Book Information:Cover Date: Oct 1985
Rorschach’s Journal. October 13th, 1985…. On Friday night, a comedian died in New York. Somebody knows why. Down there somebody knows.
As I promised last week it begin’s, having reread the first chapter of Watchmen. titled “At Midnight, All the Agents…” Published in September of 1985, taking place in an alternate timeline. It is 1985 as well in the watchmen, but it’s not “our” 1985, it’s not even the same 1985 as Superman or other DC characters. The watchmen have their own history, their own world.. and their own dark 1985.
the real question should be, what can the watchmen’s timeline tell us about our own, and about us? or is it just a good work of fiction?
Timing in Watchmen
It may be just me, but I think timing is intentional as well as genius. While there are skips in times from scene to scene, while in a scene they take their time, leaving sometimes many panels, even a page without any or with little dialog. Letting each panel represent just a few moment’s and then the next show us the next few.
As you can see in the 4 panels I have included here, timing is important. as you read the Watchmen you will see this recurring as the stories continue.
One moment, just a few heartbeats for most frames in the ongoing story. This is at least what I am remembering in my rereading of it.
Watchmen and the Doomsday Clock
The Doomsday Clock plays an important role in the watchmen, just as with all aspects of time, and it is introduced early in the story.
Someone likely reading it for the first time would look over the headline of the New york Gasette on Veidt’s desk. The Doomsday clock is at five to twelve.
The world, as they know it, is on the brink of war or perhaps more accurately. Nuclear Armageddon. The Signs are all around, in particularly on the doomsday clock references, both in the issues, and at the end of each issue. Take a look when you read the story where the clock is set in the last panel of the story.
But for your viewing pleasure I have included one of the times I found it here for you, or at least part of the panel where it was found.
For now, the biggest thing I wish to say here, is Nothing is written without meaning. Be it part of the story, or a hidden meaning to the readers. After all, why waste text and time on something that is pointless. I would love for someone reading this to beat me on saying what pale horse is a reference to, perhaps they would do it better? So I invite you to if you know in the comments to this post.
Also what other hidden references have you seen?
Under the Hood
Watchmen’s hidden world building
It is quite creative how at the end of the first part of the watchmen, the first two chapters of Under the Hood are included. Under the Hood is the fictional autobiography of Hollis Mason’ whom became the original nite owl.
The book is mentioned a few times in chapter one, but here we have a chance to read part of it. Trust me, it is well worth the read. though these two chapters we have a bit of world building going on. we begin to see how the world lead to people taking up masks and becoming costumed hero’s.
Reading the under the hood section of the book is as important as reading the graphic novel. it is a big part of the story, and will greatly improve your understanding of the events as you continue to read the watchmen.