Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1 Review

Rorschach may be the only character I truly liked in Watchmen. All the characters were great, but he was the one I rooted for the whole time. Rorschach could be considered the main character of the original graphic novel, it was him that made everyone aware of the situation regarding heroes being assassinated. His no-mercy attitude and how he views the world always made him a great character. This Before Watchmen thing had a lot to live up to. The majority of the titles seems to be doing pretty well, now this one has been unleashed upon the public. Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1 is a story in the Watchmen world starring the title character attempting to take down a drug lord. Nothing more, nothing less. If you’re expecting big revelations or more of who he is, then you’re going to be disappointed.

Here’s the official description from DC:

“What made you this way?” And don’t miss the latest chapter of the CRIMSON CORSAIR backup epic from writer LEN WEIN and artist JOHN HIGGINS!

This being a prequel to the famed Watchmen, I was expecting big things revolving around our favorite blotted mask hero. But it turned out to be a Rorschach mystery story. That’s by no means bad, I just was expecting big things to happen. The actual story is stuff you’d expect if you’ve read the original graphic novel. Grisly murders, blood, prostitutes, and Rorschach breaking arms. The story itself is engaging. The writing could have really been a disappointment, since of course it’s going to be compared to the writing of the original graphic novel. Writer Brian Azzarello succeeds in making this related to Watchmen, the time period and everything. Yes, we get a Rorschach journal entry. (A little nostalgic for the people that first read the graphic novel when it was originally released.)

The art by Lee Bermejo is fantastic. It’s matches the dark world Watchmen resides in. I like that there’s virtually no splash pages. Not that those are bad, but with a comic like this, the focus should be on the story, like with the original graphic novel. The cover is incredible, it could not have been any better. Rorschach doesn’t look tough the whole time, he does get brutally beat up in the latter part of the issue. The antagonist isn’t exactly anything we haven’t seen before, hopefully he’ll be more fleshed out or replaced by someone better.

Overall, Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1 is a worthy title with the Watchmen name. It’s a little disappointing if you’re expecting revelations from Rorschach and the Watchmen world around him, but if you want simply a Rorschach mystery, this comic will satisfy.


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