This second issue of Rorschach takes us a bit further down the rabbit hole as our main investigator, who we still don’t have a name for, visits the apartment of William Myerson. What is interesting for us as the readers of this is we know the title is called Rorschach and we are in the world of Watchmen, but how will we know what is a clue and what is a red herring? I will warn you this is going to be a long run of a series which might whet the appetites of Watchmen fans, but at the same time for the set of fans that binge, you might want to wait for the eventual collected edition.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Rorschach #2!
Many people feel like William Myerson is a stand in for Steve Ditko. I can see that in this second issue, as we visit Myerson’s apartment and building. This will be a slow burn of an issue as our unnamed investigator is interviewing people that live in the building. Something to keep in mind as we will have the benefit of seeing the past via Jorge Fornes’ beautiful art is the fact that the investigation will be labeling Myerson as a missing person and don’t want to tip their hand about what they know. If we keep this as Steve Ditko, I wonder who else from the Marvel Bullpen or Charlton Comics might also show up. I do have to say it was fun to see that Jorge Fornes did his version of Gwen Stacy for the flashback scene of Myerson and Alma Adler Thompson on a date.
This issue’s story hinges on interviews, and it takes quite a turn when you piece them all together. It paints a sad story for Myerson in his personal life — as he explains he wants to do something mature, Alma asks him, “what’s mature?” Now, I could be wrong, and this is speculation on my part, but in Watchmen we know that creative types were also used to help create the “Alien Squid Monster” from the original maxi-series — could that be a motivation for Myerson? Maybe it’s too much of a stretch, but either way it’s too early to tell. That is what is both exciting and disillusioning about this issue, because we don’t know much about our characters and we can’t be sure what is important or not. Like I said earlier, this mystery is playing the long game.
The major prize of this issue is the art by Jorge Fornes, who does a fantastic job of making you want to keep turning the pages and analyzing them. In the present, you just have standing around and talking, but in the flashback scenes Fornes really gets to let loose with the emotion and action. There is a set of panels that moves through time with Myerson, Alma, and her new beau, Carl, where we can see that Alma and Carl talked of the infamous date and how much of a disaster it was to the point of Carl openly teasing Myerson about it. The payout from those panels is watching Myerson just bottle up the anger, swallow his pride, and walk away, but eventually we see a confrontation between the two men that is very brutal. Another payoff is that Myerson chooses to handle the vigorous beating by creating comics, and Fornes gets to show even more of his Ditko styling in the form of “The Citizen.”
Rorschach #2 is a great issue overall, but your enjoyment will hinge on you wanting to solve a mystery. This is the long game, so be patient — but while deciphering evidence, relax and enjoy the astonishing art of Jorge Fornes. Don’t forget to ask yourself what is Tom King trying to tell us with the characters he is introducing us to.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!