Study Guide

Watchmen Chapter VII

By Alan Moore

Chapter VII

A Brother to Dragons

  • If Chapter VI was all Rorschach, now it’s Nite Owl and Silk Spectre time. In Nite Owl’s basement workshop, sparks fly. No, really. Laurie ignites a flamethrower.
  • The two of them are on edge, as costumed heroes are dropping like flies (the Comedian is dead, Dr. Manhattan on Mars, Veidt was almost shot, and Rorschach in custody).
  • Laurie is impressed with Dan’s airship and equipment (elbow nudge, elbow nudge).
  • We learn his father was a rich banker whose resources allowed Dan to study Aeronautics and Zoology at Harvard. Yes, even superheroes have to take the SAT.
  • Dan and Laurie climb onto Archie, the Nite Owl’s airship, named after Archimedes, Merlin’s pet owl in Disney’s Sword in the Stone.
  • Dan thinks it all seems childish, but Laurie’s on board. Dan regrets the failure of the Crimebusters, his one chance at joining a new Knights of the Round Table.
  • He admits his loneliness, as does Laurie, whose only friend until now has been Jon (Dr. Manhattan).
  • Back upstairs again, Dan and Laurie debate the masked-killer conspiracy and watch the news on TV, where all coverage centers on three stories: the Rorschach case, the escalating tug-of-war between America and Russia, and the disappearance of writer Max Shea (see Chapter E).
  • Enough small talk. Laurie makes a move on Dan, and they kiss on the couch.
  • After the commercial break there’s a charity gymnastics show by Veidt, who’s slick and strong while Dan fumbles around.
  • Eventually, Dan gives up, due to performance anxiety.
  • Later, Dan’s more suave in his dreams, although a nuclear blast interrupts things even in fantasyland. He wakes up at 3 a.m. and walks down naked to his workshop, feeling über-lame and past his prime.
  • Laurie joins him, and they decide to chase the old thrill one last time. They suit up and take Archie for a spin.
  • Over there, what’s that? Oh no, a tenement fire.
  • Luckily there are two superheroes ready to break the Keene Act and save all the residents.
  • Dan and Laurie get their blood flowing, save the day, and have enough energy afterward to celebrate from Archie’s perch, both in and out of costume.
  • And voila, Dan’s a new man, the kind who decides they should go break Rorschach out of jail.
  • Chapter Postscript: I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. –JOB chapter 30, verses 29-30