Monday, October 09, 2017

Real Name: Walter Kovacs
First Appearance: Watchmen #1 (Sep, 1986)
Fight Club Ranking: #278

Featured Fights:
- vs MOLOCH: Watchmen #2 (Oct 1986)

It's been over a year since it became apparent that the world of Watchmen was on a collision course with the Rebirth DC Universe. Doctor Manhattan's blue glow was projected onto a variety of events, including The Button, which put Batman, Flash, and Professor Zoom on the trail of the pastiche universe. This inevitably led to months of false-positives as looming stories were falsely attributed to a controversial crossover. With the impending arrival of Doomsday Clock - it's finally time.

We still know so very little about what the series really will be. There's an ever-ominous feeling in the air. It's been easy to hypothesize DC Comics is headed for another drastic restructuring, a concrete reversion, perhaps, to restore the iconic reality lost to The New 52. This expectation of upheaval prepares us to expect the unexpected, but seeing Rorschach is still a surprise.

CBR has featured a black & white preview for the series, which raises more questions than it answers. Everyone knows Rorschach died at the end of the revered twelve issue maxi-series, but with his face enshrouded in an ever-changing mask, can anyone really be sure Walter Kovacs is alive?

The quantum possibilities of Doctor Manhattan open many doors, but as with all things Watchmen, one wonders if any should be opened. If it borders on sacrilege to open the file closed by Alan Moore, what would it mean to undo his work? Such an act would once seem inconceivable, but there aren't many sacred cows in today's pop culture landscape, and Geoff Johns' role in The New 52 and DC movies has drastically changed impressions of his creative voice.

The Johns of old was wonderful at capturing the classic spirit of characters and renewing them for a modern take. One wonders if DC wouldn't be better leaving their beloved deviant text alone, to focus attention on the neglected inspirations for its characters. It feels as if its been so long since The Question walked the streets of the DC Universe. Perhaps we'll see he and his Charlton fellows soon.

Even as a relative skeptic about the reverence of Watchmen, I start to feel a little queasy about where things are headed. The meta narrative of the post-Crisis DCU sharing DNA with 1986's Watchmen has a certain appeal, but this decade has been so destructive, it's hard to walk with any faith.

The return of Rorschach is enough to make him the Hero of the Week, but it remains to be seen if Doomsday Clock will be a daring risk -- or just another tale of DC devouring itself.

No comments: