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 6: "The Abyss Gazes Also"

Certain notes are true for each issue.

This issue's title is from William Blake's poem "The Tyger."

Cover: A Rorschach blot. The blots used here are not actually the classic blots created by Dr. Rorschach; they follow the same principle but are smoother. Also, not all of the original blots were black-and-white, and they were usually more complex.

ISSUE MOTIF: The images brought on by the Rorschach blots.
COVER CLOCK: 6 min. to midnight

Page 1, panel 1: Dr. Long is Rorschach's therapist in prison.

Panel 6: The Band-aid and bruise on his face come from the beating the cops gave him last issue. The bruise is from the kick in issue #5 on 28:4.

Panel 7: Obviously this is what Rorschach sees. It is explained later this issue.

Panel 8: Rorschach's been through this before and knows how to fake out the examiner. (It's not hard to feed expected answers on this sort of test, epecially if the examiner wants to see improvement like Mal does. If you're interested in learning how to give answers on the real Rorschach tests, read the book Big Secrets by William Poundstone.)

Page 3, panels 1-2: Note the similarity between this blot, the silhouette, and the "Hiroshima Lovers" graffiti.

Panel 8: On page 11 of issue 5 he said his landlady reminded him of his mother. The resemblance is clear.

Page 4, panels 8-9: Back into the blot from the flashback. (This issue uses this type of transition heavily.)

Page 7, panel 1: Compare the fruit on his face to the blot on page 1.

Page 8, panel 2: The speaker is Mal's wife, Gloria.

Panel 6: Their shadows, particularly here, echo the "Hiroshima lovers."

Panel 8: Notice that the fountain pen is making an inkblot. (A white inkblot? Gibbons seems to have missed inking it.) Although the coffee cup reads "Dad," we never see their children.

Panel 9: The note reads, "Mal: One for you? G." The notepad is his notes: the words "murder" and "'Good.'" are recognizable, from panels 2-3.

Page 9, panel 7: Walter sees Rorschach as something more than an identity he takes on. (Remember, he refers to his mask as his "face.") See page 15. This is not an uncommon theme among costumed heroes; Batman, in particular, has frequently been shown as having a slight split personality between the Batman and Wayne identities. For more on the idea of an identity taking on a life of its own, and in fact becomes a world-view, read Matt Wagner's Grendel series, especially issues 1-15 and 25-34.

Page 10, panel 1: Rorschach has never shown much of an interest in women; he seems to be fairly asexual, in fact. (Or he may be homosexual and in deep denial about it.)

Panel 6: "Woman Killed While Neighbors Look On."

Panel 7: This event happened in the real world.

Page 11, panels 7-9: The card from page 1 again. Mal is beginning to get the point, but is denying it to himself.

Page 13, panels 1-3: The coffeemaker is another foreshadowing of the motif from issue #9. In panel 2, the "Gopain" is a Veidt product.

Panel 4: The coffee drip is producing a shape similar to the "butterfly" card.

Panel 5: Notice the time on the clock. Page 14, panels 1-2: The notepad reads "face that I could bear to look at in the mirror" (from page 10).

Panel 4: Compare the way he talked at the Crimebusters meeting in issue #2; he actually used articles and complete sentences. He's changed a lot, like he says.

Page 15, panel 6: The headline reads, "Keene Act Passed: Vigilantes Illegal." The sign reads, "Badges Not Masks." Most of "Who Watches the Watchmen" is on the wall. A Gunga Diner is just to Rorschach's left.

Page 16, panel 1: Mal is working on a Sunday. Clearly he's really into this case.

Panel 5: We see this from the other point of view on page 3 of issue #8.

Panel 6: More of the lovers graffiti.

Pages 17-18: The card reappears.

Page 18: This is the kidnapping referred to in issue #2, page 18.

Page 19: Could the dressmaker's dummies remind him of Kitty Genovese?

Page 22, panel 1: The street address is symmetrical. The dogs are named after the male main characters of the Flintstones TV series.

Panel 5: Notice the time on the clock.

Page 26, panels 4-6: Once again, the card.

Page 27, panel 1: The watch salesman is a minor continuing character; this is his first appearance.

Panel 2: "Nixon Promises Maximum Force." No President in our world would be this belligerent, this quickly; he evidently doesn't want to show any reaction to Jon's disappearance. Backing down would be a show of weakness. (Understanding this is key to understanding the series' ending.) The radiation symbol is in the background.

Panel 3: The graffiti again. Note the Mmeltdowns wrapper Bernie is throwing away.

Pages 29-32: Rorschach's file.

Page 29, paragraph 3: The "Sweet Chariot" sugar is from Dreiberg's apartment (issue #1); the rose is from the end of issue #2; the notebook is later explained to be the rough draft of his journal; the cologne was swiped from Dan's apartment in issue #3; and the pepper is from the end of issue #5. We saw him using the flashlight in the beginning of issue #1.

Pages 30-31: The "Charlton Home" name may be a tribute to the inspirations for the main characters, published by Charlton Comics.

Page 31, "Charlton Home" section, paragraphs 3-4: Compare this to his comments on good men in issue #1.

Page 32: The symbolism of the dream should be obvious. This sheet must bemisdated; '63 was seven years after he left the Home.

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.