Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII



Non-Comic Information

World of the Watchmen



Chapter 3: "The Judge of All the Earth"

Certain notes are true for each issue.

This issue's title is from Genesis 18:25.

Cover: The "Fallout Shelter" sign being put up on the newsstand. Note that the cropping makes it read "Allout Helter," and the smoke makes it read "All Hel." Also, the smoke forms the profile of a skull.

ISSUE MOTIF: "radioactive" symbol
COVER CLOCK: 9 min. to midnight

Page 1, panel 1: The captions in that style are from the "Tales of the Black Freighter" comic the teenager is reading. They continue to appear on and off through the eleventh issue. Some of the panels later are excerpts from the comic. The story behind the comic itself is told in issue #5. (Actually, the comic in question is a reprint.)

Pay close attention to the comic captions, and compare them to the ongoing story. (All the "Black Freighter" captions are in the frayed-edge style.)

The speaker is Bernard the newsvendor (we learn his name in #11).

The radiation symbol appears in this and the next three panels.

Panel 3: On the right is an issue of _New Frontiersman_, a right-wing newspaper, with a headline reading "Missing Writer: Castro to Blame?" and a photo of Max Shea (writer of "Tales of the Black Freighter." See issue #8.

Castro: Fidel Castro, communist leader of Cuba since the '60s.

Panel 4: The kid reading the comic is named Bernie, as we also find out in #11. The ad on the back of the comic is for "The Veidt Method," Adrian Veidt's equivalent of the Charles Atlas ads. Veidt honed his body to "perfection," and here he's offering to do the same for anyone who'll gamble a stamp.

Across the street are the offices of the Promethean Cab Company ("Bringing Light to the World"). In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus defied Zeus' will by giving fire to mankind; he has become a symbol of enlightenment. This makes it likely that Veidt owns them, too, though that's never confirmed or denied.

The Nova Express headline reads, "How Sick Is Dick? After 3rd Presidential Heart-Op?" The Nova Express is a left-wing newspaper, the antithesis of the _New Frontiersman._ Other magazines are "Bodyline," "TV Guide" [real-world], "Home Maker," and "Music," and an unidentified one that seems to be Japanese with a "Knot Top" headline. (Are knot-tops a Japanese fashion imported to the US, or vice versa? They seem to be modelled on medieval samurai hairstyles. Their popularity in the U.S. may be linked to Red D'eath.) On the ground is a "Gunga Diner" menu and takeout box.

Bernie is leaning against a public recharge post for the electric vehicles.

Page 2, panel 1: The newsstand is in front of the "Institute for Extraspatial Studies."

Panel 2: The symbol for the spark hydrant bears a striking resemblance to that of the second Flash, a DC Comics character.

Panel 5: Atlas: Another Titan, this one responsible for holding up the world. He's synonymous with endurance and perseverance.

Panel 7: The Express' reason for holding its front page will be found out later this issue.

Panel 9: Behind the sign man is a sign for the Utopia, a revival movie theater.

Page 3, panel 2: The _Examiner_ is probably a trashy tabloid; its title is similar to our _National Enquirer_, although it sounds more like the _Weekly World News._

Page 4, panel 1: Laurie and Jon's bedroom at the Rockefeller Military Research Center.

Page 5, panel 4: Another production error, Jon's speech bubble here is white in my copy.

Panel 9: The speaker here is Janey Slater. The reference to JFK refers to Dr. Manhattan's ability to see the future; he does not attempt to prevent the things he sees.

Page 6, panels 1, 3, 5: Janey is being interviewed in the _Nova Express_ offices. Her ashtray rests on the current issue. Notice the similarity between the tape reels and the radiation symbol. The ashtray is the first appearance of a minor theme (the zig-zag pattern on a round object.)

Janey also smokes a ball-pipe; her usage of "three packs a day" is probably figurative, although it's possible that the tobacco balls come in packs like cigarettes.

The layout of the buttons on the tape recorder is interesting. In our world, the two leftmost buttons would be depressed to record; the third button would be "rewind."

Panels 4, 6: The cab is from the Promethean, and the driver (who reappears later) is named Joey.

Page 7: Another production error here; the interviewer's hands are that golden/orange color.

Panel 2: We learn here that Nostalgia is produced by Veidt. Notice "Mutiny on the Bounty" displayed inside Treasure Island.

Since Laurie is paying with at least two bills, what does the "25c" mean, anyway? 25 cents per mile?

Panel 4: The workman is repairing Dreiberg's lock after Rorschach smashed it in the first issue. He works for Gordian Knot Lock Co., which is probably owned by Veidt (the Gordian knot was undone by Alexander the Great, one of Veidt's heroes). The motto on the truck reads, "They'll Never Undo This Sucker." Why did Dan wait so long to get it fixed, anyway?

Page 8, panel 4: Odd that the teakettle uses a light, rather than a whistle--it doesn't seem like the best attention-getting device. Of course, since the series doesn't use sound effects, there would be no way to indicate the whistle.

Panel 5: Rorschach ate or took the rest of his sugar in the first issue.

Page 9, panel 5: The teakettle is made by Veidt.

Page 10, panel 1: The image of Laurie reflected here foreshadows issue #9's motif, and the eyes, circle, nose (as the mouth) and slash of light repeat the smiley-face of #1.

Page 11, panel 2: The Utopia Cinema, which is showing "This Island Earth," (a real movie) reappears later. This scene is seen from another angle on page 18, panel 1.

Panels 4 & 6: More ongoing themes. "Who Watches the Watchmen" graffiti, a Pale Horse poster, an anarchy symbol, and the militant feminist symbol with "Castrate Rapists" underneath it. The Japanese-looking characters on the jackets [do they mean anything?] suggest that the knot-top style does indeed come from Japan.

Page 12, panel 3: The host is Benny Anger; he reappears in issue #7.

Panel 4: Is that a Veidt logo on the Krystalnacht poster on the right? The graffiti reads, "[illegible] go mad." We learn much later that it's "One in eight go mad," though what this means is never clear. (Something to do with the eight Minutemen, maybe?)

Page 13, panel 3: First appearance of Doug Roth (unless he was the one interviewing Janey, which is possible).

Panel 5: We see a flashback to one of these battles in issue #4.

Page 14, panel 6: Unlike most of the graffiti in the series, there's not enough given to make this graffiti decipherable. What we can see says, "K-TO[part of another letter] KiN[cut off]."

Page 15, panel 1: The Washington Post is a real paper.

Panels 2,4,6: Dan and Laurie's reactions here resemble actions after sex; they're panting and sweaty. Once they catch their breath, he rollls over and she lights up.

Panel 2: Another "Ozymandias Southern India Famine Relief" poster, first seen in issue #1.

Panel 3: The speech balloon is mis-colored again.

Page 17, panel 2: The sign is for the _New Frontiersman_ and reads "In your hearts, you know it's right" to which someone has added "wing." This is a reference to 1964's conservative Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, who used this phrase, minus the addition, as a slogan. He was perceived as being partial to nuclear war; his slogan was modified by LBJ supporters to "In Your Heart You Know He Might" (particularly appropriate to this series).

Page 18, panel 1: Nova Express: "Dr. Manhattan Cancer Link New Evidence; Inside: Janey Slater Speaks." The new issue. This is page 11, panel 2 from another angle.

Panels 7-9: The radiation symbol again.

Page 19, panel 1: The symbol, this time being painted on their bedroom door. The singer's rendition of "Walking on the Moon" by the Police foreshadows Dr. Manhattan's trip to Mars.

Page 20, panel 1: The sign reads, "Gila Flats Test Base: Per Dolorem Ad Astra: Government Property: Keep Out." This is where Dr. Manhattan worked when he had the accident that changed him (see next issue). The Latin phrase means something like "Through Sadness/Pain/Anguish To The Stars." "Ad Astra Per Aspera" is a more commonly known phrase, meaning "Through adversities to the stars". (The change may reflect Doc's reasons for leaving Earth.)

Panel 3: The Bestiary, the on-base bar.

Panel 4: The first time Jon is shown in clear full-frontal nudity, rather than the sly covering positions used earlier.

Panel 5: The writing in the case reads "At play amidst the strangeness and charm." "Strangeness" and "charm" are properties of quarks.

Panel 6: The picture is of Janey and Jon. See next issue.

Page 22, panel 1: The _Frontiersman_ headline reads, "Our Country's Protector Smeared by the Kremlin." The rising sun shows that this is an east-west street, with the Promethean on the north and newsstand/Institute on the south.

Panel 3: The _Gazette_ headline: "Dr Manhattan Leaves Earth."

Page 23, panel 2: More radiation symbols.

Page 24, panel 7: The "Sunday" designation sets today's date as the 20th.

Panels 7-8: That's Nostalgia cologne Rorschach is swiping. The way he's using it says something about his lifestyle; he doesn't bathe much (his smell is commented on later), just covers up the odor with cologne.

Page 25, panels 1-3: As has been said before, superhero comics never caught on in a world with real superheroes. They seem to have died out during the early '40's. (In our world it's "Flash," not "Flash-Man;" either the newsvendor has a faulty memory, or the worlds had diverged enough by 1940 to produce a minor change like this.) Pirate comics have been the most popular type of comic for a long time.

Page 8: "Russians Invade Afghanistan." In our world this happened in 1979. Here, of course, the Russians held off due to Dr. Manhattan; but with him gone they went ahead and invaded.

Page 26, panel 1: The second speaker is President Nixon.

Panel 6: Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is on the right.

Page 27, panel 2: The bald man with the ball pipe is G. Gordon Liddy, seen again in #10.

Panel 4: Lots more radiation symbols.

Page 28, panel 2: The last radiation symbol of the issue.

Pages 29-32: The last _Under the Hood_ reprint, chronicling the days after the fall of the Minutemen.

Page 11, paragraph 3: I believe the date of Laurie's birth was changed in the paperback. The typeface is slightly lighter.

Page 12, paragraph 3: Hooded Justice was likely killed by the Comedian. (If Muller was Hooded Justice. There is no direct evidence for this anywhere in the comic; but the Mayfair Games DC Heroes Module, "Taking Out the Trash," agrees with this assessment, in the section co-written by Moore.) Mason's statement about real life is later echoed by Veidt.

Watchmen is a trademark of DC Comics Inc., © 1999. These annotations © 1995 by Doug Atkinson. They may be freely copied and distributed, provided the text is not altered.
The annotations are maintained at this location by R.J. White.