Friday, September 28, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter IX - The Back-Matter

The Back-Matter

Once again, Alan Moore – with Dave Gibbons providing the “photos” – gives us something new in the way of the back-matter.  This time we are able to read some of the items found in Sally Jupiter’s scrapbook, items that end up scattered across the Martian landscape when Laurie tosses them overboard on page 21 of this chapter. 

There are some interesting details to be found in the memorabilia here – consisting of newspaper clippings, letters to Sally, and an excerpt from a Playboy-style interview with the magazine Probe.  A movie was made based around Sally’s (Silk Spectre’s) exploits as a masked adventurer.  We also learn that this film met with a critical backlash in a rather humorous review that makes light of the “unconvincing and dated footage of a stuntwoman” who happens to be Sally herself.  We also learn that Sally’s relationship with Hooded Justice – whom Laurie believed was her real father – was merely a ruse to cover up his homosexuality, while providing some provocative PR for the Minutemen. 

While these details afford us, the audience, a broader picture of Sally Jupiter’s character, they add little to the overall narrative.  However, there is one item in this scrapbook that does.  In the Probe interview Sally questions how much responsibility she bears in the sexual assault b Blake.  This is a sad, misplaced, but not uncommon reaction for rape victims, which adds another human layer to this character while also helping explain, a little, how she could become intimate with him, and help conceive his daughter, years later.

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