Sunday, February 15, 2009

Footprints in the Sand: Dr. Manhattan on Mars

I’m probably one of the few SF fans who owns but hasn’t read the acclaimed graphic novel Watchmen (1986-1987), a tale about superheroes written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons that is partially set on Mars. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to the Warner Bros. film adaptation, which is scheduled to open in theaters on March 6th.

Meanwhile, here's some food for thought: According to Elizabeth K. Rosen's book Apocalyptic Transformation: Apocalypse and the Postmodern Imagination (2008), the footprints Watchmen character Dr. Manhattan leaves in the sands of Mars are “surely meant to recall” Footprints in the Sand (1936), the famous religious poem penned by Mary Stevenson. Here are the opening lines of the poem:

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
  Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
    In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
      Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
        other times there were one set of footprints.


Visit the "Official Website for Footprints in the Sand operated by the estate of Mary Stevenson" for the full text of the poem.

3 comments:

Hagelrat said...

I'm really excited about the film, but I wasn't a huge fan of the graphic novel, if i'm honest.

Paul said...

I read the first few pages of the graphic novel and said "This is going to be a painful read." I put the book back on the shelf and have only flipped through it a few times since.

Miztification said...

I wanted to read the graphic novel before the movie, but never got around to it. I've only just now started it. It's definitely got a lot of layers. I'm pacing myself. I definitely enjoy the Under the Hood sections. I almost wish that had been a whole book/graphic novel to itself.