Day 73, No. 73. Jon from Watchmen

WatchmenHAIRCUT 100: Day 73, No. 73. Dr. Jonathan Osterman, the naked blue guy from the original Watchman by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1987), an academic transformed by accident into a post-Nietzschean Superman figure that explores the questions first raised by Moore in Marvelman: ‘What if there really were superheroes?’ The answer is, of course, that the politicians would try to turn them into weapons – Jon is rebranded as ‘Doctor Manhattan’ in the Cold War – while they become increasingly abstracted from ordinary humanity. Jon can manipulate matter, is effectively immortal, and can teleport anywhere. Like the Tralfamadorians in Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-5, he can see all of time at once, although he cannot change anything, becoming an increasingly passive observer until he is drawn into a vast, postmodern conspiracy. At the end of the story he decides to leave earth and create life somewhere else, effectively becoming god. Well, you would, wouldn’t you? ‘All we ever see of stars are their old photographs.’

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