This entire issue is devoted to Rorshach and his origin. And it is brilliant.
This just might be a lengthy review.
You see, in the prior issue Rorshach has been caught by the police finally. He is now in jail and is being counseled by a therapist (who has published book aspirations).
The art. perfect. At one point, the therapist, Dr. Malcolm Long writes "Physically, he's fascinatingly ugly. I could stare at him for hours.....except that he stares back, which I find uncomfortable." Then the next panel has Kovacs (rorshach) staring at the Dr.......and he IS fascinatingly ugly. And it is uncomfortable, even for the reader!
Also, part of rorshachs origin involves him splitting a dogs head open with a meat cleaver. Throughout the issue, Kovacs is asked to look at ink blots. Every time, he flashes to the dog with the split head....and it is effectively Gruesome.
It is rare that an artist is so perfectly suited to his material. Dave Gibbons has vaulted near the top of my list on the strength of his work on Watchmen alone.
Anyways, The Dr.'s notes and their conversations are the framer for the issue. I won't go into too exhaustive detail, but I will say that it is so well written. Sooooo well written. You witness the Dr., whose world view at the beginning of the issue is very sunny and optimistic, change to one that can only be described as fatalistic, and it affects his private life very negatively. "The abyss gazes back". Indeed.
Some of the scenes are just amazing. I mean, comic gold:
1) Rorshach is attacked in prison (of course he has put many of the prisoners there personally), but viciously defeats the attackers and states " None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me." It's awesome.
2) Dr. long insists on calling him walter or Kovacs at the beginning of the story, but slowly begins to call him Rorshach, and finally, just does it. it's a great transformative scene.
3) The vignette about rorshach finding the dogs eating the bone of the kidnapped girl he is searching for. THE SINGLE PANEL WHEN RORSHACH PUTS THE CLUES TOGETHER AND REALIZES WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE GIRL IS ONE OF THE SINGLE GREATEST PANELS I HAVE READ IN COMIC BOOKS.
4) The scenes of Kovacs childhood abuse. sooooo effective. i almost wanted to cry for the child.
BUY THIS COMIC!!! BUY IT!!! even if you don't care for Watchmen
Comicuniversitys first 5 out of 5 star rating ever.
5 stars out of 5