The second to last title under the ‘Before Watchmen’ banner has finally hit shelves this week when ‘Before Watchmen – Rorschach’ #1 was released. With the other titles being pretty hit or miss, I had hoped that Brian Azzarello would do my favorite character from ‘Watchmen’ justice, but in some aspects the book fell short of being awesome.
Firstly, I liked the gritty art style of Lee Bermejo. It fits with the world of Rorschach and the sort of crimes that he deals with. Next, we saw a good amount of what our “hero” does best: beating up bad guys and getting beat up in return. I might have enjoyed this aspect mostly because of the art since there wasn’t anything else spectacular about these scenes, but I liked them nonetheless. Then, I liked the use of Rorschach’s journal. It wouldn’t be a Rorschach story without it. Finally, and most importantly, much like Azzarello did with The Comedian, we’re presented with an untold story that wasn’t shown in the original series. Books like Nite Owl suffered from being bogged down with stuff that we’ve already seen, so I’m glad that Rorschach didn’t fall victim to that as well.
Now, while there were many things that I liked, there was one thing that I didn’t like and that was Rorschach’s motivation for going after Dwayne Carter’s merchandise. He wanted to get rich? I call bullshit. It’s one thing for him to say it out loud because he could be lying, but when it’s in the journal, I feel like that’s his inner most thoughts. In his own twisted way, Rorschach wants justice to be served and that motivation isn’t in line with that idea. Hopefully another reason is revealed later on in this four issue series.
Overall, ‘Rorschach’ #1 is one of the best ‘Before Watchmen’ books that I’ve read, but looking at it as just another comic, it was okay. This stuff with The Bard is interesting enough to keep me reading, but otherwise it’s like reading The Question or The Punisher.
BEFORE WATCHMEN – RORSCHACH #1
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art by LEE BERMEJO & BARBRA CIARDO