Literature Study GuidesWatchmenDr Manhattan Super Powers And The Superpowers Summary

Watchmen | Study Guide

Alan Moore

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Watchmen | Dr. Manhattan: Super-Powers and the Superpowers : Essay by Professor Milton Glass | Summary

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Summary

Dr. Milton Glass (who hired Jon Osterman to work at Gila Flats) doesn't think Dr. Manhattan is going to end wars; he thinks the blue "superman" is going to "end worlds." Russia is willing to protect itself at all costs, even if it means bombing the United States while knowing full well the United States will bomb it in return. Glass believes Dr. Manhattan's presence has actually escalated the arms race and made the world less safe than before.

Analysis

Although Dr. Glass knew Jon Osterman before he became Dr. Manhattan, he, like many others, views the blue "superman" as being more than human. He is a weapon, certainly, but Glass also thinks of him as a god. Therefore, Dr. Manhattan doesn't just prevent or respond to war—he can also cause it. Glass suspects Dr. Manhattan's mere presence will be cause for war with Russia. Russia was hurt badly during World War II, and Glass believes the government will do anything to protect itself, even if that means mutually assured destruction, which is when two or more opposing sides engage in nuclear warfare. If Russia sent several nuclear warheads to North America at once, for example, Dr. Manhattan wouldn't be able to stop them all. Parts of the United States would be destroyed, and the United States would unleash nuclear warheads on Russia in return. Both countries would suffer excruciating losses and most of the Northern Hemisphere would be lost to nuclear fallout. Dr. Manhattan isn't so much a hero as someone to be deeply feared.

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