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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Watchmen ... what's up with the ending?  (Read 13097 times)
Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2006, 04:42:23 PM »

While the pirate thing certainly can be read into the overall themes of the story, it's surface meaning is just to comment and reflect on the superhero comics industry. You see, Watchmen is set in a world where superhero comics are the fringe of the fringe that died out in the fifties. Meanwhile, pirates are the vogue, and this is a comic book from that world. This is the complete opposite of what actually happened in America with the Comics Code killing off the historical/horror genre of comics and giving a boost to harmless superhero fantasy. I guess superheroes aren't that harmless if they actually live on your streets. Well, perhaps this was self-evident to everybody and I'm just not deep enough for this discussion ;)

My favourite Watchman? Owlman, perhaps. I like the vulnerability, and how he's obviously out of his league, but doing it anyway. Then again, I like them all a lot as far as characters go.
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Justin Marx
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« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2006, 08:32:35 PM »

The Comedian's still the man. For those who like their heroes brutal, amoral and cynical.
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Troy_Costisick
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« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2006, 05:29:36 AM »

Heya,

Quote
The scene showing us he is "nuts" is when he's faced with Rorschach test, he sees bad things, like in a place where we'd see a butterfly he sees the dog he killed.

-It shows he's nuts because he sees the horrific images in the Rorschach tests but lies to his shrink about what he sees.  He only reveals what he truly sees to inflict pain on the shrink.

Peace,

-Troy
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Thunder_God
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« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2006, 05:43:49 AM »

That's more of him being a sociopath.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
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Troy_Costisick
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« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2006, 06:19:01 AM »

Quote
That's more of him being a sociopath.

Which of course is nothing like being insane :-S

Peace,

-Troy
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Thunder_God
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« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2006, 06:23:52 AM »

Yes, I thought of noting I'm splitting hairs there.
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Guy Shalev.

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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2006, 08:16:33 AM »

Boy, of all the threads for my to jump in late on.

My favorite is Ozymandias. The Comedian actually submits{/i] to him. He's the only person who makes the world better with his abilities, not caught up in his own personal shit. He and Rorschach, it could be argued, are the only protagonists in the story.

Rorschach and he are converse: While Adrian effects the world by making world-scale things happen, Rorschach thinks that breaking fingers will make the world better. Adrian sees the complexity of the world and, Machiavellianly, doesn't mind doing evil in the name of good. Rorschach, on the other hand, is only ever fighting against evil, never dealing with the good at all.

Jon, Jule, and Dan are completely wrapped up in their own stuff, and it's not trivial stuff either: Jon's trying to achieve his apotheosis, leaving behind humanity for good. Julie and Dan are trying to confront issues of family, love, and middle-aged irrelevance. These are not people willing to sacrifice for the good of the world; they are the world.

And... Rorschach not insane? Psh. He's as inhuman as Jon but on a human scale. Jon's only not insane because the word doesn't apply to him.

Rorschach isn't killed at the end. He commits assisted suicide. (Dammit, I can't find my copy, so I can't quote) Rorschach realizes that Adrian was right and he was, well, not quite right, and in his eyes, that makes him totally wrong. But he only knows how to do one thing, and it won't have any effect on anything (and probably never has), and he'll keep doing it, knowing it won't have any effect, unless someone kills him in the line of "duty". So that's what he asks for.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Bankuei
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« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2006, 11:43:36 AM »

Jon's definitely insane on the same level.  I thought it was rather interesting to see that at least he does make the step towards being human by believing in miracles, in chaos, in something other than his own view of the world.

Chris
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2006, 11:52:11 AM »

Jon's definitely insane on the same level. 

Well, this is splitting hairs, I guess, but Jon can't be insane because he's outside of the human realm. He's only sociopathic if you assume that he's within the society, only psychopathic if you assume that he has a human psyche. That psyche dissolves over the course of the story into something else.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
Clyde L. Rhoer
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« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2006, 03:53:01 PM »

Well, this is splitting hairs, I guess, but Jon can't be insane because he's outside of the human realm. He's only sociopathic if you assume that he's within the society, only psychopathic if you assume that he has a human psyche. That psyche dissolves over the course of the story into something else.

Is he? He feels distress when Laurie gets upset that he's doing other things while she's there. He feels distress on learning that he thinks he has been causing people to get cancer and runs away from the problem like a child. He feels distress at ending Rorshach's life. He feels relief when he finds Laurie with Dan. He seems to have no control over his own life, and strikes me as somewhat childish. The guy can do anything, what's he do with that power? Let the government make him into a weapon of terror. If he took some responsibility maybe Adrian's plan would have failed.

This leads me to find everyones interpretation of the story as very interesting as I see things a bit differently.

The reason I like The Watchman is because the Supervillian wins, because the heroes are human. Adrian is the supervillian, he's disturbed. He's the smartest man in the world and he predicts that the world is headed towards a path of destruction, so his solution is to hide his findings, and do something so terrible that it causes mankind to pull back from the brink? Meanwhile positioning himself to take control behind the scenes? What if instead of being so arrogant in his belief that there was no one he could talk to he had instead revealed his idea's to people like Jon? Could he turned the tide in a positive way? I have to wonder at his motivations. His hero is Alexander a man who tried to conquer the world and was fairly successful at it. This seems to point at some inner motivation in his choice of solutions. Whether Adrian is aware of those motivations I can't say, I think he's disturbed.

The second part I like is that all the heroes die. After the Keene act there are only three superheroes left. Jon a.k.a. Dr. Manhattan, The Comedian, and Rorshach. All the others have given up. They all die to Ozymandias manipulations in one way or another. Jon proves to be immortal.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2006, 04:15:47 PM »

Good points about Jon. My feeling was that those parts where he shows humanity were little vestigial things, but I think you're right; they're more central to him than he lets on.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
two_fishes
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Mark M


« Reply #41 on: April 06, 2006, 07:28:17 PM »

Reflecting on Jon's humanity makes his last sentiments in the book more chilling, I think. He's off to create some humans. Think that will turn out well for them?
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Thunder_God
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« Reply #42 on: April 06, 2006, 09:35:32 PM »

Adrian is the Sidereals who overtook the Solars for the world's own good!
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Clyde L. Rhoer
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« Reply #43 on: April 07, 2006, 05:10:37 AM »

Reflecting on Jon's humanity makes his last sentiments in the book more chilling, I think. He's off to create some humans. Think that will turn out well for them?

Did it turn out well for us? I wonder if Moore was pointing at a fallible creator.

As I was at work tonight I was thinking how the comic could also/instead-be about an interesting placement of some philosophical positions. You have Utilitarianism (Greatest good for the Greatest number) dealing with Armageddon, versus Free Will which will push the scales back to Armageddon. (Assuming Adrian isn't disturbed as I previously argued.) That's a cool dilemma. I think I'd make Rorshach's choice. Although that's the kind of thing I don't think you could know without experiencing the choice.
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Joshua A.C. Newman
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« Reply #44 on: April 07, 2006, 07:28:49 AM »

Quote from: Clyde L. Rhoer
You have Utilitarianism (Greatest good for the Greatest number) dealing with Armageddon, versus Free Will which will push the scales back to Armageddon.

Oh, sure. That's probably the primary theme of the book. And, like most discussions thereabout, the more you ask the question, the more you ask the question.
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the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.
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