DC announces new Rorschach comic from writer Tom King
Rorschach is coming back — again.
The iconic trenchcoat-clad violent vigilante died at the end of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' original Watchmen comic, but as the franchise has been revived in recent years, various writers have posited different fates for the character's legacy. In Damon Lindelof's Watchmen TV sequel series for HBO, Rorschach's mask is picked up decades later by the white supremacist group the Seventh Kavalry as they hunt his killer, Doctor Manhattan. In DC's Doomsday Clock comic from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, which finally introduced the Watchmen characters to mainstream DC superheroes like Superman and Batman, the Rorschach mask and mantle is claimed by the son of the psychiatrist who analyzed the original Rorschach in prison. A third interpretation is now on the way, as DC Comics announced Wednesday morning that a new Rorschach comic series is forthcoming from writer Tom King (Batman, Mister Miracle) along with artist Jorge Fornés, colorist Dave Stewart, and letterer Clayton Cowles.
The tagline for the series is "Rorschach may have spoken truth, but he wasn’t a hero." This refers to Rorschach's journal detailing Ozymandias' plot to fake an alien invasion in order to end the Cold War, which he sent to a right-wing newspaper before his death; the question of whether it was published and/or believed is left hanging at the end of the comic. In the world of the Watchmen show, the truth is hidden and everyone still believes in aliens, especially since squids periodically fall from the sky. In the world of Doomsday Clock, Rorschach's journal is printed soon after, destroying the stability Ozymandias sought to create.
"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.”
The premise of the new comic involves the Rorschach costume reappearing as part of a pair of assassins trying to kill President Robert Redford's first political opponent in years. One determined detective "walks backward in time" to uncover the identities of these killers and ends up in "a dark conspiracy of alien invasions, disgraced do-gooders, mystical visions, and yes, comic books," according to DC's announcement.
Rorschach #1 is set to be published on Oct. 13 under DC’s 17-and-older Black Label descriptor. Check out early preview art from the series below, showing that Redford's opponent is named "Turley" and his would-be assassins fail extremely hard...or do they? We'll find out this October.