Comic: Rorschach #4

Written By: Brian Azzarello

Pencils By: Lee Bermejo

Publisher: DC Comics


Rating: ★★★½☆

This week another Before Watchmen title ends and if you didn’t know what came after you’d be pretty sure its lead was going to die. Rorschach is a bad ass but he’s a bad ass that can also take a beating and that seems to be the norm in this mini series. Rorschach has been beaten on by the same seedy New York gang a lot, and while he’s given as much back, this final issues starts with them taking the upper hand.


Once again Lee Bermejo’s art shines off the pages of this comic. It has through this entire mini series and something about his artwork slots Rorschach right into a late seventies / early eighties gritty thriller with ease. Brain Azzarello’s writing however has been a little chaotic. He does small pockets of Rorschach moments very well but the entire four issue arc has been up and down and this final issue goes out with a a bit of a thud. Instead of wrapping  up the events with Rorschach’s input, he instead keeps our masked vigilante tied to a bed and decides to delve into the thoughts behind becoming a masked hero. Additionally all of the serial killer stuff that’s been building in the book fizzled away to be played out in an epilogue of sorts.

This is all very well played out but it leaves the mini series feeling a little thin. The darkness of New York and Rorschach’s world is well captured through the entire four issue run but somehow the simplicity of the wrap up makes the title feel a little unfocused. I suppose you could argue Rorschach’s life is so messed up, things end up nasty no matter his input. That’s valid because the bad guy here subtly gets drawn into the idea of wearing a mask and its his undoing. Rorschach’s world takes turns you just don’t expect and that’s been a factor for both the good and bad parts of this series.


It’s more the events after  the disfigured boss finishes getting his thrills from Rorschach’s mask that close this series with a whisper rather than a bang . A tiger saves Rorschach and he simply walks away from the messy situation. Sure he gives his summation of events and the issue ends with him, years later tracking down the serial killer that attacked his new lady friend but this mini series ends up feeling a bit loose. It’s damn pretty, it had moments of pure Rorschach delight and it depicts a seedy dark New York like no other Before Watchmen title, but for a title that had the potential to be the best in the Before Watchmen run, this sort of just ended up being a solid, if somewhat underwhelming Rorschach mini series.


Mini Series Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Weekly Before Watchmen Overview:




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This article was first posted on March 6, 2013