Hypothetical musings: What happens after the last panel of Alan Moore's "Watchmen?"

On my most recent re-read of Watchmen, I started wondering what happened after the final panel. The New Frontiersman, a reactionary right-wing newspaper, had to cancel a planned two-page article condemning those damn Commie Russians due to the peace accords signed after the “alien invasion” that Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias orchestrated. The last panel shows the publisher’s assistant reaching for Rorshach’s journal, in which he detailed his investigation into the “mask killer” which subsequently turned into an investigation into what Ozymandias was doing with his multiple cover industries, in the crank file to run as filler in the original column’s place.

It’s clear that they are going to print Rorshach’s journal because it’s the only thing in the pile of crank letters that would fill the requisite two pages. So what happens after that, do you think? Do people just ignore it and everything keeps on keeping on the way Veidt had planned? Do other media outlets pick up on it and run with it? Does Veidt have to answer for anything he’s done?

Me, personally, I think Nova Express, which is the MSNBC to The New Frontiersman’s FOX News (with similar back-and-forths), would pick up the story and publish a few articles on it condemning Rorshach as a reactionary who misinterpreted all the facts. Veidt would hear of the journal being published and use his contacts to make sure that everyone who worked at The New Frontiersman (all two of them) “disappeared” and try to cover it up. But since it was published, the journal would be out in the public record (most likely buried in libraries’ microfilm or equivalent files) and there would be a slight undercurrent of distrust about Veidt with questions coming up every now and again about his involvement in the alien crisis. After Veidt’s death, more information would come out, but thanks to Veidt’s personal crisis management, there wouldn’t be enough to explicitly condemn him, just raise more questions that can’t be answered.

But that’s just me? What do the rest of y’all think?

Nobody would believe it, things would go on exactly as Veidt planned. It would just be a world were the conspiracy theorists are actually right, but they would be treated like cranks.

That’s what I was going to say. Veidt wouldn’t have to take action. The New Frontiersman would be believed by the kind of people that already believed them.

I choose to believe it all worked out.

Dr. Manhattan makes it sound like it won’t but I choose to believe otherwise.

In this case, CT’ers would seem pale and derivative up against the obviously real threat of an invasion of giant psychic space squids.

In both book and film, it makes a fantastic final image. But I think the chances of it unraveling Veidt’s new world order are slim.

Since that last panel is Seynour wearing the Comedian’s bloodstained smiley-face image while reaching to maybe open the book, I’ve always been partial to the idea that he reacts like Eddie Blake did: deciding not to go public, but telling one person before Veidt gets to him, such that that guy tells yet another person before Veidt swoops in, and et cetera.

After all, if Seymour burns the journal – the end. And if the word gets out, and it’s either believed or disbelieved – well, the end. But my way? Nothing ever ends. :wink:

Nothing changes. Only the conspiracy theorists believe the writings. Veidt’s plan is successful.

Rorshach’s journal is the video from The Ring! :eek: Seven days!