Sunday, April 22, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter IV - Page 21


Panel 1:  The headline in the background reads:  “Third Term For Dick?” in reference to the Constitutional Amendment alluded to in the caption box, which would allow Richard “Dick” Nixon to run for more than two terms as President of the United States.

Panel 2:  Symbolically, Adrian’s choice of Antarctica as the site of his fortress is an example of how removed from humanity he is, similar to Dr. Manhattan, due to his brilliance, wealth, and power.

Some more practical thoughts regarding Adrian’s “Fortress of Solitude”: 

In order to fulfill his plan, Adrian Veidt has chosen the most inhospitable climate in which to build his base of operations, Antarctica.  Here he can be above it all – especially if one considers the fact that the man after which he patterned himself, Alexander the Great, lived at a time when “up” on a map pointed toward what is today considered “south.” 

Also, by isolating himself, he is able to distance himself from humanity in preparation for what is to come. 

And finally, as a tactical consideration, this would be an almost impossible position for someone to approach without notice.

Panel 3:  Note the small pyramids on the table just to the left in the background – Adrian’s corporate symbol.

Panel 4:  The ornamentation on the pillars in the foreground – as well as the decorative markings behind the three adventurers as they descend the staircase – form A’s and V’s for Adrian Veidt, showcasing the hubris that is such a part of Ozymandias.

Panel 5:  The exchange between Adrian and Jon, specifically Adrian’s remark that scientists are only limited “by their imaginations” coupled with Jon’s response of “and their consciences” foreshadows what is coming.  Adrian’s plan is a product of his imagination at the cost of his conscience.  It is ironic that Dr. Manhattan, so far removed from humanity, would be the one to note the importance of scientists’ consciences in their work.

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