It’s time for Eddie Blake’s funeral, and everyone is having fond memories about the departed Comedian. Just kidding, he was a monster, as we discover through flashbacks and stories. But how much does the extremely non-comedic Comedian represent America? And comic book characters of the time? Find out, as we break down Watchmen #2, “Absent Friends.”
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The theme music for Watchmen Watch was written and performed by Jeff Solomon.
Plus, here’s a transcript of the episode for you to read through as you listen:
Alex: Welcome to Watchmen Watch, a
podcast about HBO’s Watchmen where we watch Watchmen, talk about Watchmen and
watch you watching the Watchmen. I’m Alex.
Justin: I’m Justin.
Pete: I’m Pete.
Alex: And we are going to be talking
about the second issue of the Watchmen comic book series as we ramp up to the
HBO series here. Very exciting. It’s coming out October 20th. We know that now.
Justin: We know that now.
Alex: It has been known. We’re very
Alex: But to bone up, we’re reading
through the book. So, issue two, this is not called Almost Friends as I wanted
to call it.
Justin: No. And it’s not called Friends,
the pilot of the TV show Friends.
Alex: Right, because Alan Moore and
Dave Gibbons were on a break.
Justin: That’s true. We should mention
Alan Moore can’t be here today.
Justin: Our fourth host for this podcast.
He texted me. I accidentally told him we were meeting at a campsite outside of
Stonehenge. We had a mix-up.
Alex: Oh, okay.
Pete: How can you accidentally mix up
this address with that address?
Justin: Just a classic mix-up.
Alex: Auto-text, right?
Alex: I hate that.
Justin: I meant to write the pit loft
where we tape our show. Instead I wrote a campsite just outside of Stonehenge.
So, he’s there. It’s my bad because he was definitely showing up this week, but
I texted him back. He’s totally fine with the mix-up.
Alex: Oh, he’s going to be back next
Justin: He’ll be back next week.
Pete: It kind of works out because the
title of this is Absent Friend, and he’s our absent friend.
Justin: That’s true. He said the same
Alex: Oh, that’s very true. Absent
Friend, not Almost Friends because me and Alan Moore almost hooked up that one
Justin: That’s true.
Pete: Really? Yeah.
Justin: And he’s not weird about it.
That’s not the real reason he’s not showing up.
Pete: Was that at that San Diego Comic
Con when you were wasted, and you almost hooked up with him?
Justin: Careful. Don’t start-
Alex: I don’t want to talk about it.
I don’t want to kiss and tell.
Justin: Don’t start talking about San
Diego Comic Cons and being wasted, Pete.
Pete: Yeah. What?
Justin: You know what you did.
Pete: I was the one who told Jim Lee
he was the king of San Diego.
Justin: No, that’s true. You tried to
smoke a joint with …
Pete: I didn’t try.
Alex: This is very far off field.
Pete: Yeah, I didn’t try nothing.
Alex: Let’s talk about Watchmen, you
guys. So, chapter two of the book, issue number two, Absent Friends. Definitely
going to remember that by the end of the episode. So, to get you guys caught
up, there has been a murder of Eddie Blake. Rorschach is investigating it, and
that’s pretty much kind of where we pick up this issue. But I got to say as
we’re going back through this, I know I said this the last time as well, good
Pete: Man, great comic.
Alex: This is a good comic.
Justin: Great comic.
Pete: Also, it was nice to see Blue
Man Group put on a suit for the funeral. I thought that was very classy of him.
Alex: That is rude to Doctor
Manhattan. I do want to seriously say, though, I know we mentioned this last
episode. It continues to be surprising to me, and it shouldn’t be, how good
Justin: 100% agree. It’s crazy how good
this is, how much Alan Moore is mixing up here. It’s important to remember when
you’re re-reading this or reading it for the first time, this shit had never
been done before. The idea of mixing up a comic this dark where the characters
have sort of nothing going for them or they’re all failing super hard. To see
that and to see all the references to comic book history, topical politics when
he was writing this, and just science, science fiction, everything, world
events. It’s amazing.
Alex: And to give it even more
context, the comic book industry was going through this massive change at this
point when this is being published. Who knows, necessarily, when it was
written, but 1985 you had Crisis of Infinite Earths that condensed the entire
DC Universe, had huge events. Killed off The Flash, killed off Supergirl. So,
those were traumatic in their own ways for superhero fans, and then on the
other side of the fence in Marvel, you had Secret Wars, which is this big
marketing grab that changed characters in a very different way and brought all
of these superheroes together. This always gets lumped in with The Dark Knight.
Was that ’84, I want to say?
Alex: Something like that. So, this
was in ’86, so they get lumped together as they’re these other takes while DC
was going darker and darker and Marvel was going light but more complicated in
a very different way.
Justin: Going big, I guess you could say.
Alex: Going big in a very different
way. This was huge. This was promoted very heavily, but this almost eschews
superheroics. That’s one the things I was really struck by with this issues, is
we got the murder mystery thing going on, but whenever there’s a fight, they
cut away from it.
Alex: That’s not the point of what’s
going on. The point is the characters.
Pete: I got a little confused, but
thank you for explaining it when you said shoes superheroics. I didn’t know
Alex: Eschew. Eschew.
Alex: Which is different than his
Pete: I thought you meant it shooes it
like, “Shoo, get away heroics.”
Justin: Oh, I see.
Alex: I’ll tell you what, you should
listen to our spelling podcast, which is very different. We read through-
Pete: You joke about me slurring
words, but …
Alex: Yes. Eschews.
Justin: Not cashews, which was another
thing he says a lot.
Pete: I’m just saying. Glass house,
Alex: The interesting thing about
this though is The Comedian eschews shoes and cashews for this issue.
Justin: That’s true. Wow.
Pete: I would also like to point out
not only … We got into this a little bit in talking about the last issue, but
the panels are amazingly put together, but the transitions … Instead of just
showing a flashback, it’s the light off a picture frame that reminds her of flash
photography that brings her this flashback. Just really smart things.
Alex: The structure of this issue, to
get to it a little bit, is Eddie Blake’s funeral. We get to see flashbacks from
everybody, whether they’re there or not, to the past. We find out a lot more
about the event that was hinted at the last issue, which was Eddie Blake’s
assault of, not Laurie Jupiter, Sally Jupiter. The first Silk Spectre. So, we
find out a lot more about that as well as other aspects of all of the
character’s lives and their relationships to Eddie Blake. We find out more
about him as The Comedian. But the interesting thing about this issue, I think
structurally, to your point Justin, the first issue tracks very heavily in very
specific juxtaposition where you get the text and the images are not fighting
against each other, but complement each other in a different way. You get that
here, but it’s much more about the actions where you see Dr. Manhattan at the
funeral, but he’s also potentially in another time at the same time, flashing
back to his relationship with Eddie. It’s much more about a temporal
juxtaposition than a spatial juxtaposition like it is in the first issue.
Justin: The first issue moves so quickly
through a lot of sort of superhero tropes. It just takes them as accepted that
they were a superteam, and the past was a lighter, more fun period just like
the way comic history went. So, the juxtaposition now of actually seeing that
backstory and the temporal shifts that all the characters go through, I think it
really sets up what’s coming forward and gives context to what we read in the
Alex: The other thing that’s
interesting with the whole superteam of it all is we get to meet two
“superteams” in this issue. The first on is the Minutemen, which is
like an analog of the Justice Society of America but without super powers.
They’re all masked vigilantes. It seems a little bit more like a social club.
That’s really only how we get to see them together. We never get to see them
fight crime together. The second one is the Crimebusters, which as far as we
can tell, meets once, and that’s it.
Alex: Nothing else happens with them,
so again, it’s Moore and Gibbons and company really eschewing the
superhero-ness, the structure of it, where we would expect, okay, there’s a
team get together and then some big event breaks them apart, but in this case,
it’s just not the right time.
Justin: Yeah. And they’re not the right
people, and it doesn’t make sense. That’s what’s also so good about this is being
a superhero never makes sense for any of these characters in this comic, and
it’s great. They’re either way off, they’re not good people, or they’re just
way beyond it like Doctor Manhattan.
Alex: We talked about this a little
bit in the first two episodes of the podcast with Rorschach, and I think this
very heavily comes up here in terms of how people misinterpret Watchmen that
being a superhero is bad. It is clearly a bad thing to do, it’s not a good
lifestyle choice. There’s nothing to hope for, and in fact, there’s a pretty
good argument to be made, particularly after this issue, that the rise of
superheroes leads to a worse world than we are currently in. They do not make
it better the way that they do in the DC Comics Universe or the Marvel Comics Universe.
Their addition cuts down on crime maybe, but it makes things ultimately worse.
Justin: Yeah. Should we walk through the
issue a little bit?
Alex: Yeah, sure. Well, actually
before we do though, there was one thing, an overall thing that I wanted to
talk about which is The Comedian. He’s the focus of this issue. His character
is the focus of this issue. He’s not that funny, it seems.
Justin: No, he’s a dick.
Alex: That’s surprising with his name
the way it is.
Justin: Yeah. What a weird accident.
Pete: You want to stop and explore
that some more?
Justin: He should have been The Tragedian.
Alex: Well, I mean, this gets back to
the juxtaposition as well, right? The Comedian, do you think … He certainly
makes this argument, but do you think The Comedian is the one who actually sees
the world the way it is? Is he actually seeing some joke there, or is it the
juxtaposition of, well, he is The Comedian, but he’s not funny at all?
Justin: I think, yeah, it’s the
juxtaposition. In the original Minutemen, he’s the goofiest, yet he’s the one
who assaults Sally Jupiter. In this issue, he’s wearing an old-timey, Italian
clown uniform. Then later in Crimebusters, he’s just being a regular dick, and
he’s sort of dressed like a ’90s superhero. He actually dresses like NFL
SuperPro a little bit.
Alex: Yeah, he does a little bit.
Justin: Which is a funny connection. I
doubt that was purposeful. And then, you see him doing more horrible things. He
shoots a woman who is carrying his baby in Vietnam, and we get to see that
happen, and then The Comedian moving forward. I think he’s meant to be a
reflection of the time, the different time periods. Back in the ’50s, ’60s,
everything is bright and sunny, but all the horrifying things are happening
behind closed doors. In Vietnam, it’s like Americans are being horrible
overseas. It is that sort of satirical take and juxtaposing this thing called
The Comedian. The bright veneer we paint over everything overlays horrifying
Alex: He is definitely a representation
of America. I think that’s very clear. It’s possible he might also be Alan
Moore commentating on comedy in comic books because Alan Moore, maybe not so
much at this time, but famously hates comic books. We know that when we hang
out with him off of this podcast.
Justin: Yeah, let me text him that
question and see what he says.
Alex: Yeah, well, maybe he can bring
it up on the next episode, but comic book superheroes aren’t actually usually
very funny, and so it’s possible he might be amping that up because he is one
of the only ones that actually acts like a comic book superhero. It might be
that he’s hitting this very old-timey kind of humor, which is like, “Hey
toots, why don’t you take off your dress?” And everybody is like,
“Haha,” but it’s not actually funny in a particular way.
Justin: It’s saying the horrifying thing
or saying the thing that this person actually wants to happen.
Alex: Exactly. So, that all said, I
was curious because I think that’s an overall character thing that we delve
into pretty deeply in this issue. But, yeah, let’s walk through it.
Justin: The first couple scenes we have
here are Laurie talking to her mom. They don’t get along very well. Sally sort
of wishes she was young again, basically, and is sort of bitter about the world,
saying she would rather go back to the life she had back then even though it’s
horrible. They set up the sexual assault from The Comedian.
Alex: This also ties into something
that we find out later, which is … Not Laurie. Sally.
Alex: I keep mixing them up. Sally
does not like herself very much. They pull out that Tijuana Bible or whatever
it is that has her in a cartoon form. Somebody is having sex with her. Laurie
hates it. Sally kind of likes it, and is flattered by it. It’s, again, not to
keep using the word juxtaposition, but it’s a very interesting juxtaposition of
as terrible as things were for her, she has this sadness and vanity about the
olden times. Again, if you get into the comic book of it all because really, if
nothing else, Watchmen is a comic book that is commenting on comic books, you
can look at that as that nostalgia for the “golden age of comic
books” that, “Bad things happened, but overall, wasn’t it so
wonderful, and everything was so beautiful. Wasn’t that great?”
Justin: Yeah. Someone who would dress up
in a costume … None of these people have powers. They’re just regular people,
and be like, “I’m going to go do this,” is goofy and vain.
Justin: To take that for real, I thought,
Alex: And we find out more about
that, I believe, in the under the hood section at the end where Hollis Mason
talks about she was the first one to be like, “Hey, I’ll have a PR agent.
What do you think about that?” She did it for the PR more than anything, more
than the crime fighting.
Alex: So, that’s sad. It’s a sad
Justin: Indeed. So, we flash from that, as
Pete said, from the picture frame in the reflection to a flashbulb where we get
to see Sally and the rest of the Minutemen. Their costumes are all sort of
goofy, I mean, very much like the actual golden age comics where it’s
ridiculous. Dave Gibbons does such a good job of showing them as goofy people,
and then you see this horrifying sexual assault scene where they’re all in
their costumes, but they’re talking like regular people doing horrifying
Alex: There’s an interesting thing
that happened in the first issue as well. I mean, it’s a pretty typically
camera angle thing which is, again, one of the things that I don’t think was
unique necessarily to this comic book but that Dave Gibbons did so well is
using [filmic 00:14:30] framing angles for things. There’s a shot, I believe,
of The Comedian on the floor between Hooded Justice’s legs, which is very
similar to a shot of The Comedian from the first issue where it’s showing that
Hooded Justice is dominant over him. Even if The Comedian pushes himself as
this uber mal, he’s really not. The other thing that happens, I believe … I
don’t remember which panel it is, but one of the panels in there, there’s a
splash of blood on The Comedian that he’s wiping off that is the same as the
splash of blood that’s on the button from the first issue.
Justin: Showing that when he dies, he’s
still marred by all these horrifying things he’s done. He’s not a hero at all,
and he goes out as not a hero.
Alex: Yeah. Again, I know we keep
going back to, “Hey, great comic.” Big surprise, but it’s also the
layers of preparation that they clearly did to put this together. This is very
different from a modern comic book where it doesn’t get the chance to plan it
in advance, right?
Alex: You got to meet that monthly
schedule, so at most, they have three to four issues ready before they go.
Here, I don’t know this for a fact, but I have to assume they had everything
planned out before they were ready to go.
Justin: It’s so meticulous. Every frame,
every panel means something. The last panel of this scene, you see Hooded
Justice who stops the assault is still such a jerk to Sally. He doesn’t help
her really. He says, “Get up, and for God’s sake, cover yourself.”
He’s the hero of that scene, and he’s still a monster. She is surrounded by
monsters. And then, it cuts right back to this Tijuana Bible thing, and it just
shows that, yes, she’s unhappy, but she’s dealt with all these horrifying
things all the time.
Alex: Right. Well, let’s talk about
Hooded Justice for a second. He’s just a fascinating character who isn’t dealt
with, as far as I remember, a ton in the comic book series. But he’s the first
hero that comes out. He’s the one that sparks all of it, but he’s also the only
one that really fully hides his face.
Justin: Yeah, you never see it.
Alex: Right. Part of that, if I
remember correctly, he’s gay, right?
Alex: I think that’s what-
Pete: Because that’s the joke The
Comedian makes when he’s being beaten up by him. He’s like, “You’re liking
this, aren’t you?” That makes the Hooded Justice stop.
Alex: Right. That makes him stop, and
that’s why he takes that pain and that shame of being homosexual and throws it
right back on her. Again, this is painting the times that they live in, the
fact that it isn’t necessarily accepted at all. He’s scared of it coming out
and people finding him out, so he takes it out on Sally.
Alex: But yeah, then we get this
memory from Adrian Veidt. This was another interesting thing that I was reading
some notes on this. I didn’t necessarily every pick up on this before, but
Ozymandias’s costume is the same colors, I believe, as The Comedian’s original
costume. So, if anything, there’s something there in terms of him picking up
from where The Comedian left off.
Justin: Purple and yellow, being the
Alex: Right. It’s almost a reverse. Looking
at this panel right now, we’re looking at the big panel of the first meeting of
the Crimebusters, and Ozymandias has this purple swoop versus the part that
left over … The part that is yellow on his neck is the part that was purple
on The Comedian, so in a way, he’s almost the opposite of The Comedian.
Justin: Right. That’s cool. They’re not
facing each other. This, we get Captain Metropolis who is forming the
Crimebusters. He’s still in the golden age dressed like a goof. Then, it’s this
random mix of people. Ozymandias, we talked about his costume, but he’s also
dressed like a god as opposed to everyone else that’s sort of in various stages
of superhero dress. The fact that he ends up sort of coming out of here squeaky
clean based on his confidence, basically, is interesting I think.
Alex: The other thing that’s
fascinating about this scene, particularly when you’re going through the book a
second time, which wouldn’t have been ultimately clear the first time through,
is this is Adrian Veidt’s memory of this meeting of the Crimebusters where
Captain Metropolis is proposing this plan. He says, “Look at all these
things going on in the world.” It’s fascinating that he mentions, I think,
it’s promiscuity and other things like that. The Comedian is like, “This
sucks. This is a stupid plan. You’re never going to do this. You just got to
burn it all down and figure out what to do next,” and Adrian Veidt is
looking at the map. Through the lens of this just being the second issue and us
thinking Ozymandias is a hero and the smartest man alive, you would think he’s
lamenting it. He’s going, “Oh, no, we can save the world. We can figure
out another way to do this. This is so sad.” But in actuality, The
Comedian is giving Adrian his plan.
Justin: Yeah. And you see it right in the
second to last panel of the scene where Ozymandias is looking at the burn page
with the words, “Somebody has to save the world.” It’s all right
Alex: Yes. That’s something that I
think is very undervalued about this series in particular is what a good
mystery it is. It’s very well-constructed as a mystery, not just as a superhero
series. Not just in terms of the characters and the commentary on it, but the
fact that it is a very good mystery that you really cannot figure out until the
end, but all the clues are there the entire time.
Justin: Yeah, and that’s why on a second
and third read, you really get to see so much more as it’s going. We get this
next scene with Doctor Manhattan’s memory of his time in Vietnam with The Comedian.
It’s just horrifying. The Comedian is being reckless. He shoots this woman
after she cuts his face, revealing that she’s pregnant, and Doc Manhattan
doesn’t stop him, even though he definitely could.
Alex: Yeah. The other thing, one
thing that I’ll mention that’s also great about these memories, these stories
that we get throughout, is we are learning more about Eddie Blake as we go,
plot-wise, but really we’re learning about the characters who are remembering
the stories. The big thing with Doctor Manhattan here is he doesn’t stop Eddie
Blake from shooting a pregnant woman. He’s also standing in the middle of a
table at the time and doesn’t notice it. So, what we find out about Doctor
Manhattan is, even at this early point in his career, he’s already retreated
from humanity. He can’t relate to human beings.
Justin: Yeah. He doesn’t feel. He’s almost
sociopathic in his understanding of the situation. He’s just like a scientist
viewing it from afar without any empathy for the situation.
Pete: Yeah, and that kind of really
shows in the way he’s standing in the table, and it’s the same stance as … In
both places, he’s looking over a dead body.
Alex: And then, we get the Owlship
Alex: Now this is where we get to see
the new mask that The Comedian is wearing. It’s a full face mask. Looks like a
gimp mask, which he likes to torture people, so I think that’s at least part of
the inspiration that’s going on there. But to set it in time, I believe, this
is when the Vietnam War either kicked off, or they dropped the bomb or
something like that. It’s one of those moments. It’s not particularly clear in
the book, but we get to see them going to the streets, trying to act like
superheroes, and I believe this is what ultimately leads to the Keen Act, which
is the act they pass where they shut down vigilantes except for
government-sponsored ones, clearly leading into the Ironman-Captain America
civil war that happens later in the series.
Justin: 100%, yeah. That’s, I think, issue
Alex: It’s weird that they brought
them in at that point, but it worked really well.
Justin: This is where we fully get a look
at the phrase, “Who watches the Watchmen,” being painted in the wall,
which has been sort of alluded-
Alex: But still not completely.
Justin: Not completed.
Alex: It’s still blocked.
Justin: But it’s the first time it’s
Justin: So, really starting to get … I
think that’s sort of the completion of the first act almost, or the table is
set for the rest of the story. This is sort of just a dark … Everything sucks
with these characters. Owl Man is just like, “Don’t do that.”
Alex: Nite Owl.
Justin: Sorry, Nite Owl. I keep saying
Alex: You keep calling him Owl Man.
Justin: Yeah, I don’t know why.
Alex: There is a character called Owl
Justin: It’s true. Nite Owl, I just never
have liked his name.
Alex: Why not?
Justin: Because it’s a phrase as opposed
to a name.
Alex: Yeah. Well, that’s where it
comes from. Hollis Mason talks about that in Under the Hood. He says that he
was looking for name. He wasn’t sure what to do, and he would never go out to a
drink with this co-worker of his. Instead he wanted to go workout because he
was trying to figure out how to be a superhero. He was like, “Oh, you’re
always such a night owl,” and he was like, “Yeah, Nite Owl. That’s
Justin: Yeah. Again, stupid. Not a great
Alex: The existence of Nite Owl
implies the existence of a day owl.
Justin: That’s true. Find the day owl. We
get a moment where the new Nite Owl has Comedian’s pin, a clean one, no blood
on it, and throws it onto the grave. I feel like what is this? What is this
supposed to mean? Why is he the one that throws the pin?
Alex: I don’t know. These parallel,
the way the button falls down is very similar to the way the button falls down
in the first issue. So, it’s some sort of parallel on him dying again, right?
Or putting the final nail in the coffin or something like that?
Justin: Yeah. Maybe setting him up as more
of the hero here or keying him as the main character. Not sure.
Alex: Yeah. I mean, there’s also some
stuff in here with him approaching Doctor Manhattan when already Dan, whether
Doctor Manhattan knows it or not, has become his romantic rival for Laurie’s
Justin: Yes. Nobody knows it really here.
Alex: Right. But it’s pretty clear
when you’re reading it that it’s setting them up. There’s that shot of them
having the handshake where it’s like, “Oh, here we go.”
Justin: Yeah. Doc Manhattan is just
looking around. “Who’s going to try to fuck my wife,” is what he’s
Alex: Which one of you fuckers …
Justin: Rorschach leaves silently. And
then, we get this great, awesomely drawn sequence of Rorschach going after
Moloch, the former villain for Doc Manhattan.
Pete: This is when the shading and
lighting of the panels really takes off. From this point on, it’s really just
Alex: Yeah. The Moloch thing is
interesting because it introduces supervillains who were teased, I was about to
say weirdly enough, but appropriately enough during the rape/assault sequence.
That’s the time where you get to see their trophy room. You get to see a lens that
Moloch set up before which paints him as sort of this goofy, ’60s-style
villain. Sort of very Adam West, Batman-y-style villain, which obviously he’s
not here at the end. We also see, it’s called Killer Ape or Gorilla Man or
something like that. There’s some sort of mask in the trophy room as well,
which I think emphasizes the animalistic nature of what Eddie Blake is doing to
Sally at that moment. But we never really see any supervillain action. To the
point of the superheroics, we haven’t really had them established other than
that glimpse. Here, we finally get to see Moloch, and he is a cancer-ridden
husk of himself.
Justin: Yeah. Sad. You wonder how this man
could have ever threatened Doctor Manhattan who is all-powerful, basically. He
tells this story of The Comedian coming to visit him and basically saying,
“The world is fucked,” after he’s realized sort of the plot that we
ourselves, the reader, find out later.
Alex: He talks about the island a
little bit. He talks about some writers and other things, I believe, throughout
the scene, which teases again. If you’re reading it through the second time,
you know that Veidt is setting up this big story and teasing and building this
thing, but it’s very unclear exactly what The Comedian is talking about at this
point to anybody who hasn’t read Watchmen.
Justin: Yeah. And he sets up Janie Slater
who is Doctor Manhattan’s first wife, I believe, which we learn about later on
in the series. It’s just such a haunting scene because you are seeing it
through the eyes of this ruined villain, and it just sets up all this tension
that we have no idea, this conspiracy that really put The Comedian to his
death. It really feeds in to Rorschach’s panic and his actual believing. He’s a
conspiracy theorist, and this is proving to be true.
Alex: Well, to the point, I may have
the time period a little bit wrong, but if The Comedian is a reflection of
America in a very similar way to Captain America is over in Marvel Comics, this
is the point, the late ’70s, early ’80s or so when America started to realize,
“Oh, wait. We’ve fucked everything up.”
Justin: Yeah. American disillusionment.
Alex: Exactly. It certainly came
earlier than that, but whether it’s hitting The Comedian late or not, that’s
what’s going on there. He’s realizing there’s all of these things going on
behind the scenes that he’s not the big man about. He’s not the guy in charge.
He’s not the most important thing in the story. Everything else is happening
around him. I think ultimately that’s why he dies, right?
Alex: Because he has reached the end
of his usefulness. His time is literally over.
Justin: Yeah. He’s done too many horrible
things to continue on.
Alex: Yeah, he should have died
Justin: He’s being replaced by this new
world order that we come to find out later is Ozymandias’s sort of stake.
Alex: Yeah. Who among us has not been
replaced by a squid?
Justin: Yeah, indeed. I also think the
death of The Comedian is sort of where the fiction starts. I think The Comedian
is meant to represent what America actually did, and this is sort of the flight
of fancy out of it where we realize the consequences or a take on what could
happen to bring the world back together. We get the famous Pagliacci joke at
the end which is great.
Alex: Great joke. Actually very
Justin: Super funny.
Alex: After The Comedian not being
funny for an issue, funny joke at the end, huh?
Justin: Hilarious. And the last image we
see here is Rorschach grabbing a flower off of Eddie’s grave and taking it with
Pete: Which is cool because we see
earlier in this issue, everybody is putting things into the grave, right?
They’re putting the body down, they’re throwing the pins in. Rorschach comes
and takes something.
Justin: That’s great, yeah. Because
everyone is putting away their memories. They’re like, “This guy who did
bad things, I don’t want to think about this anymore.” He’s like,
“I’m going to take this clue with me on into the rest of the
Alex: Yeah, and to what we were
talking about with the first issue as well though, that’s Rorschach kind of
going off in the wrong direction, right? He is holding on to this Comedian
mystery that is part of it, but he doesn’t know what it is quite yet.
Pete: And again, the shading and the
paneling. From panel to panel, completely different time periods flow so
nicely. But also, there was a panel where it was the same part of the
newspaper, and then the next panel is just a bigger part. So cool.
Justin: Very cool.
Alex: Now, one thing that I did want
to point out actually because I was looking at both of your guys’ copies. You
have a paperback print copy, Pete, and you’re looking at it on your computer.
The coloring is different on both of them.
Alex: So, in Pete’s I think it’s a
little bit closer because the roses, I believe, are the same red as the blood
on The Comedian in the first issue. So, when Rorschach is walking through the
blood at the beginning, at the end of the second issue, he’s pulling it back
out again. So, I don’t know. It’s interesting. I assume there’s an absolute
edition out there somewhere with the correct colors, but it certainly affects
the experience quite a bit. Guys, thank you so much for listening to Watchmen
Watch. We will be back with the third issue pretty soon.
Justin: Very soon.
Alex: Check out all the ways to
subscribe at comicbookclublive.com. You can support this podcast and more.
Patreon.com/comicbookclub. Also mention, you can follow us a bunch of places,
@watchmenwatch1 on Twitter. Also on Facebook and Instagram, Watchmen Watch
Podcast, you can check them out there. We got some shirts. We got shirts, guys.
Justin: Get those shirts on.
check it out there. And remember, we taped this podcast 35 minutes ago.
Justin: Alan just texted me, and he said
he’ll definitely be here for the next episode.
Alex: Oh, that’s great.
Justin: Again, my bad. Stonehenge.
Alex: I hope he had fun camping.
Justin: Yeah, he loves camping, and he
loves mysterious stones.
The post Watchmen Watch: Issue #2, “Absent Friends” appeared first on Comic Book Club.