It’s the Laurie issue, finally, and guess what? The Laurie issue doesn’t work.
Moore opens the issue with some more of the layered, simultaneous present action between issues, moving Laurie and Jon to Mars–and the issue does have the wonderful moment of “Oh shit, I’m on Mars,” but Moore doesn’t do anything with it.
In Watchmen, Moore’s created a superhero world where wonderment is still possible but he avoids it.
Anyway… this issue, the Laurie issue, is supposed to be about Laurie’s self-examination and Jon’s admiration of that self-examination.
It doesn’t work.
Moore’s gone too far showing Jon as incapable of such a reaction. Even if he hadn’t, Laurie’s realizations are a little too pat. They don’t extrapolate big enough.
There’s breathtaking art from Gibbons, maybe his best design work so far, but Watchmen isn’t about the art.
It’s about the story… and there’s not enough here.