"Fearful Symmetry": Moloch wakes up to hear someone intrude his home and picks up a gun for safety. Remembering his last encounter with Rorschach, he checks the refrigerator and inside finds a note that reads "Behind You". Moloch turns around to be confronted by Rorschach, who then interrogates

Quote1 Call the toy people and cancel the extension of the Ozymandias line. If they ask why, just tell them I don't have any enemies. Quote2
Adrian Veidt

Watchmen #5 is an issue of the series Watchmen (Volume 1) with a cover date of January, 1987.

Appearing in "Fearful Symmetry"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Bernie and Bernie
  • Dominique Hirsh
  • Joey
  • Seymour David




Synopsis for "Fearful Symmetry"

Moloch wakes up to hear someone intrude his home and picks up a gun for safety. Remembering his last encounter with Rorschach, he checks the refrigerator and inside finds a note that reads "Behind You". Moloch turns around to be confronted by Rorschach, who then interrogates him about The Comedian's visit to Moloch's a week before his murder, and makes a reference to Moloch being one of the many victims given cancer allegedly by Dr. Manhattan. After threatening Moloch by locking him in the fridge, Rorschach realizes that Moloch has no part for discrediting Manhattan. He then instructs Moloch to leave a note in a trashcan with any information discrediting Dr. Manhattan.

Meanwhile, Steven Fine and Joe Bourquin are at the scene of a murder-suicide in which a man, fearing nuclear holocaust, had murdered his two daughters before taking his own life in front of his wife. After having finished questioning the wife, the detectives leave while Bourquin advise Fine to not let this incident ruin his day.

The newspaper vendor talks about World War III with a delivery man, who puts forward the idea that in World War III, as opposed to World War II, there will be no place to run to. The vendor muses on the delivery man's words before dismissing the likelihood of a nuclear holocaust and starts complaining how the war is disrupting his newspaper deliveries.

During this time, Dan and Laurie are having lunch at a diner. Laurie tells Dan that she has no home to go to and her expense account is suspended by the government, as they saw no further use for her after Dr. Manhattan had left Earth. Sympathetically, Dan offers Laurie to stay at his place. As Laurie and Dan leave the diner, they are observed by an unmasked Rorschach, who waits for news from Moloch, via a secret message.

Adrian Veidt is about to meet with representatives from a toy company who are proposing new characters in their Ozymandias line. While walking with his secretary, a gunman attempts to shoot Veidt but fatally shoots the secretary. Veidt fights and quickly subdues the gunman, who eventually bites into a suicide capsule to prevent Veidt discovering who sent him.

At police headquarters, Fine and Bourquin are looking over evidence taken from the murder-suicide case, reflecting on the recent attempt on Veidt's life, and trying to do paperwork on Edward Blake's murder. They then receive a phone call from an anonymous tip who gives them information on the whereabouts of "Raw Shark".

Rorschach arrives at Moloch's place in which Moloch wanted to see him. He only finds Moloch murdered, with a bullet in his head. Suddenly, the police with Detectives Fine and Bourquin have surrounded the building and demand Rorschach to come out and surrender. Rorschach realizes he has fallen into a trap and attempts to escape. After subduing several SWAT members, Rorschach jumps out of the window and lands on the street where he is immediately overwhelmed by the police. He is then unmasked, revealing him to be the doomsayer who has been appearing sporadically in the city.

Tales of the Black Freighter

Nearby the news vendor, the kid continues reading "Tales of the Black Freighter" in which the mariner decided to find a way back home and un-burying his shipmates so he could use their gas-bloated bodies to support his raft. The mariner leaves at night and sustains himself by eating captured sea gulls and drinking sea water. He is soon beset by sharks, who take away the dead shipmates' bodies. The mariner is then attacked by a large shark that he eventually kills by stabbing a splinter of the mast into its eye. The dead shark provides the mariner with food and support for his raft since it was entangled with its cords.

Appearing in "Treasure Island: Treasury of Comics"

Featured Characters:

Synopsis for "Treasure Island: Treasury of Comics"

Treasure Island: Treasury of Comics is a book which details the creation of Tales of the Black Freighter and the appeal of pirate comics, which first became popular after the 1950's when comic books were scrutinized (except for certain comic books that were inspired by government-sponsored agents).

In May 1960 Tales of the Black Freighter was created by artist Joe Orlando and relatively new writer Max Shea and published by National Comics (now called DC), and tells the story of "a vessel from Hell" that takes on the souls of "evil men so that they may walk its blood-stained decks for all eternity." Although the title did not escape controversy as it was notable for its horrific scenes of piratical brutality and excesses, it did not lose its audience.

After nine issues, Orlando left the project - due to creative differences with Shea - and he is replaced by Walt Feinberg, a relatively unknown but capable artist who is best known for his western titles.

One of their more notable collaborations was the two-part "Marooned" story in issues 23 and 24. A one-character story about a young mariner shipwrecked by pirates of the Black Freighter and his desperate attempt to warn his hometown of the hell-ship's approach. Until issue 31, Shea quit the project following similar creative differences and he disappeared from the public eye.


  • The title of this issue is based on the phrase from William Blake's poem "The Tyger". Also, one of the policemen cautiously entering Jacobi's home states "here be tygers," which could also mean the practice of filling in unknown areas on old maps with "Here be dragons."
  • On page 7, panel 1, the poster featuring Buddha with a yellow sun behind his head is spattered with a spot of blood. The blood marks the sun in the same position as the blood on The Comedian's smiley face badge, and also covers the Buddha's left eye. On page 15, in the scene where Ozymandias is beating his would-be assassin, some blood flies in front of the yellow flower on Ozymandias' lapel, making it resemble the smile button.
  • Rorschach's remark that his landlady "reminds [him] of his mother" foreshadows revelations that are to come in the next issue.
  • Veidt's comment that the ancient Egyptians saw death "as launching on a voyage of spiritual discovery" is part of his philosophy (5:13:6). One can assume, and foreshadows the end of Watchmen, which is brought about by Veidt and his Egyptian philosophy of death.
  • Rorschach's speech bubble changes into a normal speech bubble once he is unmasked.


  • The Grateful Dead poster in the background (5:7:6) and later taken as police evidence is for the album "AOXOMOXOA," which is a palindrome that is also a mirror image, reinforcing the primary theme of this issue.
  • The "Who Watches the Watchmen?" graffiti appears next to the "Hiroshima lovers" graffiti (5:11:5).

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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