The man in the hat is back. Coming this fall from DC Comics’ Black Label line is Rorschach, a 12 issue series from Tom King and Jorge Fornés.
So. Here we are. Not even a year after Doomsday Clock finally came to an end (and kind of fizzled out), and we see DC Comics heading back into the Watchmen universe for another revival. This one is a little more pointed, a lot smaller in scope, and infinitely more polarizing.
While Watchmen fans might be cool with seeing more from that corner of the DC Multiverse, they’re very picky over what’s actually done with that set of characters.
That’s more than understandable, since Watchmen is a legitimate classic, and an icon of the industry. There’s honestly more of a likelihood that something will go wrong with a sequel of any kind than that it’ll turn out great.
Just take a look at After Watchmen and yes even Doomsday Clock for that. AW was universally met with indifference, while DC started out great, but just kind of went nowhere.
And that all brings us back around to Rorschach. The new maxi-series is planned to have a 12 issue run, and will be helmed by former Batman writer Tom King and artist Jorge Fornés. Just like the book, the team is a tad divisive as well. Not so much for Fornés, but in the case of King.
King was a house of fire when he began his time on DC’s core Batman title. He ran afoul of seemingly most Bat-fans though, by the time his run abruptly ended last year. Did he just run out of gas with the book? Maybe. And maybe Rorschach’s limited nature could remedy that.
Things are gonna get weird
So what’s the story with the man in the ink-blot mask? How is the original version of the anti-hero back, and back in the Watchmen universe no less? Well, as you’ll see in a second, the plot sounds absolutely insane.
It’s been 35 years since Ozymandias was exposed for dropping a giant telepathic squid on New York City, killing thousands and ending the public’s trust in heroes once and for all. The Minutemen are gone; only their memory lives on. Especially the infamy of Rorschach, who has become a cultural icon since Dr. Manhattan turned him to dust.
So what does it mean when Rorschach reappears as part of a pair of assassins trying to kill the first candidate to oppose President Robert Redford in decades? Follow one determined detective as he walks backward in time, uncovering the identities and motives of the would-be killers, taking him deep into a dark conspiracy of alien invasions, disgraced do-gooders, mystical visions, and yes, comic books.
Writer Tom King joins forces with artist Jorge Fornés to explore the mythic qualities of one of the most compelling characters from the bestselling graphic novel of all time, Watchmen.DC Comics
Weird? Yes. Interesting? Yeah, that too. And of course, lest you might think that Rorschach might be free of political influence, think again. King makes a special point of starting that the book will follow in the footsteps of the original series, regarding political statements.
“Like the HBO Watchmen show and very much like the original ‘86 Watchmen, this is a very political work.” said King. “It’s an angry work. We’re so angry all the time now. We have to do something with that anger. It’s called Rorschach not because of the character Rorschach, but because what you see in these characters tells you more about yourself than about them.”Tom King
Politics are something that most comics in general dive right into these days of course, though most usually do it quite ham-handedly. Will King make the difference and be able to pull it off here? That’s going to be interesting to watch, as will the entire series. It could be quite the tightrope walk.
We’ll see this October, when Rorschach #1 (of 12) hits the racks.