Our still unnamed detective makes it to the house from last issue. This is the part where I tell you to buckle your seatbelt because things are going to get eerie. Jorge Fornes captures that perfectly with his opening page of an in-your-face Rorschach stating, “The debate is over. Do you want to come inside?” This almost feels like Tom King asking if you are ready to really commit to what this series can show us, so if you’re a fan of comics history, imagination, the supernatural, and mystery, let’s go inside.
As you should know by now, this maxi-series isn’t for those looking for quick answers. I do finally feel rewarded in this issue, but it isn’t a big pay off like the name of our detective, or even if what we have seen is real, fake, or fantastic…but I was rewarded with quite a tale. I’m sure some websites will post articles of Tom King trashing another famous comic book writer (think about what other major comic came out in 1986 and you’ll know) but I didn’t get that vibe at all. I got the vibe that this version of that writer, who lived through the events of Watchmen squid and all, is a man in a world where life exceeded his imagination.
King and Fornes do a great job picking the pace up, not revealing much, and offering a hook that doesn’t test my patience but instead rewards with great comic book story and art. The story comes back to that night in Otto Binder’s home where they talked to the dead, as I mentioned in my review for issue #1, and we get to see more interactions and how that event comes to play in bringing “Rorschach/Wil” and the Kid into the life of our comic book writer, who then brings this to the attention of the detective.
The art is memorizing. There are some great Pontius Pirate art panels, a revisit to Mars, and Fornes draws an amazing likeness to our famous comic book writer and Wil as well. The only thing I am bummed that I haven’t really sat down and analyzed is the “sound effects” from the tape player — do they have a meaning, or am I just reading too deeply into it?
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD:
OK, I couldn’t write about this issue without talking about the fact that the famous comic book writer is Frank Miller. I love how Jorge gets to do a Spider-Man/Pontius Pirate homage page ala Amazing Fantasy #15, and in the Watchmen universe Frank Miller wrote “The Dark Fife Returns”. Those were some fun meta touches. I am very curious as to why Tom King picked Frank Miller — I did some research and the best things I could find were these pieces on Alan Moore’s thoughts about Frank back in 1983 and 2011. What is Tom planning here? How many sites will run with the idea of Tom bashing Frank? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out the detective’s name and just find out how crazy he is going…or maybe just sane enough in a crazy world.
Overall, Rorshach #7 is a great opener for the second half of this mystery. We still don’t know much, but the line between sane and insane are blurring, which makes for thought-provoking reading. I enjoyed the dose of reality that is in this issue and can’t wait to see where it leads us next.
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!