Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter X - page 23


Panel 1: where we have Bernie, the newsvendor, complaining about the oncoming war.  And Bernie’s dialogue – specifically the remark about there being no “goddamn justice in the world…” – is juxtaposed against the Black Freighter captions, in which the protagonist likens himself to “God’s retribution.”

Also note that the mail carrier can be seen in the background, emptying the box where Rorschach mailed his journal. 

Panel 2:  As has been done previously, the text of the main narrative is mirrored with that of the Black Freighter text.  In this panel we have Bernie railing about how the common man has no protection and, like a turtle without a shell, is “all washed up.”  Meanwhile, in the pirate comic, the narrator talks of leaving the moneylender naked (unprotected) and in the surf (all washed up) while he rides off, an image that we can see in the foreground of this panel.

Panel 3:  This is another complex panel, where all the elements tie into one another, but in varying ways. 

We have the Black Freighter text that comments on the ignorance the populace of Davidstown had regarding “…what approached.”  This is read over an image of the mail carrier approaching Bernie, who is unaware of the important and possibly world-changing journal the carrier now has in his pouch. 

Meanwhile, Bernie is remarking on how, maybe, the people should have listened to the heroes, stating, “…maybe they had a message…”  Again, this is juxtaposed against this same image of the mail carrier approaching Bernie – a mail carrier with a powerful message in his pouch, in the form of Rorschach’s journal.

Panel 4:  Bernie’s dialogue – “…there’s gotta be somebody lookin’ out for us…” – is played against the Black Freighter text, where the narrator comments on the pirate sentry he spies, as he rides toward Davidstown with the dead woman on the horse beside him.

Panel 5:  The Black Freighter text, “…dreading…he should attempt conversation,” is played over an image of Bernie immediately going into conversational selling mode while the mail carrier cuts him off by saying, “…just a Gazette…no offense, man…” cutting off the newsvendor before he can really get into a conversation with the man.

Panel 6:  In this panel, Moore juxtaposes the mail carrier’s need to “rush” against the Black Freighter narrator’s need to keep the horses at an even trot to avoid suspicion.

Panel 7:  Moore continues to juxtapose dueling texts, as the Black Freighter narrator comments on how agreeable his deceased companion is while Joey complains to Bernie, in the main narrative, about how argumentative her partner Aline is – exemplified by the fact that she complained about their meeting conflicting with Pale Horse’s concert in Madison Square Garden that night, which Aline is attending.

Panel 8:  The Black Freighter text remarks on the “inevitable confrontation” the narrator enthusiastically spurs his horse toward, while Bernie tells Joey to lighten up and not worry so much about her own inevitable confrontation with her lover.   But his remark, “…it ain’t the end o’ the world…” is poorly constructed in this time where war and possible nuclear destruction seems inevitable.

Panel 9:  In the foreground, we can see the mail carrier holding Rorschach’s envelope, which holds the vigilante’s journal.  The gravity of this reality is commented upon through the Black Freighter text:  “…delivered at last into the hands of a higher judgment.”

And this dialogue transitions directly into

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