Watchmen #6 - The Abyss Also Gazes

Watchmen Watch: Issue #6, “The Abyss Gazes Also”

podcasts Watchmen Watch

Rorschach is in prison, but he’s not trapped in here with us, etc., etc. We delve deep into the mind of Watchmen’s most divisive character as the podcast breaks down issue #6 of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ comic book series, “The Abyss Gazes Also.” Additionally, Justin gets scared of a bug.

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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 Watchmen where we smell Watchmen, scent of a Watchman. I’m Alex.

Justin:                     I’m Justin.

Pete:                        I’m Pete.

Alex:                         And on this episode, we’re going to be talking about issue six of the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons comic book The Abyss Also Gazes, The Abyss Gazes Also, excuse me. Sorry Friedrich Neitzsche or however …

Justin:                     How dare you?

Alex:                         Sorry about that. We do have a little bit of news

Justin:                     Yes, so obviously you guys all know that Alan Moore’s the fourth host of this podcast. He did just text me, and obviously he is sitting here in the room, but he texted me, and he’s very shy today, so he doesn’t want to talk, but he is here. So just so you know, everyone listening, he’s here. Very shy.

Alex:                         I do see that he’s doing his hidie beard and for those of you who don’t know, it’s very cute. He takes his beard, and he folds it up over his face so he can hide behind it.

Justin:                     He’s doing it right now, Alex, because you’re calling them out pretty hard. Let’s just talk about this comic book that he wrote in front of him for the next 20 to 40 minutes.

Pete:                        I’m feeling like he’s not really committed to our team here.

Alex:                         Don’t say this in front of him.

Justin:                     Don’t say it in front of him. Alan, thank you for coming. You’re doing a great job. Excuse me, Mr. Moore.

Alex:                         In a second, I’m going to slip a little ice cream in your beard because you’re such a good boy.

Justin:                     That’s really nice. That’s the best way to treat a person is to slip ice cream into their beard.

Alex:                         Right Pete? You have a beard. You love that?

Justin:                     Through the beard into his mouth, or are you just making a mess?

Alex:                         No, up and over the beard.

Justin:                     Up and over?

Pete:                        How do you slip ice cream?

Alex:                         He has his beard. We’ve already established this, and we can see exactly what’s going on.

Justin:                     Yes, we can all see that his is in front of his face.

Alex:                         He’s folded up. So I’m going to take it, and I’m going to slip it over the top so it’ll like slide down his face into his mouth.

Justin:                     And let me just say, Alex, don’t Dodge Pete’s question of how do you slip ice cream? How do you slip an ice cream, on your little fingers, your dirty little mitts.

Alex:                         Yeah, you just like, you take a pinch. It’s like in recipes where they say a pinch of ice cream.

Justin:                     Yeah, that’s true.

Pete:                        That’s what they say in recipes.

Justin:                     You have a children’s cookbook.

Alex:                         Not so much a cookbook, but it is for children.

Justin:                     That opened up a lot of doors.

Alex:                         Here’s something that definitely isn’t for children, issue six of Watchman. As we mentioned is called the abyss gazes also. Now previously the character Rorschach AKA Walter Kovacs, but don’t call him that.

Justin:                     Doesn’t like it.

Alex:                         Doesn’t like it.

Justin:                     Doesn’t like his name.

Alex:                         He got arrested, thrown in prison for all his multitude of vigilante crimes over the years and this issue almost exclusively continues to focus on Rorschach. Last issue was mostly Rorschach. This is all Rorschach. This is definitely his issue as he is interrogated in prison. Now, I’ll just throw out the thematic thing that I noticed right up front, and I think this is a pretty obvious one, but I think it’s great. Really great comic book you guys. It’s great how well Moore hits this over the course of the issue is that it is the Rorschach test. That’s what we’re dealing with. That’s what we start with, that’s what we end with, and Rorschach clearly sees the entire world in black and white, right?

Alex:                         He doesn’t even see the blots. He sees men are all violent beasts who need to be put down and women are all slut whores who he is too uncomfortable to even touch or look at or think about it in any particular way. That’s how he separates the world. But on the other hand, you have every other character looking at him and doing one of two things. We either see characters reading things into him that aren’t there or trying to read things into him that aren’t necessarily there, or what happens to the interview over the course of them, is they become him the more that they reflect off of him.

Justin:                     Yeah, and I think that’s a hundred percent accurate. He is the ultimate Rorschach test. The way that his interviewer here, his psychologist, changes over the course of the issue makes you feel like Rorschach is right, which I think is an interesting turn. We’re meant to at the beginning of this issue, he is the other, he has this fucked up life, and he sees the world in a crazy dark way that we don’t think is how it’s meant to be seen. As it goes on, our audience surrogate character, the psychologist comes around to Rorschach’s understanding of the world, leaving us in a pretty dark place.

Alex:                         Well, to the point that his speech starts to ape Rorschach’s rhythms. We get a lot of writing in the psychologist’s journal throughout it. At the beginning, he’s a very chipper, very happy guys. He’s in a loving relationship with his wife, but as he interviews Walter Kovacs over the course of a couple of days, it’s not that long, and coincidentally, and I think Moore did this on purpose, it’s leading right into my birthday, which is very exciting. My birthday’s in October 29 so this takes place right before it.

Justin:                     Great choice Alan. Thank you for doing that.

Alex:                         Yes. And this feels like how I feel going into my birthday.

Pete:                        Wow. This is how you feel going into your birthday.

Alex:                         Every year. No, but over the course of a couple of days, he very quickly turns, things get darker. He starts to see the amount that his wife needs sex as gross and disgusting. He is abusive towards men. Rorschach starts being honest with him about things and telling him things that truly happened.

Justin:                     Opening up, bringing him more into his world.

Alex:                         And by the end, the man is writing in his journal exactly how Rorschach writes in his journal.

Justin:                     What I love about this is the perspective is totally flipped. Like up until this point, we’ve been in Rorschach’s head. We’ve been along for the ride with his action adventure. We’ve been reading his journal, and now it’s fully flipped. We’re outside of his head for the first time and in the head of the psychologist analyzing him.

Alex:                         Yeah. Well I’ve got to ask, we’ve talked about this on a couple of podcasts, but Pete, you love Rorschach, how’d you feel about him in this issue.

Pete:                        It was great. Obviously, I don’t like his negative views towards women or any of that stuff, but I do love his conviction. I do love the fact that he tries to do what is right and that he is very messed up but tries to stop evil when he sees it. Also, what’s interesting is DC is like famously almost ant… Like has therapists and stuff like really effect each other where you have like Harley Quinn and the Joker. That’s therapist and therapy very much affect each other. So it’s very interesting this whole thing about being in a room trapped with somebody for a couple hours a day can really affect you.

Alex:                         Do you think this psychologist is falling in love with Rorschach?

Pete:                        Yeah.

Alex:                         He’s his Harley Quinn.

Pete:                        Yeah, exactly.

Justin:                     What do you think, Mr. R?

Alex:                         Something like that. I will say on the trapped in here with you thing, I mentioned this to you I think before we even started the podcast, the very first episode of this podcast, but I was so surprised when I looked back at this because I think if there’s one thing you think of from the movie, it is Jackie Earle Haley saying “I’m not trapped in here with you. You’re trapped in here with me.” That doesn’t happen in the book.

Justin:                     He says it or it’s repeated back.

Alex:                         But it’s third hand information.

Justin:                     Yeah. It’s such a small moment in here, so it’s definitely something they pulled out because it is a great line.

Pete:                        It’s also one of the nice things about the movie is that Rorschach’s in prison stuff is just fantastic. Like he takes out a bunch of people in very creative ways.

Justin:                     What do you think? This has always bothered me in this comic that there’s so much weight given to like, wow, look at this guy, he’s so ugly, and he’s pretty normal. Yeah. He’s normal looking I think.

Alex:                         Is he?

Justin:                     Isn’t he?

Alex:                         I don’t think he’s a disgusting guy or anything like that.

Justin:                     But when the cops arrest him, they’re like, Oh God, he’s so ugly, and in this, it’s referenced again. He’s so ugly and to me it always bumps for me. It pulls me out because he’s not drawn as horrendously ugly.

Pete:                        Yeah. He just looks like Jimmy Olsen on a bad day.

Alex:                         That’s probably the thing is he has red hair, which instantly makes him much more disgusting than the regular person.

Justin:                     That’s true. That’s a very hot take.

Pete:                        Come on, Alex.

Alex:                         No, I think you’re right. I mean I think like he has his scowl. Part of it might be how people are seeing him. Like they see his ugliness is on the surface, so that might be part of it as well. But yeah, I don’t know. I never… I just assumed, okay, in this world, we are supposed to assume that he is ugly and disgusting.

Justin:                     Yes. I think that’s true. It’s just weird to me because the visual, it’s the one thing in this book that I’m like, the visual doesn’t back it up and it doesn’t seem purposeful. It feels like a miscommunication between the text and the art.

Pete:                        Let me ask you guys, either of you ever taken a Rorschach test?

Alex:                         No. Have you?

Pete:                        No, I’m scared of them.

Alex:                         Really? Why are you scared of them? Because of Rorschach?

Pete:                        No, I just, I feel like I would fail miserably.

Justin:                     Well, how do you fail?

Pete:                        I don’t know.

Alex:                         Well, let me ask you this.

Justin:                     We should do this.

Alex:                         The Rorschach blot on the cover. What do you see?

Pete:                        It looks like a beetle crossed with some kind of a butterfly slash I don’t know. It’s…

Alex:                         Oh Jesus.

Justin:                     Holy shit. He’s a sociopath.

Alex:                         He’s a sociopath schizophrenic .

Justin:                     Yeah. Wow. I can’t believe we were able to finally diagnose you from that one moment. You were right to not take the test, Pete. Your life’s about to change for the worst.

Alex:                         I have a bunch of pills, but we are going to have to euthanize you.

Pete:                        Oh my God.

Justin:                     If you fail a Rorschach test hard enough, you have to be euthanized.

Alex:                         Do we want to walk through this book? What do we want to talk about in particular?

Justin:                     Yeah, I guess that’s what we came here for.

Alex:                         Yeah, I guess so. Well, it’s a tough one to do because it is… We get a lot of flashbacks to Rorschach. We get to see his past. We get to see his development, or at least when we’re told is his development because a lot of it might be lies.

Justin:                     Interesting. You’re saying he’s pulling a Joker, a dark night Joker.

Alex:                         I think there’s shades of that potentially. I think you could read it as very straightforward, and we have the backup material at the end where there are stories, but there are so many things that are like that. We don’t know who his father is. His mother was a whore and slept with a bunch of different people. So yes, she’s probably his mother, but we don’t know a lot about his past or what happened to him.

Justin:                     I do think to me, I’ve always read this as you are supposed to believe that this is his life and this gave him this worldview that he has, and it makes you feel sorry for him in a way that I think you never did. And it really gives ground underneath why he’s so violent because he’s had a violent life from literally the jump. So we see him meeting with a psychologist like we talked about before. The psychologist is super fun.

Pete:                        I like how we get to see like what he sees and then what he says. I think that’s very cool.

Justin:                     Yeah, it’s very stark and scary in ways.

Alex:                         One thing we should probably talk about is a recurring visual motif in this book that we’ve seen throughout the issues is the Hiroshima lovers, the shadows of these ashin people left on walls in Hiroshima, which are being painted throughout New York city in the book. We’ve also seen shadow of actual lovers that I believe Rorschach sees in the first issue through a window, but here they hit it again and again and again with the Rorschach blots.

Justin:                     And the flashback to him walking in on his mother having sex with a dude.

Alex:                         Right. And then later on when the psychologist starts to feel like him, when he starts to feel like Rorschach, his wife is seen that way too. So there’s these shadows throughout. Even from the very first panel, I believe you see the two of them sitting at the table. They’re shadows are behind them and you can read into it what you want. What do you think it is about this motif?

Justin:                     I feel like it’s Rorschach. He’s a loner. He can’t create any relationships. And in this, when he’s a kid and he sees this sex and just horrible scene where he breaks up his mother sleeping with a man for money, and the mother’s mad at him and is like I should have aborted you. It’s a horrifying experience for a kid to go through. And so sex has always been attached to that horrible emotion that he feels here. And so I think that makes it something that he can’t understand or has no interest in because it’s associated with pain. And I think we see the psychologist start to have that, and he’s like, I don’t feel sexual here. It’s associated with this pain because I felt the pain that Rorschach has gone through. And it points us again, like we’ve talked about more a current topical look at this book with like incels or people who like… Sex is the other, and it leads to all these like negative emotions.

Alex:                         Yeah. I mean we could certainly talk about it. Do you think Walter Kovacs is a virgin?

Justin:                     I think we’re meant to think that. We never see in any of the other books like he’s like, I love this girlfriend I have.

Alex:                         Except for this nice time I had with this lady.

Justin:                     Yeah. There’s no cutaway to just a sweet sock hop. So yeah, I do think so. I think he’s always been just absolutely alone. I think we’re meant to think.

Alex:                         Well, and I think you’re right on the incel then like we’re looking at it through this modern lens. Yeah. I guess I was just agreeing with you. The only thing that I did want to expand on though is from the Hiroshima lovers that I think it’s even more than sex is uncomfortable, sex is upsetting. The lovers in Hiroshima are left after a nuclear blast.

Justin:                     Yeah. Sex is death.

Alex:                         Yeah. Sex is death. Sex is this fallout. This is what it leaves behind. This is the thing that’s always present, always here, and it can all be traced back to this one formative experience where he walked in on his mom having sex with a man. They come back to that again in the back matter where he draws it, where he was like, I had this horrible nightmare and my mommy was naked, and this man was naked, and they were joined together by their genitals. Clearly this affected him in a very big way, but it expanded outwards. You even see it. We’re looking at this page now. We’re looking at how the “ah, ah, ah” of the dialogue, the way that they have it in there, the way that Moore writes it is paralleled with the same thing when the mother is holding Rorschach and making him feel pain where he goes, “ah, ah, ah”

Justin:                     And we see them in shadows.

Alex:                         It’s all two sides of the same thing. Pretty blatantly.

Justin:                     This scene also reminded me of Mad Men. This is the same origin that Don Draper has. He grew up in a whorehouse, and his mother was obviously being with men or like there’s all these… He was with these women and in that show, Don Draper has the opposite take where he becomes obsessed with sex, but is still unable to connect with anybody in his life.

Alex:                         So do you think, we talked about this on the last podcast as well, do you think Watchman ripped off Mad Men?

Justin:                     Yes. I think that we’re getting that closer and closer. Think, mad men, watch men.

Alex:                         There you go.

Pete:                        Yeah, I know the first time reading this I was very stricken by the fact that like Rorschach fakes the test, but his mask is very much representative. Like it’s interesting to me that he’s a lie just like the Rorschach test of like you’re telling a therapist what you think they want to hear, and it’s like he’s hiding behind this mask, and he doesn’t like who he is under this mask.

Justin:                     On the other side, you could see he’s also protecting. He’s protecting people from the horrible truth of the world by trying to get rid of these villains or save people’s lives no matter how… because he’s already in the darkness. He can be as violent as everyone else is, but he is trying to protect people who aren’t yet in his worldview, and in this issue, we see him usher the psychologist in and shows him how dark the world really is.

Alex:                         Well, I’m going to talk about the mask. This is jumping ahead in the issue, but we find out the origin of the mask, and I think there’s two really fascinating things about it. The first one is it is a parra type of, I think they say it’s a viscous fabric or something like that where it’s always shifting, which obviously is very hard to tell exactly what’s happening when you’re reading a still comic book. Even though we have seen the blots shift around and that was created by Dr. Manhattan. So Dr. Manhattan, beyond whatever is going on with John Osterman has touched all these different lives in very different ways. We get to see a lot of intersections here, and here, Dr. Manhattan’s origin is very directly connected to Rorschach’s origin as well, but the second thing is that Rorschach’s mask is made from the fabric that he cuts up, that he destroys from a woman’s dress, which again is very clearly this line between violence and women and sex that he can’t differentiate between.

Justin:                     Yeah, and it later is this… Kitty Genovese is the woman who had the dress, and she’s later killed and that’s his first…

Alex:                         no, no, no. Kitty Genovese is a real person.

Justin:                     Oh.

Alex:                         Yeah. This was a real thing that happened in New York.

Justin:                     Oh, right, right, right.

Alex:                         Yeah. A different woman who had the dress. Kitty Genovese is a real person in real life who I believe was raped and assaulted, and everybody just looked out the window at her and didn’t know what to say. There’s been numerous psychological studies about what went on that night. Just this tacit agreement we all make to not rock the boat, to not say anything about anything and because nobody else’s yelling, “Hey, stop that.” Nobody else yells, “Hey, stop that.”

Justin:                     So, in the book, Rorschach says woman who ordered the special dress, Kitty Genovese, I’m sure that was the woman’s name, so he believes it’s the woman, but it’s him finding the story and giving into his desire to like start committing these revenge acts. It’s on page 10, the right middle panel where he sees this news story, and it’s starting to… The Rorschach personality starting to come forward as he’s giving himself an excuse to go out and get his revenge.

Alex:                         Well, we’ve talked about that quite a bit with his character as well, that he makes these logical leaps that may be correct sometimes. Like when it comes to the Eddie Blake murder, he is actually tracking it down, but sometimes he just does not. Sometimes, he is just making these crazy conspiracy theory connections where they don’t exist.

Justin:                     You could read this either way. It could be that it was actually this woman who dropped this dress off, and then years later she’s killed. Or it could be that he is just drawing the connection. The story doesn’t really point you in that direction.

Alex:                         Let’s talk about the dead dog thing a little bit. You want to talk about that?

Justin:                     Yeah, so just to button up everything else, we have this scene where he describes, he’s getting hassled by these kids and he has this horrible violence. He like puts a cigarette out in their eye as a kid, and then that’s mirrored by the scene in the prison where he is being attacked by other prisoners because they know he’s Rorschach, and he like destroys this guy with hot oil and man, even when I was young, like this is just so violent and so destructive.

Alex:                         Well that’s the thing about it, which is why I understand why you like it Pete, but it’s surprising to me is in my mind Rorschach always goes over the top that it’s like you poke him and then he’s like, great, now I’m going to slice your fucking head off. That’s the sort of… He escalates far too quickly about everything because he doesn’t understand moderation. Again, getting to that black and white, everything is super clear to him. He even talks about that a little bit when he was still Walter Kovacs when he teamed up with Nite Owl, when he thought, okay, I’m a vigilante hero, and I’m going to tie people up before he really understood the world. He didn’t escalate in the same way, and now he does. Now he goes from somebody insulting him to burning them with hot oil, which is crazy.

Pete:                        In my defense, I feel like violence in comic books is a nice, safe outlet for me where I like to like, “Oh, okay. I can be like this is fun in here. But you know…”

Justin:                     Well, we’re not saying you are like Rorschach.

Pete:                        The way he worded that a little bit was like, Pete, one of the things that surprised me is how much you enjoy this. So I was just trying to defend.

Alex:                         No, no, no, no. I think it’s just particularly in this case that like it is so over the top, and it is so clearly the way that Dave Higgins, Dave Gibbons, excuse me, I mixed up Dave Gibbons and John Higgins, Dave Gibbons draws it is he lays all the violence out so suddenly where it’s just Rorschach standing there, and then suddenly he’s splashing enormous amounts of hot oil on the person where it’s just over the top violence, but I get what you’re saying.

Pete:                        It’s also in a prison scenario where if like you get pushed around in prison, you’re going to keep… so you got to really just kind of let people know you can’t mess with me.

Alex:                         Dude. I know. You go into a prison first day, you punched the biggest guard there.

Justin:                     It’s the same with the podcast. You got to go in and you’ve got to take out that big fish, which is why I took out Alan earlier.

Alex:                         Oh, he started to pull down his beard a little bit, but then he put it right back up.

Justin:                     Alex, slip him some more ice cream into his beard, which is something that you said is a normal thing.

Alex:                         Now, the other thing that visually happens throughout this issue that I thought was neat, we have that great panel from the last issue where when Rorschach is finally unasked, where he’s screaming, people are holding him back. He’s bleeding from the nose. That’s paralleled multiple times with the issue. I would argue, first of all, with the dead dog, which is also in itself a Rorschach test, but that’s framed the same way. The blood is very similar and then later on, I believe it’s the kids who are holding him back in the story that he’s telling where the blood is streaming down his nose, where you get to see it the same way. It’s just these neat little parallels, these things that give it a rhythm that Gibbons throws throughout that I think are just so impressive.

Justin:                     Yeah, and so what we were talking about before where we get to the last scene where we hear how he went from being Walter Kovacs to becoming Rorschach. He sits down with the psychologist again, and the psychologist, now that he entered the darkness, I think you see Rorschach make the choice, I’m going to tell him the truth now because he wants it, and I think that’s a big flip here. And I think also we the reader are going through the same thing where it’s like, we’ve read this comic for six issues. Give us the end. Give us the dark side of this story. Tell us what it is. We’re entering the darkness. We’ve gotten in this character’s head. Now let’s move forward and see how this plays out.

Alex:                         Do you think there’s part of it though that Rorschach is punishing this guy because he thinks he’s just a fame seeker, which he might as well be.

Justin:                     You could say that, but the guys still make… That’s an insult he hits the guy with, but I do think he’s ready to deal with him as this monster. He’s become this monster that he is talking about.

Alex:                         Sorry. Sorry everybody. Justin got distracted. There was a bug on the floor.

Justin:                     Like a weird bug.

Alex:                         A weird bug.

Justin:                     Yeah, a bug that’s like, what if that’s a bad… it could be a bedbug.

Alex:                         Oh my God. We’re going to have to finish up this podcast real quick because we’re covered in bed bugs right now. Pete, are you okay?

Justin:                     Yeah.

Alex:                         I mean some people see it as a bed bug and some people see it as a weird spider.

Justin:                     I don’t think bed bugs are that big.

Alex:                         I think it’s a weird spider. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

Justin:                     Okay, cool. Yeah, nothing to worry about. Just a weird spider, but let’s keep talking about this. So we see Rorschach goes in.

Alex:                         Oh, it just went in Alan’s beard. It’s fine.

Justin:                     Okay, good. That’s fine. I guess that’s where it probably came from. He finds that this child has been killed and the action slips out of any sort of narrative or dialogue into just silently watching Rorschach.

Pete:                        Why do you think that is? Why do you think we get completely silent panels at this point?

Justin:                     It’s been a wordy issue so far, and I think this lets us turn off the analytical part of our brain and the visuals just sneak underneath, and we get to watch the horror unfold directly. He set the trap of this whole thing and made us feel like, Oh God, who’s the hero? What’s right here? And then he lets these images go right through.

Pete:                        Plus, I mean the artwork is so amazing in this book. It’s nice to just turn off the words for a little bit and let the art tell the story and just the paneling and the layouts really take it from here.

Alex:                         It also builds the tension, right? Because it’s suddenly everything that you’ve had to suck in, anything that you have there is completely sucked away. You don’t have the words to rely on like you were saying, Justin, and instead, you get this tension of Oh God, what’s going to happen? What’s going to happen? And ultimately the most horrible thing that can happen happens, which is that they burned a little kid and fed her to the dogs. Terrifying.

Pete:                        And when we get the dog crushing through… The bloody dog crashing through the window type of situation.

Alex:                         Classic situation.

Pete:                        Classic situation. Part of me wonders if like the reason the shading and the stuff is the way it is, if it was like originally turned in too gruesome and then the editors of the comic were like, Hey, we’ve got to kill bill this a little bit and do different shadings so it’s not as grotesque and as…

Alex:                         No, I think that’s all because that’s John Higgins being like, no, this is blood.

Justin:                     You mean Gibbons?

Alex:                         John Higgins.

Justin:                     Get Dave Gibbons.

Alex:                         Yeah. John Higgins is the colorist.

Justin:                     Oh I see. I see.

Alex:                         John Higgins coloring it, and I got it right.

Justin:                     No, good. You win this round.

Alex:                         Is red is blood is death is murder. That’s what we’ve seen throughout. When somebody realizes something, when their blood gets up throughout this book, not just this issue, but in total.

Pete:                        Yeah. Comedian we see it.

Alex:                         It just turns red, and I think it’s the same thing here. I don’t think it’s a toning down thing. I think it’s an emotional thing is what I took from it.

Pete:                        We don’t know what the original pages look like, you know?

Alex:                         Yeah. You think they were bloodier?

Pete:                        Yeah. I think maybe it was way more gross, and they were like, guys, we can’t print this.

Alex:                         I don’t think that happened with…

Justin:                     Adding some drama into the DC office. He ends up killing the guy, putting him through the same torture he put the little girl through, and then we move right into the psychologist at a dinner party where everyone’s like joking around about this case, and he again exposes that he is into the blackness of this. He’s in the void. The void is the abyss. The abyss is looking back at him.

Alex:                         You’re looking at the final quote now, what is that?

Justin:                     Battle not with monsters, lest he become a monster. And if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Alex:                         Now, how do you think that connects to this issue? Because it’s really… I’m kidding.

Justin:                     Yeah. I was going to say like, Whoa.

Alex:                         No, it’s very obvious what was happening there. But I did want to ask about the dinner party a little bit, and we touched on this with everything that’s going on with the psychologist’s wife, do you think that’s actually what’s happening? Because we don’t get their dialogue most of the time. We get his description of things that are going on, and it seems very reductive that over the course of three days, his wife turns into a sex star jealous shrew who is totally done with him in every single way.

Justin:                     No, I think that’s his POV. I think he’s being affected by his work, by the abyss, and he is reading that onto his relationship. And I think in this moment at the dinner, I think she’s just like, dude, don’t talk about that. And she’s mad. They’re having, if we were to pull out and not have his point of view, they’re having normal disagreements that a couple might have, but he’s reading into it like it’s a much larger problem because he is so pulled into Rorschach’s head.

Alex:                         Any final thoughts about this issue? We do have all the back matter where we get to see drawings from Walter Kovacs. We get to see psychological reports. These all flesh out what has been going on, and I think back up a lot of what has been going on in the book, which is very nice to see, to get confirmation of these things. I really liked, I mentioned earlier the drawing that they have Walter Kovacs do and the writing that he had to do as well because that takes us very much inside of his head, and I thought that was interesting. Any other final thoughts?

Justin:                     No. I guess let’s just see if Alan’s ready to have his take.

Alex:                         Oh, he’s crawling in bugs.

Justin:                     Yeah.

Alex:                         He’s covered.

Justin:                     Maybe this isn’t Alan at all. It’s just like a bunch of bugs with a beard.

Pete:                        Just a pile of bugs that you brought in here that pretended to be Alan Moore.

Alex:                         The famous pirate bug beard.

Justin:                     While, I was reading this issue, I was reminded of the Black Freighter stuff from the last issue, like it feels like Rorschach is the closest analog to that in this series that we’re getting. Like the Black Freighter is directly related to how he views the world, and it’s just spinning out from him into everybody else.

Alex:                         Yeah. Raw shark, raw shark. I just got that.

Justin:                     It makes total sense.

Alex:                         I just got that. If you’d like to support our podcast, patreon.com/comicbookclub. Also, we do a live show every Tuesday night at 8:00 PM at the people’s improv theater loft in New York. Come on by. We’ll chat with you about Watchman. Pete, you’re a member of the Facebook page.

Justin:                     Ah, Nope.

Alex:                         Watchman Watch Podcast. You can check us out there. Also, Justin.

Justin:                     Follow us on Twitter at Watchman Watch One and at comic book live.

Alex:                         You can also check us out on Instagram, Watchman Watch Podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, Spotify, or the app of your choice, and remember, we taped this podcast 35 minutes ago.

Justin:                     Alan just said he’s going to be here next week.

Alex:                         He was here this… Oh no, that was the pile of bugs. I’m sorry.

Justin:                     Definitely next time. No more bugs. He just texted me that.

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