Rorschach #3 takes a look at Laura Cummings, who was the other assassin who was with William “Steve Ditko” Myerson as they were trying to take down President Robert Redford (yup, you read that right). Now, we get to dive into the past of the new character Laura her potential motivations as our unknown and unnamed detective searches through the clues. This will be a long-game mystery set in the world of Watchmen, and in my opinion I don’t believe we have seen Walter Kovacs, and this “Rorschach” is a new person to us in this world. So let us take a dive into this issue and see what makes it shine.
I want to start with the main cover — major props to Dave Stewart for the eye-catching color palette that is used here. What is interesting about the outline of this character is when you look to the hand on the left side it gives a feel that this person would be shot from the back. I’m going to have to keep that in mind as it could be a clue or just pure eye spectacle drawn by Jorge Fornes. It’s also pretty wild that if you take a look at the back cover you’ll see Laura behind her scope, so could this be a connection to the front cover and who should’ve been shot or how it should’ve played out?
Jorge Fornes and Dave Stewart make a great team. I hope to see more noir, gritty adventures from this duo in the future because they are making this long game totally worth it — even in an issue about a Detective reading the writings of a deceased potential assassin.
This book, our Detective is reading from Laura, who was in issue #1 and dressed like a “cowboy robber” and aiding “Rorschach” during their assassination attempt at the convention. After this issue I really wonder if this puts Laura in charge of the mission instead of William as we learn Laura’s father was reading William’s comic about the Citizen. Now we see that they have a connection, because in issue #2 we know William drew that particular issue, which was referenced here. It’s wild to see what Laura’s father was like and how he raised young Laura. I will say at least he was caring in his own way, but wow did he really buy into the “Space Squid” from the original Watchmen story.
Something that has been fun with King’s scripts is his use of real-world events or items to help ground the story. In this issue he references the Hanna Mine disasters of 1903 and 1908 to establish the job and the location of where Laura and her father lived. This helps to explain the training that they could’ve undergone in a wide-open location and the potential mindset of the father. Towards the end when Laura is talking with “Rorschach” she mentions how her father would look for patterns, but this part of the dialogue sent chills down my spine: “Because, you see, when there’s a pattern, there’s intention.”
The other real world item is the song “Keep on the Sunny Side” by The Carter Family. I’m starting to see some threads come together and coming to some ideas myself, but boy do I wish I could get into the thoughts of our Detective on those last two pages. Something crazy about it all is him having a conversation with Laura and “Rorshach”, so what does that mean for him? Could he be moving to their viewpoint? Looking forward to that next layer to come in issue #4.
Rorschach #3 is a great issue that shows us the making of a monster with Laura Cummings, but at the same time presents a torn conflict — if you had lived through what that family did, could you see that as normal? Looks like our main Detective might be considering that now too. So watch our for the Squids as you enjoy the beautiful art inside.
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