As I was reading the Watchmen, I couldn’t help but notice the varying romantic relationships and portrayal of love. Laurie has multiple relationships with Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl, and a very short flirtation-ship with the Comedian. Laurie is 16 when she starts her long-term relationship with Jon who is 30 at the time. Jon was already in a relationship with Janey Slater at the time that his relationship begins with Laurie. This betrayal causes Janey to leave Jon, and she becomes bitter and upset. 20 years go by and Laurie becomes upset with Jon’s inability to understand human emotion and the need for emotional comfort. Laurie leaves Jon which causes Jon to leave Earth. Laurie then starts sleeping with the Nite Owl or Dan. This seems like a betrayal to Jon, but when Laurie and Jon are on Mars, Laurie realized that her real father was the Comedian. The Comedian was a former masked adventurer during Laurie’s mothers time with the Minutemen. Laurie’s mother, Sally, had told Laurie that the Comedian was a bad man that tried to rape her and then beat her when she refused. This caused Laurie to hate him for the rest of his life. At the end of Watchmen we discover the odd relationship between the Original Silk Spectre and the Comedian, and the love that Sally Jupiter still had for Edward Blake.
I found these messed up romances to be tragic and sort of sickening. I found it unbelievable that relationships like this could actually exist. Even Walter’s relationship with his mother was twisted and led to him becoming a sociopath with a warped sense of justice. I could not find one good symbiotic relationship in this graphic novel. Someone was always damaged and hurt, and their pain would then cause them to lash out or do something stupid that would then affect many. This entire graphic novel was a great example of the butterfly affect. Every character was somehow made less by their mask or costume, their born identities twisted by the latex they wore at night. Slowly they wouldn’t recognize themselves without the outfit and without their code name.
It seemed to me that the relationships between masked adventurers and others really screwed up the city. It wasn’t just sexual or romantic relationships, but also friendships and the relationships between villains messed up many lives. It seems that the disbanding of these masked adventurers was right and should have been better enforced. I think it goes to show, don’t mix business with pleasure.