Review: RORSCHACH #5
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Jorge Fornes
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Rorschach #5: Rorschach tried to kill the leading contender to unseat President Redford, a governor by the name of Turley who has a lot to say. Turley believes the Redford people were behind the hit, but the detective investigating the case isn’t so sure. To prove Turley wrong, he has to figure out how Rorschach and Laura got so close to actually doing the job, and the answer to that might be deep in the Turley campaign itself, including the governor’s past with a masked man called the Comedian.
Rorschach #5 seems to be something of a turning point in Tom King’s series. The story starts with King’s nameless detective summarizing what he’s learned so far, and what questions remained unanswered. Looking at the questions he’s asking makes it clear that there’s something deeper than it being a random assassination attempt by two crackpots.
The unnamed detective is still mostly an enigma. He doesn’t say or do anything that betrays any of his own feelings to the reader. However, I find the way other characters react to him to be intriguing. Turley’s bodyguard Jacobs accuses him, “You got an attitude on you. You hold it close to you, which is polite, I think, but I see it”. However, there is nothing shown in their interaction that would seem to justify this. Is he projecting? Or is there something to their interaction that King is hiding for us?
This exchange also provokes the closest thing we’ve seen to an emotional response from the detective. When the guard asks, “do you want to hit me?”, there seems to be some irritation in his response, “No. But if you want to be hit, I’ll see what I can do”. Now, there’s definitely some attitude on display there, so maybe the guard is somewhat perceptive after all.
From what we see of the detective’s talk with Turley, he doesn’t encourage the politician’s conspiracy theory that President Redford arranged the assassination attempt. Yet, he somehow comes out of the meeting with Turley’s full support. And when Turley’s aide asks, why does the detective deny that Turley mentioned Redford?
There is something in the detective’s conversation that is particularly notable. Turley asks him “When you look at me, what do you see?”. King underscores this with a significant pause, after which the sleuth avoids answering the question by posing a question of his own. It seems to me that his unspoken answer will prove crucial as the story develops further.
I am also fascinated by the scenes with Rorschach and the Kid, particularly the final scene with them walking with the detective and laughing. I doubt they are literally present as ghosts or some such. But is the detective imagining or hallucinating them? Or are they only visible to the reader?
I have a theory forming of where this story is heading. It’s pure speculation on my part, but I suspect that by the story’s end, we will see the detective donning the Rorschach mask, under the belief that he is inhabited by the soul of Rorschach. And that he will attempt and possibly succeed in killing Turley where Wil Myerson and Laura Cummings failed. I might be totally off-base, but that’s my guess at where the story is going.
I have to commend Jorge Fornes’ art on this series. Hs artwork does an effective job of establishing the mood of each scene. I especially like his rendition of the Comedian and Doctor Manhattan in Viet Nam.
I have nothing but praise for this series. I have yet to find anything amiss in this carefully crafted and beautifully illustrated title.
Rorschach #5 is another flawless issue of this astounding series. If the rest of this miniseries is equal to what King’s given us so far, then this will be another masterpiece on par with his stellar Mister Miracle.