Panel 1: On the side of the street where the news vendor is we see the Institute for Extraspatial Studies, another facet of this world – and more specifically this intersection – that will become more important in ensuing chapters.
Also, the canister against which the young boy is resting is actually one of the charging stations for the electric cars that pepper the landscape of this world.
Panel 2: Bernie’s remark, “I absorb information” is played against the caption from the “Black Freighter” that “Birds were eating [Bosun Ridley’s] thoughts and memories.”
Panel 4: Bernie’s remark, “See, everything’s connected” is apropos since everything within Watchmen is connected to this very intersection where he sits.
More juxtaposition as Bernie’s dialogue – “He don’t retreat from reality” is played against the caption box’s statement, “I begged that they should take my eyes, thus sparing me further horrors.”
Also note that the page in the comic, which we see over the young Bernie’s shoulder, is the cone that we will be reading in these next few panels.
Panel 5: “. . . unable to bear my circumstances” is juxtaposed against “The weight o’ the world’s on him, but does he quit? Nah!” A sentiment that is accentuated as we pull in on
Panel 6: and we see Bernie’s remark, “He’s a survivor” over the close-up image of the only survivor in the opening of this “Black Freighter” tale.
Panel 7: Again, the dialogue (Bernie “coping” with a late delivery from Nova Express) and the “Black Freighter” captions (the survivor stating that his “misfortunes were small: I was alive . . .”) play against one another.
It is also noteworthy that the sneakers being worn by the young Bernie are Veidt models. Adrian Veidt has his hand in everything in this world.
Panel 8: Bernie’s remark about thriving on “disaster” plays against the caption box’s “. . . I knew that life had no worse news to offer me” and leads right into