Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter IV - page 3


Panels 2-3:  The discussion of Hiroshima is another symbol of the impending apocalypse (Hiroshima being one of the two cities upon which the United States dropped an atomic bomb to bring about the end of WWII) and it will be echoed by the “Hiroshima lovers” graffiti we will see later in the book. 

Panels 4-5:  Jon’s father is about to throw the pieces of his pocket watch out the window.  He wants his son to go into atomic science.  As we have seen thus far, Jon – as Dr. Manhattan – is a passive character, doing what others ask of him but rarely taking initiative, especially with respect – once he changes into Dr. Manhattan – to world-changing events that he already knows will happen.  This is another example of Jon doing what others tell him to do and failing to choose that which he wants to do. 

Panel 6:  “Professor Einstein says that time differs from place to place.”  This statement is an apt description of Dr. Manhattan’s quantum viewpoint of time and the world. 

Panel 7:   All three aspects of Dr. Manhattan’s time reality are expressed in this panel.  Jon’s father mentions his “profession is a thing of the past” while lamenting that his “son must have a future.”  And all of this is taking place in the present of 1945 as experienced by us and by Dr. Manhattan.

Panel 8:  Note, just off-panel – left, that this time when Dr. Manhattan speaks of the future, we are seeing him in the future as he stands on the glass balcony mentioned in panel 2 of the previous page.

Panel 9:  The first two captions are key pieces (or cogs) in Jon Osterman’s history – points on his road to becoming a physicist.  The cogs are a visual representation of the puzzle pieces that will make up Jon Osterman’s/Dr. Manhattan’s life.

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