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About Rorschach

By Chad Derdowski     -
Source: The Annotated Watchmen

Overview

Rorschach inhabits the world of "Watchmen," a story written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons which reflects contemporary (for 1986) anxieties and critiques the superhero genre. Rorschach fits the mold of the dark and angry vigilante à la Batman, only taken to the logical, real-world extreme. He is dark and twisted and sees the world in very black and white terms.

Signature Quote

"I wish all the scum of the earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

Bio

A moral absolutist and staunch nationalist, Rorschach is the only active vigilante in "Watchmen," having refused to retire when the Keene Act went into effect.

History

The long way around is to say that he's a real world exploration of an archetypal character: someone who is driven beyond driven by a sense of moral objectivity--a superhero for the Randian set. Rorschach is a vengeance-filled crime fighter who sees the world in black and white terms and enforces a particularly brutal style of crime fighting. Nite Owl describes him as "tactically brilliant and unpredictable." Many would call him crazy. Either way, Rorschach is one of the most popular characters in the story: incredibly complex and super-cool. He reminds you a lot of Travis Bickle from "Taxi Driver," only with a sweet mask and a grappling hook.

Powers/Abilities

Rorschach possesses no superhuman abilities and gets by on his know-how and willpower. He will use anything and everything available to aid him in his quest, whether it be pepper to blind someone or hairspray and a match to create a makeshift flamethrower. He uses a gas-powered grappling gun to scale walls and buildings and is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant.

Charlton Analogue

All of the characters in "Watchmen" were based on superheroes published by the now-defunct Charlton Comics Company. The character that inspired Rorschach was The Question, an adherent of Objectivism who wore a faceless mask and trench coat.

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