Is Tom King Making The New Rorschach, Alan Moore? (Spoilers)

Rorschach #1, another unauthorised sequel to Watchmen by Tom King and Jorge Fornes, is published by DC Comics this week. Last month we ran the following fairly speculatory article, and I felt that it might be worth running again, just in case, now with added previews imagery fom the first issue. Take it away, me…

First, this is the solicitation for issue #2 of Rorschach.

RORSCHACH #2
What's the connection between an aging comic book artist and Rorschach? That's the question the detective investigating the attempted assassination of a presidential candidate must answer. Wil Myerson, a reclusive artist known for his pirate comics, went from drawing the adventures of Pontius Pirate and the Citizen to working with a mysterious young woman hellbent on making sense of a post-Watchmen world. Somewhere in the life of Wil Myerson lies the key to learning more about Rorschach.

We have seen promotional artwork, with an older man and a younger man together. This might suggest that this Wil Myerson is Rorschach. Which means a comic book creator from yesteryear is the new Rorschach.

Is Tom King Making The New Rorschach Alan Moore? (Spoilers)
Rorschach #2 art by Jorge Fornes.

As for Pontius Pirate, his comic book creation, in other promotional artwork, we have seen that is being made into a movie.

Is Tom King Making The New Rorschach Alan Moore? (Spoilers)
Rorschach #1 art by Jorge Fornes.

DC Comics and Alan Moore fell out pretty spectacularly over DC's decision to not hand back ownership of Watchmen as originally intended, but to use the new developing graphic novel market as a way to keep Watchmen in print, under their ownership, and eventually turn into movies, TV shows, merchandise and comic book prequels and sequels.

Is Tom King Making The New Rorschach Alan Moore? (Spoilers)
Rorschach #1 art by Jorge Fornes.

Tom King has also talked about how Alan Moore basically turned Steve Ditko into Rorschach, echoing the objectivist views of his favoured philosopher Ayn Rand, and characters, The Question and Mr A.

Is Tom King Making The New Rorschach, Alan Moore? (Spoilers)
Rorschach #1 art by Jorge Fornes.

Could Tom King have done the same to Alan Moore? Having this character reflect the views of a person who feels he has been ripped off by a major multi-media conglomerate over his work, over decades, now being turned into a movie, and taking revenge? And playing out in the very same comic book that is doing just the thing Alan Moore, and Dave Gibbons despaired over?

Is Tom King Making The New Rorschach, Alan Moore? (Spoilers)
Rorschach #1 art by Jorge Fornes.

That is meta as all hell. Even for Tom King. Could it actually criticise the very corporate act of seizing of intellectual property that it is a part of, in the actual comic book itself?

Is Tom King Making The New Rorschach, Alan Moore? (Spoilers)
Rorschach #1 art by Jorge Fornes.

It was a mad theory. But I asked around. And one person told me that a) they didn't think so but b) would check and on returning after reading the first issue c) told me "ohhhhhhh maybe." I am told the line "he's a crazy shut-in type, but there's people worship who him" might apply. And there are also appearances of real-life comic book creators and industry figures with no fictional analogues necessary, including Frank Miller, Otto Binder and Randy Cox.

For the rest, we'll have to wait and judge for ourselves. Rorschach #1 is published on Tuesday.

RORSCHACH #1
It's been 35 years since Ozymandias dropped a giant interdimensional squid on New York City, killing thousands and destroying the public's trust in heroes once and for all. And since that time, one figure in a fedora, mask, and trenchcoat has become a divisive culture icon. So what does it mean when Rorschach reappears as an assassin trying to kill a candidate running against President Robert Redford? Who is the man behind the mask, and why is he acting this way? It's up to one detective to uncover the true identity of this would-be killer-and it will take him into a web of conspiracies involving alien invasions, disgraced do-gooders, mystic visions, and yes, comic books. Writer Tom King joins forces with artist Jorge Fornés for a new miniseries that explores the mythic qualities of one of the most compelling characters from the bestselling graphic novel of all time, Watchmen.In Shops: Oct 21, 2020 SRP: $4.99

Oh and also from Rorschach #2…

Is Tom King Making The New Rorschach, Alan Moore? (Spoilers)
Rorschach #2 art by Jorge Fornes.

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.