Watchmen 4 (December 1986)

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This issue of Watchmen, with Dr. Manhattan heading to Mars, giving up on the human experience, has always been my favorite. Moore does a bunch with it–he uses Jon, who’s deliberating on how little people matter to him, to better introduce the cast and their histories.

But Moore also brings in watches.

Watchmen is a comic of its time. Without the threat of nuclear destruction, without the awe of the atomic bomb, Watchmen doesn’t make much sense. This issue, with its immortal protagonist, is also about aging. More than anyone else in Watchmen, Jon ages.

The various watch images tie the issue together, removed from the title of the series itself, because this issue isn’t about Watchmen, it’s about Jon. He’s the fullest of Moore’s characters here, thanks to this issue.

A character capable of absolute self-reflection.

It’ll probably still be my favorite issue, after I’m done again.

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