Writer: Tom King
Art: Jorge Fornés, Dave Stewart, and Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC COMICS
Release Date: October 20th, 2020
It’s been 35 years since Ozymandias dropped an interdimensional octopus creature on New York City, slaughtering thousands and obliterating the public’s reliance on masked heroes. Nonetheless, there has been one person who has become a pop culture icon. However, what happens when Rorschach reappears attempting to assassinate a candidate running opposite President Robert Redford? And, who is the man behind the mask? Well, it’s up to one investigator to unearth the real identity of this killer before it’s too late. Let’s dive into RORSCHACH #1 by Tom King and see if it will take this detective into a network of conspiracies encompassing aliens, mysterious illusions, and even comic books.
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Tom King Begins his WATCHMEN debut in normal, cryptic, Tom King fashion. As someone diving into this series hoping to see Rorschach, you get a ton of dialogue and word balloons from a brand new character/ investigator trying to uncover a mystery surrounding an assassination attempt. And to be honest, the main character’s name isn’t even mentioned throughout the first issue nor is his partner. Now, as someone who likes to be invested in his characters, this took me out of the story. Who is this investigator and what is his actual job title? Is he FBI? CIA? Police Detective? I simply feel like it’s an important characteristic that should have been addressed.
Furthermore, I read this issue wanting more WATCHMEN, specifically Rorschach, which is why I’m reading it. Now, the ”costume” is there but that is merely all readers get this issue. No real discussion of prior events or any of the prior characters. Technically, this story could be about any gunmen, any assassin, or frankly, anybody, and the story would be the same. Other than the cliffhanger as the issue closes, there is very little connection to the WATCHMEN universe, which is actually quite fantastic for King. King needs the element of freedom and the ability to create on his own, which is why he’s always done better with obscurity.
My point: this issue, as well as this series, is in his wheelhouse. This is a story that needs no real connective tissue to any other ongoing nor does it need in-depth research to work. It’s a crime, suspense, thriller with open doors in multiple directions to uncover mysteries and plot twists that he can pretend to create on the fly. This series is a perfect fit for Tom King who won’t have to rely on mysterious veggie trays to accomplish his goals.
Other than the lack of WATCHMEN, this was a very solid first issue for a crime-mystery narrative that was a bit too cluttered with dialogue. However, the cliffhanger does leave his reviewer a bit intrigued for the next installment. Heck, the cover even fits in beautifully with the premise of the issue. For now, I’m in. However, King’s leash is very short for this reviewer. If mysteries and crime dramas are your thing, I’d take a chance on RORSCHACH this week. If not, give it another issue or two and maybe hop aboard the train later and snag the back issues or trade at that time.
If you’re interested in RORSCHACH #1, click HERE to get a copy! If you’ve been really digging the WATCHMEN, click HERE for more back issues, trades, and related issues. Maybe Tom King is one of your favorite writers? If so, click HERE for some amazing deals on Comics and Trades from “Mister Miracle” himself. And finally, if you’re looking for something else to read, check out my Amazon Online Comic Shop by clicking HERE. Thank you all for the read and continued support. Stay safe and stay healthy.
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