Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Watchmen: Chapter XI - page 21


Panel 1:  where the general layout of that previous panel is mirrored by the tall pillars on the exterior of Veidt’s fortress and the dead butterfly lying in the snow, roughly where the gull was on Page 20, panel 9. 

The dialogue is also mirrored with the previous panel’s admission of how the Black Freighter moved “closer…closer…” through Veidt’s remark that he had “…been brought nose to nose with mankind’s mortality…”

Veidt’s remarks about the imminent mortality of humankind and the fragility of the Earth and its ecosystem are emphasized by the dead butterfly in the foreground.  Its specific fragility was displayed by its quick death earlier in this chapter. 

The butterfly is also a call-back to Rorschach’s sessions with Dr. Long while he was incarcerated, in Chapter VI.  In that instance, Rorschach told Dr. Long that one of the Rorschach blots was nothing more than a pretty butterfly, despite the ugly memories it actually conjured up in Rorschach’s memory.

Panel 2:  Veidt’s admission that, once faced with the very real possibility of the Earth’s, and humanity’s, demise, he needed to step back and look at the problem from a “fresh perspective” is emphasized by Gibbons’s artwork in this panel, as we see Veidt in the extreme background, standing high above the main hall of Karnak, looking down upon us, the readers.

Panel 3:  Veidt’s comment that he eventually “…closed upon the heart of the dilemma…” is emphasized by the fact that Gibbons is pulling in closer to Veidt with this panel’s image.

Panel 4:  Veidt’s remarks about the nuclear arms race and the Americans’ and Russians’ fears – particularly their fear to “turn their backs…” – emphasizes Veidt’s confidence, as he has turned his back on Rorschach and Nite Owl, who have come to Karnak in order to thwart his plans.

Panel 5:  The remark that “…the spectre of accidental apocalypse stalked ever closer…” is emphasized by the fact that Rorschach and Nite Owl, as well as Bubastis in the foreground, are moving closer to Veidt, while he speaks.

Panel 6:  Veidt’s dialogue is, again, mirrored in the imagery of this panel.  Veidt talks of inevitable conflict and the need to have a “practical solution” once one “…notice[s] the perils of the situation…” even as a second physical altercation between Veidt and his former allies seems imminent while Nite Owl notices the peril that the approaching Bubastis will present to him and Rorschach.

Panel 7:  Veidt’s remark that a solution for this problem of the escalating nuclear arms race between East and West would be useless without “…the muscle to back it up…” is mirrored in the reality that Rorschach and Nite Owl do not have the muscle to stop Bubastis, if they were to attack Veidt again.

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