Study Guide

Watchmen Plot Analysis

By Alan Moore

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Plot Analysis

Initial Situation

The Comedian Dies in New York

Throw an old superhero out of a high-rise to his death, and you’ll have the reader’s attention. It’s early, so we don’t even know what we don’t know yet. Lucky for us (or not), we have Rorschach as a guide.

Rising Action

God Has Left the Building, But You Might Find Him on Mars

Watchmen isn’t Dr. Manhattan’s story more than it is anyone else’s, but as the most powerful guy on the planet, he’s a big mover and shaker when it comes to the plot. When he leaves the scene, the Russians go buck wild. That makes it necessary for Silk Spectre, Nite Owl, and Rorschach to team up.


V is for Villain

Or is is it for Vendetta?

No, that’s a different graphic novel by Alan Moore, one that also blurs the line between hero and villain. In Watchmen, the turning point comes when Nite Owl and Rorschach discover Veidt is the evil man with an evil plan. The climax? Three million dead in NYC.

Falling Action

After the Aftermath

Well, the “good guys” could blow the whistle on Veidt, but that would guarantee World War III. So, on second thought, better let him do his thing.


All We Want for Christmas is Truth Youth

Thanks to their new identities, Dan and Laurie live happily ever after, and even patch things up with mom (Sally Jupiter). But what about the truth? It’s all in Seymour’s hands, now. Will the New Frontiersman run Rorschach’s journal, or will it blot out the truth forever?

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