Cover Image: Moving directly into the theme of this issue, the cover is a reflection in a puddle of the sign of the Rum Runner, a bar next to Moloch’s apartment building. The symbol for the Rum Runner is two “R”s placed back to back – a mirror of each other – with crossbones beneath them (the two “R”s forming a stylized skull). This imagery echoes the “Tale of the Black Freighter” story within the story of Watchmen. The two “R”s also mirror Rorschach’s signature.
Also, as before, this cover image is a close-up view of the first panel on
Note: The coloring of this page – the alternating red-light and unlit panels – is reminiscent of the flashback scene in Chapter II when Blake went to speak with Moloch, which is a visual cue for readers that we are back at Moloch’s. The flashing light comes from the Rum Runner sign we see reflected in the puddle.
Panel 4: Note the newspaper in the background with the headline “Russians Invade Afghanistan,” which is a result of last issue’s events where Dr. Manhattan left Earth for Mars, and the United State’s military advantage went with him.It also reflects the reality of the world at the time Watchmen was written. Russia’s exit from Afghanistan – a nine-year occupation that began in late December, 1979 – would not come for at least three years after this story was written.