Watchmen 35th Anniversary Read-Along: Week 3, Issue #3

Rorschach’s Journal. 2021. The 35th anniversary of writer Alan Moore’s sensational, highly-influential and stunning 12-issue magnum opus, Watchmen rolls on, ever-present in the face of an unfolding mystery.

To continue the 35th anniversary Read-Along for the Comic of Comics, the @JusticeLeagueBookClub (run by myself) and the @DCHistoryClub (run by @msgtv and @TurokSonOfStone1950) will provide a fun analysis of each issue on a weekly basis, with my contributions coming from the odd-numbered issues, while DC History looks at the even-numbered issues.

How this Read-Along works :

  • Watchmen is NOT available on DC Universe Infinite. To participate in the Read-Along, you’ll need to have your own copies of Watchmen (be they the single issues or a collected edition) at the ready to read along with as we move from issue to issue, week after week.

  • Discussions will be posted on a weekly basis, with each discussion focusing on one issue. If you should run late, fear not good reader, as you are welcome to chime in on a particular week’s discussion at any time. Afterall, this is a 24/7 anniversary party.
    :partying_face: :tada: :champagne:

Onto the good stuff, good reader:

:books: Read:

  • Watchmen #3

If you should need a copy on the fly, the issue is available at Comixology, while the collected edition of Watchmen is also available at Comixology, as well as on Hoopla.

:speaking_head: Discuss:

  • Watchmen #3 features Laurie Juspeczyk (aka Silk Spectre II) fleeing from the arms of Jon Osterman (aka Dr. Manhattan) and into those of Dan Dreiberg (aka Nite Owl II). Between these two, who do you feel the more natural fit for Laurie is?

  • Should Dr. Manhattan have kept wearing a suit after his TV appearance? We all understand why he’s nekkid, but he does look good in a suit. “The clothes make the man.” as they say.

  • Dr. Manhattan leaves Earth for the solitude of Mars. Was he right to do so, or should have have stayed on Earth, amongst his fellow man?

  • In the Under The Hood supplement, we’re treated to stories about the Minutemen and how the 1950s began for them. From not ushering the decade in with a Christmas party the way they did the 1940s, to testifying before HUAC (the House of Un-American Activities Committee), to dealing with the disappearance of Hooded Justice due to him not testifying to that committee and more, it was a rough decade for superheroes. This mirrors how the 1950s in our world were also a rough decade for superheroes. What did you think of this fictional mirroring of costumed adventurers and how it paralleled what happened in our world with regards to them during that decade?

That’s the journal entry for the 35th anniversary this week, dear, good, reader. Start your adventure on the Black Freighter, wear your best suit while doing so and enjoy the ride, from here, to Mars and beyond.

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Well, some fine reading it was, I’ve cheated a bit and read ahead, so I am ready to go.

  1. Ah fickle Laurie, what can one say, Night Owl was probably not a good fit for young Laurie, as he wasn’t the excitement that she craved at that point in time. As to Dr. Manhattan, I am not sure he is relationship material, his disconnection with humanity and perception of time, does not tend to support a happy relationship either. So, I guess that neither was a good fit for Laurie. As to Old Laurie, Nite Owl would be a safety net, and someone to easily grow old with; however, I just don’t see long term romance or happiness there, just a friendship, which would likely fail under the stress of a long term relationship. As to Manhattan, the same is true. Laurie’s soul mate, if she has one is still out there I’m afraid.
  2. Naked or Suit, he is fine looking either way, but probably should have kept the suit to make others feel more comfortable, but by that time, I’m not sure humanities opinions mattered to him.
  3. Hard call, to go become a hermit to find yourself or live amongst humanity and find oneself. I’ll go with the Hermit, as at that point, he was so distance from Humanity, that staying would’ve just created more conflict, for him.
  4. It’s nice seeing the McCarthyism era of the 50’s being played out. I liked it, it showed that it wasn’t about public interest, but attacking any of those who were different, than the normal those folks were looking for. It’s an important time in our past which gets overlooked a lot, and the issue are very similar to the ones we face today, Safety vs. Freedom, Religious Beliefs versus new societal norms, and who is entitled to special treatment and why, and what should be considered acceptable and governments role in that…
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  1. I would say that Dan at least cares more about Laurie than Jon does. I’m not sure they are a good fit otherwise.
  2. Around others, Dr. Manhattan should wear a suit or some form of clothing, if only to make them more comfortable.
  3. I don’t think it is wrong for him to take a break on Mars, but he should return to Earth at some point.
  4. I thought the inclusion of the hearings was done well and the outcome realistic.
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In issue 4
Jon replaces a scientist
Who had a tumor

Also the chamber
Where Jon has
‘His Accident’ is supposed
To emit no radiation outside.

Maybe that wasn’t true.

With the Atom Bomb
It took a while to fully
Understand radiation
Even though Madame Curie
Died of it long before.

Back to issue 3
Did Jon cause people
To get cancer?

He has complete control
Of his body
So I doubt that.

It is the government
Believing he did
That causes him
To leave

Not Laurie leaving him
Because he already
Knows he has
A conversation with her
On Mars

Not even
The TV show

It is the
Radioactive Signs
That is the final push

Without the expose
He would not be on Mars.

Did the newspaper
Get a unknown letter
Suggesting that
These deaths are Jon’s Fault?

The result of Jon’s leaving
Pushes the world
Toward imminent
Nuclear War

The result of
The Russians invading
Afghanistan
(What a coincidence
Reading that today
Or are there really any coincidences?)

If this was planned
By our Villain
It is a very dangerous move

Jon looks great in his suit
But he is way beyond
Caring about what
Others thinks.

We see the
Pirate Comic Book
For the first time
Also describing
A hopeless situation

The young black man
Reading the comic
Complains that the issue
End with.a cliffhanger
Just like this issue does

Some critics
Think that
The violence of
Laurie and Dan’s
Fight with the thugs
Push them into an affair
(That violence turns them on)
Though she goes to the hotel alone.

I did not read the text
My vision is not good enough

The nine panel grid of Watchmen makes it easy to read on my Android Phone.

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Nice plants. May I peruse your Begonias and/or Bougainvillea while you read?

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So, the action is rolling now. There’s at least two ways to look at Dr. Manhattan’s journey (and be extension Laurie, Dan and the survival of the planet) in this issue. With no understanding of the forces at work behind the scenes, we see that Manhattan is utterly incapable of relating to people in general and Laurie whom he believes he loves specifically. You don’t doppelgänger yourself to ‘make love’ and ignore her at the same time. But, Laurie tossing some chems (which Manhattan unspills) and leaving him is clearly not based on this creep/ignoring show alone.
Laurie turning to Dan is the obvious choice, he’s the most normal person in her superhero world. He can understand her, without her having to worry about multiple ‘Dans’ flying at her out of the blue.
Now, for the theory that Dan and Laurie are brought together by the violence of their fight. It ignores everything that happens before it. Laurie runs from Jon to Dan, look at the panel of Dan handing Laurie her coffee the purposeful touching of hands (that’s a clue), then Laurie’s refusal to take the advice of catching a cab, the Laurie’s “I mean Jesus, us! Getting mugged!”. Maybe you don’t know what you’re doing, but we do. Laurie is pushing her and Dan together. The whole Manhattan runs to Mars puts a speed bump in that but only a little one.
Now, everything that’s happening from the lense of knowing Ozy is manipulating events to move big Blue off the board. But, you can’t manipulate something that’s not there. Don’t let yourself be manipulated Doc. Just because you have a hard time understanding humanity doesn’t mean you have to take your ball and go home, letting the world slip into nuclear war.
Finally, I may appreciate the Black Freighter, the news vendor and his cigarette smoking minor friend more each time I read this book.

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Please do. The cayenne, hot banana, and tabasco peppers have all made one batch of hot sauce, expect another. But, to be honest, I’m here for the flowers.

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takes a fat whiff of some nearby roses

Ah!

You got any hot sauce on hand? I just happen to have a fresh bag of Tostitos handy.

As for The Black Freighter, the kid and the crusty newsvendor, I’ve enjoyed it much more this time around. Previous times I was fine with it, but it just stood out more, this time.

Also the Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter movie was pretty darn good. I hope it will pop up on HBO Max sometime this year.

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Oh, I love this! I just read Watchmen for what is embarrassingly the first time, like, a week ago, so this is a happy coincidence. As for your individual questions:

Is this a serious question? Jon’s a ■■■■■■■ god who experiences time in a non-linear way. They both deserve someone who can relate to them, as long as he’s in space he should search for more deities. And you don’t need to be Dr. Manhattan to see the friend zone energy coming in waves off of Laurie and Dan. Dan definitely has the vibe of someone who’s been too nice to let his crush’s love life fall apart even if he would personally benefit, and Laurie has the vibe of the only nice popular girl.

Wait, we do understand? Was it in Before Watchmen, or one of the live-action adaptations? (I’ve only read the original Watchmen and Doomsday Clock #1-7) And after his interview, he went to Mars. I don’t think Mars cares.

What, you’re not telling me he can’t watch Earth without physically being there? He can see on the subatomic scale, surely he could watch Earth from afar and poof there whenever anyone needs vaporizing.

It makes perfect sense that superheroes were brought before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Perhaps more than anything else, mythic heroes embody the idea of never giving up when truth and justice are at stake, and, while the Soviet Union was certainly worse, during the Cold War America began to erode the very freedoms that were supposed to be under threat from the reds (adding “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance comes to mind). If the US had descended into the paranoid dictatorship that seemed like it was on the horizon, superheroes - fictional or otherwise - would probably have provided a powerful symbol for freedom fighters to rally around.

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all the notifications are jumbling together and I thought this was about Garfield

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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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