Writer: Geoff Johns / Artist: Gary Frank / DC Comics
Here we are, finally getting insight into who this new Rorschach is and how he came to be. After Batman left your boy in the lurch, we get the flashback to explain the man behind the shifting mask. Reggie aka John Doe aka New Rorscach has had a hard go of it to put it mildly. As a direct victim to Ozymandias’ plot and worldwide extinction plan, we see Reggie’s troubled youth, his maturation and descent into madness.
The design of this book does a good job of articulating that while Reggie saw plenty of tragedy that could have turned him one way or another, he also might have suffered from some form of mental illness to begin with. The book is manic and bounces between various galvanizing events that might contribute to his evolving behavior. Also, some of the friends and foes that Reggie picks up along the way help push him through the paces, though it isn’t always clear if that’s a good thing or not.
Not to mention that Franks is still doing the Lord’s work on this book. As visceral and unflinching a story as this is, his pencils are keeping the pace and paint a truly terrifying world that we want to rectified.
Johns and Franks hit the way-back button to show the background of its best character in this series so far. The story and arrangement are dizzying, intentionally so, and helps to give some perspective to his plight. It also serves as a some needed perspective regarding Ozymandias and even Batman, while trying to decide if he did the right thing dropping Reggie in Arkham.
All in all, it makes for an interesting read that will help explain Rorschach’s actions moving forward.