We are now a third of the way through Rorschach, and there are already quite a few questions that are bubbling up. Be ready, reader, as this issue will only add to those questions and may even get you to second think what you already know. Sometimes a person comes along and you just dismiss them as too wild or crazy to be true, but maybe it isn’t. That seems to be the case with Muscles — are these just crazy actions caused by love, or could it really be something that is just so wild of a tale that it could only work in comic books?
This issue feels like an interlude, because it is largely comprised of a conversation between two men. Yes, there will be love, friendship, and violence, but that’s all in the past, told to us here. So how much can we take away from this conversation? How many clues are there and just where should we be looking? As soon as I was done with this I immediately went back to the main cover by Jorge Fornes and tried to see what I could pick up. Muscles is the main attraction, and that fits in with this being his issue, but then I looked to the date and time. 5:00 pm on Oct 26. I can’t say that I learned anything new just yet, but I think that date might be something worth filing away for later.
Again, I go back to the idea of this being a conversation, but this conversation is also with a person who is locked up and might not be fully mentally there. I love that there is just enough “crazy” to make you second guess things, but this is a fantastic world we are reading about. Page 20 is one of my favorite parts of the issue, where Muscles and our (still nameless) Detective come to the wild part of the conversation between Muscles’ connection to Rorschach. It’s such a soft opening of a panel that puts you in a corner then bleeds into the next panel with both the Detective and Muscles and a hint of pause that finally opens to the Detective’s conclusion about the connection. Muscles does have a sound enough reason to say that this connection isn’t too far-fetched.
I have a feeling, and I could be wrong, that the Detective is going down a path that will lead him to probably becoming Rorschach. If that plays out, this issue feels like he is aware of that possibility. It is just so somber and sobering to the mess that our Detective is wrapped up in.
In most of my reviews of this series, I’ve attached extra research to other events or persons, but this issue didn’t lead out to any “Steve Ditkos” or Mine disasters. I would like to think the two biggest clues in this issue might require some interpretation and connection, so I leave you with the aforementioned October 26, and the Famous Strongmen.
Rorschach #4 is a slow burn of an issue, but deep art and mysterious writing have me gripped and ready for more.
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