The second issue of Rorschach, the unauthorised sequel to Watchmen, by Tom King and Jorge Fornes, and published by DC Comics out today, take place in Lewis Tower.
The building in which Will Myerson, a comic book creator, lives. Could this be a link to Byron Lewis, the engineer and aviation inventor known as Mothman, member of the Minutemen in the history of Watchmen? Who ended up in a psychiatric institution… after all, the comic does emphasise that this is definitely taking place in Watchmen's world in flashback.
Mental health certainly seems to be a focus of Rorschach #2, looking at the escapist aspects of classical superhero fiction – in the Watchmen world, that would be pirate fiction, of course. And Will Myerson, previously revealed as both the new Rorschach, as a shut-in lonely figure based on Steve Ditko – though Steve Ditko was nothing like this.
The apartment and building Myerson lives in resembles that of Steve Ditko, Pontius Pirate being turned into movies resembles the journey of Spider-Man, his desire to create more meaningful and political work also matches Ditko… and the character he creates resembles both Ditko's Mister A and The Question – characters that Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons based Rorschach upon. Oh and the suggestion that somehow he has the fingerprints of the late Walter Kovacs, the Rorschach of Watchmen, muddies things up, even further.
While the links to Ditko and to Watchmen are strong, there is also a possible link to a Greyshirt story by Alan Moore and Rick Veitch from Tomorrow Stories #2, "How Things Work Out", which saw the tale of a man's life from birth to death, told across the decades in one such apartment, each tier of the page representing both a different storey in the building and a different period of time. One of the greatest uses of the comic book medium in storytelling, such a fan of Moore's work as Tom King is, as Rorschach #2 also tells the story of a building and the people in it, across the floors and the decades, the link between the two seems a rather strong one indeed.
And it is a total coincidence that when reading the Wil Meyerson pages, I got visual cues not so much to Steve Ditko but to Rick Veitch?
And it's those pages, which see Will Meyerson express both his political ideologies, and as a way to take revenge against the man in the same building who he blames for his failures in life, and engages in a violent confrontation, bring back other memories too.
We see them, the bloodstains marking them out, as pages created in such a state of mind.
Wanting to create something more "mature", instead Wil Myerson seems to unconsciously reference the classic Charles Atlas ad that appeared in many a comic book and which also inspired the Grant Morrison character Flex Mentallo.
Could Rorschach really be the Hero Of The Beach?
RORSCHACH #2 (OF 12) CVR A JORGE FORNES
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Jorge Fornes
Cover Art by: Matteo Scalera
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. Eisner Award-winning writer Tom King teams with rising star artist Jorge Fornés to delve into backroom maneuvering and political corruption in a story that asks how far a man with ideals will go to make them a reality. Release Date: 11/17/2020 Retail : $4.99