He’s Back! and I’m not necessarily talking about this series’ titular protagonist, but the brilliance that is writer Tom King, the Mister Miracle, Adam Strange and Batman scribe attunes his incredible skill towards Watchmen’s uncompromisingly violent masked vigilante, Rorschach, with this brand new 12 issue Black Label maxi-series.
Tom King and Jorge Furnes’ thematic transposition of Alan Moore’s sociopathic anti-hero Rorschach takes its cues from a myriad of other sources aside from the original groundbreaking 80’s Watchmen series. The recent (and really quite brilliant) HBO Watchmen series is a definite influence upon the narrative contained within this first issue, with many of the exemplary plot-lines and story beats from the television show appearing as canon to the unfurling saga of King’s take on Walter Kovacs’ unstable alter ego.
The premier issue reads very much like a sociopolitical police procedural drama, this apparent new variant of Rorschach actually dies in the very first pages of the book, with his identity later assumed to be that of a reclusive comic-book creator, whom for years after his success as a writer of popular pirate comics, hid himself from public scrutiny. This is obviously a nod to the great Steve Ditko, the Spiderman creator who also ushered into existence the DC Comics character – The Question, who in turn was Alan Moore’s eventual inspiration for Rorschach… meta narrative is king here!
A compelling and intriguing beginning for DC’s newest take on a classic character, the narrative certainly plays upon the growing political dissonance perpetuating in the media in the real world, the story itself is based during a presidential election in 2020. Tom King is an absolute master of weaving current political and media discourse into his comic-book chronicles, and Rorschach appears to be following that sublime template. Jorge Furnes’ art compliments King’s writing beautifully, characterful and expressive, his style absolutely fitting to the world that is Watchmen, yet still manages to retain its own individuality.
Rorschach #1 is a must buy if you’re in anyway shape or form a fan of Rorschach or Watchmen, another engrossing and profound tale from superstar scribe Tom King, with fantastic art by Jorge Furnes. The first issue is most definitely a slow burn, but sets up a complex and compelling plot exquisitely, but then I expect no less from the writer that recently gave us the superlative Mister Miracle series. Highly recommended.