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DC Comics Announces New RORSCHACH Series

Zack Snyder’s big screen adaptation of Watchmen presented Rorschach as a brave anti-hero worthy of our admiration for his unflinching commitment to justice. But in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal comic book, Walter Kovacs was a racist, hate-filled fascist. He epitomized everything wrong with unchecked power. Unfortunately, that version of the character is as relevant as he was in 1986. But that’s why his memory could make for a compelling and timely new comic book from DC Comics. The company has announced Rorschach, a new 12-issue story set 35 year after Dr. Manhattan killed the infamous vigilante.

Because while Walter Kovacs might be gone, his hatred lives on.

DC Comics Announces New 12-Issues RORSCHACH Series_1DC Comics/Jorge Fornés

DC’s new maxiseries, written by Tom King (Mister Miracle) with art from Jorge Fornés (Batman), will offer a “new vision” of the fedora and trench coat-wearing character whose legacy left him “loved by some, reviled by others” in the world of Watchmen. The series is not a prequel, though. And it won’t see the character we knew brought back to life either. It takes place decades after Dr. Manhattan murdered Walter Kovacs outside of Karnak in Antarctica.

“It’s been 35 years since Ozymandias was exposed for dropping a giant telepathic squid on New York City, killing thousands and ending the public’s trust in heroes once and for all. The Minutemen are gone; only their memory lives on. Especially the infamy of Rorschach, who has become a cultural icon since Dr. Manhattan turned him to dust.”

DC Comics Announces New 12-Issues RORSCHACH Series_2DC Comics/Jorge Fornés

Rorschach will reappear in the comic “as part of a pair of assassins trying to kill the first candidate to oppose President Robert Redford in decades.” That sounds like the opposite of what the right-wing Walter Kovacs would have wanted. The original Rorschach would have hated the ultra-liberal Redford who followed President Nixon in the White House.

The comic will “follow one determined detective as he walks backward in time, uncovering the identities and motives of the would-be killers, taking him deep into a dark conspiracy of alien invasions, disgraced do-gooders, mystical visions, and yes, comic books.” But unlike Snyder’s film, the comic will not treat Rorschach as a good person, because as DC says in the series announcement, “Rorschach may have spoken truth, but he wasn’t a hero.” That will be in line with how he was also remembered on Damon Lindelof’s sequel series from last year.

DC Comics Announces New 12-Issues RORSCHACH Series_3DC Comics/Jorge Fornés

“Like the HBO Watchmen show and very much like the original ‘86 Watchmen, this is a very political work,” said King in a statement. “It’s an angry work. We’re so angry all the time now. We have to do something with that anger. It’s called Rorschach not because of the character Rorschach, but because what you see in these characters tells you more about yourself than about them.”

DC Comics Announces New 12-Issues RORSCHACH Series_4DC Comics/Jorge Fornés

While King referenced Lindelof’s series, this comic will follow its own timeline. On the Watchmen series, Adrian Veidt’s squid hoax wasn’t revealed until the modern day. Not 35 years ago. But the series did utilize Rorschach’s memory in a similar way. Walter Kovacs, whose found journal outlined Ozymandias’s scheme became the inspiration for the terrorist group the Seventh Kavalry. Its members all wore Rorschach masks to hide their identities.

DC Comics Announces New 12-Issues RORSCHACH Series_5DC Comics/Jorge Fornés

Rorschach #1 publishes this fall, on October 13, 2020. The book, labeled for ages 17+, will retail for $4.99 with card stock cover artwork by Fornés and a variant cover by Jae Lee.

The only downside is how timely the comic will be 35 years after Rorschach died.

Featured Image: DC Comics/Jorge Fornés