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22.11.14 2355
The W - Print - Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1
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John Orquiola
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Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 147 days
Last activity: 147 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
I've been waiting for this and it didn't disappoint. It's kind of weird, actually, that this week Joe Carnahan released his sizzle reel for what he wanted to do for a Daredevil movie and then a day later, Rorschach comes out, set in the filthy, grimy, crime, drugs and hookers NYC of the 1970s. This book is pretty much what Carnahan wanted to do with Daredevil.

The art by Lee Bermejo is stunning, the latest "can you top this?" effort in the unofficial game of one-upsmanship the artists on the Before Watchmen project are playing. If nothing else, Before Watchmen is worth it just for the art. Bermejo recreates 1970s Time Square with all the squalor and degradation you could ask for.

Brian Azzarello's story is a little lean (especially compared to how much meat is in an issue of Ozymandias or Silk Spectre) but he takes a couple of interesting turns, and logical too when you think about it. Rorschach isn't quite as tough as he thinks he is; he just happens to be insane and willing to go above and beyond in terms of brutality. But here, Azzarello clearly shows his weaknesses and vulnerability. He is, after all, just one, short, crazy man in a mask.

The one thing that threw me off: Rorschach has a potty mouth. I mean, logically he would, but it was still weird to read initially. I guess by 1985, Rorschach decided to stop swearing.



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Matt Tracker
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 4 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.16
Two complaints:

1) Why is he typing his journal?

2) When Rorschach is kicked in the head, his mask doesn't react. That's an effect that's both realistic and cartoony. You gotta do that.

I wasn't impressed with this. There's no insight to the character, and it seems we're already beyond the kidnapping incident that turned Kovacs fully into Rorschach. We have so little of the pre-hurm days; that's what I hoped to see.



"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
samoflange
Lap cheong








Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

Since last post: 402 days
Last activity: 394 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.70
I have not read this book yet, but I really wanted to express my enjoyment of the phrase "pre-hurm days" and report that I will be attempting to use it the next time I am in a Watchmen conversation.
JALman
Boerewors








Since: 7.7.02
From: Almost there

Since last post: 114 days
Last activity: 5 hours
#4 Posted on
    Originally posted by Matt Tracker
    Two complaints:

    1) Why is he typing his journal?



That irked me, too. I would've expected him to write his notes down.



    2) When Rorschach is kicked in the head, his mask doesn't react. That's an effect that's both realistic and cartoony. You gotta do that.


Good observation. Rorschach's mask isn't as…ornate (?) as it is in Watchmen.



    I wasn't impressed with this. There's no insight to the character, and it seems we're already beyond the kidnapping incident that turned Kovacs fully into Rorschach. We have so little of the pre-hurm days; that's what I hoped to see.

They're holding back. I'm on the fence on whether to continue. I think the focus is on atmosphere instead character but I'd like to be proven wrong.

BW:R #1 is a tough issue for me to review on my site, Red-Headed Mule.



Latest at Red-Headed Mule:
2000 AD Starring Judge Dredd, Dark Knight Rises, Reviews of Before Watchmen: Rorschach & Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe
John Orquiola
Scrapple








Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 147 days
Last activity: 147 days
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
My two cents: I don't need to know more about Walter Kovacs/Rorschach. I know enough about him. I don't find him heroic, I find him rather detestable. So not focusing on his character/mental state/who he is and how he came to be? Fine with me. I know all I need to know about that psycho. Which isn't to say I don't find him interesting, but delving further into his psyche? Not all that eager to.

However, I love the immersion of the book by the artwork and the storytelling. 1970s Taxi Driver/Serpico New York is a fascinating setting and the book does a great job really selling the era. I'm enjoying Comedian for a lot of the same reasons; the settings with the Kennedys and then Vietnam in the 1960s is really well done, at least for me.

Nite-Owl, the book I'm enjoying the least, is in part because I don't like the squiggly, sketchy cartoony art (not to speak ill of the dead) and I generally don't enjoy JMS' writing. Especially how he's making Nite-Owl quite a bit about Rorshcach too.



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I haven't been on DC's site in a loooooong time, but went on there today on a whim and found this: http://www.readdcentertainment.com/Justice-League-201-Sale/comics-collection/669
- JimBob Skeeter, JLA for $0.99 sale ends today (2012)
Related threads: Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #2 - Neil Gaiman returns to The Sandman - Before Watchmen: Minutemen #2 - More...
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