Synopsis for "Places We Have Never Known"
In Nite Owl's hideout, Ozymandias gives Marionette and Mime their original costumes, including Marionette's favorite perfume. As the couple gets dressed, on the Owlship Ozymandias shows the "new" Rorschach a tape: Mime and Marionette were robbing a bank when they were stopped by the appearance of Dr. Manhattan. Mime threatened Manhattan with his invisible gun and when the superhuman was about to kill him, Marionette stood between them as a living shield for her beloved. Manhattan oddly stopped and went away, as the guards arrested the duo. Ozymandias explains to Rorschach that this must mean that Marionette shares some kind of bond with the godly creature, so she's coming along in the search for him to make him realize they need him back. Unbeknown to the two spectators, though, Manhattan didn't kill Marionette because he heard inside her belly the heartbeat of her son she and Mime now watch in photograph with apprehension.
As the Owlship takes flight, Ozymandias explains to his fellow travellers that Dr. Manhattan's distinctive blue color is caused by electrons leaking from his body. He was able to build a machine that can track the trail left by those electrons, and thus to follow him in whichever reality he hid in via Quantum Tunneling. At the exact same time of the detonation of the atomic bomb on Manhattan, Ozymandias teleports the team to a new, unknown world.
In the universe where the Owlship landed, in Gotham City, Bruce Wayne takes a Rorchach test to establish his mental stability as requested by the Wayne Enterprises board. As he doesn't seem too bothered by his business problems and more about the Mad Hatter being loose, Lucius Fox reminds him that if they don't stay sharp, the board could sell the company to LexCorp, thus putting in jeopardy their "side project", his life as the vigilante Batman. In the streets, protesters demonstrate against superheroes after the burst of the "Supermen Theory" conspiracy. Bruce doesn't care about that and goes dressing up.
The Owlship passes through the Batsignal in Gotham, crash-landing in an abandoned amusement park. Ozymandias wakes up Rorschach and together they decide to investigate the place while handcuffing Mime and Marionette to the ship until they are needed, to Marionette's disdain. Rorschach asks Ozymandias if it's really necessary to bring along his lynx, but he answers that she's more than a mere pet, she's "the compass".
As they roam the streets of Gotham, Ozymandias has an idea: they'll learn faster and better about this world at the Public Library. There, the two misfits find out about the humongous number of superhumans living in this reality and they notice that some of them are fictional characters in their own world. They argue that this may mean that Manhattan created them or acts like one, in disguise. Ultimately, they resolve to go talk to the two smartest people on this world: Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor. Veidt chooses to meet with Luthor, as he believes him to be the smartest of the two.
Rorschach breaks into Wayne Manor and eats Bruce's pancakes prepared by Alfred. He then takes little time to find out about the secret passage to the Batcave behind the pendulum clock. Meanwhile, Batman is busy knocking out the Mad Hatter and his accomplices, when he's notified of a stranger entering his secret base.
Lex Luthor gets out of one of his labs after a failed experiment, and fires every scientist around. When he enters his study, he finds Ozymandias admiring one of his paintings. The stranger introduces himself as the smartest man on his world come to talk with the smartest man of this one, so before calling security Luthor intends to listen to what he has to say.
Back on the Owlship, Marionette complains about the situation, so Mime remembers he took along his (invisible) lockpick, smiling. At the same time, Rorschach explores the cave, concluding that only a monster would keep as many trophies of the past as this Bruce Wayne; Ozymandias, instead, explains the plan that ruined him to Luthor, who's amazed that the self-proclaimed smartest man of that world would consider it as a good idea. Ozymandias cuts the story short, telling Luthor he knows they are alike and that they could help each other obtain what they desire. Suddenly, Ozymandias is shot at by Edward Blake, a.k.a. the Comedian, apparently back from the dead. Meanwhile, Batman reaches his mysterious stranger, who admits to eating his breakfast.
Mime and Marionette have opened their handcuffs, meaning they are roaming free.
Appearing in "Places We Have Never Known"
- Carver Colman (First appearance) (On a TV or computer screen)
- Doctor Manhattan (Flashback only)
- Joker (In a photograph only)
- Lois Lane (In a photograph only)
- Martha Wayne (Flashback only)
- Thomas Wayne (Flashback only)
- Daily Planet (Mentioned only)
- Dayton Labs (Mentioned only)
- Department of Metahuman Affairs (Mentioned only)
- Doc Dread (Mentioned only)
- Genetech (Mentioned only)
- Helga Jace (Mentioned only)
- Kord Industries (Mentioned only)
- Man-Bat (Mentioned only)
- Nathaniel Dusk (Mentioned only)
- Metamorpho (Mentioned only)
- Nite-Owl (Mentioned only)
- Prosecutor (Mentioned only)
- Rorschach (Walter Kovacs) (Mentioned only)
- Silk Spectre (Mentioned only)
- Sapphire Stagg (Mentioned only)
- Simon Stagg (Mentioned only)
- Stagg Enterprises (Mentioned only)
- Stingaree (Mentioned only)
- Sunderland Corporation (Mentioned only)
- Watchmen Universe
- Prime Earth
- Doomsday Clock
- Lucius Fox states that a "Superman theory" has turned the world upside down and that it started with Kirk Langstrom and Rex Mason.
- The supplemental information section (in the form of a web page from The Bulletin dated Dec 7, 2017) reveals that the "Superman theory" revolves around the idea that the US government had hands in the origins of metahumans and is the result of research by Dr. Helga Jace into why so many metahumans were Americans.
- According to Watchmen #5 the government took the side of the comic book companies "in an effort to protect the image of comic book-inspired agents in their employ". However EC's wild success with pirate-themed horror comics resulted in National Comics (DC) going into that genre with their own series Tales of the Dark Freighter. There is no mention of there being a Silver Age revival of the superhero genre on the Watchmen Earth.
- The amusement park where the Owlship crash-lands is a reference to Batman: The Killing Joke (another Alan Moore work alongside Watchmen). It references the location bought by the Joker for Gordon and the toy-elephant seen in the low left side of a panel looks like the one ridden by the owner of the park.
- When Rorschach moves the pendulum clock in Wayne Manor, the clock strikes three minutes before midnight, just like the Doomsday Clock in Prime Earth, as the article at the end of the comic explains.
- When the bomb drops, someone exclaims, "Look, up in the sky!" and asks if it's a plant, which is from the narration to The Adventures of Superman TV series.
- The Nathaniel Dusk mentioned was played by Carver Colman and was part of a movie series that ended in 1954 with The Adjournment which was directed by Jacques Tourneur. Carver Colman was murdered shortly before the film came out.
- The Gotham public library Ozymandias and Rorschach II visit has busts of Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, and Vladimir Mayakovsky atop its entrance.
- There is an oblique reference to Gotham City being a nickname for New York City. It was used by Washington Irving and was picked up by others such as Mike Wallace: Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898.