Thursday, May 10, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter V - page 10


Panel 1:  With Dan Dreiberg sitting in the Gunga Diner eating a drumstick. 

Laurie’s line, “chew on that” also refers to this image.

Panel 2:  Note that, in keeping with the thematic thread of this issue, Dan and Laurie are seen in the reflection of a mirror – which is why their word balloons are not attached to their images in this and the previous panel – within the diner. 

Laurie’s comment about being “disposable” touches on the characterization of Dan Dreiberg, who has become soft since 1977, when the Keene Act outlawed masked vigilantes and he discovered that, as Nite Owl, he was disposable.  This realization disposability has taken away his purpose in life. 

We continue to see Dan and/or Laurie reflected in the mirror, even as we see them “in the flesh,” through panel 3 and

Panel 4:  Note, in the background, we can see that the movie “Things To Come” is playing at the Utopia, foreshadowing the major turning point in Watchmen coming at the end of this chapter.

Dan and Laurie’s reflections in the mirror break after this panel, but only for a single panel as their reflections continue with panel 6 and

Panel 7:  Laurie’s remark that she and Dan are “both leftovers” is mirrored by the leftovers these two leave on the counter as they exit the Gunga Diner.

A note on this page:  I would say that the use of mirrors to showcase the bulk of Dan and Laurie’s conversation on this page not only reflects the thematic focus of this chapter, but is also a visual cue that, in their normal identities, Dan and Laurie are mere reflections of themselves.  They are more alive and more important when they are in costume as Nite Owl and Silk Spectre. 

It can also be a commentary on the fact that these two heroes are the only two who are legacy characters, carrying on – or reflecting – those heroes (the original Nite Owl, Hollis Mason, and the original Silk Spectre, Sally Jupiter) that came before them, and whom they wished (whether conscious or not) to recreate.

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