Rorschach #5 gets pretty deep in the overall mystery, and you really have to keep track of what is really going on — I have a strong suspicion that a scene in this issue looks different then the first time we saw it. I am intrigued by our nameless detective, but it’s getting kind of crazy that we know next to nothing about him. That’s the allure of this series, though — discovering who this detective is and potentially who and what he will become. So get your magnifying glass and notepads, and let’s jump into this issue!
SPOILERS AHEAD for Rorschach #5!
Jorge Fornes draws some classic Watchmen characters with Dave Stewart providing the perfect hues to each scene. I really have to shout out just how much I am enjoying Stewart’s palette, because he sets the right mood and temperature to the settings in this issue. The issue opens at Hollis’ Pub on a rainy night and even though we’re inside the bar with our detective and his contact in Turley’s campaign, I feel that the somber tone is just the right vibe for this conversation. We don’t know what’s going to happen and it has weight that leads to a meeting with Turley himself. You can feel the room getting colder.
The next two pages are a double spread of a Turley Rally. Make sure you examine the attendees, because they might have some clues — I spotted some Doctor Manhattan and Pontius Pirate shirts and a character face behind Turley that caught my eye. Hopefully you find some more as well.
The next scene with Turley is cast in an uncomfortable hue, which is fitting, as the discussion would be one I would hate to have with my boss. This issue has a lot of talking and not much in the way of action, but Fornes does a great job of framing it to keep it interesting and have your eye looking around for clues and meaning. Earlier I mentioned a scene looking different in this issue and that is when our detective meets Jacobs, head of security, and their banter is just flexing for bullheadedness. Our detective refers back to the opening in issue #1, and when it flashes back to that moment, I noticed that Laura Cummings seems to be unarmed. We get some more details on the explosion that happened as well.
Our detective and Turley meet and have quite the talk. Turley really is quite the politician with an expert spin team — dude is a scumbag and I’m glad we meet him face to face on the toilet. Turley is a Comedian fan as he has a giant smiley face painting above his desk, but I wonder if that’s really there or maybe just what our detective is seeing. Turley talks about the two times he met the Comedian and in the first meeting Turley says something that prompts the Comedian to ask if he reads Borges. The best part is Turley says no and mentions that he reads a lot of Pontius Pirate.
This discussion was interesting in the fact that it points to the “definite number,” and the best I could find that related to Borges’ works was Argumentum Ornithologicum which was published in Dreamtigers. The work seems to call about the existence of God and I found that interesting because I remember thinking about existence in the first Watchmen, and also I really think about Rorschach’s existence in this series. Could Laura be right? Is the spirit of Walter Kovacs inhabiting people? Especially with that last page, we can see some mind games happening, as our detective is holding back some information from others.
We are also treated to the mentioning of VVN and that comes from Victory in Vietnam from issue 2 of Watchmen and episode 7 of the HBO Watchmen series. Now the big question is, how do they fit in here?
Rorschach #5 is a great addition to the overall mystery of Rorschach. I am invested in our point of view character and I enjoy all the new clues to add to my string theory board. The words and art come together magnificently to cause me to dig deeper into this new yet familiar world.
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