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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:49 pm 
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I'm reading Watchmen again, and I came across a part I'd forgotten about; Jon Osterman does not tell his grieving father that he is, in fact, not dead. Once his father has passed away, he revealed his name to the public, not seeing the point of concealing it anymore. This tells me that he did not simply forget to tell his dad he was alive, or not see the point, but there was some reason he was keeping the information from him. What I want to know is why?

Anybody have ideas?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Turncoat wrote:
I'm reading Watchmen again, and I came across a part I'd forgotten about; Jon Osterman does not tell his grieving father that he is, in fact, not dead. Once his father has passed away, he revealed his name to the public, not seeing the point of concealing it anymore. This tells me that he did not simply forget to tell his dad he was alive, or not see the point, but there was some reason he was keeping the information from him. What I want to know is why?

Anybody have ideas?


It's the classic archetype of the secret identity, his enemies would go after his family because they couldn't beat him.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:15 pm 
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Because Jon Ostermann was dead. He was now Dr. Manhattan. It's kind of like Swamp Thing, the physical being is no longer there, only the conscious.


And besides, I don't think he wanted the old fart to know what had happened to him.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:47 pm 
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There's also the U.S. Government to think about. They were shaping him into something gaudy and lethal. A Superman. An American god.

There isn't a lot of room in that image for any suggestion that he might be a fallible human being.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:14 am 
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Turncoat wrote:
I'm reading Watchmen again, and I came across a part I'd forgotten about; Jon Osterman does not tell his grieving father that he is, in fact, not dead. Once his father has passed away, he revealed his name to the public, not seeing the point of concealing it anymore. This tells me that he did not simply forget to tell his dad he was alive, or not see the point, but there was some reason he was keeping the information from him. What I want to know is why?

Anybody have ideas?


Because to think someone has died, mourn them, grieve and begin to get over it, and then suddenly they come back as an almost omnipotent being, would be worse than just to continue on.

Alternatively, you could say DM knew that he never tells his father, and that he reveals his identity to the public after his father has passed away,, and therefore never did.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:17 am 
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I tend to think it's a sign of his underlying human emotion... he's estranged from his father (- the first of many people). His prominent memory of him isn't exactly a happy one, eh.

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it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:44 am 
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Dr. Brooklyn wrote:
Turncoat wrote:
I'm reading Watchmen again, and I came across a part I'd forgotten about; Jon Osterman does not tell his grieving father that he is, in fact, not dead. Once his father has passed away, he revealed his name to the public, not seeing the point of concealing it anymore. This tells me that he did not simply forget to tell his dad he was alive, or not see the point, but there was some reason he was keeping the information from him. What I want to know is why?

Anybody have ideas?


It's the classic archetype of the secret identity, his enemies would go after his family because they couldn't beat him.

I'm pretty sure it's the exact opposite.

He just doesn't give a fuck.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:00 am 
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Godziller66 wrote:
Dr. Brooklyn wrote:
Turncoat wrote:
I'm reading Watchmen again, and I came across a part I'd forgotten about; Jon Osterman does not tell his grieving father that he is, in fact, not dead. Once his father has passed away, he revealed his name to the public, not seeing the point of concealing it anymore. This tells me that he did not simply forget to tell his dad he was alive, or not see the point, but there was some reason he was keeping the information from him. What I want to know is why?

Anybody have ideas?


It's the classic archetype of the secret identity, his enemies would go after his family because they couldn't beat him.

I'm pretty sure it's the exact opposite.

He just doesn't give a fuck.


if he doesn't give a shit, why wait until his father was dead to reveal his identity? or why not just never publicly reveal it?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:29 pm 
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Because his new identity was born through the government, jon ostermann was dead. no point in doing so.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:04 pm 
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WJK wrote:
Because his new identity was born through the government, jon ostermann was dead. no point in doing so.


so why bother revealing it at all?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:39 pm 
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wait, did manhattan ever release his true identity? i don't remember.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Yes.
Might as well post the panels:

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it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:20 pm 
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AYBGerrardo wrote:
Yes.
Might as well post the panels:

Image

I may be incorrect.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:16 pm 
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My guess is since the only family he had left was now gone, there was little point in concealing his identity. It's obvious to me that he didn't want his father to know what had happened to him.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:30 pm 
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WJK wrote:
My guess is since the only family he had left was now gone, there was little point in concealing his identity. It's obvious to me that he didn't want his father to know what had happened to him.

I feel like that's a really eloquent way of saying "I don't know."

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Godziller66 wrote:
WJK wrote:
My guess is since the only family he had left was now gone, there was little point in concealing his identity. It's obvious to me that he didn't want his father to know what had happened to him.

I feel like that's a really eloquent way of saying "I don't know."


Yeah... I don't think any of us will know for sure. Remember though, at the time of his father's death he wasn't too detached yet, he still had ties to Humanity as sseen by his clothing.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:44 am 
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WJK wrote:
My guess is since the only family he had left was now gone, there was little point in concealing his identity. It's obvious to me that he didn't want his father to know what had happened to him.


the only explanation for that is that he still cared about his father's feelings and didn't want to hurt them more by revealing that Jon Ostermann was Doctor Manhattan.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:09 pm 
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AvatarIII wrote:
WJK wrote:
My guess is since the only family he had left was now gone, there was little point in concealing his identity. It's obvious to me that he didn't want his father to know what had happened to him.


the only explanation for that is that he still cared about his father's feelings and didn't want to hurt them more by revealing that Jon Ostermann was Doctor Manhattan.


There might be a "gap" of sorts in the development of his motivations, Pre-Underwear Manhattan was probably giving too much of a fuck about his identity at the time.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:25 am 
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AYBGerrardo wrote:
I tend to think it's a sign of his underlying human emotion... he's estranged from his father (- the first of many people). His prominent memory of him isn't exactly a happy one, eh.


AYBGerrardo's comment is closest IMO to correct on this topic. Osterman wanted to be a watchmaker. His father made him become a physicist. He blames his father for his prediciment as much as anyone... who else is he going to blame, the fat man?

Being Dr. Manhattan is as much a curse as anything. He's immortal, and knows the future fate of everything, and everyone that he cares about. If thats not a curse, then I don't know what is.

Osterman didn't ask for what happened to him, and he blames his dad for setting it all in motion, this is why he tells his father nothing. Didn't anybody else read into that from the story?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:13 am 
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True enough in that he refers to the "cogs... falling on Brooklyn" as "seeds of the future, sown carelessly". But I don't think he specifically blames his father above anyone else. I think he actually highlights the futility of blaming anyone:

Image

Interesting to note, though, that he excludes Janey. Superman he may be, but emotion runs through his logic. I'd go as far as saying that his detachment is merely a mask hiding the reality, its opposite - deep emotion that he's lost control of.

Surely estrangement fits that description somewhat nicely. He may well have been estranged from his father long before the accident - at least, that's the way I read it - because after the cog incident there's never any mention of the father until his death, completely alone.

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it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.


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