Everybody knows that Watchmen is one of the most (if not the most) acclaimed graphic novels of history. But, what may be unknown to some people and even to few comic book fans is that “Fearful symmetry”, the fifth chapter in Alan Moore’s story, doesn’t get that name only because of Blake’s poem. Actually, the whole chapter’s design is made in a way that each page has a correspondent mirrored page. Page one is symmetric to page twenty-eight (the last one), page two is symmetric to page twenty-seven, and there it goes… until we reach the middle pages (fourteen and fifteen) where we get an astonishing sequence by Dave Gibbons working like a perfect central mirror for the whole story.
When we talk about page design, the symmetry is perfect and very easy to be observed, but it does not occur only in that way. Some pages have a frame by frame symmetry, while others has only some images in common, but in different panels. Also, the correspondence can be found in multiple forms: sometimes frames have the same colors, other times they have people in similar situations… but, besides the design, the mirrored pages always have the same characters.
I won’t elongate any more because there’s no telling here that can’t be better done by showing. Without further ado, here we go: