"The Judge of All the Earth": Doctor Manhattan is having problems with his relationship with Laurie when he multiplies himself and she finds out that 'one of him' had been working while she was being romantic with another. Laurie walks out on Manhattan, going to meet up with Dan Dreiberg.

Watchmen #3 is an issue of the series Watchmen (Volume 1) with a cover date of November, 1986.

Appearing in "The Judge of All the Earth"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:




Synopsis for "The Judge of All the Earth"

Doctor Manhattan is having problems with his relationship with Laurie when he multiplies himself and she finds out that 'one of him' had been working while she was being romantic with another. Laurie walks out on Manhattan, going to meet up with Dan Dreiberg.

Meanwhile, Manhattan's ex-wife Janey Slater is giving an interview with a news editor of the Nova Express. She states that she has cancer that she presumably received through connection with Manhattan.

Manhattan gets dressed and transports from his home to his television interview where he meets up with a government official named Forbes telling him what to, and what not to say. One of his questions that he cannot say is about his involvement with the Russians in Afghanistan. Then, one of the audience members is Doug Roth of Nova Express who ask Manhattan of his relationships with his colleague Wally Weaver, Slater, and his former nemesis Edgar Jacobi, if he knew that all of them had a fatal form of cancer, among others. Forbes quickly intervened and stopped the interview, but while he and Manhattan were leaving Manhattan became overwhelmed by questions. A very distressed Manhattan yells "I said leave me alone!" and transported everyone outside of the building.

Laurie meets up with Dan who gave her some coffee and they talked about her troublesome relationship and where she will stay that night. She decided on a hotel and walked him to Hollis Mason's place, but while walking through an alleyway they were almost mugged by a gang of knot-tops. They take out the entire group. Leaving the alleyway, Laurie decides to go find a hotel and to leave Dan alone. Once arriving at Hollis' place, Hollis shows Dan the interview of Manhattan's incident on television.

Manhattan arrives back at his home to find out that it is being quarantined. He decides that he is leaving, telling a soldier to leave a message for Laurie and his superiors. He said he is going to Arizona, and then Mars. He goes to the Gila Flats test base in Arizona, where he took a picture of himself and Janey Slater many years ago at a carnival. On Mars he explores in a childish excitement and then finds a rock to sit on.

Laurie goes back to the base to find that everything is being taken away by military personnel in hazmat suits and she is told by Forbes that she is ordered to undergo a cancer scan and is ask about whether she has put Manhattan in emotional stress. Unaware of Manhattan's incident, she is offended by Forbes for considering herself responsible for something until the man, deeply exasperated, snaps to her that she is no longer welcome to the base, since his superiors believe that Manhattan is not coming back in which his absence has severe global consequences.

The next day, Dan awakes from his bed to find Rorschach has broken into his home (again), whom shows Dan a newspaper with the front page of Manhattan's departure from Earth. This news also makes Rorschach being more convinced of his mask killer theory.

That night, the news vendor receives the evening edition and is shocked to read from the headlines. Anxiously, he gives the kid a copy of Tales of the Black Freighter for free, and even his cap. The headline he read is "Russians Invade Afghanistan".

Tales of the Black Freighter

A young mariner is the sole survivor of a battle with pirates and wakes up on a deserted island where dead bodies are piled next to him. The mariner recalls the disaster of the attack and about thinks about the pirates of the "black freighter" bearing down on his home and his unsuspecting family. He then begin the arduous task of burying his shipmates throughout the entire day.

Appearing in "Under the Hood"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Synopsis for "Under the Hood"

Chapter V

Hollis described the 1950's as cold and bleak, both for himself and for masked adventurers in general. The Minutemen have become irrelevant in society as their exploits were being reported less frequently and treated as a joke. Sally Jupiter have her daughter Laurie in 1949, when her marriage began to deteriorate. Her marriage ended in 1956, and since then Sally has been successful in raising her daughter. The Comedian remained the only member of the Minutemen who has been treated seriously in the eyes of the public partly due to his government connections, and was turning into a patriotic symbol.

During the height of the McCarthy era, the remaining active masked adventurers testified before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, and were forced to reveal their identities. The Comedian was excepted because of his allegiance. This doesn't present any immediate problems for most of the Minutemen, such as Captain Metropolis' outstanding military record and Hollis' service in the police force. But Mothman met with more difficulty due to his associations with left-wing friends during his student days. He was eventually cleared, but the investigations were both lengthy and ruthless, and Hollis speculates that the pressure may have prompted his drinking problem that later contributed to his mental ill-health.

Hooded Justice remained the only masked adventurer who refused to testified, on the grounds that he was not prepared to reveal his true identity to anyone. When pressed, he vanished. Hollis presumed that the Hooded Justice retire rather than revealing his identity. But almost a year after Hooded Justice vanished, the New Frontiersmen publish an article about the disappearance of a circus strongman named Rolf Muller, who quit his job at the height of the Senate Subcommittee hearings. Three months later, a badly decomposed body was found washed up on the coast of Boston. The body was identified as Muller's that was shot through the head. The article further stated that Muller, whose family was East German, had been on the run for fear of being uncovered during the Communist witch hunts, and implied that Muller was executed by his Communist superiors. Hollis speculated that Muller and Hooded Justice are the same person, but find this troubling to accept his fellow costume fighter was a spy, and leaving him to wonder who had killed them. This has took Hollis a long time to realize to accept it as a mystery.

Another problem that contributed to the downfall of costumed adventurers was the absence of costumed criminals. These criminals turned in their costumes along with their careers, but some opted for a less extroverted and more profitable approach as "ordinary men in business suits" who ran drug and prostitution rackets.

By March of 1960, Doctor Manhattan came, whose presence make the term "masked hero" and "costume adventurer" obsolete. Hollis recalled how the public reacted with feelings of disbelief of an actual superhuman being with incredible powers. The presence of Manhattan made Hollis to conclude that the regular heroes are replaced. In the closing months of 1958, Ozymandias first appear after busting a major opium and heroin smuggling racket, and earned a reputation amongst the criminal fraternity for his boundless and implacable intelligence and a large degree of athletic prowess.

Hollis first met Manhattan and Ozymandias during a Red Cross relief in June of 1960. His encounter with Manhattan was described as a strange experience which lasts for a short time until it almost seems normal. It was then that Hollis decided to retire his heroics and opened his own auto repair business. Soon, he was visited by a young admirer who proposed to borrow his identity as the new Nite Owl. After visiting his admirer's home and seeing his technology that will be use on the war on crime, Hollis permitted. Hollis also learned of Sally Jupiter's daughter, who was also carrying on her mother's legacy. Hollis conclude that the super-hero has become a part of American life for better, or for worse.


  • The title of the issue is taken from Genesis chapter 18, verse 25. The passage appears at the end of the issue: "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"
  • On the newsstand is an issue of the New Frontier headline reading "Missing Writer: Castro to Blame?" and a photo of Max Shea, who first appears in issue #8.
  • Doctor Manhattan's interview to the ABC program, as Dr. Jonathan Osterman, reveals his real name.
  • The repairman that fixes Daniel Dreiberg's door reappears in issues #11 and #12.
  • The host Benny Anger reappears in issue #7.
  • The Doomsday Clock on the last page of the issue stands now at 11:51.


  • The ad on the back of the comic that the boy is reading is for "The Veidt Method," Adrian Veidt's equivalent of the Charles Atlas ads in which were prominently advertised in comic books and boys' magazines from the 1940's.
  • Across the street from the newsstand are the offices of the Promethean Cab Company, whom employs the cab driver Joey. The company is a reference to the Greek titan Prometheus who defied Zeus' will by giving fire to humanity.
  • The repairman's company, Gordian Knot Lock Co, is a reference to the metaphorical legend associated with the Macedonian king Alexander the Great. It can be presume that the company is owned by Adrian Veidt, who has a personal fascination with Alexander the Great and tells the legend of the Gordian Knot in issue #11.
  • Dan Dreiberg finds only one sugar cube left in his box (3:8:5) as Rorschach has took the rest in issue #1.
  • Dan's lines "Here's looking at you, kid." is taken from the movie Casablanca and foreshadows Dan and Laurie's intimacy and relationship later in the story.
  • Dan and Laurie walk past a movie poster of This Island Earth, in which aliens come to Earth in order to bring scientists back to their planet Metaluna and attempt to save it from destruction by their enemies (3:11:2). This movie could serve as a metaphor for what Ozymandias is doing behind the scenes in order to achieve a very similar goal in the conclusion of Watchmen.
  • The phrase "Who Watches the Watchmen?" appears as a graffiti on an alley wall where the Knot Tops are stalking Dan and Laurie.
  • The sign for the New Frontiersman reads "In your hearts, you know it's right." to which someone has added "wing" to disparage the newspaper's right-wing tone. This is a reference to 1964's conservative U.S. Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, who used this phrase, minus the addition, as a slogan. Goldwater's slogan was modified by Lyndon B. Johnson supporters to "In Your Heart You Know He Might."
  • The man putting up the radiation trefoil symbol on Dr. Manhattan's door is singing a rendition of "Walking on the Moon" by The Police. This foreshadows Dr. Manhattan's trip to Mars.
  • On the fallen Gila Flats sign reads "Per Dolorem Ad Astra." The Latin phrase means "Through Sadness/Pain/Anguish To The Stars." This reflects Dr. Manhattan's reasons for leaving Earth.
  • The writing on the bulletin board at Gila Flats reads "At play amidst the strangeness and charm." "Strangeness" and "charm" are properties of quarks.
  • On the newsstand is the latest New Frontiersman, which features the headline "Our Country's Protector Smeared by the Kremlin."
  • The news vendor's comments: "superheroes are finished" confirms the fact that superhero comics have never been popular in the world of Watchmen with real superheroes, and instead replaced by pirate comics. He mentions Superman and "Flash-Man" (our world's Flash; either the news vendor has a faulty memory, or the worlds had diverged enough by 1940 to produce a minor change like this). His comment also directly address on what is happening within the world of Watchmen as masked heroes are being picked off one by one.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.