Review: Rorschach #1

Rorschach #1

Rorschach #1 is a fascinating start to the already controversial series. Set in the world of Watchmen, what you think of that might already be swayed one way or another. But, as we’ve seen from the television series, we can get quality continuations and other stories told in that world. It looks like Rorschach #1 might be another example of a quality story being told. It’s just set in that controversial modern classic comic world.

Written by Tom King, Rorschach #1 is a political thriller. The comic, so far, hasn’t felt like it needed to be set in the world of Watchmen. But, it’s been just one issue. The story revolves around the attempted assassination of a Presidential candidate. From there an investigation begins as to what happens which opens so many questions and a lot of mystery.

Rorschach #1 might be set in the world of Watchmen but its heart is squarely set in the political thrillers and noir films of the 1960s and 1970s. From the tone to the look, this is a crime comic that just so happens to feature someone dressed as Rorschach.

Someone wearing a Rorschach mask has attempted to assassinate the candidate running against President Robert Redford. Taking place 35 years after the events of Watchmen, we’re left with questions. Who? Why? And, what the hell!? There’s a lot set up in this issue and for those who love a good crime story, it’s a solid read. Really solid read.

Now, here’s where I have some issues, the art. The comic takes its queues from thrillers from the 60s and 70s and looks like the 70s early 80s… but it’s 2020!? There’s a slight disconnect for me with the visuals where the most shocking thing was finding out it was 2020 at the end. There’s a reference to “Oklahoma” which clued me in the television show is cannon, but the clothes, a beeper, the comic looks very early Dirty Harry.

Despite that, the art by Jorge Fornés is fantastic. Fornés doesn’t attempt to put his own spin on the “Watchmen style” like Doomsday Clock did. Instead, this comic is its own thing with a clear voice in its pacing and style. Dave Stewart‘s colors add to the visuals of the comics delivering a coloring that just fits perfectly for its noir/crime story roots. While the outfits and haircuts might betray when the comic takes place the visuals are still fantastic and the combo of them with King’s dialogue and pacing is damn near perfect.

As a fan of this type of story, Rorschach #1 is a home run for me. I found myself going back to count shots and matching up blood spurts. I looked for clues as I went along. It sucked me in attempting to unravel the mystery as the comic progressed. I’m a crime/noir comic fan and this is up there. For those who might be turned off because it involves Rorschach and/or Watchmen, you’re missing out on a hell of a debut and a comic I’m dying to read the second issue of.

Story: Tom King Art: Jorge Fornés Color: Dave Stewart
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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