink Triangle LIVE at 
the Gay Women Against Rape Benefit Concert."

"Pink Triangle" is actually an odd name for a lesbian band.  The 
symbol comes from Nazi Germany, where gay men were made to wear pink 
triangles.  Lesbians and other "undesirables" wore black triangles.  The usage of 
the pink triangle as a symbol for all homosexuals is seen by some as 
sexist, and some militant lesbians prefer to use the black triangle.  Since 
the point-up orientation of the symbol can indicate greater militancy 
than the more common point-down, one is left with the impression that Moore 
and Gibbons were trying to fit the poster into their motifs.

Also note that the term is "gay women," not "lesbians."  We learn 
later that "gay woman" has become the accepted term.

Panel 9: The ad on the back of the _Hustler_ reads, "For Smokers With
Balls" and is for the ball-pipes. (The copy is sort of ironic.  We've 
seen the holders used by people in Happy Harry's, a man in New York in #4, 
page 4, and a minor character in this issue on page 13, but Janey and 
Laurie use them too, as well as the man embracing the other man in issue 1.  
Surely not *all* these people are in _Hustler's_ target audience.)

Page 22, panel 3: Notice the "Gunga Diner" balloon out the window.  
If that's the same one, the station must be close to the action of the 

Panel 4: The shot of the Dead poster here gives us half of the 
album's title.  The full title is "Aoxomoxoa," a palindrome.  Gibbons claims 
to have chosen this by pure chance, but it still fits the motif.

Panel 6: The case number on the Blake file has a palindromic number, 
and all the numbers in it have vertical and horizontal mirror symmetry.

Panel 7: He means "Rorschach," of course.

Panel 9: The skull-and-crossbones on the poster again.

Page 23, panels 1-3: A return to page 1.

Panel 4: New graffiti on the wall by the Rumrunner.

Panel 6: The broken Gordian Knot lock; comparison with page 3, panel 
4 shows that Rorschach has broken it again.  (The damage is different, 
and the second lock has "X"s on it framing the keyhole.)

Page 24, panel 3: Underboss was a major mob crimelord; Rorschach and 
Nite Owl eventually apprehended him.

Page 25, panels 3-6: Rorschach is gathering makeshift weapons here.  
The aerosol can reads "Veidt For Men Hair Spray."

Page 26, panel 3: "Here be tygers" refers both to the quote giving us 
the story title, and the practice of filling in unknown areas on old maps 
with "Here be dragons."  It may be NYPD slang for the unknown and 

Page 28, panels 1, 5: The "Rumrunner" logo is similar to that of the 
real-life Ramrod club, placing the apartment on West Street off 
Christopher.  The cop's "goddamned queer" line also points to that area, and is 
similar to Comedian's line from issue #, page 7, panel 6.

Panel 9: Once again the puddle.

Pages 29-32: "A Man on Fifteen Dead Men's Chests," Chapter 5 of the
_Treasure Island Treasury of Comics._  An overview of the history of 
DC's "Tales of the Black Freighter."  EC and DC are/were both real 
publishers.  Joe Orlando is a real person; he's a VP at DC now.  In the real 
world, comics centered on superheroes, which declined in the '50's: the 
horror comics of that period brought about public disapproval.  In this 
world there were few superhero comics: there was no witchhunt and EC 
remained strong.  (Ironically, though, the superheroes helped the survival of 
the form; see page 59, paragraph 1.) Marvel never made it (since, in the 
real world, their growth can be traced to FANTASTIC FOUR #1).

The title refers to the classic pirate song "Fifteen Men on a Dead 
Man's Chest."

Page 61, paragraph 4: "Marooned" is the story Bernie is reading.

Page 62, panel 2: Another reference to Max Shea's disappearance 
(first mentioned in issue #3).

By the way, if anyone is interested in reading a collaboration 
between Alan Moore and Joe Orlando, look for SECRET ORIGINS #10, the secret origin 
of the Phantom Stranger.
                     Chapter 6: "The Abyss Gazes Also"

     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 images brought on by 
the Rorschach blots.
     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 Nietzsche.
     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 6 minutes to midnight.

Cover: A Rorschach blot.  The blots used here are not actually the 
classic blots created by Dr. Rorschach; they follow the same principle but 
are smoother.  Also, not all of the original blots were black-and-white, 
and they were usually more complex.

Page 1, panel 1: Dr. Long is Rorschach's therapist in prison.

Panel 6: The Band-aid and bruise on his face come from the beating 
the cops gave him last issue.  The bruise is from the kick on 5:28:4.

Panel 7: Obviously this is what Rorschach sees.  It is explained 
later this issue.

Panel 8: Rorschach's been through this before and knows how to fake 
out the examiner.  (It's not hard to feed expected answers on this sort of 
test, especially if the examiner wants to see improvement like Mal does.  If
you're interested in learning how to give answers on the real 
Rorschach tests, read the book _Big Secrets_ by William Poundstone.)

Page 3, panels 1-2: Note the similarity between this blot, the 
silhouette, and the "Hiroshima Lovers" graffiti.

Panel 8: On page 11 of issue 5 he said his landlady reminded him of 
his mother.  The resemblance is clear.

Page 4, panels 8-9: Back into the blot from the flashback.  (This 
issue uses this type of transition heavily.)

Page 7, panel 1: Compare the fruit on his face to the blot on page 1.

Page 8, panel 2: The speaker is Mal's wife, Gloria.

Panel 6: Their shadows, particularly here, echo the "Hiroshima 

Panel 8: Notice that the fountain pen is making an inkblot.  (A white
inkblot?  Gibbons seems to have missed inking it.) Although the 
coffee cup reads "Dad," we never see their children.

Panel 9: The note reads, "Mal: One for you? G." The notepad is his 
notes: the words "murder" and "'Good.'" are recognizable, from panels 2-3.

Page 9, panel 7: Walter sees Rorschach as something more than an 
identity he takes on.  (Remember, he refers to his mask as his "face.") See 
page 15. This is not an uncommon theme among costumed heroes; Batman, in 
particular, has frequently been shown as having a slight split personality 
between the Batman and Wayne identities.  For more on the idea of an identity 
taking on a life of its own, and in fact becomes a world-view, read Matt 
Wagner's GRENDEL series, especially issues 1-15 and 25-34.

Page 10, panel 1: Rorschach has never shown much of an interest in 
women; he seems to be fairly asexual, in fact.  (Or he may be homosexual and 
in deep denial about it.)

Panel 6: "Woman Killed While Neighbors Look On."

Panel 7: This event happened in the real world.

Page 11, panels 7-9: The card from page 1 again.  Mal is beginning to 
get the point, but is denying it to himself.

Page 13, panels 1-3: The coffeemaker is another foreshadowing of the 
motif from issue #9.  In panel 2, the "Gopain" is a Veidt product.

Panel 4: The coffee drip is producing a shape similar to the 
"butterfly" card.

Panel 5: Notice the time on the clock.

Page 14, panels 1-2: The notepad reads "face that I could bear to 
look at in the mirror" (from page 10).

Panel 4: Compare the way he talked at the Crimebusters meeting in #2; 
he actually used articles and complete sentences.  He's changed a lot, 
like he says.

Page 15, panel 6: The headline reads, "Keene Act Passed: Vigilantes
Illegal."  The sign reads, "Badges Not Masks." Most of "Who Watches 
the Watchmen" is on the wall.  A Gunga Diner is just to Rorschach's left.

Page 16, panel 1: Mal is working on a Sunday.  Clearly he's really 
into this case.

Panel 5: We see this from the other point of view on page 3 of issue 

Panel 6: More of the lovers graffiti.

Pages 17-18: The card reappears.

Page 18: This is the kidnapping referred to in issue #2, page 18.

Page 19: Could the dressmaker's dummies remind him of Kitty Genovese?

Page 22, panel 1: The street address is symmetrical.  The dogs are 
named after the male main characters of the "Flintstones" TV series.

Panel 5: Notice the time on the clock.

Page 26, panels 4-6: Once again, the card.

Page 27, panel 1: The watch salesman is a minor continuing character; 
this is his first appearance.

Panel 2: "Nixon Promises Maximum Force." No President in our world 
would be this belligerent, this quickly; he evidently doesn't want to show any
reaction to Jon's disappearance.  Backing down would be a show of 
weakness.  (Understanding this is key to understanding the series' ending.) The
radiation symbol is in the background.

Panel 3: The graffiti again.  Note the Mmeltdowns wrapper Bernie is
throwing away.

Pages 29-32: Rorschach's file.

Page 29, paragraph 3: The "Sweet Chariot" sugar is from Dreiberg's
apartment (issue #1); the rose is from the end of issue #2; the 
notebook is later explained to be the rough draft of his journal; the cologne was
swiped from Dan's apartment in #3; and the pepper is from the end of 
issue #5.  We saw him using the flashlight in the beginning of #1.

Pages 30-31: The "Charlton Home" name may be a tribute to the 
inspirations for the main characters, published by Charlton Comics.

Page 31, "Charlton Home" section, paragraphs 3-4: Compare this to his
comments on good men in #1.

Page 32: The symbolism of the dream should be obvious.  This sheet 
must bemisdated; '63 was seven years after he left the Home.
                     Chapter 7: "A Brother to Dragons"

     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 reflection in the 
     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 Job 30:29.
     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 5 minutes to midnight.

Cover: Dreiberg's ship, "Archie," reflected in his goggles.  The 
smear in the dust is reminiscent of the smiley-face motif.

Page 1, panel 1: The reflection in the oval.

Panel 7: The smear Laurie is making mirrors the one in the first 

Page 3, panel 1: Dan is replacing the Sweet Chariot sugar Rorschach 

Panels 2, 4, 6: Flashback to issues #1 and 3.  Panel 4 is seen in a 
mirror.  (All three panels are from Dan's POV.)

Panel 7: On the right are Dan's trophies.

Page 4, panel 5: While Laurie's judgment is harsh, it is true that
Rorschach is _very_ suspicious.

Panel 9: A reflection in an oval.

Page 5, panel 1: Another reflection in an oval.

Page 7, panels 2-4: Not quite a reflection in an oval, but close.

Panel 5: _The Sword in the Stone_ is a book by T.H. White, concerning 
the childhood of King Arthur.

Page 9, panel 2: Big Figure appears in the next issue.

Page 10, panels 2-3: Devo is a real band.

Panel 9: Reflection in an oval.

Page 11, panel 3: Clearly Laurie has no problem with her Polish 
background, unlike her mother.

Panel 4: Confirming the theory that the cancer list is a setup; if 
Dr. Manhattan were carcinogenic enough to affect Moloch, he would 
certainly have affected Laurie by now.

Page 12, panel 1: Godfrey and his assistant reappear later.

Panel 3: This places the date as the 25th.  "This afternoon?" Since 
they're watching the six o'clock news (look at the clock in 7:13:5 and 
7:15:3), this is an odd way to phrase it--it should probably be past tense.

Panel 8: Hiroshima week (the 40th anniversary) was only two months 
before the start of the series, so naturally it would be close to Dan's 

Pages 13-15: These pages have one of the best examples in the series 
of ironic background dialogue, commenting on the foreground.  Read the 
stuff from the TV as commentary on what Dan and Laurie are doing.

Page 13, panel 1: This is a reference to the real-world group 
"Manhattan Transfer."

Panels 4-7: The background information here is important setup for 
later events.

Panels 8-9: The background is a commercial for Nostalgia.  This may 
be Nat King Cole's song "Unforgettable."

Pages 14-15: This is the event all the Ozymandias Famine Relief 
posters are a reference to.  (Famine in India is a common thread in the series, 
since there was another benefit for it in the early '50s.  This may be 
intended to replace the real-world famine in eastern Africa occurring around 
this time.

Page 15: Though it may be a little unkind to point this out, look at 
the times in panels 3-6 and look at how long they keep trying: 6:40, 
nearly 11:00, sometime after midnight, 1:59 AM...

Panel 4: Benny Anger returns.  Note that Red D'Eath has a knot top 
and leather jacket; he seems to be the one popularizing the style, since 
Aline, a Pale Horse fan but not a gang member, wears it in issue #11.

Red D'Eath's name refers, probably, to Edgar Allen Poe's short story 
"The Masque of the Red Death."

Panel 5: A Mmeltdowns ad.

Panel 9: A reflection in an oval.

Page 17, panel 6: The "Hiroshima Lovers" imagery again.

Page 18, panel 2: The Chrysler Building is in the background.  This 
whole page is Dan's POV.

Panel 3: The finger streak in the mist hearkens back to the cover; 
the streak, the two raindrops, and the cloud form the spattered 
smiley-face image.

Panel 9: Another reflection.

Page 25, panel 7: As identified later, this is Billy Holliday's 
"You're My Thrill."

Page 26, panel 7: A reflection in an oval.

Page 27, panel 13: The street view here demonstrates that there are 
at least three geodesic domes in the city.

Page 28, panel 4: Another reflection.  "Come out of the closet" is a 
common phrase for revealing one's homosexuality; others writers have 
commented that some superhero comics may be seen as a metaphor for the 
homosexual lifestyle.  (We will note that out of 13 costumed characters in the 
series, three are known homosexuals, although two of them seem to be 
unhealthy about it.)

Panel 9: Archie, with the smoke and the moon behind him, makes 
another smiley-face.

Pages 29-32: An excerpt from the _Journal of the American 
Ornithological Society._ Note that this is the least informative backup feature in 
the series, telling us nothing new.
                          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.)
                  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 dating 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 
                Chapter 10: "Two Riders Were Approaching..."

     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 computer/TV screens, as 
well as a "two riders" theme.
     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 Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."
     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 2 minutes to midnight.

Cover: A control tower radar screen.  The position of the two 
incoming blips and the seep, plus the white curve on the bottom, give us 
another spattered smiley-face.

Page 1, panel 1: Notice the time and date: 10/31/85 (a jump backwards 
in time), 11:59:30.  "DEFCON 2" refers to the state of military 
readiness (from DEFense CONdition); DEFCON 5 is complete peace, and DEFCON 1 is
outright war.

Panel 4: Note that two riders are approaching in the truck.

Page 2, panel 1: President Nixon, carrying the control to launch the 
U.S.'s nuclear arsenal.  He and Vice-President Ford constitute two riders.

Panel 6: VP Ford, losing his balance.  In our world, Ford stumbled 
down some airplane steps while President, thus acquiring a reputation as a

Panel 7: Both the cars have two riders (counting the driver as a 
rider).  If not, there are still two riders, just in different vehicles.

Page 4, panel 3: The change in Rorschach's manner is beginning.  
While the bit about Laurie may be politeness, this is warmer than he's been in 

Page 5, panel 4: Lots of ongoing themes on the fence in the 
background. From left to right, a Pale Horse "Krystalnacht" poster ("Sold Out"), 
a "The End is Nigh" sign, a Nostalgia ad, a Gunga Diner box, a "Four More 
Years" sign, a sign reading "Badges Not Masks: Support the Keene Bill," an
Ozymandias Famine Relief poster, another "Four More Years," another 
"The End is Nigh," "Krystalnacht," "Badges Not Masks," "Nixon the One," 
"Badges Not Masks," "The End is Nigh," "The End is Nigh," "Nixon the One" 
and, finally, a Pink Triangle poster.  (The downward-spiraling arrow has 
been around for a while, too; maybe it's symbolic of the way the world 
situation is going.  The way they go from the Pale Horse poster and "the one" 
sign to the trash can may be foreshadowing.) Across the bottom is another 
"One in eight go mad" graffito.

Page 6, panel 2: A really old coat; that's the bloodstain from the 
dog he killed.  Next to it is his journal.

Panel 7: Another sign of his humanization.

Page 7, panel 1: This is Karnak, Adrian's Antarctic retreat.  Named 
after the site of an ancient palace/temple complex in Egypt.  At least part 
of it was built by Rameses II, the original Ozymandias.

Panel 4: Lots and lots of triangles, with TV screens in the lower 

Page 7: TV screens.

Page 8, panel 1: Slight artistic slip here: the "Mmeltdowns" ad in 
the lower left is missing an "M." Above it and to the right is a 
political ad (?) for "R.R.", who we're probably meant to think is Ronald Reagan, 
but most likely isn't, though it does look like him (see #12).  There's a
Nostalgia ad hidden under Adrian's first balloon.

Panel 5: The shape of the recording reels is reminiscent of the 
radiation symbols.

Page 9, panel 1: Computer screens.

Page 11, panel 4: The Chrysler Building is visible on the far left.

Page 12, panel 3: The two people in the background were just recently

Page 13, panel 1: The headline reads, "Eastern Europe: Tanks Mass as
Conflict Escalates."  The back of the comic reads, "The Veidt Method: 
I Will Give You Bodies Beyond Your Wildest Imagination." Those are 
Jehovah's Witnesses in the background (two of them, riding).

Panel 7: _The Watchtower_ is a real-world magazine, but it refers 
back ironically to the source of this issue's title.

Page 14, panel 2: Daniel is discreetly changing the sign to "Closed," 
a nice artistic touch that's easy to miss.

Page 17: Notice the symbol on the side of the boat.  All the people
referred to as missing in the _New Frontiersman_ except James 
Trafford March show up or are referred to on this page, and he may be among 
the unidentified people in panels 2-4.  The brain is that of Robert

Also, doesn't this beach bring to mind the one from _Tales of the 
Black Freighter_?

Page 18, panels 1 and 7: That's the picture Mira was drawing in issue 
#8, page 11.  This is foreshadowing.

Page 19, panel 7: Notice the pyramid on Adrian's desk...

Page 20: Another computer screen.  The computer is a Veidt product, 
but that's hardly surprising.

Panel 4: A reference to the '75 Roche kidnapping, presumably.

Panel 8: The rider here gives another "II rider."  The weakness of 
the security is intriguing, and suggests that Veidt is either a) 
extremely careless, b) extremely overconfident, or c) wanted to be found.  A) 
seems unlikely in view of what we know.

Page 22, panel 1: The Chrysler Building again, with a geodesic dome 
in the bottom.

Panel 3: They're flying over Madison Square Garden, where Pale Horse 
is playing tonight.  Notice the time on the clock.  (This page can be 
used to trace the geography of the region.  Assuming they went straight, 
Veidt's building is east of the newsstand corner of 40th and 7th.  The 
Chrysler Building, the most useful landmark, is shown as due east of the 
newsstand in 3:22:1.)

Panels 6-7: This is the mailbox next to Rorschach's trashcan 
mail drop: next to the Promethean offices, across from the Gunga Diner and the 
newsstand. In panel 7, Rorschach's sigil is miscolored and looks like a sign on 
the wall. 

Page 23, panel 1: The mailman's getting Rorschach's journal out of 
the mailbox.

Panel 2: Two riders again.

Panel 9: The journal is the "Urgent" package.  The watch salesman is 
in the background.

Page 24, panel 4: The graffiti read "Sieg Heil," a swastika, and 
"Scum." Apparently not everybody approves of the _Frontiersman._ We see 
through the window that Pioneer Publishing is opposite Woolworth's, which has a
Mmeltdowns ad.

Panel 5: Feinberg drew the cartoon in issue #8 (it was signed just 
"F.").  This may well be the same Walt Feinberg who drew "Tales of the Black

Panel 6: Odd that the journal is from 1984-1985, but the 10/12/85 
entry is on the first page.  (In issue #1, it read "Dog carcass," not "Dead 
dog." Either Seymour is paraphrasing or the captions were from his notes, 
not the final version.)

Page 28, panels 4-6: More TV screens, and the final set of two 

Pages 29-32: Various papers from Adrian's desk.

Page 29, paragraph 1: He vetoed them in issue #5, page 13.

Page 30: Notice "Call Laurie" and the beginning of a phone number on 
the left.  This blotter's layout is interesting; internal evidence 
suggests that it begins on Saturday (the opposite of Dan's).  Clumping the 
weekends together on one line is a useful idea, actually.

One wonders if the Rorschach figure's mask would shift patterns; it's
theoretically possible, but might be expensive for a cheap plastic 
action figure.

Page 31, paragraph 5: In issue #12 we see some of the Millennium

Page 32: The new "Veidt Method" ad (looking like it was printed on a

By the way, Adrian's signature is identical on all three pages.  
(Obviously Gibbons had a stat made of the first signature on the art, but it 
looks a little odd in the context of the series.)
                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, 
the ship 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 
in Karnak 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 roll call, 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 something (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.
                   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 correspondents 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.
                              CHARACTER GUIDE

[Spoiler alert!  This section gives away many of the surprises in the 
     Costumed types are listed under their aliases.

ALINE (?-1985): Joey's ex, she dies in the "alien attack." #'s 11-12.

ANGER, BENNY (?- ): Talk-show host, he interviews Dr.  Manhattan just
before he leaves for Mars.  #'s 3, 7, 11.

BERNARD (?-1985): The newsvendor who owns the newsstand in front of 
the Institute for Extraspatial Studies.  He took on the job after his 
wife Rosa died.  He was killed during the "alien attack." #'s 3, 5, 6, 8, 

BERNIE (?-1985): The kid who sat by the newsstand reading the "Tales 
of the Black Freighter," because his mother and sister were out.  He was 
killed during the "alien attack."  #'s 3, 5, 11-12.

BIG FIGURE (?-1985): A crimelord who Rorschach put away.  He tries to 
kill Rorschach in prison and winds up dead himself.  #8.

BOURQUIN, JOE (?-1985): Steve Fine's partner.  He investigates the 
Blake murder, helps arrest Rorschach, and is killed by the creature in New 
York.  #'s 1, 5, 8, 11, 12.

BUBASTIS (?-1985): Ozymandias's genetically engineered lynx.  Killed 
when used as bait for Dr. Manhattan.  #'s 4, 10-12.

CAPTAIN METROPOLIS (?-1974): Nelson Gardner.  Gardner was a former 
Marine lieutenant.  He became an adventurer in 1939, and proposed the 
formation of the Minutemen; he stayed with them until the end.  In 1966 he tried 
to organize the Crimebusters.  In 1974 he was killed in a car crash.  
#'s 2, 4, 6, 9, 11.

COMEDIAN, THE (1924-1985): Edward Morgan Blake.  Began his career in 
1939, cleaning up waterfronts in New York.  He joined the Minutemen, and 
was expelled in 1940 for attempting to rape Sally Jupiter.  He changed 
his yellow costume for heavier leather in 1941, and became a war hero in 
the Pacific.  In 1949 he met Sally Jupiter again, sleeping with her and
becoming Laurie's father.  He was one of those at the meeting of the
Crimebusters in 1966.  He became a government operative at some 
point, working in Vietnam (where he was scarred on VVN Night in 1971), and
remaining active after the Keene Act in 1977.  In 1985, he discovered 
the island Veidt's creature project was based on, and was killed by 
Veidt.  #'s 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 11.

DERF (?-1985): The knot-topped Katie addict who kills Nite Owl I.  
He's presumed killed at the Madison Square Garden Pale Horse concert.  #'s 
1, 8, 12?

DOCTOR MANHATTAN (1929- ): Jon Osterman.  His father was a 
watchmaker, and he was going to follow him until his father sent him into physics 
following Hiroshima.  In 1948 he entered Princeton, and in 1958 he obtained his 
Ph.D. In 1959 he went to work at Gila Flats, where he met and fell in love 
with Janey Slater.  In August 1959, he was caught in an accident in an 
intrinsic field remover, causing him to disintegrate.  By November, he had 
obtained sufficient control over matter to reassemble himself.  He worked for 
the government, becoming their nuclear war prevention (since he could 
destroy incoming missiles with a thought).  He was publicly revealed in 1960. 
In 1963, he failed to prevent Kennedy's assassination.  He was at the 
meeting of the Crimebusters in 1966, following which he fell in love with 
Laurie Juspeczyk.  His father died in 1969.  In 1971 he intervened in 
Vietnam, leading to victory over the Viet Cong.  He and Laurie eventually 
moved to Rockefeller military base.  In 1985, following allegations he'd given
cancer to people he was associated with, he left Earth and went to 
Mars, returning to get Laurie at one point.  He returned following the 
"alien attack" in New York and went to Antarctica to confront Veidt, 
following which he decided to leave Earth altogether.  #'s 1-4, 6, 9, 11-12.

DOLLAR BILL (?-1946): Real name unknown (the roleplaying sourcebook 
has it as Bill Brady).  The best description of him comes from _Under the 
Hood_: "...originally a star college athlete from Kansas who was actually 
employed as an in-house super-hero by one of the major national banks, when 
they realized that the masked man fad made being able to brag about having 
a hero of your own to protect your customer's money a very interesting
publicity project...While attempting to stop a raid at one of his
employer's banks, he cloak became entangled in the bank's revolving 
door and he was shot dead at point-blank range before he could free it." 

FINE, DETECTIVE STEVE (?-1985): Investigates the Blake murder.  Helps
arrest Rorschach, and tries to arrest Dreiberg.  He's suspended just 
before being killed with his partner Joe Bourquin in New York.  #'s 1, 5, 8, 
11, 12.

GLASS, MILTON (?-?): Director of Gila Flats, and author of "Dr. 
Manhattan: Super-powers and the Superpowers." #4.

GODFREY, HECTOR (?- ): Editor of the _New Frontiersman_.  #'s 8, 

GORDIAN KNOT MAN, THE (?-1985): Milo's brother, he fixes Dan's lock 
on several occasions.  #'s 3, 11-12.

"HAPPY HARRY" (?- ): Runs a sleazy bar and grill named Happy Harry's. 
#'s 1, 10.

HOODED JUSTICE (?-?): Real name unknown; possibly Rolf Muller, circus
strongman.  He was the first costumed vigilante, making his debut 
October 13, 1938.  He joined the Minutemen in 1939, remaining with the group 
until its demise ten years later.  Until she left the group, Sally Jupiter 
posed as his girlfriend, covering his preference for boys.  When the 
costumed adventurers were investigated by HUAC, he refused to testify and 
vanished. It has been speculated that he was killed by the Comedian in the 
mid-50's as revenge for stopping his rape of Sally.  #2.

JOEY (?-1985): A cab driver for the Promethean.  She and her 
ex-girlfriend Aline were killed in the "alien attack."  #'s 3, 5, 11-12.

LONG, GLORIA (?-1985): Mal's wife, who leaves him.  She's killed in 
the "alien attack." #'s 6, 11-12.

LONG, DR. MALCOLM (?-1985): Rorschach's prison psychiatrist.  He dies 
in the "alien attack." #'s 6, 11-12.

MILO (?-1985): Manager of the Promethean, brother of the Gordian Knot 
man, dies in "alien attack." #'s 11-12.

MOLOCH (?-1985): Edgar William Jacobi, alias Edgar William Vaughn, 
alias William Edgar Bright.  A stage magician-turned-crimelord.  He fought 
most of the costumed adventurers up through the 1970's, which he spent in 
jail. At some point during that time, he worked for Dimensional 
Developments, where he was given cancer.  In 1985 he was killed by Veidt to frame
Rorschach.  #'s 2, 4-5.

MOTHMAN (?- ): Byron Lewis.  He became a costumed hero in 1939, and 
joined the Minutemen, remaining with them until they split up in '49.  He 
was investigated by HUAC in the early '50's, and had trouble before he 
was cleared; this marked the start of his drinking problem, which he 
never got over.  He eventually wound up in a sanitarium in Maine. #'s 2, 9.

NITE OWL I (1916-1985): Hollis Mason.  His father worked at an auto 
repair shop.  In 1938 he became a police officer.  After reading about 
Hooded Justice, he decided to become a costumed vigilante.  He became Nite 
Owl in 1939, and joined the Minutemen, remaining with them until they 
disbanded in 1949.  He testified before HUAC in the early '50's, and was cleared 
quickly because of his police force background.  In 1962, he retired from
superheroics to run an auto shop, and write his autobiography, _Under 
the Hood._  Dan Dreiberg got permission from him to continue his name, 
and they became friends.  In 1985 he was murdered by a gang, who confused him 
with the second Nite Owl after the Rorschach jailbreak.  #'s 1, 4, 8-9.

NITE OWL II (?- ): Daniel Dreiberg.  His father was a banker and left 
him a good deal of money, but he was interested in "birds and airplanes and
mythology."  He got degrees in aeronautics and zoology at Harvard.  
In the early '60's, he took on the identity of Nite Owl from Hollis Mason, 
who he became friends with.  In 1965 he teamed with Rorschach to fight the
Underboss, and in 1966 he was at the meeting of the Crimebusters.  He
retired in 1977 at the time of the Keene Act, devoting his time to 
writing papers for ornithology journals.  In 1985 he was drawn back in after 
the Comedian's death, working with Silk Spectre (whom he fell in love 
with) to break Rorschach from prison, and eventually confronting Veidt with 
the truth about his plans.  Following that, he took on the identity of 
Sam Hollis.  #'s 1-12.

NIXON, RICHARD (1913- ): 38th president of the U.S., from 1968 on.  
He was the first president to involve Dr. Manhattan in domestic and foreign
affairs, leading to a nation-wide prosperity and victory in Vietnam.  
This led to an amendment repealing the 22nd Amendment, allowing him to 
serve unlimited terms.  His use of Dr. Manhattan in Vietnam led to the 
anti-mask movement.  #'s 3, 10.

OZYMANDIAS (1939- ): Adrian Veidt.  Born to immigrant parents, he was 
a genius at an early age.  At the age of 17, following in the footsteps 
of Alexander the Great, he went to Turkey, following his route 
throughout Europe and Asia.  In Alexandria, he had a revelation, taking on the
identity of Ozymandias to fight crime.  Following the meeting of the
Crimebusters in 1966, he realized that dangers far worse than crime 
faced mankind, and he embarked upon a plan to save the world.  His 
corporation, Veidt, produces virtually everything, from cosmetics to tennis shoes. 
He developed the patent for the spark hydrant to fund Dimensional
Developments.  His plan eventually led to the plot of the series, the 
death of the Comedian and Moloch (among others), the departure of Dr. 
Manhattan, and eventual harmony among the superpowers (in theory).  #'s 1-2, 
4-5, 7, 10-12.

PHANTOM (?-1985?): Nite Owl I's dog.  #'s 1, 8.

RORSCHACH (1940-1985): Walter Joseph Kovacs.  His mother was a 
prostitute, and his father is unknown.  He was taken from his mother in 1951 
after viciously attacking two bullies, and stayed in a home until 1956, 
when he became a garment worker.  In 1964, after reading about the death of 
Kitty Genovese, he took up the identity of Rorschach, later partnering with 
Nite Owl II in 1965.  He was at the meeting of the Crimebusters in 1966.  
In 1975, he experienced a change of philosophy after investigating the 
Roche kidnapping.  In 1977, he was the only non-government sponsored 
vigilante not to retire after the Keene Act.  In 1985, he worked to investigate 
the events following the Blake murder, and was framed by Veidt for 
murdering Moloch and arrested, being broken out of prison by Nite Owl and Silk
Spectre.  Eventually, with Nite Owl, he worked out the truth and
confronting Veidt.  He was killed by Dr.  Manhattan to prevent his
spreading the truth about the "alien invasion." #'s 1-12.

ROTH, DOUG (?- ): Writer for _Nova Express._  He interviewed 
Ozymandias in 1975, and was sent the Dr. Manhattan "cancer list" by Veidt to set up 
Dr. Manhattan to leave Earth.  #3.

SEYMOUR (?- ): Hector Godfrey's assistant.  #'s 8, 11-12.

SHEA, MAX (?-1985): A writer, originally writing comic books such as 
"Tales of the Black Freighter," who went to fiction and wrote _Fogdancing_.  
He wound up on the island for the alien project, and was killed when the 
boat blew up.  #'s 8, 10.

SHEXNAYDER, LAURENCE (?-?): Sally Jupiter's agent.  He married her in 
1947 and divorced her in 1956 after finding out she'd slept with the 
Comedian. #9.

SILHOUETTE (?-1946): Ursula Zandt. She became a crimefighter in 1939, 
and joined the Minutemen.  In 1946 she was expelled from the group when 
it was publicly revealed that she was a lesbian; two weeks later she and her 
lover were killed by an adversary seeking revenge.  #2.

SILK SPECTRE I (1921- ): Sally Jupiter, nee Juspeczyk.  She changed 
her name to hide her Polish heritage.  A former waitress and burlesque 
dancer, she became a crimefighter in early 1939 on the advice of her agent,
Laurence Shexnayder.  She was a member of the Minutemen; the Comedian 
was expelled from the group after attempting to rape her.  She left the 
team and retired in 1947 to marry Shexnayder.  At some point, probably in 
1948, _Silk Swingers of Suburbia,_ a bad film about her career, was 
released.  She slept with the Comedian in 1948 or 1949, and their daughter, 
Laurie, was born in 1949.  She groomed Laurie to carry on in her footsteps.  
At some point she moved to the Nepenthe Gardens retirement village in
California. #'s 2, 8-9, 11-12.

SILK SPECTRE II (1949- ): Laurie Juspeczyk.  Her mother was Sally 
Jupiter, the original Silk Spectre; her father was the Comedian (although her 
mother was married to Laurence Shexnayder until 1956).  All her life she was
brought up to be a superhero, and she began in 1966 around the time 
of the first meeting of the Crimebusters.  Shortly thereafter she fell in 
love with Dr. Manhattan and moved in with him.  In 1977 she retired 
following the Keene Act.  In 1985 Dr.  Manhattan left Earth, and she moved in 
with Dan Dreiberg, eventually falling in love with him.  She and Dreiberg 
broke Rorschach from prison, following which Dr. Manhattan took her to 
Mars, where she realized the truth about her father.  They returned to 
Earth shortly after the "alien attack," going to Antarctica to confront 
Veidt. After that, she took up the identity of Sandra Hollis.  #'s 1-9, 

SLATER, JANEY (?- ): She worked at Gila Flats, where she met and fell 
in love with Dr. Manhattan; she left him in 1966 when he fell for Laurie
Juspeczyk.  She worked at some point for Dimensional Developments, 
where she was given cancer.  #'s 3-4.

WEAVER, WALLY (1937-1971): "Dr. Manhattan's buddy," who worked with 
him at Gila Flats, later worked at Dimensional Developments, and died of 
cancer in 1971.  #4.


1916:     Hollis Mason is born.
1929:     Jon Osterman is born.
10/13/38: Hooded Justice makes his public debut.
1939:     Silk Spectre, Nite Owl, Captain Metropolis, the Comedian,
          Silhouette, Dollar Bill, and Mothman all debut.  The 
          Minutemen are formed.
          Adrian Veidt is born.
3/21/40:  Walter Kovacs is born.
10/?2/40: The Minutemen group photo is taken.  The Comedian attempts 
              to rape Sally Jupiter.
1941:     The US enters World War II.
1945:     World War II ends.
1946:     Silhouette is expelled from the Minutemen, and killed.
1947:     Sally Jupiter resigns and marries Laurence Schexnayder.
1948:     Jon Osterman enters Princeton.
1949:     Laurel Jane Juspeczyk is born.
          The Minutemen disband.
1951:     Walter Kovacs attacks and partially blinds a bully, and is 
          taken           from his mother and put into the Lillian Charlton home.
1956:     Sally and Laurence are divorced.
          Sylvia Kovacs is murdered.
          Both his parents dead, Veidt decides to follow the 
          footsteps of Alexander the Great.
1958:     Jon receives his Ph.D. in atomic physics from Princeton.
          Ozymandias becomes active.
5/12/59:  Jon's first day at Gila Flats.
7/59:     The photograph of Janey and Jon is taken.
8/59:     Jon Osterman is seemingly killed in an accident at Gila 
9/59:     Jon's funeral is held.
11/10/59: "There is a circulatory system walking through the 
11/14/59: "A partially muscled skeleton stands by the perimeter fence 
           and           screams for thirty seconds before vanishing..."
11/22/59: Jon first appears fully reassembled.
2/60:     The government devises the Dr. Manhattan identity for Jon.
3/60:     Dr. Manhattan is announced to the world.
6/60:     Nite Owl, Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias meet for the first 
            time at a charity function.
11/60:    Dr. Manhattan invades Moloch's "underground vice-den."
9/61:     Dr. Manhattan meets President Kennedy.
5/62:     Hollis Mason retires.
1962:     Dan Dreiberg debuts as the second Nite Owl.
          _Under the Hood_ is published.
11/22/63: President Kennedy is assassinated; Dr. Manhattan does not 
              prevent it.
3/64:     Inspired by the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese, Walter 
             Kovacs becomes Rorschach.
1965:     Nite Owl and Rorschach, working together, bring down Big 
              Figure and the Underboss.
1966:     Laurie debuts as Silk Spectre.
          The abortive first meeting of the Crimebusters is held.
          Janey leaves Dr. Manhattan.
1968:     Nite Owl arrests Twilight Lady.
             Richard Nixon is elected President for the first time.
1969:     Jon's father dies.
1970:     Gila Flats closes.  Jon and Laurie move to Washington.
1/71:     Nixon asks Dr. Manhattan to intervene in Vietnam.
3/71:     Dr. Manhattan meets the Comedian in Vietnam.
5/71:     The Viet Cong surrender.
6/71:     VVN day.
11/71:    Wally Weaver dies.
1973:     Woodward and Bernstein turn up dead while investigating the
          Watergate break-in.
1975:     Nixon proposes a constitutional amendment allowing him to 
          run for more than 2 terms.
          Ozymandias retires and announces his identity publicly.
8/3/77:   The Keene Act is passed.  Silk Spectre and Nite Owl retire.
1981:     Laurie and Jon move to Rockefeller.
1985:     The Comedian runs across Ozymandias' secret island.
10/85:    Blake tells Moloch about the island.
10/12/85: The Comedian is murdered.  Rorschach visits Dreiberg.
10/13/85: Rorschach visits Ozymandias, Silk Spectre, and Dr.  
          Laurie and Dan go to dinner.
10/16/85: The Comedian's funeral.  Rorschach visits Moloch.
10/19/85: Laurie leaves Jon.  Dr. Manhattan appears on TV, goes to 
           Arizona, and leaves Earth.  Laurie goes to Dan.
10/20/85: Rorschach visits Dan again.  The Soviets invade 
10/21/85: Rorschach visits Moloch again.
          A failed attempt is made to assassinate Veidt.
          Laurie moves to Dan's apartment.
          Rorschach is framed for Moloch's murder, and apprehended by 
          the           police.
10/25/85: Mal has his first session with Rorschach.
          Dan and Laurie rescue several people from a tenement fire.
10/26/85: Mal and Rorschach's second session.
          Rorschach attacks another inmate with hot fat, and is put 
           in solitary confinement.
10/27/85: Mal and Rorschach's third session.
          Dan and Laurie plan to spring Rorschach.
10/28/85: Mal and Rorschach's fourth session; Rorschach relates the 
            story of the Roche kidnapping.
10/30/85: Steve Fine visits Dreiberg.
10/31/85: The prisoner Rorschach attacked dies, and Sing Sing erupts 
          in a riot.  Dan and Laurie bust Rorschach from prison.
          Dr. Manhattan takes Laurie to Mars.
11/1/85:  Hollis Mason is murdered.
          Rorschach and Nite Owl find the courier at Happy Harry's.
          The participants in the alien project are killed by a bomb.
11/2/85:  Rorschach and Nite Owl break into Veidt's office, and go to
          Karnak.  Veidt activates the transmission.  The "alien" 
          appears in New York.
          Laurie and Jon arrive in Karnak.  Bubastis is killed.  Dr.
          Manhattan kills Rorschach.
12/25/85: Laurie and Dan visit Sally in their new identities.


     Mayfair Games, former publishers of the DC Heroes role-playing 
game, have put out two modules and a sourcebook for the Watchmen universe.  
The module "Taking Out the Trash" by Ray Winninger includes a section co-
written by Moore giving a capsule history of the characters and 
world, including information not given in the series.  The Watchmen 
Sourcebook (not written by Moore) expands on this information considerably.

     Because this information is a) partially written by Moore and b) 
not in disagreement with anything in the series, it can be considered 
partially canonical.  Noteworthy information about the characters not given in 
the series is summarized here.  Wherever there is disagreement, the 
module will be held as the higher authority (with the comic as the highest 
authority, of course).  (Unfortunately, its timeline contains several minor 
errors.  It lists Mason's year of birth as 1906, when it should be 1916.  
Laurie was born in 1949, not 1950 (actually, opinions on this vary).  It 
also gives Hooded Justice as being born in 1905, which is theoretically possible 
but difficult to believe.  Several of the dates for the events of the series itself are 
also wrong.)

CAPTAIN METROPOLIS: As a child, CM was asthmatic, but built himself 
up and played football in college.  He was unhappy with the way that many of 
the Minutemen were more concerned with the social potential of the team 
than crimefighting.  When WWII was on he was brought back into the USMC.

COMEDIAN: He definitely murdered Hooded Justice, and was able to use 
his government connections to prevent any investigation into the 
disappearance.  He also killed Woodward and Bernstein, and was involved in Kennedy's

HOODED JUSTICE: Rolf Muller was indeed a name he used, but it was 
only an alias and his true identity was never discovered.  He was not a 
communist, however, but an anti-Communist, as confirmed by his KKK connections.  
He was the last person to agree to join the Minutemen.  He spoke 
publicly in favor of Hitler in an interview in 1940.

MOTHMAN: Byron was a bored playboy who fought crime to add spice to 
his life.  He was a conscientious objector during WWII and served as a 
medical aide.

SILHOUETTE: Ursula was an Austrian aristocrat who fled to avoid the 
Nazis.  As a Jew she was greatly bothered by Hooded Justice's pro-Hitler 
stance, but Larry managed to sweep the incident under the rug.  The villain 
who killed her and her lover was named the Liquidator.

SILK SPECTRE I: Sally Jupiter was a teen-aged runaway.

A NOTE ON THE ORIGINS OF THE CHARACTERS: Many of the super-heroes in 
this series are based on the original versions of characters published by
Charlton Comics and acquired by DC.  They are:

Comedian: Based on Peacemaker.  Violent government operative.

Dr. Manhattan: Based on Captain Atom.  Government employee gains 
godlike molecular powers in nuclear accident.

Nite Owl I & II: Based on the first and third Blue Beetle.  Original:
policeman, fights crime in spare time in chainmail costume. 
(Published by Fox.)  Third: Fights crime using science, has flying vehicle.

Ozymandias: Based on Thunderbolt.  Trained in the East, honed his 
mind & body to perfection.

Rorschach: Based on the Question.  Tough, violent crimefighters with
featureless masks.

Silk Spectre: Based on Nightshade.  Female crimefighter, influenced 
by her mother, associates with ultra-powerful hero.  [The mother-to-daughter
identity transmission and costume/MO may be inspired by DC character 
Black Canary.]

It is theoretically possible that the rest of the Minutemen were 
based on Golden Age superheroes; but if so, I have been unable to trace any 
specific sources.  They seem to be more archetypes than specific tributes; 
Captain Metropolis is the patriotic hero, Mothman the Batman/Green Arrow-type 
bored playboy, Silk Spectre and Silhouette two types of Golden Age heroine.
(Sally as Black Canary, Ursula as the harder-edged Iron Lady type.  
Her homosexuality may have been inspired by common rumors/theories about 
Wonder Woman.)

    The series was originally intended to be about the Charlton 
characters, but DC nixed the idea, probably because of the CAPTAIN ATOM and BLUE 
BEETLE series that began about the same time.  Moore re-worked the 
characters slightly into the current versions.


    This section summarizes the differences between our world and 
theirs.  I am ignoring certain obvious changes, such as the super-heroes, 
major differences in technology, and the different consumer products and
magazines.  (Mmeltdowns don't exist in our world, but that's not 
really worthy of mention.)

    1. HEINZ: In 1892 the founder of the Heinz corporation decided on 
the slogan "57 varieties;" in our world.  In their world, it's "58
varieties" (1:10:8)

    2. VIETNAM: In our world and theirs, US attempts to oust the Viet 
Cong led to US troops being sent there.  In our world, these 
attempts were unsuccessful, and troops were eventually withdrawn.  In 
their world, Nixon promised in 1968 (to ensure re-election) to send 
in Dr. Manhattan, and did so in 1971.  He brought about Viet Cong 
surrender in just two months.  In 1985, Vietnam became the 51st state 

    3. SPACE: In our world, treaties prohibit nuclear weaponry in 
space.  This is not true in their world, apparently, because the US 
Congress approved the building of nuclear silos on the moon (1:14:5;
"Congress Approves Lunar Silos," a Gazette headline).  (These 
could possibly be grain silos, but that seems unlikely.) This also
indicates much more space travel than in our world.

    4. GENETIC ENGINEERING: Besides the obvious (Bubastis) it's 
apparently produced four-legged, wingless poultry (1:25:4).

    5. SOCIAL ATTITUDES: Whether this is significant or not, we see 
two men embracing in public in 1:25:4.  Also, the accepted term for
homosexual females is "gay women," not "lesbians."  This 
change came about in the mid-'70s (9:32).

    6. WORLD WAR II: In their world, the Nazis had costumed saboteurs 
in the US (Screaming Skull and Captain Axis).  There is no 
evidence that the second nuclear bomb was used on Japan in Nagasaki in 
their world, but there's no evidence against it either.

    7. COMIC BOOKS: In our world, the most prominent comics were 
super-hero comics in the '40s.  They diminished after WWII ended, and 
crime and horror comics rose to prominence in the '50s, led by EC 
Comics; a public outcry led by Dr. Fredric Wertham led to the founding 
of the Comics Code Authority, which put the kibosh on most horror 
books.  Superheroes came to prominence again in the very late '50s and 
early '60s, with DC's revitalization of their old characters (Flash, 
Green Lantern, etc.) and the rise of Marvel, beginning with the 
Fantastic Four in 1961.  Superhero comics continue to dominate the 

       In their world, ACTION COMICS #1 (with the first appearance of
Superman) helped touch off the masked hero craze.  Superhero 
comics continued for a while (the Flash existed, possibly as 
"Flash-Man") but dwindled in popularity due to the existence of real
"superheroes." The '50s led to pirate titles dominating the 
market, led by EC.  The anti-comic sentiment came to nothing; the 
government came down on the side of comics to "protect the image of 
certain comic book-inspired agents in their employ."  In 1960, DC 
premiered TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER by Max Shea and Joe Orlando [who
exists in our world, and has worked with Alan Moore], which 
proved to be groundbreaking.  Pirate books continue to dominate into 
the mid-'80s, until the "alien" comes to New York; horror comics 
become more popular after that.

Note that pirate comics have never been popular in our world;
with the exception of CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED's adaptation of
_Treasure Island_, I can't think of a single one offhand.  (EC
may have published one as part of their "New Direction.")

    8. NIXON: In our world, Nixon was Eisenhower's vice president 
from 1953-1961, and was defeated in the 1960 presidential election 
by John Kennedy.  In 1962 he lost in a bid for the governorship 
of  California.  In 1968, he was elected President, and was 
re-elected in 1972 with the widest victory margin up to that point.  However, a 
series of scandals (beginning with the revelation of a break-in to
Democratic campaign headquarters in the Washington, DC 
Watergate Hotel on 6/17/72) led to his resignation on 8/9/74.

       In their world, Nixon involved Dr. Manhattan in domestic and 
foreign affairs, enlisting his aid in winning the Vietnam War and 
bringing about economic prosperity.  This led to great popularity on 
Nixon's part; in 1975 his administration sponsored a repeal of the 
22nd amendment that would have limited him to 2 terms in office.  
He was re-elected in 1976, 1980, and 1984.

    9. MILK: Milk is still available in glass bottles in their world; 
it's more commonly found in cardboard cartons or plastic jugs in 
ours.  (2:20:7).

    10. DRUGS: A popular street drug is KT-28, which doesn't exist in 
our world (at least as such).

    11. THE NEW YORK TIMES/GAZETTE: Between 1945 and 1966, the major 
New York newspaper, the _Times_, has changed its name to the 
_Gazette_.    (There can be no doubt that it's the same paper, though; the 
name is in the same typeface, and the first page header layout is
similar.  The appearance of a _Times_ in #1 can probably be
regarded as a fluke.)

12. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Blimps/dirigibles are not a common form of
transport in our world, but they are in theirs.  They've replaced
other forms of mass transportation; nowhere in the series does a
bus appear, and subways are only referred to in the past tense.
Taxis are the only form of public transportation common to both worlds.