Well this is pretty damn profound for a character that everyone believes is just a psychotic, sociopathic masked vigilante, just goes to prove that you should never judge a book by its cover… oh and if you disagree with him, he will literally break every bone in your body!!!
Rorschach; bringing unstable masked vigilantism to the masses since 1986!
Rorschach; Copyright DC Comics.
We spend most of our time in the Precinct writing about the heroes and villains that inhabit the pages of DC’s comic-book universe, in fact about 90% of the posts originating from us are about this classic company’s plethora of characters.
I first discovered Superheroes through DC after being bought a copy of Detective Comics by my Mum at the tender age of six, it was here that I came across the character that has had the biggest influence on me as I have grown up… Batman. I continued to read nothing but Batman stories up until the age of 9, when I decided to branch out and leave my comfort zone of Gotham City, and travel to a place that was as far removed from that festering crime-ridden city as could be… Themyscira, home of the fabled Amazons and of course the world’s first ever female Superhero… Wonder Woman.
With all that said, being English, I also grew up reading and collecting the characters that came out of a popular British comic-book called 2000 AD, these home grown dramatis-personae were very different to the spandex clad heroes who populated the books I avidly collected from DC. I always found that these characters originating from the land of my birth were (though this is only true of the late 70’s and very early 80’s) darker, edgier and definitely more derived from what was happening in the UK on a weekly basis, be that through political or trendsetting issues.
Characters like Judge Dredd, (even though the stories were based in a fictional dystopian USA) were directly influenced by the politics and social movements of late seventies and early eighties Britain. Dredd himself was a correlation of what the people of the UK in the eighties believed the country was becoming; a police state, plus the rise of the anti-establishment punk rock movement that originated from Britain in direct defiance of how the government were running the country at the time, George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel “1984″ seemed to be coming true (in fact, the UK has the largest amount of street surveillance cameras in the world.)
Now then, this isn’t a politically motivated piece (politics bores the hell out of me, to be honest) just a small background on why, I believe, that the heroes and villains that leapt out of the pages of British comics were so different from their US counterparts. Alan Moore’s masterpiece “V for Vendetta” captured this sentiment perfectly, an amazing amalgam of everything that was believed to be taking place, and how at the time (and maybe still today, to some extent) the people of this sceptred Isle felt about the direction the country was taking.
Now that the lengthy preamble is done, we can concentrate on the interesting things this hopefully weekly series will bring you, my loyal and avid readers and blogging friends… cool comic characters from this tiny island we call the United Kingdom. So stay tuned, in our next instalment we shall examine the popular rise of the British comic-book industry and its first foray into the realm of the Superhero. Until next time, or as Tharg The Mighty would say “Splundig Vur Thrigg.”
And welcome back once more to our daily countdown…
NUMBER 13 is: V.
V’s vision of valour and victory by vanquishing the villains through vengeful violence, against any whose view violates the virtuous vox-populi, is the voyage that vocalises the voracious venture and vanguard of valiant victory.
V was created by the great Alan Moore in 1982, and given life by the pencils of David Lloyd. It tells the tale of a dystopian near future Britain that after a devastating war across the planet, has now been taken over by the fascist like party of Norse-fire. V himself was a victim of experimentation and the only survivor of the government created drug ‘batch 5’. The drug as a side effect ended up giving V advanced strength, reflexes and pain tolerance. Using these new skills, V waged an anarchistic revolution against the corrupt government, whilst also tutoring his young protege Evey Hammond to help in the fight.
In 2005 a film version of V for Vendetta hit the big screen directed by the Wachowski brothers, it starred the great Hugo Weaving as the character of V in a career defining performance. Though Weaving spent the entire film in the iconic Guy Fawkes mask and never showing his face, his amazingly emotional performance was astounding and a tribute to the acting skills of this fantastic Australian thespian.