Monday, June 11, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter VI - page 10


Panel 2:  Dr. Manhattan is indirectly responsible for the “birth” of Rorschach, thanks to the Dr. Manhattan fabric that would become his mask.

Panel 3:  Note how the fluids in the dress almost form a face, symbolizing the face that Kovacs would make from this fabric for his alter-ego, Rorschach. 

Also, the voiceover caption exhibits Rorschach’s most basic instinct, that there is no gray in the world, only black and white, only good and evil.  This is the primary tenet of Rorschach and this fabric perfectly embodies that philosophy.

Panel 4:  “When I had cut it enough, it didn’t look like a woman anymore,” reveals the deep psychological scars Kovacs has from the time he lived with his mother, and also exhibits a very real, and terrifying, personality trait within Kovacs/Rorschach.

Panel 5:  This monologue by Kovacs is quickly getting to Dr. Long, as exhibited by his hands working to get the GOPAIN bottle open.

Panel 6:  Here Moore brings in real-world events, not only to ground the story a bit more, but to more readily exemplify the horrors that man can perpetrate against one’s fellow man, which is what spurs Rorschach/Kovacs to action.  By utilizing this event, Moore adds depth to Rorschach’s motivation and, in turn, makes it more real for those reading who are familiar with the case.

Panel 7:  Kovacs’s remark, “Some of them even watched,” can be taken a number of ways – as a statement on humanity and its ugliness, as a reference to the “Watchmen,” or even as a statement on Dr. Long and how he could be described as a voyeur on his patients’ lives – in particular, on Kovacs, at this point in time – with the invasive questioning he utilizes to get at their basic problems.

It can also be seen as a reference to this chapter’s title, “The Abyss Gazes Also,” with those gazing down at the horror occurring beneath them seen, in Rorschach’s and others’ eyes, as becoming just as ugly and horrific as that which they witnessed, due to the fact that nobody tried to help.

Panel 9:  As Kovacs relates the tipping point, at which time he took on “a face that [he] could bear to look at in the mirror,” one that did not exhibit the ugliness humanity hides behind with their benign countenances, we see that Dr. Long has finally gotten the cap off of the GOPAIN and is dropping two pills into his hand.  With the “climax” of Kovacs’s story, Dr. Long is so overwhelmed that he needs those pain pills.

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