Saturday, October 6, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter X - page 5


Panel 1:  Note that Rorschach’s comment about his mask killer conspiracy – “…makes ripples…” – mirrors the ripples in the river created by the submerging of the Owlship, in the foreground.

Panels 2-3:  The dialogue from Nite Owl in these two panels – specifically his suggestion to contact Adrian (Ozymandias) and the follow-up commentary on the mask killer conspiracy:  “…we’re talking somebody major…” – is yet another bit of foreshadowing as to who is behind all of this – Adrian Veidt, himself.

Panel 4:  The background of this panel is littered with the visual motifs prevalent throughout this entire story, including the apocalyptic symbols of “Pale Horse” and “The End is Nigh,” the Nostalgia ad, Nixon political flyers, the Pink Triangle poster, a poster for the Keene Act that outlawed costumed vigilantes, and the Ozymandias poster for his southern famine relief benefit, among other bits of graffiti and refuse.

These thematic elements, particularly the apocalyptic nature of many of these (which can also include the reference to famine in the Ozymandias poster and the Nixon and Nostalgia posters, which both look to the past rather than looking forward), are emphasized by Nite Owl’s dialogue in this panel:  “Future?  What future?”

Panel 5:  Moore & Gibbons once again juxtapose the dialogue with the imagery, as Nite Owl complains about how “close to the edge…” humanity is, as he climbs over the edge of the building’s rooftop while Rorschach approaches the opposite edge.

Panel 6:  Rorschach’s response that “Some of us have always lived on the edge…” and his explanation of how to survive there:  “Just hang on by fingernails and never look down…” are emphasized visually by Rorschach’s example of that, as he hangs on by his fingernails while standing on the window ledge outside his apartment.    

Panel 7:  Note how Rorschach’s body language, as delineated by Dave Gibbons, upon entering the window of his apartment is exactly the same as what we saw in Chapter I as he entered Eddie Blake’s apartment on page 6.

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