Who is Rorschach? For years, that was an easy question: Walter Kovacs was the answer before Doomsday Clock and this series. It didn’t seem like there were any special powers to him, so you shouldn’t expect unusual forces to be involved with his life or death (okay, maybe Doctor Manhattan is the exception to that idea). We are nine issues deep into this Rorschach maxi-series, and I believe that it still holds up as a solid comic worth your time, with fantastic art and mysterious characters.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Rorschach #9!
Jorge Fornes is a master artist month in and month out. In this issue, he manages to take a single character looking around a potential crime scene and make it compelling. Don’t just glance over the panels; take your time and actively study them to see if you can keep up with our Detective as well. I enjoy that Jorge keeps the house’s architecture consistent, which helps as you move around the rooms. Dave Stewart helps out in the art department by separating time using color; in the present, we have indoor and outdoor standard lighting, but the past is colored purple.
In this chapter, we get to explore the house after Wil Myerson and Laura Cummings have made their assassination attempt of Turley from issue #1. I’m sure we all have our theories of what will be happening to our Detective and the future of Rorschach. The Detective presented in “real-time” as laid over Wil/Rorschach in memory could lead us to the idea of the “body/soul” swap discussed in issue #4. Keep an eye on that, and maybe as we get closer to the conclusion, we can see how it plays out. While we watch our main character, I enjoyed his method of detecting, but I wish we could have seen what he was looking at; the panel plays to us looking at him, but that could be something that gets revealed next issue.
As I was reading this, I found it interesting how Laura was the only character in real-time and the past. In the past, she was physically there with Wil as they plotted, but now in real-time, she would be dead. So is she inside our Detective’s head? How far is he going down this rabbit hole? The moment she makes the jump to real-time is a great page as it is the first time our Detective speaks and is also the moment we get to see his significant observation.
The observation leads to a massive clue in the issue: the body of Ron Wheelock, who is the deputy campaign manager for Robert Redford. Again, our Detective’s abilities show themselves as he reworks a beeper to get a phone number; the resulting phone call was a great moment as we almost got the Detective’s name, but Tom King won’t be sharing that any time soon. I also wonder if King points us in a direction with the dead man’s name. In real life, there is a Don Ron Wheelock, a Shaman who communicates with the spiritual world if you choose to believe, just like we can with Laura’s “body/soul” theory.
Rorschach #9 is a great chapter that builds on the overall story. Each month I walk away from an issue with a deep story to think about and new clues from the real world that could tie in. I feel like I’m with the detective, and the ride continues to get wilder!
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