Thursday, September 11, 2008
Watchmen Book Club: Chapter VIII
So sorry for the extended absence. But maybe the time off gave some book-clubbers the chance to catch up.
Chapter VIII: Old Ghosts
So the main action of this chapter is Dan and Laurie's liberation of Rorschach from Sing-Sing prison. But intertwined in that story are almost a half-dozen stray story threads that all seem to be converging on the main story. We get:
-- Hollis Mason, reliving his glory days vicariously through reports of Dan and Laurie's exploits. He even calls Sally Jupiter to have a grandparently conversation about how their successors have stepped back into the old costumes. Hollis meeting his end was always one of the saddest parts of the book for me.
-- The New Frontiersman, that aggressively right-wing paper that, no surprise, is in full support of the masked avengers. Just another sharp reminder of what side of the political spectrum this idea of superheroes really falls on.
-- The newsstand, which has been literally crowded out by violent drug addicts and stressed out city dwellers awaiting the end of the world.
-- The Black Freighter comic, wherein things have gotten desperate indeed.
-- And that small snippet of Max Shea on what appears to be an island. It's incredibly brief but no less ominous. What the hell is that woman drawing?
As for the main story, watching Rorschach under pressure, awaiting imminent attack by other prisoners, is fun in a kind of Die Hard way. This is the action-hero side of him, where you just know that anyone who messes with Rorschach is in for a world of hurt.
Jon's return at chapter's end isn't surprising given how often he's mentioned throughout. It's hard not to see it as Dan being royally cock-blocked, but I continue to love the logic of Dr. Manhattan's omniscience. "We're going to Mars because that's where we are one hour from now. Why are we arguing?" Love.
You guys pick it up from here. What have I forgotten to mention?