Watchmen (2009) Script


Wrong, as usual.

The United States' lack of action in Eastern Europe...

...proves that the Soviet Union's aggression at the Afghan border...

...will not be opposed publicly by the United States.

The Soviet Union continued its recent series of military exercises...

...conducting a bomb test today in the Bering Sea...

...just 1500 miles off the southern coast of Alaska.

President Richard Nixon issued this warning to the Soviets:

The United States does not start fights.

Let it be clear we maintain our strength... order to maintain peace... any adversary should ask themselves:

"Do the consequences of attacking America...

...outweigh the potential benefits?"

As a result of the Soviet activity...

...the watchdog group of nuclear scientists...

...moved the Doomsday Clock up to five minutes until midnight: destruction by nuclear war.


On a scale of zero to 10, zero meaning impossibility...

...10 meaning complete metaphysical certitude...

...what are the chances the Russians will actually attack the United States?

Pat Buchanan.


The Soviets would never risk going to war...

...when we have a walking nuclear deterrent on our side.

You're referring, of course, to Dr. Manhattan...

...but does Dr. Manhattan's existence guarantee world peace? Eleanor Clift.

Well, it hasn't stopped the Soviet Union...

...from stockpiling record amounts of nuclear weapons.

You don't think it's just posturing?

Maybe the reason why the Soviets...

...are doing these bomb tests... because they feel threatened by Dr. Manhattan. Of course.

Maybe the whole world feels like that.

Soviet ships have violated the territorial waters--

Just a matter of time, I suppose.

It's a joke. It's all a joke.

Mother, forgive me.

I was a hero, goddamn it!

--an act clearly meant to send a signal to the government in Saigon...

...that violence and oppression is not the way to peace.

Fuck you, pigs!

Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.

Get out of here, vigilantes!


Edward Blake. Sixty-seven years old. Six-two, a solid 225.

Guy was built like a linebacker.

Yeah, I saw the body.

For a guy his age, he was in terrific shape.

You mean apart from being dead?

That's plate glass.

You'd have to step on the gas just to put a crack in it.

Had to have been thrown.

Check the bedroom?

Yeah. Drawers opened, tossed through.

Mattress flipped. Probably robbery.

Or made to look like one.

See this?

-Shaking hands with the president. Whoa.

Think Blake was a spook?

Government or black ops?

I think...

...this is way bigger than both of us.

Rorschach's journal, October 12th, 1985.

Dog carcass in alley this morning. Tire tread on burst stomach.

This city's afraid of me.

I've seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters...

...and the gutters are full of blood.

And when the drains finally scab over...

...all the vermin will drown.

The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder...

...will foam up around their waists...

...and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout, "Save us."

And I'll whisper, "No."

Now the whole world stands on the brink...

...staring down into bloody hell.

All those liberals and intellectuals...

...and smooth talkers...

...and all of a sudden, nobody can think of anything to say.

Beneath me, this awful city.

It screams like an abattoir full of retarded children...

...and the night reeks of fornication and bad consciences.


Tonight, a comedian died in New York.

Somebody knows why.

Somebody knows.

No, I definitely heard something.

Watch the door.


Must've been the wind. Next time you--

It all started with the gangs. You know, people tend to forget that.

Pirate outfits, ghosts.

They thought it was funny: dress up and pull heists.

As soon as we'd arrest them, they'd be back on the street.

Nobody could pick them out of a lineup because of the damn masks.

So a few of us cops, we get together...

...and we figure, what the heck, we'll mask up, too.

We'll finish what the law couldn't.

Pretty soon, the papers get wind of it. They ran with it...

...and oh, boy, we're a national pastime.

It was me, Dollar Bill, Mothman...

...Captain Metropolis, Hooded Justice...

...Silk Spectre and the Comedian.

Oh, don't get me started on him.

I must be drunk already, telling you this sob story again.

I think you were trying to make a point.

Well, my point is that we had it too easy. It wasn't fair what happened to you guys--

You guys who picked up where we left off. --with Nixon forcing you out.

Nixon, oh, that prick. To think I voted for that prick five times.

Hey, it was him or the commies, right?

Oh, wow, it's almost midnight. Gotta go.


You were a better Nite Owl than I ever was, Danny boy.

-Hollis, we both know that's bullshit. -Hey.

Watch it with the language.

This is the left hook that floored Captain Axis, remember?

-Yeah. This just in:

The masked vigilante known as Rorschach...

...has assaulted a police officer in the early-morning hours.

Rorschach is on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list...

...for violation of the Keene Act, which banned masked heroes six years ago.

Rorschach reportedly incapacitated....

Forced everyone out except him.

Oh, he'll quit.

When he's dead.

Next week? Well... know, you don't have to keep humoring me like this.

If you got a hot date or something....

Hey, us retired guys have to stick together, right?

You ever miss it?

No. You?

Oh, heck, no.

Be seeing you.

Hello, Daniel.


Helped myself to some beans. Hope you don't mind.

No, no. Course not.

You want me to heat those up for you?

Fine like this.

How have you been keeping?

Out of prison.

Heard about you on the news.

Say you attacked a cop.

Minor wound. Won't need hospitalization.


...look at this.

Is this bean juice? Human bean juice.

Badge belonged to the Comedian. Blood too. He's dead.

Let's talk downstairs.

It could have been a burglary.

Maybe the killer didn't know who the Comedian was.

An ordinary burglar? Kill the Comedian? Ridiculous.

I heard he'd been working for the government since '77...

...knocking over Marxist republics in South America.

Maybe it was a political killing or something.


Maybe someone's picking off costumed heroes.

You don't think that's a little paranoid?

That what they say about me now?


Look, Comedian made a lot of enemies over the years...

...even among his friends.

Speaking of friends, how's Hollis Mason?

He wrote that book. Said some bad things about the Comedian in it.

I don't like what you're implying, and I like being followed even less.

Maybe I was keeping an eye on you, in case someone's gunning for masks.

-You were never that sentimental. -Attack on one is attack on all of us.

What do you suggest we do about it?


-Watchmen are over. -Says Tricky Dick.

Says me.

Nobody knows who you are.

You can give it up, try and have a normal life.

That what you have now? A normal life?

When you walk down the street in a city dying of rabies...

...past the human cockroaches...

...talking about their heroin and child pornography... you really feel normal?

Least I'm not the one still hiding behind a mask.


You're hiding in plain sight.

Be seeing you, Dan.

A maintenance hatch will let you out two blocks north.

Yeah, I remember.

Came here often, when we were partners.

Those were great times, huh, Rorschach?

-What happened? -You quit.

Rorschach's journal.

First visit of evening fruitless.

Feel slightly depressed.

Soon there will be war.

Millions will perish in sickness and misery.

Why does one death matter against so many?

Because there is good and evil, and evil must be punished.

Even in the face of armageddon...

...I will not compromise in this.

But there are so many deserving of retribution...

...and so little time.


-Captain. -Ridley.

Ridley, have you seen any other survivors?

No, sir.

Captain, my foot is caught in some of the wreckage.

-It's pulling me under. -Hold on.


Ridley. Ridley.



More blood, more blood, more blood.

Delirious from nearly drowning, I saw it.

The Black Freighter.

The hell-bound ship's black sails against the yellow Indies sky.

I knew again the stench of powder and men's brains and war.

More blood, more blood, more blood.

More blood, more blood, more blood.

The waves about me were scarlet...

...foaming, horribly warm in the Freighter's wake.

In despair, I offered my weathered soul to almighty God...

...his mercy and his judgment.

Heh. What do you think, kid?

We ought to nuke Russia and let God sort it out.

Or at the very least, send Dr. Manhattan over for a visit.

You know what I'm saying?

I mean, I ain't trying to be an asshole or anything, but they're the ones...

...who are agitating us. Now this is just my opinion.

But I'm a news vendor, you know, so I am informed.

Yeah, I know. The New Frontiersman. Well, it's not here yet.

I'd appreciate if you didn't stand around waiting...

...because I don't know when it's going to be here.

I thought you said you was informed.

-Are you gonna buy that? -No.

Oh, Jesus. Just try again tomorrow, okay?

Mr. Veidt... date, you're one of only two Watchmen...

...ever to reveal their true identity to the world...

...the first being Hollis Mason.

And you've certainly profited greatly by it...

...turning your superhero alter ego, Ozymandias, into a billion-dollar industry:

Toys, lunchboxes, genetic engineering.

I understand there's a movie in the works.

-I'm not hearing a question, Mr. Roth. I'm sorry. Do you think--

The Watchmen resent me for prostituting their struggle?

It's a fair question. Yes, it's crossed my mind...

...some of my old colleagues might see it that way...

...just as you're clearly aware that biased journalism...

...sells more magazines.

The merchandising arm of Veidt Industries is funding our work with Dr. Manhattan.

We recently expanded our research facility in Antarctica... the hope of developing cheap, renewable sources of energy...

...that we might eliminate the world's reliance on fossil fuels.

Now, it doesn't take a political scientist... see that our Cold War with the Russians isn't ideological...'s based upon fear. Fear of not having enough.

But if we make resources infinite...


...we make war obsolete.

I would hope the other Watchmen understand that...

...wherever they may be.

Thanks for your time.

-You look good, Adrian. -Dan.

It's been too long.

So Rorschach thinks someone's hunting the Watchmen, huh?

You think it's possible?

Statistically, one murder doesn't equal a trend.

Rorschach's a sociopath, Dan.

And so was the Comedian. He was practically a Nazi.

You know that better than anyone.

I'm not here because I miss him.

It's occurred to Rorschach...

...that we're the only ones who know each other's identities.

Actually, the whole world knows yours.

That's why I'm warning you first.

Thank you, Dan...

...but I fear there's something much more real to worry about...

...than Rorschach's mask killer.

If the Russians do launch their nukes, can Jon really stop them?

The Soviets have 51,000 warheads stockpiled.

Even if Jon stops 99 percent of them...

...the 1 percent that get through could still kill every living thing on Earth.

Even Dr. Manhattan can't be everywhere at once.

Rorschach's journal, October 13th, 1985...

...8:30 p.m.

Meeting with Dreiberg left bad taste in mouth.

A flabby failure who sits whimpering in his basement.

Why are so few of us left active...

...healthy and without personality disorders?

The first Nite Owl runs an auto-repair shop.

The first Silk Spectre is a bloated, aging whore...

...dying in a California rest resort.

Dollar Bill got his cape stuck in a revolving door...

...where he got gunned down.

Silhouette, murdered...

...a victim of her own indecent lifestyle.

Mothman's in an asylum in Maine.

Even Adrian Veidt, possible homosexual.

Must investigate further.

Only two names remain on my list.

Both share private quarters at Rockefeller Military Research Center.

I shall go to them.

I shall go tell the indestructible man that someone plans to murder him.

Good evening, Rorschach.

Dr. Manhattan, you know why I'm here.


...but you're going to leave disappointed.

Rorschach. You shouldn't be here. You're a wanted man.

Nice to see you too, Silk Spectre.

I have a real name I've been using.

Try it.

Whatever you say, Laurie.

What are you doing here?

The Comedian is dead.

Rorschach wants me to look into my future...

...see if the killer is ever publicly identified.

Already warned Dreiberg. Came to warn you too.

Even if I wanted to help... future is blocked by some kind of temporal interference.

-I cannot see it clearly. -Interference? Caused by what?

In all likelihood, nuclear holocaust.

If the United States and Soviet Union engage in all-out war...

...the resulting blast wave would produce a sudden burst of tachyons...

...particles which travel backward through what you perceive as time...

...therefore obscuring my vision of the present.

I must return to my work.

Wait a minute.

What if that's why someone wants us out of the way?

So we can't do anything to stop it?

Goodbye, Rorschach.

Took a lot of effort to get in here to see you.

I'm not leaving--

--till I've had my say.

Seems like there's a lot of things you don't tell me these days.

I didn't wanna worry you prematurely.

If Adrian and I can solve the energy crisis, war may be averted.

But you always say time is simultaneous.

If that's true, then how can you change the future?

If only you could perceive time as I do.

Please let me show you.

Magic. Dreams. That is what I had before. I was a hero, goddamn it!

It's not my fault you got old. What do you have to complain about?

I'm putting food on the table for you and your child.

Call your friend Eddie. Maybe he can give you a better life.

-It was a mistake. One time. -Man tries to rape you--


Your mind goes to dark places...

...and you wonder why I keep the worst from you.

-Say hello to Dan for me. -What?

You wanna ask me to go to dinner with you... we used to...

...but you won't.

You know I can't.

So you'll call Dan...

...which is only natural.

You deserve the comfort of an old friend.

Dan Dreiberg's table.

Did you know that he and H.J. were--? I had no idea.

You remember that crazy guy? What'd he call himself?

Captain Carnage.

Used to pretend he was a supervillain just so he could get beat up?

Yeah, he tried that on me once. I just walked away.

He starts following me down the street in broad daylight...

...yelling, "Punish me! Punish me!"

I'm just saying, "No, get lost."

God, whatever happened to him?

Oh. Um.... He pulled that on Rorschach...

...and Rorschach dropped him down an elevator shaft.

Oh, my God. That's not even funny.

-It's a little funny. -Yep.

I'm glad I ordered the four-legged chicken.

It's really good to see you again.

It's great seeing you too.

Why'd we do it, Dan? Dress up like that?

-No one else would. -Yeah, but do you remember my costume?

All that tight latex? I mean, it was awful.

Uh.... Yeah, yeah, awful.

But didn't wanna disappoint Mother.

Wanted her little girl to be just like her and fight bad guys.

I think the Keene Act was the best thing that ever happened to us.

Well, we'll live longer anyway.


Jon thinks, unless he can do something about it...

...that there's gonna be nuclear war.


But I don't know what to think. I mean, it's all...

...quantum mechanics and parallel realities with him.

I never even know what universe he's actually seeing.

He just keeps getting further away from me.


I can't even tell if he actually cares about me anymore...

...or if he's just pretending.

If he's pretending, it means he cares.

Hold on, I'll get the door.

Thanks, Dan.

-Got it? -Yeah.

You always get a government escort to dinner?

They're making sure I don't do anything to upset the country's most powerful weapon.

I'm sorry.

I invite you out to dinner to catch up and have a few laughs...

...but there don't seem to be many laughs around these days.

What do you expect? The Comedian's dead.

Laurie? Is that you?

Thought you'd be used to traveling that way by now.

Well, I'm not. I hate it when Jon teleports me.

Well, it beats flying coach.


Mother, it's 2:00 in the afternoon.


Remember that guy that writes me letters?

He sent me an item of memorabilia. It's a Tijuana bible.

This little eight-page porno comic they did in the '30s and '40s.

-He sent you this? -Sure. They're very valuable, like antiques.

Mother, this is gross.

I think it's kind of flattering.

Why do you always call me Mother when you're mad?

I know why you're here. I can still read, you know.

I saw it in the paper.

Eddie Blake's funeral is today.

Finally got his punchline, I guess.

-Poor Eddie. -Poor Eddie? After what he did to you?

Oh, Laurie, you're still young.

You don't know.

Things change.

What happened happened 40 years ago.

I'm 67 years old.

Every day, the future looks a little bit darker.

But the past...

...even the grimy parts of it...

...keep on getting brighter.

I've got spots in my eyes.

Stop it, Eddie.

-Thank you, Weegee. -Thank you, Mr. Owl.

Tomorrow, 3:00, my studio.

-Little place on 21st. -Sounds good.

Wow, a real photo session. Wonder how my hair will look?

Oh, go ahead. I'll be there in five.


What the hell are you doing here? You knew I was changing.

Sure I did.

Come on, baby.

I know what you need.

You gotta have some kind of reason for dressing in an outfit like this.

I said no, Eddie.

-No spelled Y-E-S. -No spelled N-O.

-All right? -Come on, sweetheart.


You little bastard.

This what you like?

-This what makes you hot? -What?

Things are tough all over, cupcake.

It rains on the just and the unjust alike.

The Comedian was a little bit of both.

And he always thought he'd get the last laugh.

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts.

Shut not thy merciful ears to our prayers...

...but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty...

...O holy and merciful savior.

Thou most worthy judge eternal.

Suffer us not at our last hour for any--

Fireworks. You gotta be kidding me.

You know, you'd think this goddamn country had had enough fireworks.

You know, if we'd lost here in Vietnam...

...I think it might have driven us crazy. You know, as a country.

But we didn't, thanks to you.

You sound bitter.

Me? Bitter?

Fuck, no. I think it's hilarious.

Oh, Jesus Christ.

-Mr. Eddie? -Just what I fucking needed.

The war is over now. We must talk about this baby.

There's nothing to talk about. See, I'm leaving.

I'm gonna forget about you...

...and your horrible, sweaty, little piece-of-shit country.

Get the fuck out of here.

-No. -Get the fuck out of here.

You will remember.

You will remember me and my country...


My face!

Blake. Don't.


She was pregnant...

...and you gunned her down.

That's right...

...and you know what? You watched me.

You could have turned the gun to steam, the bullets to mercury...

...the bottle into goddamn snowflakes, but you didn't, did you?

You really don't give a damn about human beings.

You're drifting out of touch, doc.

God help us all.


Most holy and merciful savior.

He cometh up and is cut down, like a flower.

In the midst of life, we are in death.

Of whom may we seek succor, but of thee, O Lord?

Welcome. We'll be starting shortly.

We're waiting for one more.

I told you, you wouldn't be the only one dressed up.

Welcome, doctor.

Now we can start.

Thank you for coming. Acquaint yourselves with this map of high-crime areas.

This is all bullshit.

For a guy who calls himself the Comedian, I can never tell when you're joking.

Watchmen. That's the real joke.

It didn't work 15 years ago, and it ain't gonna work now...

...because you wanna play cowboys and Indians.

Maybe we should agree on no drinking at meetings.

Rorschach and I have made headway on the gang problem by working together.

A group this size seems like a publicity stunt. I'm not in it for the ink.

We can do so much more.

We can save this world...

-...with the right leadership. -Yeah.

And that'd be you, right, Ozzy?

I mean, hell, you're the smartest man on the planet.

It doesn't take a genius to see the world has problems.

But it takes a room of morons to think they're small enough for you to handle.

You people.

You hear Moloch's back in town, get your panties all in a bunch.

-You think catching him matters? -Justice matters.


Justice is coming to all of us.

No matter what the fuck we do.

You know, mankind's been trying to kill each other off since the beginning of time.

Now we finally have the power to finish the job.

Ain't nothing gonna matter once those nukes start flying. We'll all be dust.

Then Ozymandias here...

...will be the smartest man on the cinder.

For as much as it hath pleased...

...almighty God to take onto himself the soul of our dear departed brother...

...let us therefore commit his body to the ground.

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes....

Watchmen! Police! Police to protect the people!

Attention, citizens. We are trying to maintain order.

You must clear the streets until the police strike is over.

If you could-- Please, there's no need for violence.

We are trying to retain order on the streets until the police strike is over.

Crawl back in your holes before you get hurt.

-I got rubber bullets. I want my rights!

-You are not the law! We want regular cops!

No more vigilantes!

My son's a police officer, you fucking faggots!

Goddamn it. All right. That's how you wanna do it?

There's no need for violence.

Fuck you. Fuck you!

Oh, this is getting heavy.

Goddamn, I love working on American soil, Dan.

Ain't had this much fun since Woodward and Bernstein.

How long can we keep this up?

Congress is pushing through some new bill that's gonna outlaw masks.

Our days are numbered.

Until then, it's like you always say: We're society's only protection.

-From what? -Are you kidding me? From themselves.

-Son of a bitch. DAN: No, Comedian, wait!

Get your stinking hands off me.

What the hell happened to us?

What happened to the American dream?

What happened to the American dream?

It came true!

You're looking at it.

Edgar William Jacobi.

Also known as Edgar William Vaughn. Also known as Moloch.

What are you talking about?

I'm a retired businessman--

Lie again, Moloch, I break another finger.

I did my time.

I'm not Moloch anymore.

-What do you want from me? -Heard you attended Blake's funeral. Why?

I just felt I should... my respects to the Comedian.

-How'd you know he was the Comedian? -He broke in here. A week ago.

He had his mask off.

-He was drunk. -Enemies. For decades.

-Why should he visit you? -I don't know.

I woke up in my bedroom and there he was.

He was upset.

He was crying.

Crying? The Comedian?

He was babbling, not making any sense.

I was pissing in my pants.

I thought he was gonna kill me.

What did he say?

It's a joke.

It's all a fucking joke.

You know, I thought I knew how it was.

I thought I knew how the world was.

I've done some bad things.

I did bad things to women. I shot kids.

In 'Nam, you know.

But that was fucking war.


I never done anything like this.

God, here I am...

...spilling my guts... one of my archenemies.

But the truth is...'re the closest thing to a friend I got. What the fuck does that say?


And your name...

...your name was on the list...

...along with Janey, you know, whatever the fuck her name is.

Manhattan's old girl.

Mother, forgive me.

And then he left.

I swear I don't know what the hell he was talking about.

Funny story.

Sounds unbelievable.

Probably true.

So that's it?

-I'm clean? -You?



This phony medication made from apricot pits.

-It's illegal. -Come on.

Please don't confiscate that.

I'm trying anything.

I have cancer.

What kind of cancer?

You know the kind you eventually get better from?

That ain't the kind I got.

Rorschach's journal. October 16th.

Want some of this? Fifty bucks, I'll suck your cock.

-Thought about Moloch's story. -Come on.

Could all be lies.

A revenge scheme planned during his years behind bars.

Fuck you. I make more in a week than you make in a year, you fucking homo.

But if it's true...

...what could have possibly scared the Comedian...

...enough to cry in front of Moloch?

What was it he saw?

And that list he mentioned.

Edward Blake. The Comedian.

Born 1918.

Buried in the rain.


Is that what happens to us? No time for friends?

Only our enemies leave roses.

Violent lives ending violently.

Blake understood. Humans are savage in nature.

No matter how much you try to dress it up... disguise it...

...Blake saw society's true face.

Chose to be a parody of it. A joke.

I heard joke once.

Man goes to doctor, says he's depressed.

Life seems harsh and cruel.

Says he feels all alone in threatening world.

Doctor says treatment is simple.

"The great clown Pagliacci is in town. Go see him.

That should pick you up."

Man bursts into tears.

"But doctor," he says. "I am Pagliacci."

Good joke.

Everybody laugh.

Roll on snare drum.


Hey, Bernie. Yeah?

Can I get a Time magazine from you there?

Sure. -How much you want for it now?

For you, 2 bucks.

Two bucks. Going up, huh?

There you go. Thanks.

Hey, I like your book.

Hey, thanks, Bernie. I appreciate it.

When I awoke, I found myself upon a dismal beachhead...

...with my men.

Pieces of my men.

It was all I could do for her...

...though she had borne me through seas of blood.

Her damp embrace had prevented me from drifting beyond reach.

Yet this small comfort was all I could offer.

One of my crew lay ahead.

Birds were eating his thoughts and memories.

Away. Yah!

Yah! Get away.

In hell, at least the gulls are contented.

For my part, I begged that they should take my eyes.

Thus sparing me future horrors.

What time do you have to be at your interview?

Don't worry.

We've got plenty of time.

Your finger's like licking a battery.

God, Jon, stop. What are you doing?

Please don't be upset.

I always thought you liked this.


I don't-- No.

I don't want that.

I don't know what stimulates you anymore.

Look, I know you were just trying--

Are you working in here while we're in bed together?

My work with Adrian is at a critical stage right now.

-I didn't think it was necessary to-- -To what?

To what? To tell me which one of you is giving me a pity fuck?

My attention was completely focused on you.

If you think there's a problem with my attitude...

...I am prepared to discuss it.

You know how everything in this world fits together except people.

What am I to you? Another puzzle to be solved?

Have your men stand back. I'm teleporting the reactor to Karnak now.

You're my only remaining link to the world.

I don't want that responsibility anymore.

He's all yours.

Don't worry, Jon. She'll be back.

No, she won't.

He's been called many things: Hero, weapon...

...linchpin of our national security...

...deterrent to nuclear war, or a man to end worlds.

Later tonight, Dr. Manhattan...

...will answer my questions and yours in an exclusive interview...

...brought to you commercial-free by Veidt Enterprises.

Who is it?

LAURIE: It's Laurie.

Sorry. I just had this new lock installed.

I didn't know where else to go.

Oh, it's okay. Come in.

What's wrong?

I left Jon.

Oh, God.

I'm so sorry.

I don't know why I'm here. I just....

I don't know anybody else.

I don't know anybody except for goddamn superheroes.

That's okay.

You probably just had an argument or something.

No, Dan.

You don't know what it's been like living with him.

The way he looks at things now, it's like he doesn't...

...remember what they are.

It's like this world, this real world... him, it's like walking through mist.

And people are just shadows.

Shadows in a fog.

God, how did everything get so tangled up?

I'm sorry, Dan.

This is twice now I've ruined your evening.

Come on. I'm glad you came over.

I was just gonna see Hollis for our weekly beer session.

You're more than welcome to join.

In fact, I insist.

Terrific. Dr. Manhattan arrives and no one thinks to tell me.

He just-- -We don't have time for makeup.

That blue is too light for television.

Is that dark enough?

Yeah, that's dark enough.

The weight of the world's on him, but does he quit? No.

News vendors always cope. They're the--

Oh, God, here comes that homeless guy again.

I told you, this month's issue still hasn't arrived yet.

Why do you care about that right-wing rag? Those bastards don't give a damn.

Hold up. Here they come.

-Seymour. -Bernie, how's tricks?

Fine, fine.

See this guy behind me? Been bugging me all week.

Maybe we should get a cab. These are bad neighborhoods.

Yeah, well, I'm in a bad mood.

Girl. What we got here?

Here's a list of Pentagon-approved no-go areas.

Afghanistan will obviously come up, but just play it cool...

...and try not to get into any tight corners.

--a renowned nuclear physicist, who, through a terrible accident...

...was gifted with extraordinary powers, capable of bending matter to his will.

Today, the world knows him as Dr. Manhattan.


Thank you.

That's right.

Ms. Black, you have the first question.

Dr. Manhattan, as you know...

...the Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face...

...analogizing humankind's proximity to extinction...

...midnight representing the threat of nuclear war.

As of now, it stands at four minutes to midnight.

Would you agree that we're that close to annihilation?

My father was a watchmaker.

He abandoned it when Einstein discovered that time is relative.

I would only agree that a symbolic clock... as nourishing to the intellect... a photograph of oxygen to a drowning man.

So you're saying there is no danger.

Even in a world without nuclear weapons, there would still be danger.

And would you say, as so many claim...

...that you are, in fact, a god...

...given you see the past and future simultaneously?

I can only see my own past... own future. I am not omniscient.

Doug Roth, your question?

Speaking of your past, Dr. Manhattan... you remember a man named Wally Weaver?

Yes. We were both physicists together at the Gila Flats Research Base.

He died of cancer.

-He was a good man. How about Edgar Jacobi...

...also known as the supervillain Moloch?

You encountered him several times in the '60s: battles, conflicts.

Did you know that he has cancer as well?

I wasn't told.

And what about General Anthony Randolph?

He was your handler when you first started working for the government.


You're suggesting I was the cause.

From where I'm standing, it's starting to look pretty conclusive.

Even if that's the case, it's irrelevant.

A live human body and a deceased human body...

...have the same number of particles.

Structurally, there's no difference.

All right. Let's settle down, please.

What about Janey Slater?

You think it makes a difference to her?


Your ex-girlfriend?

She was a physicist too. You saw each other for 11 years.

Doug, one question at a time.

She has cancer as well. Doctors have given her six months.

Isn't that right, Miss Slater?

You were the world to me, Jon.

You were my whole life.

Do you remember how many times you said you loved me?

Janey, I wasn't told.

I stuck by you after the accident. I gave you everything.

This is how you repay me?

-Janey, I wasn't told. I didn't know. -Damn you, Jon. Goddamn you.

Janey, wait.

-That's it. This interview is over. Get up there.

Get those cameras off. Everybody back off.

Everybody back off. I need some backup here. Leave him alone.

Please, if everyone would just go away...

...and leave me alone....

Do you care to comment?

I said, leave me alone!



...getting mugged.

Let's go.

I'm shaking.

You know what?

I'm wiped. I'm just gonna call it a night.

Oh, are you sure you don't wanna come by Hollis' with me...

...and shake off the adrenaline?

I think I've had enough hero stuff for one night.

It helped having you listen.

Any time.

Take care, Dan.

It's a rough world out there.

Be seeing you.

I thought of my family... wife, my daughters.

Vulnerable, unsuspecting.

Awaiting my return, only to be met by damnation...

...bearing down upon them.


Over here!



A sail.

Ridley had brought me a sail.

Perhaps this could be my route back to Davidstown.

Everything I loved, everything I lived for, depended on my reaching home... advance of that terrible Freighter.

The morning sun found me no less troubled.

Further down the shore...

...some of my crew had become inflated with gas.


I shuddered at my own idea, attempting to banish this repulsive notion.

Even in death, they sought to fulfill their duty...

...making our vessel more buoyant.

And I would do my duty to them in returning them home.

Rudely jarring my men from eternal rest, and laying them in the bed I prepared...

...I hoped my wife and daughters might be tucked in by gentler hands...

...when their turn came.

We shall get home together, my friend.

I waited for the tide.

Then, embarking, headed east.

East, across the night seas.

East, borne on the bodies of murdered men.

Hope can be a horrible thing.

With the dawn came the gulls looking for breakfast.


Get out.

I was reminded that I, myself, had not eaten.

I know it is unappetizing, but it is all we have.

He's gone.

-He's gone! Who's gone?

-Dr. Manhattan. What? What'd you say?

Dr. Manhattan's gone. He's left us.

What? Gone where?

You're late.

Ah, I know. I know. You won't believe what happened.

Dr. Manhattan just lost it on live TV.

Wait, what?

I was just with Laurie. She doesn't know.

She's gonna know soon enough. The whole world will know.

I said, leave me alone!

I am looking at the stars.

They're so far away...

...and their light takes so long to reach us...

...all we ever see of stars are their old photographs.

It is July, 1959, and I am in love.

That's great.

-You can pick it up tomorrow. -Okay.

-Seventy-five cents. -Okay, thank you.

Thank you.

Gosh, Jon, I wish he gave us a little notice. I'm sure I made a face.

Oh, no, no. I'm sure that you'll look beautiful.

Her name is Janey Slater.

She is a physicist, like me.

I am 30 years old.

We were introduced by a good friend of mine from college, Wally Weaver.

It is February 12th, 1981.

Wally dies of cancer, of which they now say I am the cause.

That night, Janey and I make love for the first time.

A month from now, the accident awaits me.

Oh, I'll catch up with you guys. I think I left my watch inside.

Hey. Let's just wait a second.

I cross the room to the Intrinsic Field Center. I find my watch.

When I get to the door...

...Wally is turning white.

The program's locked in. We can't override the time lock.

I am terrified.


I'm sorry, Jon...

...but I can't--

Janey, don't leave me!

Don't leave me!

It is May 12th, 1959, when I'm introduced to Janey.

She buys me a beer...

...the first time a woman has done this for me.

As she passes me the cold, perspiring glass...

...our fingers touch.

Yes, Jon, good.

Now it's just a question of reassembling the components in the correct sequence.

I feel fear...

...for the last time.

A token funeral is held.

There is nothing to bury.

Janey frames the snapshot.

It's the only photograph of me anyone has.

A circulatory system is seen by the perimeter fence.

A few days later...

...a partially muscled skeleton stands in a hallway...

...and screams for a moment before vanishing.

Oh, God.


Is that you?

Nations around the world reeling from this morning's announcement...

...possibly the most significant event in recent history.

We repeat, the superman exists, and he is American.

They call me Dr. Manhattan.

They explain the name has been chosen...

...for the ominous associations it will raise in America's enemies.

The marketing boys say I need a logo.

If I'm to have a symbol... shall be one I respect.

They are shaping me into something gaudy...

...something lethal.

In January, 1971...

...President Nixon asks me to intervene in Vietnam...

...something that his predecessors would not ask.

A week later, the conflict ends.

Some of the Vietcong forces wanna surrender to me personally.

Hollis Mason, a retired costume hero, writes a book.

In it, he calls my arrival the dawn of the superhero.

I am not sure if I know what that means.

You see, at the time, I was misquoted.

I never said, "The superman exists and he is American."

What I said was, "God exists, and he is American."

Now, if you begin to feel an intense...

...and crushing feeling of religious terror at the concept...

...don't be alarmed.

That indicates only that you are still sane.

It is Christmas, 1963.

Janey tells me she is afraid, and worried.

She says I am like a god now.

I tell her I don't think there is a God.

And if there is, I'm nothing like him.

I tell her I still want her...

...and that I always will.

As I lie to her, it is September 4th, 1970.

I am in a room full of people wearing disguises.

A very young girl looks at me and smiles.

She's beautiful.

After each long kiss, she plants a smaller, gentler one upon my lips... a signature.

Janey accuses me of chasing jailbait.

She bursts into angry tears, asking if it's because she's getting older.

It's true.

She's aging more noticeably every day...

...while I am standing still.

I prefer the stillness here.

I am tired of Earth.

These people.

I'm tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.

They claim their labors are to build a heaven...

...yet their heaven is populated with horrors.

Perhaps the world is not made.

Perhaps nothing is made.

A clock without a craftsman.

It's too late.

Always has been...

...always will be too late.

And you have no idea where he would've gone.

How would I know?

Probably on the other side of the world studying molecules.

Our satellites have done a sweep of the planet.

There's no trace of his energy signature anywhere.


Miss Jupiter, did you and Dr. Manhattan have a fight today?

None of your fucking business.

It is when you're on government payroll and you're not doing your job.

That's as close to the word "whore" as you're gonna get with me, Agent Forbes.


My apologies, Miss Jupiter.

You know how important Dr. Manhattan is to our national security.

You can imagine our concern.

I can only imagine.

Ain't nothing gonna matter once those nukes start flying. We'll all be dust.

Then Ozymandias here...

...will be the smartest man on the cinder.

Laurel? Laurel Jane?

You're Sally Jupiter's kid.

You're the Comedian, right?

You were pretty cool in there.

You know, your mom, she was one of the all-time champion beauties.

You got her eyes, you know. You even have that same funny little mole.

Take your hands off her.

Hey, doll. Long time no see.

Not long enough in my book, Eddie. Get in the car.

Are there no depths you won't sink to?

Jesus Christ, Sally. Can't a guy talk to his... know, old friend's daughter?

I mean, what the hell do you think I am?

We found him!

-We found him. Where is he?


Mr. President...

...the Soviets have moved their tanks just short of the Afghan border.

They are testing us... see if we manufactured Dr. Manhattan's disappearance... coax a move out of them.

If they realize it's not a hoax, they'll probably start with air strikes.

If they do, they'll have Afghanistan under control in a matter of days.

A watchdog group of nuclear scientists has moved the Doomsday Clock... two minutes until midnight.

Get this shit off the screen.

Who are these assholes to say when doomsday approaches?

I say when doomsday is approaching.

Now, then.

What about the rest of the Warsaw Pact countries?

Czechoslovakia, Poland and East Germany have mobilized their forces.

But no movement yet. They're playing a wait-and-see.

Letting the Russians take the lead.

Bold moves, Henry. That's what's needed right now.

We can't let these fuckers think we're weak.

Yes. They must fear the madman Richard Nixon.

How soon can we be ready for a preemptive strike?

Two days.

We have a 54 percent chance of wiping out the entire U.S.S.R...

...before they get their missiles airborne.

What would our losses be?

Assuming conservative projections...

...of how many Soviet warheads are destroyed beforehand...

...we'll lose all of the East Coast.

The last gasp...

...of the Harvard establishment.

Let's see them think their way out of fission.

With anticipated wind patterns, the fallout drift would head south.

Mexico would catch the worst of it.

Most of the farm belt might remain unaffected.

Not so bad...

...all things considered.

Mr. President...

...what would you like to do?

Take us to DEFCON two.

Begin fueling the bombers.

Dr. Manhattan has two days.

After that...

...humanity is in the hands of a higher authority than mine.

Let's just hope he's on our side.

There must be a way to reach him. Excuse me.

Radio transmission, space shuttles--

Excuse me. What?

I need to use the restroom.

Don't you understand?

The only thing that can bring Jon back is Jon.

If he wants to find me, he will.

I've been a prisoner in my life long enough.

Without Dr. Manhattan around... bully the Russians into peace, Mr. Veidt...

...people are going to need good, old-fashioned energy to rely on.

You can understand.

The world can't just quit on oil and nuclear power cold turkey.

You'll dismantle our entire economy overnight.

You're right, Lee. And why free energy?

Well, "free" is just another word for "socialist."

We might have to make a public inquiry...

...into any past communist affiliations you might have had.

Mr. Iacocca, gentlemen...

...I respect your position...

...and what you've accomplished as captains of industry. I do.

You wanna know my past? Hm?

Okay. Happily.

It's a matter of public record that by 17, both my parents were dead...

...leaving me alone.

I guess you could say I've always been alone.

They say I'm the smartest man in the world, but the truth is I've often felt stupid... being unable to relate to anyone.

Well, anyone living, that is.

The only person with whom I felt kinship...

...died 300 years before the birth of Christ.

Alexander of Macedonia, or Alexander the Great, as you know him.

His vision of a united world was....

Well, it was unprecedented.

I wanted...

...needed to match his accomplishments... I resolved to apply antiquity's teachings to our world today.

And so began my path to conquest.

Conquest not of men...

...but of the evils that beset them.

Fossil fuels, oil, nuclear power...

...are like a drug, and you, along with foreign interests...

-...are the pushers. -Now, listen.


You listen.

The world will survive...

...and it deserves more than you've been able to provide.

So let's cut to it, shall we?

I'm worth more than all of your corporations combined.

I could buy and sell you, something you should factor into your decision...

...should you choose to make our disagreement public.

I think you know the way out.


The toy people wanna talk to you about new villains for the Ozymandias line.

-Seems all the old villains are dead. -Mr. Veidt?

-I think I have some ideas. -Mr. Veidt?

I think we got off on the wrong foot.

He's got a poison capsule.

Don't bite down, you son of a bitch. Who sent you? I want a name.

Give me a name!

Suicide pill.

Potassium cyanide. Guy was dead before he hit the ground.

Thanks, hon.

Then Rorschach was right.

This wasn't some lone nut.

It's an organization: well-funded, well-equipped.

But who'd wanna kill us now?

I don't know, but it's not safe out here.

So no word from Jon?


Well, listen...

...why don't you come stay with me?

Oh, no. That's sweet, but I wouldn't wanna impose.

Oh, no. No. Think of it as doing me a favor.

I wouldn't have to worry about you being out there.


Rorschach's journal, October 21st, 1985.

On 43rd and 7th, saw Dreiberg and Jupiter leaving diner.

They didn't know me without my mask.

An affair?

Did she break Manhattan's heart to engineer his exile... make room for Dreiberg?

Does Manhattan even have a heart to break?

The alley was cold, deserted.

My things were where I left them, waiting for me.

My coat, my shoes, my spotless gloves.

My face.

Putting them on, I abandoned my disguise...

...became myself.

Free from fear or weakness...

...or lust.

Down alley...

...heard woman scream.

First bubbling note of city's evening chorus.

Attempted rape.



The man turned...

...and there was something rewarding in his eyes.

Sometimes the night is generous to me.

Veidt's assassin was a local lowlife named Roy Chess.

At his apartment, I found clues.

Seems he worked at Pyramid Transnational.

I've seen the logo before... Moloch's.

Someone tried to shoot the world's smartest man today, Moloch.

Guy worked for Pyramid Transnational.

More than a just delivery service, I take it.

Last time I was here, I saw a pension check written from the same company.

I'm guessing it's a front set up by whoever wants us masks dead.

Now, no more lies, Moloch. Who runs Pyramid?


This is the police. We know you're in there.

No. No!

If there's anybody in there with you, send them out unharmed.

No. No, no, no!

Framed. Walked right into it. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Never, never surrender.

All right. I hope you're ready, hero.

When you are.




Come on.

Son of a bitch.

-Christ, he stinks. -Get that mask off him.

-I got it. -No. No!

My face! Give me back my face!

The masked vigilante Rorschach was apprehended...

...and identified as Walter Kovacs, a 35-year-old white male.

Little's known about Kovacs, but he was charged with the murder...

...of Edgar Jacobi, found shot in the head in his home in the Bronx.

Police officers were injured and Jacobi's home was set ablaze...

...during the violent course of the capture.


I'm gonna fuck you like I fucked your mother!

Come on out, Rorschach!

I knew this guy was a kook.

But Rorschach....

Usually I got an intuition about these kind of things.

-Thought the dude would be bigger. -It goes to show you, kid... never know. -Hey, let me get a Gazette.

Yeah. Hey, you see this? He was a customer of mine.

-Used to come here all the time. -No shit?

Hey, Bernie. Any good news?

Whoever we are, wherever we reside...

...we exist on the whim of murderers.

I hardly recognized my old friend Ridley.

I could not bring myself to tell him he was a horrible reflection...

...of his former self.

I really must get him home before.... Before he gets any worse.

Before he succumbs.

I've heard that on less than a pint daily, a man might survive drinking saltwater.

RIDLEY: Captain?

What are you doing, captain?

I'm headed for Davidstown. That's what.

I need to warn everyone.

You think you'll reach Davidstown in advance of the Black Freighter?

Isolation has made you mad, captain. Mad, indeed.

But we must try.

You are a fool.

You alone survived the Freighter's attack.

Fortune has smiled upon you, and you spit in its face.

Turn your wretched craft around and go far away, as far away as you can.

No. No, my family. I must protect them.

The Black Freighter is already there.

Your wife, dead.

-Your children, dead. -Shut your mouth.

You have failed your family, like you have failed your crew.

You'll end up dead like them. You give your life in vain.

I give my life in nobility.

Even if I fail in my attempt, I take solace in the fact that I will see... family again in heaven.


Oh, there is no heaven, captain.

Believe me, sir.

I would know by now.

Walter Kovacs.

Is that your name? Walter?

Well, let me explain your situation here, Walter.

You cooperate with me...

...and I may be able to convince them that you should be treated medically.

In a hospital. I believe that would be good for you.

But the authorities wanna put you with the general population.

-Prison's a prison. -Uh-huh. Yes.

But the difference is, down there...'d be eaten alive.

You're responsible for a lot of them being in prison here, Walter.

Tell me what you see.

A pretty butterfly.

What about now? What do you see here?


Is he hurting you?

You got a fucking kid in here. I get that at home.

Bastard. I should have had that abortion.

Some nice flowers.

I heard this guy's mom's a whore.

Did you catch any diseases from her?

Huh? Whoreson. Listen to me, retard.

Hey, you think she'd suck my dick for a dollar?


Tell me about Rorschach. Will you do that, Walter?

You keep calling me Walter. I don't like you.

You don't like me. All right, why is that, exactly?

You're fat.

Wealthy. Liberal sensibilities.

What you call compassion.

Wanting to protect and understand the guilty.

This rotting society, what it calls rehabilitation.

Nothing short of compromise.

Is it a compromise to want to make you well?

There are other men in here with behavior more extreme than mine, doctor.

Of course, they're not famous, are they?

You wanna know about Rorschach?

I'll tell you about Rorschach.

Once a man has seen society's black underbelly...

...he can never turn his back on it.

Never pretend, like you do...

...that it doesn't exist, no matter who orders him to look the other way.

We don't do this thing...

...because it's permitted.

We do it because we have to.

We do it because we're compelled.

I was investigating a kidnap case.

Blaire Roche.

Six-year-old girl. I was young then.

Too soft on criminals.

I let them live.

Broke a man's arm to get a tip. Led me to the missing girl's location.

I knew the girl was here...

...but when I searched the place, I saw nothing.

And then I found her.



Who's gonna bark for Daddy?

It was dark when the murderer got back.

As dark as it gets.

Oh, God. Who's out there? Who is it?

Who is it?

What? What the fuck? Who the fuck are you?

What the fuck do you want? You killed my dogs, man!

You think I had something to do with that girl? I found that.

What evidence have you got? That's nothing.

Okay. I confess.

I kidnapped her. I killed her.

Arrest me.

What? Arrest me!

I did it! I said I did it!


Look, I've got a problem, man. Fucking take me in. I need help.

No, don't. Don't do that. Take me in. Don't! No!

Men get arrested.

Dogs get put down.

Tremors of impact shook my arm.

Warm blood splashed my face.

Whatever was left of Walter Kovacs died that night with that little girl.

From then on, there was only Rorschach.

See, doctor, God didn't kill that little girl.

Fate didn't butcher her and destiny didn't feed her to those dogs.

If God saw what any of us did that night, he didn't seem to mind.

From then on, I knew:

God doesn't make the world this way.

We do.

I can't help him.

Hey, Rorschach.

Hey, you're pretty famous, right?

Rorschach, I heard your mother was a whore.

Hey, you know what? I'm pretty famous too.

-Ain't that right? That's right. That's right.

Maybe I can give you an autograph. What you say, big boy?

None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you.

All right, that's it!

You're locked in here with me.



Hold on. -Fuck.

I got it, I got it, I got it.

I'm so sorry. I was snooping and must have hit the wrong button.

-Are you hurt? -No, no.

-Okay. -I'm fine. I just feel so bad.

No, don't worry.

It's happened before. Comedian did it back in '77.

Archie survived that.


Oh. Well, uh, short for Archimedes...

...Merlin's pet owl.

Stupid nickname.

How did you ever afford all this stuff, anyway?

Well, my dad was in corporate banking and left me a lot of money when he died...

...which always surprised me. I mean, he was....

I think he was disappointed I went into crime fighting...

...instead of following him.

Guess I was just more interested in birds and airplanes, mythology and....

Plus, there were enough other guys doing this so that I didn't feel ridiculous.

Like Hollis.


Yeah, he was my hero.

Man, I remember the first time that I met him...

...I just felt so connected, you know?

To something that mattered.

Must be nice having a secret identity.

A secret place that nobody knows about.

You can just come down here and hang out without anyone checking up on you.

Nobody watching you.

Wanna try those on?

There we go.

Wow, these rock.

They amplify the spectral range.

Thermal imaging.

They work even better in the dark.

You can see me, right?

I can see everything.

I remember, no matter how black it got...

...whenever I looked through those goggles, everything was as clear as day.

This must be the way Jon sees the world.

We should probably head up. Food's getting cold.

Put those away when you're done.

Soviet ambassador to the U.N. had no comment...

...when asked if Dr. Manhattan's disappearance...

...has fueled Soviet aggression in Afghanistan.


Jon sees a lot of things...

...but he doesn't see me.

Well, uh....



Come here.

What's the matter?

-If you could just move a little.... -Okay.

Yeah. There you go.

Dan, what's wrong?

Sorry, I....

Yeah, I just need a couple minutes.

Oh, hell.

It's okay.

Maybe we were just moving too fast.

We've got all the time in the world.

We'll take it slow.

It's been a long time, Rorschach.

Big Figure.

Small world.

I like that.

But you know, it is a small world in here.

And I've been in it for, how long now, Lloyd?

Almost 15 years, Mr. Figure.

That's right.

Fifteen years since you and that Owl fella put me away.


...Rorschach, that guy you burned is dying. Could go any minute.

You know, by my count, there are more than 50 people in here that you put away.

I been talking to every one of them and they're all dying to get a piece of you.

This place is gonna explode!

Then, you die by inches.

Tall order.

I'm gonna tear this guy a new hole.

Relax, Lawrence. Soon.

Come on.

Know this, my friends.

Hades is wet.

Hades is lonely.

And in that instant, we knew each other.

I'm sorry, my friend.

My raft had grown increasingly grotesque...

...reflecting my own transformation.

Adrift, my darkest imaginings welled up unchecked...

...spilling from brain to heart like black ink...

...impossible to remove.

The vessel had surely reached Davidstown already.

I pictured quiet streets overrun by the fiends from the Black Freighter.

My wife, my children, most certainly dead.

My crew, dead.

The beast I ride on, dead.

More blood, more blood, more blood.


It can't be. Oh, Lord, it can't be.

Father, help us. Please.


I'm coming.

Hurry, my dear.

Wait. Anyone but them.



I'd swallowed too much seawater.

I'd swallowed too much horror.

God has damned me.

God has damned us all.

Truly, life is hell, and death's rough hand our only deliverance.

I can endure no more.

I want to join my family desperately.

Yo, man.

What you reading?

Nothing, man.

-Nothing, huh? -Hey, hey! You leave that kid alone!

Shut up, old man!

You're reading a comic book? What are you, retarded?

Aw, hey, where you going, short bus?


Is everything all right?

I'm tired of being afraid.

Afraid of war...

...afraid of the mask killer...

...and afraid of this goddamn suit...

...and how much I need it.

Me too.

So to hell with it.

Let's take Archie out.

You're serious.

I used to be a masked avenger too, remember?

I'm used to going out at 3 in the morning and doing something stupid.

Rapid burner. Be advised, all units.

Tenement fire at 5th and Grand. Rapid burner.

Let's go.

I can see it. All right, hold on.

Dan, there are kids in there.

Everyone, stay where you are and remain calm.

We're gonna get you out of there.

The roof's starting to cave. Get me in there.

I'm gonna get you close.

Let's go.

Come on.

All right, let's move it, people.

Mom, is that guy in the space rocket...?

Is that Jesus?

No, baby.

Watch your step. All right.

We're all set.

Is that everyone?

Bye. Bye!

I can't believe we did that.

-They'll lock us up with Rorschach. -Who cares?

World War III could start tomorrow.



Come back here!

He's dead, Rorschach.

While everyone's distracted, we thought we'd bring you a housewarming gift.

Something from the machine shop.

Hey, boss, you notice?

None of that "small world, tall order" crap.

He knows once we slice open his lock, he's next on the block.

Fat chance.

You're dead, Rorschach!

We got a prison full of killers out here. What do you got?

Your hands, my pleasure.

Can't reach the lock. Should I cut the bars?

This riot won't last. I been waiting 15 years for this.

I'm sorry, Lawrence, but you're in the way of my revenge.

Nothing personal, big guy.

Boss! Wait!

Now you find out what the score is.

One-nothing. Come and get me.

Come on.

So I've been thinking.

I feel that we have an obligation to our fraternity.

-I think we ought to spring Rorschach. What?

Someone set him up.

And this whole cancer thing with Jon, it just doesn't make sense.

You didn't get it.

Yeah, but breaking into a maximum-security prison... a little different than putting out a fire. -Yeah, you're right.

It'll be more fun.

Hurry, Lloyd. I wanna smell this son of a bitch cooking.



Never disposed of sewage with a toilet before. Obvious, really.

Two-nothing. Your move.

Get out of the way!

How do we know he's still alive?

He's alive.

No. No.

Where's my face?

Don't kill me.

Your turn, doctor.

Tell me, what do you see?

Don't move!


Daniel. Miss Jupiter.

Excuse me. Have to visit men's room.

Oh, for chrissake.

Good to see you in uniform, Daniel.

Should've known all you needed was nice pair of legs to motivate you.

You're such an asshole, Rorschach. -Spare me indignation.

Picked hell of a time to be unfaithful to Jon.

Get tired of being patriotic, or someone put you up to it?

You don't know what the fuck you're talking about!

Hey! Would you two stop? You can argue later.

I had to turn the screechers off, so we'll be drawing fire soon.

Stop! Stop or we will shoot!

Are you all right?

Yeah. Just...

...heavy, you know?

War, jailbreak.

Don't worry about it. Okay? Everything's gonna be fine.

-Hello, Laurie. -Jon.

-TV said you were on Mars. -I am on Mars.

You and I are about to have a conversation there.

What are you talking about?

You're going to try to convince me to save the world.

-Laurie, don't. -Dan, trust me.

I have to go.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Forgive me. These things sometimes slip my mind.

It won't happen again.

That's comforting.

Oh, my God.

I'm on Mars.

Hey. Nice ass. Hey, asshole.

Hey, let's see if that comic-book retard's up here.

Hey, hey, hey. Yo.

You all hear? Some super-owl dude just busted Rorschach out of prison.

-Rorschach? -Yeah.

That fool put my cousin in a wheelchair.

You mean Nite Owl. Him and Rorschach used to be partners.

-Yeah. -Maybe he messed your cousin up too.

-Didn't he write a book or something? -Yeah.

You know, he lives over a garage right near here.

-Yeah? -Does he, now?



-Hollis? -Yeah.

Yes, Hollis Mason. Jesus.

All this time you've had my number and you wait until our sunset years to use it?

Well, it seemed like a special occasion, Sal.


The TV is reporting there was a tenement fire last night.

There were trapped people rescued by airship...

...and they say the pilot was dressed like an owl.

And it seems he had a sexy woman with him.

Laurie? My daughter, Laurie?

I can't get over Laurie back in costume.

Maybe she'll finally thank me for getting her started in the first place.

You know, Sal, by the sound of your voice...'re sounding younger than ever.

Oh. Why, bless you, Hollis.

But that's probably just senility.

Well, it's been great talking to you, Sal...

...but someone's knocking.

Well, don't get too misty-eyed thinking about old times.

You take care now, Hollis.

Ah, you too.



We're looking for Mr. Owl.

Yeah. Hold your horses.

Mr. Owl, you there?

Trick or treat.

You should've stayed retired, Owl.

I hate this.

Cowering in cave, hiding from authorities.

Cops are out there hunting us. Unless you wanna go back to prison...

...we'd be stupid to expose ourselves without a plan.

And what would that be?

Once we've established a pattern...

...we can break into Pyramid, see what we find.

Did that. Dead end.

I think it's a front company for whoever's really behind it, but can't prove it.

We need to hit up underworld contacts, squeeze people.

Sure, why don't we just pick names out of a phone book?

You forgot how we do things, Daniel.

You've gone too soft. Too trusting. Especially with women.

Okay, no. Listen, I've had it with that.

God, who do you think you are, Rorschach?

You live off people while insulting them...

...and no one complains because they think you're a goddamn lunatic.

I'm sorry.

I shouldn't have said that, man.

Daniel... are a good friend.

I know it can be difficult with me sometimes.

Forget it.

It's okay, man.

Let's do it your way.

Oh, God.

Pyramid Transnational. Anyone heard of it?

Oh, you bastards.

I buy everyone a round and you sell me out like this?

Back off, or I'll stick this glass in your squidgy face.

Everybody stay calm. We'll try to keep this brief.

Roy Chess. On Pyramid payroll.

Tried to kill Adrian Veidt. Dead now. Did you know him?


Yeah, yeah!

-I hired him. I knew him from the inside. -You're a felon.

I was. I've been straight ever since I got out, I swear.

I barely knew Chess that well, but I was told to hire from the old life.

-Told by whom? -My contact, Miss Slater.

Janey Slater works for Pyramid too?

Yeah, she was real nice. She said hiring ex-cons was part of the company program.

Give people a second chance. God, please let go! I'm telling the truth!

Janey Slater, Manhattan's old girlfriend.

Adrian might help us find out who's underwriting Pyramid.

Follow the money.

--former member of the Minutemen Hollis Mason found murdered... his apartment less than an hour ago.

Witnesses reported seeing members of a local gang known as the Knot-Tops...

...leaving the area right around the estimated time of death.

Reporting live, Tiffany Burns....

-Who did it? -I knew you were gonna victimize me, man.

What about my civil rights? Just because I'm wearing--

-Tell me who did it! -A lot of people dress like this.

Who murdered Hollis Mason?

You tell your friends they're dead.

I'm gonna take out this entire rat hole neighborhood.

I'll break your neck!

Daniel, not in front of the civilians.

Oh, goddamn. Goddamn, Hollis.

This is where we hold our conversation.

In it, you reveal to me that you and Dreiberg have been sleeping together.

-You know about me and Dan? -Not yet.

But in a few moments you're going to tell me.

If you already know the future, then why were you surprised when I left you?

Or when that reporter ambushed you?

Why even argue about it if you already know how this is gonna end?

I have no choice.

Everything is preordained.

Even my responses.

And you're just going through the motions.

The most powerful thing in the universe is still just a puppet.

We are all puppets, Laurie.

I'm just a puppet who can see the strings.

And what if you're wrong?

Why does my perception of time distress you so?

Because it's inhuman.

Because it makes me insane.

You always say you wanna comfort me. Well, it isn't working.

Look, I don't wanna fight.

I'm sorry I slept with Dan.

You slept with Dan?

You just said that you already knew about that.

I said often...

...that you were my only remaining link to humanity.

Why would I save a world...

...I no longer have any stake in?

Then do it for me.

If you really care.

When you left me, I left Earth.

Does that not show you that I care?

My red world here, now...

...means more to me than your blue one.

Let me show you.

Bombers are fueled and ready, sir.

It's time, gentlemen.

Take us to DEFCON one.

Not in penthouse. Not in office.

What nocturnal proclivities entice a man with everything...

...out into the night at this hour?


You with me?

-Yeah. -Then what are you doing?

I'm gonna look for Adrian's itinerary.

Maybe he keeps on file.

-Something's not right. -Agreed.

Janey Slater, Moloch, Roy Chess all work for Pyramid.

Moloch said the Comedian mentioned list with his and Slater's name on it.

Whoever owns Pyramid could be giving these people cancer.

Setting Manhattan up.


Ancient pharaohs looked forward to the end of the world.

Believed cadavers would rise, reclaim hearts from golden jars.

Must currently be holding breath in anticipation.


Got a psych profile on Manhattan.

See what the corporate head-peepers say.

"Subject continues to retreat emotionally.

If the only remaining ties were to be severed...

...we predict total detachment from the human condition."

I'm in.


Congratulations, Mr. Veidt. Dr. Manhattan's energy reactor is online.

Your support and your enthusiasm... what has led to this triumph.

On behalf of the research team, we salute you.

-Cheers. -Cheers.

What in life does not deserve celebrating?

This is the new Karnak.

This represents the culmination of a dream more than 2000 years old...

...a dream now assured because of your unquestioning assistance.

And for this...

...I am ashamed...

...ashamed that you must now share such inadequate a reward.

To the pharaohs...

...their greatest secrets entrusted to their servants...

...buried alive with them in sand-floored chambers.

Sleep well, gentlemen.

Our new, peaceful world will be indebted... your great sacrifice.


Rorschach's journal. Final entry.

Veidt's behind everything.


What's his endgame?

I cannot imagine a more dangerous opponent.

Used to joke he was fast enough to catch a bullet.

He could kill us both alone in the snow.

That's where we're going now: Antarctica.

Whether I'm alive or dead upon this reading...

...I hope the world survives long enough for this journal to reach you.

I live my life free of compromise...

...and step into the shadow without complaint or regret.

Rorschach, November 1st.

Oh, God help us.

-It's a little early for you, huh? -Yeah.

I wanted to finish the story before school.

Listen, now you just keep it, okay?

-Huh? -It's yours.

I mean, life's too short, right?



Thanks, man.

Why does death pass me by?



I was only miles away.

By now the town was overrun.

The fiends imagined themselves safe from me.

But now I was home.

And revenge would be mine.

No, not the brigands from the Black Freighter.

The man I recognized, a moneylender from Davidstown.

With Davidstown certainly captured...

...why would this scoundrel and his wench be allowed free passage...

...for this midnight tryst?

Had he collaborated?

Had he betrayed my people?

-My family? Come and get it, babe.


My heart grew cold.

Was my wife comforted before her execution...

...while this collaborator and his pirate masters sneered?

My decision was hurried, but not difficult.

Who are you? What?

His head burst, as if pressurized by the guilt within.

A buccaneer's whore deserves no pity.

Two figures had ridden here.

Two must ride back.

A pirate sentry.

I trotted unhurriedly to avoid suspicion.

Their violation did not stop with the good people of Davidstown...

...but had cut deeply, infecting my beloved homeland.

My Davidstown was not as I last saw it.

Already it was afflicted with the curse of the Black Freighter.

Soon, I would venture amongst evil men, butchers who now reside in my home...

...and make them fear me.

Upon my return home, I found the streets conspicuously silent.

I entered my former residence noiselessly.

Careful not to rouse the pirate butchers occupying it from their debauched slumber.

Unaware that death was amongst them...

...they would know its dark embrace without ever understanding why.

One, however, was awake. Frantic.

Lest he should raise alarms...

...I set upon him as he entered the night-wrapped chamber.

No pirates come, but something worse.


I look up into faces familiar, save for their terror.

Through puffed and bloodied lips, she mouthed my name.

My love, why?

There came an understanding so large it left no room for sanity.

So I ran.

What's happened to her?


The knowledge of my damnation paced me, shouting, celebrating its awful victory.

My deduction was flawless.

The Black Freighter was heading to Davidstown.

-It should have arrived. He went that way!

Can't you just tell me how this ends and save us the trouble?

It ends with you in tears.

Tears? So you don't come back to Earth.

At some point, yes.

The streets are filled with death.

Jon, please.

You have to stop this. Everyone will die.

And the universe will not even notice.

In my opinion, the existence of life... a highly overrated phenomenon.

Just look around you.

Mars gets along perfectly well without so much as a microorganism.

Here, it's a constantly changing topographical map...

...flowing and shifting around the pole in ripples 10,000 years wide.

So tell me... would all of this be greatly improved by an oil pipeline?

By a shopping mall?

So it's too much to ask for a miracle?

Miracles, by their definition, are meaningless.

Oh, God, Jon!

-Only what can happen does happen. -Just stop your bullshit.

Land this thing. Now.

As you wish.

You know what?

You can send me back to Earth to fry with Dan and my mom...

...and all the other worthless humans.

But know that you were wrong. You said this ended with me in tears...

...and look: nothing. Maybe you were wrong about everything.

You complain that I refuse to see life on life's terms...

...yet you continuously refuse to see things from my perspective.

-You shut out what you're afraid of. -I'm not afraid.

You want me to see things your way? Go ahead, show me. Do that thing you do.

Magic. Dreams. That is what I had before. I was a hero, goddamn it!

It's not my fault you got old. What do you have to complain about?

I put food on the table for you and your child.

Call your friend Eddie. Maybe he can give you a better life.

Even the grimy parts of it...

...keep on getting brighter.

You know, your mom, she was one of the all-time champion beauties.

-You got her eyes, you know. You got-- -Take your hands off her.

Hey, doll. Long time no see.

Not long enough in my book, Eddie. Get in the car.


Are there no depths you won't sink to?

Jesus Christ, Sally. Can't a guy talk to his... know, old friend's daughter?


It was a mistake. One time.

Guy tries to rape you, and years later, you let him finish the job?

What? Were you drunk or just lonely?

Am I ever gonna live this down?



No, not him.

The Comedian...

...was your father.


No! No! No!

My life is just... big joke.

I don't think your life is a joke.

Yeah, well...

...I'm sorry if I don't trust your sense of humor.

Will you smile...

...if I admit I was wrong?

About what?


Events with astronomical odds of occurring... oxygen turning into gold.

I've longed to witness such an event, and yet I neglect...

...that in human coupling...

...millions upon millions of cells compete to create life...

...for generation after generation...

...until finally, your mother...

...loves a man...

...Edward Blake, the Comedian, a man she has every reason to hate...

...and out of that contradiction, against unfathomable odds...'s you--


--that emerged.

To distill so specific a form...

...from all that chaos... like turning air into gold.

A miracle.

And so...

...I was wrong.

Now dry your eyes, and let's go home.

We got a bearing on that artificial structure. Heat signature's off the charts.

-Veidt. -I don't like the way Archie's kicking.

-The engines. -They're icing up. Hold onto something.

Daniel, you're coming in too low.

Don't wish to interfere, but perhaps should pull up sharply--

I know! I'm trying. I'm trying to pull him up, goddamn it!

I'm gonna redirect the heat from the flamethrower to speed up deicing...

...but it's gonna take a while and we don't have time to wait.

You need something warmer.

Fine like this.

What is it, girl?


Adrian's a pacifist.

He's a vegetarian, for chrissakes. He's never killed anyone in his life.

Hitler was vegetarian.

You're squeamish, leave him to me. We won't get second chance.


-Welcome. -Adrian, we know everything.

Then what's there to discuss, Dan?

Plenty. You killed Comedian.

May he rest in peace.

Blake figured it out first.

Nixon had him keeping tabs on us, making sure we weren't rocking the boat.

Blake found out what I was doing here in Karnak...

...and by the time he visited poor Moloch, he was cracking badly.

Even I couldn't predict he'd be the one to have a change of heart.


...I had to kill him.

Then I neutralized Jon. No easy task.

I put roughly $2 billion into tachyon research... block Jon's vision of the future.

You used his psych profile to manipulate him.

Got him to leave the planet.

I've known Jon long enough to see he isn't devoid of emotion.

His subtle facial twitches wouldn't be noticed by the layman, but to me...

...he might as well have been sobbing.

All I needed to do was tug on the thread.

The sudden flood of emotion Jon felt...

...when he came to believe he'd given cancer to the people he loved...

...was all the excuse he needed to leave Earth.

Your bullshit assassin. You paid him to throw us off.

Mr. Chess gave his life in the service of a higher cause, Dan.

I put a cyanide capsule in his mouth...

...leaving only one loose end:

You, and your mask-killer theory... you followed with the tenacity of a true sociopath.

I tipped off the police.

Once you were in prison, I was able to move forward.

Sorry to disappoint you.

We were supposed to make the world a better place.

Dan, that's exactly what I am doing.

Nuclear war?

Human extinction?

Of course, my moral safeguards gave me pause at the necessary sacrifice.

A few key regions around the globe--

New York, Los Angeles, Moscow, Hong Kong.

--disintegrated in an instant.

Fifteen million people killed... Dr. Manhattan himself.

The world's punishment for flirting with World War III.

Jon wouldn't do that.

A fact no one outside this room ever has to know.

The energy breakthrough I was working on just came to fruition.

All these years, Jon was helping me replicate his power...

...unaware of how I planned to use it.

You see...

...the Comedian was right.

Humanity's savage nature will inevitably lead to global annihilation.

So in order to save this planet...

...I had to trick it...

...with the greatest practical joke in human history.

-Killing millions. -To save billions.

A necessary crime.

You know we can't let you do that.

"Do that," Rorschach?

I'm not a comic-book villain.

Do you think I'd explain my masterstroke to you...

...if there were even the slightest possibility you could affect the outcome?

I triggered it 35 minutes ago.

Eventually, I came to a dismal black ocean stretching endlessly before me.

How had I reached this appalling position with love...

...only love, as my guide?

The moneylender floated at my feet.

Noble intentions had led me to atrocity.

The righteous anger fueling my ingenious, awful scheme was but delusion.

Where was my error?

Planning to resume my flight, I raised my head and saw her.

The vessel seemed to be waiting, not hovering to strike.

And, gradually, I understood what innocent intent had brought me to...

...and waded out beyond my depth.

The unspeakable truth loomed unavoidably before me... I swam towards the anchored Freighter.

Its dark and lurching mast filled all my vision.

All my well-meaning plans had come to this.

The world I tried to save was lost beyond recall.

A rope snaked down.

Sputtering, I grabbed it.

And from the decks above, a cheer went up...

...both gross and black, its stench affronting heaven.

There had been no plan to capture Davidstown.

They'd come to wait until they could collect the only prize they valued.

Claim the only soul they truly wanted.

I was a horror.

Amongst horrors must I dwell.

-Man, this shit don't make no sense. -You're telling me.

Sorry, but you can keep this garbage. Wasting all my damn time.

Hey, hey. You know, all this time you've been coming here...

...I never caught your name.

-Bernard. -Bernard? You're kidding.

That's-- Heh. That's my name too.

Not that big a deal. There's lots of people called Bernard.

Jesus Christ, Henry.

Why the hell didn't we get a launch detection?

It's not the Soviets, sir.

Intel indicates the energy signature...

...was generated by...

...Dr. Manhattan.



Cataclysmic interference.

I can't believe it happened.

This wasn't caused by nuclear warheads.

It was me.


...did this.

-What do you mean, you did this? -Not directly.

It was made to look like I did it.


Speak of the devil.

Jon-- I know.

Must stop him. Killed Blake, killed millions.

Wait here.

Adrian, stop this.

The tachyons were clever...

...but even if I can't predict where you are, I can turn the walls to glass.

I should thank you.

I'd almost forgotten the excitement of not knowing...

...the delights of uncertainty.

Forgive me, girl.

You're such an asshole.

Veidt, you bastard.

-If you've hurt her, I'll-- -Dan...

...grow up. My new world demands less obvious heroism.


...schoolboy heroics are redundant. What have they achieved?

Failing to prevent Earth's salvation... your only triumph.

I'm disappointed in you, Adrian.

I'm very disappointed.

Reassembling myself was the first trick I learned.

It didn't kill Osterman.

Did you really think it would kill me?

I have walked across the surface of the sun.

I have witnessed events so tiny and so fast...

...they can hardly be said to have occurred at all...

...but you, Adrian, you're just a man.

The world's smartest man...

...poses no more threat to me...

...than does its smartest termite.

What's that?

Another ultimate weapon?


You could say that.

--came under attack.

Millions of lives were suddenly ended... an act of evil perpetrated by Dr. Manhattan himself.

Since the attacks, I have been in constant contact...

...with the premier of the U.S.S.R.

Putting aside our past differences...

...we have both pledged to unite...

...against this common enemy.

With the rest of the world...

...we will prevail.

This is a day we shall never forget.

And yet we go forward to defend the human race...

...and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. God bless us all.

Do you see?

Two superpowers retreating from war.

I've saved the earth from hell.

We both have.

This is as much your victory as it is mine.

Now we can return... what we were meant to.

We were meant to exact justice.

-Everyone's gonna know what you've done. -Will they?

By exposing me, you would sacrifice the peace so many died for today.

-Peace based on a lie. -But peace...

-...nonetheless. -He's right.

Exposing Adrian would only doom the world to nuclear destruction again.

No. We can't do this.

On Mars... taught me the value of life.

If we hope to preserve it here...

...we must remain silent.

Keep your own secrets.

Don't even think about it.



Never compromise.

Not even in the face of armageddon.

That's always been the difference between us, Daniel.

I've made myself feel every death...

...see every innocent face I've murdered to save humanity.

-You understand, don't you? Without condoning...

...or condemning...

...I understand.

Out of my way. People have to be told.

You know I can't let you do that.

Suddenly you discover humanity?


If you'd cared from the start, none of this would have happened.

I can change almost anything...

...but I can't change human nature.

Of course you must protect Veidt's new utopia.

What's one more body amongst foundations?

Well, what are you waiting for?

Do it.

Do it!


I'm leaving this galaxy for one a little less complicated.

I thought you said you cared about life again.

I do.

I think maybe I'll create some.

Goodbye, Laurie.

Come on.

Come on!


...a world united and at peace.

There had to be sacrifice.

No! You haven't idealized mankind, you've deformed it.

You've mutilated it.

That's your legacy.

That's the real practical joke.

We repeat, there is nothing wrong with your television set.

You are about to participate in a great adventure.

You are about to experience the awe and mystery...

...which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits.

Sure you don't want a drink?

I'm okay.


There's something I need to get off my chest.

I know that Eddie Blake was my father.


What you must think of me.

I'm sorry I never told you.

I should have...

...but I don't know, I just felt ashamed. I felt stupid.

It doesn't matter.

People's lives take them strange places. They do strange things...

...and, well, sometimes they can't talk about them.

I know how that is...

...but I just want you to know...

...that you never did anything wrong by me.

You asked me why I wasn't mad at him.

Because he gave me you.

Thanks, Mom.

I love you.

-Hello, Miss Jupiter. -Oh, Sally, please.

Excuse me. Gotta go freshen up. I'll be right back.

-So how's it going up here? -Good. How's it going down there?

Good. I think I've got everything working.

All of Archie's systems are upgraded. Finished the tinkering for now... all we gotta do is take her out.

Well, that sounds like a date.

Are we gonna be all right?

Long as people think Jon's still watching us, we'll be all right... the end.

I know what Jon would say:

Nothing ends.

Nothing ever ends.

Seymour, we got nothing to write about anymore.

Everyone in the country...

...every country in the world are holding hands...

...and singing songs about peace and love.

It's like living in a goddamn global hippie commune.

Well, Ronald Reagan says he's gonna be running for president in '88.

We could run a piece on that.

Seymour, we don't dignify absurdities with coverage.

This is still America, damn it. Who wants a cowboy in the White House?

Okay. I could look for something in the crank file.

Crank file.

Whatever. Take some initiative.

Run whatever you like. I leave it entirely in your hands.

Rorschach's journal, October 12th, 1985.

Tonight, a comedian died in New York.