Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter III - page 20


Panel 1:  The red star in the sky is the planet Mars.

Gila Flats Test Base is the place of Dr. Manhattan’s origin – as we discover in the next chapter.

The Latin phrase on the sign, Per Dolorem ad Astra, means roughly –Through Sadness To The Stars.  This would be a literal commentary on Dr. Manhattan’s current situation. 

Panel 4:  This scene will be repeated – both at this point in time and, as a mirror image, at a point before Jon Osterman became Dr. Manhattan. 

Panel 5:  Dr. Manhattan can see things at a quantum molecular level.  The phrase above the photographs in the broken frame reads:  “At play amidst the Strangeness and Charm.”  A quark is a type of subatomic particle and a major constituent of matter.  There are six types of quarks which are coupled into three pairs.  One of these pairs is the charm-strange pair, signified by this phrase.

Panel 6:  We will find out in the next chapter that this is a photograph of Dr. Manhattan before he turned into this super-being – when he was Jon Osterman – and his soon-to-be girlfriend at the time, Janey Slater – whom we saw earlier speaking with a reporter for Nova Express.

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