Panel 1: and the return of the “Tales of the Black Freighter” pirate comic within the comic, where the protagonist of this pirate tale is finally coming home, after his harrowing experience on the sea. As it states in the caption box: “I was returned…I was home.”
The image also mirrors Page 11, panel 4 with the protagonist walking through the lapping water of the sea to come home, just as the Owlship erupted from the Hudson River to bring Nite Owl and Rorschach home. John Higgins links these two panels with his coloring of the Hudson from the previous panel in the oranges and yellows seen in this image.
Panel 2: Like Rorschach on the page previous, our protagonist has only thoughts of the physical encounters that lie ahead.
Panel 3: Here is another instance of the visual motif of the two riders approaching.
Panel 5: One could also argue that – by dint of the Black Freighter narrator’s choice of words (“charred ribs” for the wooden posts and his obsession with the assumed capture of his hometown, Davidstown) – the narrator’s mental state is more closely related to Rorschach’s than of anyone else’s in the main narrative.
Panel 6: Again, John Higgins utilizes a variety of reds to symbolize the murderous thoughts in the protagonist’s head and foreshadow the imminent death of these two riders.
Panel 7: Note that Higgins colors the narrator in red, to signify his murderous intent. Also, in the dialogue he likens his screams to “the black language of gulls.” This man is no longer human, having become that which pursued him on his raft of dead bodies, a killer without remorse.
Panel 8: This panel is bathed in red, as the narrator slams the rock into the moneylender’s head, killing him.
Panel 9: The image of the two horses along with the caption that the strangulation of the woman “…took considerably longer…” transition directly into