Panel 1: The man selling Rolex watches, who curses at Dr. Long, will be seen again. Having a watch seller in this panel is a call-back to Dr. Manhattan, who has been absent in these past two chapters, but could also be seen as a symbolic emphasis upon Rorschach’s thoughts on God – Rorschach says that “God [does not] kill the children … it’s us,” which falls in line with the Watchmaker theory of God, a divine being who created the world, set things in motion, and then stepped away to allow events to transpire of their own accord.
Panel 3: Once again, Moore & Gibbons infuse the narrative with irony and symbolism as they juxtapose the words – a recounting of what to do with dead family members in the case of a nuclear attack (they should be wrapped in plastic garbage bags and placed outside for collection) – with the pictures – that of the Hiroshima lovers graffiti (an image that reminds us of the devastation wrought by the United States nuclear attack on Japan during WWII) just behind a trash can, where the young boy reading the pirate comic at the newsstand is throwing away a mmmeltdowns wrapper.
The juxtaposition of a minor, disposable candy wrapper with the thought of doing the same to one’s family is ironic, while the use of the Hiroshima lovers graffiti accentuates the message of a nuclear holocaust that may be raining down on America any minute, within this alternate world – a literal meltdown.
And the image of the Hiroshima lovers facing one another as they embrace transitions directly into
Panel 4: where we have Dr. Long and his wife in a reversal of the graffiti, as they get dressed with their backs to each other. The curtains in the background, which separate directly between the couple, emphasize this symbolic “breaking” of their marriage.
Panel 7: Here we see the finalized metamorphosis of Dr. Long into someone akin to Rorschach. Asked a titillating and immature question, he does not shy away from the stated query and answers his dinner guests directly with simple statements that do not hide the true “black and white” nature of the incident. Typically, in such company, one might consider glossing over the facts because society expects that. But Dr. Long now sees the world in a manner similar to Rorschach and seems unable to do that.