Rorschach #4 – Tom King, Writer; Jorge Fornes, Artist; Dave Stewart, Colorist
Ray – 10/10
Ray: There were a lot of debates about the political leanings of this book right when it debuted, but I think we can now safely say—this is a book about conspiracies and the way they bore into people’s minds and leave them shells of their former selves. This book may not officially be about the conspiracy theory of the moment, but you can see traces of it all over the story of Laura Cummings. Last issue showed us her traumatic childhood with a father who believed in sick conspiracies about “squid people” being created by the Manhattan event. But abused children often grow up into abusers, and Laura becomes a sideshow star known as “The Kid” who pulls a kind but powerful strongman into her orbit. That man, now in a prison mental facility, meets with the detective this issue as he explains how Laura’s words sent him down a dark path and led him to believe he was something he wasn’t.
I really can’t talk about this issue without giving away the big spoiler, because it seems like it’s going to define the rest of the series and it’s a fascinating concept.
Our strongman is Rorschach. Or rather, a Rorschach. He killed someone to protect Laura, and learned that she was a conspiracy theorist who believed that Dr. Manhattan had transferred the souls of the lost heroes into other people. So he was conned into becoming Rorschach, becoming a killer, until his path led him to a sad ending. And now, I can assume this is what happened to our comic book artist in the first two issues as well—maybe. But it’s starting to look a lot like Laura is our posthumous main villain of the series, and Rorschach here isn’t a character but an idea that keeps destroying one life after another. That’s a fascinating concept and one that feels so timely. Rorschach was never a hero, he was a mentally ill man who engaged in acts of brutality because he believed they were right. As the idea of what he was is twisted further, that corruption is only going to get worse. And this could turn into the greatest work of King’s career.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.