Editor's Note: This entry contains spoilers for Watchmen; read at your own caution.
Dr. Manhattan Kills Rorshach is an exploitable image macro taken from the DC Comics series Watchmen in one of its most climactic moments where Dr. Manhattan uses his powers to obliterate Rorshach. The meme is used as both a reference to the scene itself, as well as using photoshop to turn it into an object labeling meme format.
The panel used in the meme format comes in the last issue of the Watchmen comic miniseries written by Alan Moore. In the issue, which was released in October 1987, the plot is resolved up to this point save for one final loose thread, Rorshach. Not content with the ending like everyone else, Rorshach is dedicated to following his sense of justice, which means he must ultimately meet his end at the psychic blast of Dr. Manhattan. The scene itself takes only two pages, with select panels from both pages being used to create the various memes that reference it (shown below, left and right).
On October 30th, 2015, DeviantArt user Zody uploaded a comic that they made depicting the scene using Beavis and Butthead characters as stand-ins for Rorshach and Dr. Manhattan (shown below), serving as an early iteration of the scene being used for jokes online.
In the years following, memes were created using various panels from the scene. On August 24th, 2018, Reddit user TwitterPanicAttack uploaded a meme to the subreddit /r/MemeEconomy, which received 170 upvotes in six months (shown below). The meme uses panels from both pages of the scene, creating a makeshift template for future meme creators.
On October 3rd, 2019, the meme template would be further reduced down to two panels, with the simple joke being a vibe check uploaded to Reddit by u/Awful_Abel, earning 100 upvotes in six months (shown below).
On May 27th, 2023, another shaving down of the meme came from the subreddit /r/memes in a post by Redditor u/fanboyx27, earning 43,000 upvotes in four months and taking the panel count down to one (shown below).