BEFORE WATCHMEN Rorschach #1 Drug Dealers in Porno Alley

STORY BY Brian Azzarello, Len Wein
ART BY Lee Bermejo, John Higgins
COLORS BY Barbara Ciardo, John Higgins
LETTERS BY Rob Leigh, Sal Cipriano
COVER BY Lee Bermejo, Jim Sterank, Jim Lee, [more…]
PUBLISHER DC Comics

HURM.  Now this is more like it! BEFORE WATCHMEN finally delivers a book with enough style and panache to stand on it’s own, outside the main universe, but be aligned with the themes of the original. The look and feel of this book a painterly fever vision of Times Square circa 1970’s. Like the movie Taxi Driver but with better lighting, more dripping pools of neon, and heaps of XXX theaters.

Azzarello throws us a grimy street cocktail that’s one part 8MM and two parts Dirty Harry, with a dash of The Punisher thrown in for good measure. The interesting thing is not the 1970’s porno stores, the junkie informant, or the underground street gang living in the sewers, it’s the small moments that Rorschach has his mask off. The intimate look of defeat in his eyes at the diner, and how he goes about his daily life when he’s not being a masked vigilante. I have to be honest though, the star of this comic is not the writer. I mean Azzarello doesn’t lob soft balls, so that’s not what I’m talking about here. The story is solid. But man Bermejo is just fucking stunning. Take what he did on Joker, the raw edges, grit and grime. The maniacal exaggeration. Then add to that the Alex Ross influenced coloring, fx and rays of volumetric light that Lee honed on Batman: Noel. Plus a double dose of dirty 70’s neon noir and Mad Magazine texture… that equals a goddamned masterpiece. In my eyes, this is easily the finest looking comic of 2012. Not only do the panels leaps off the page and are larger than life, but the actors deliver an academy award winning performance as well. Expressions, poses, subtle ticks… they are all there and executed in a masterful way.

If you had any curiosity of what a Rorschach comic could be a I suggest you pick this up, as it mire than delivers.
Story: 8
Art: 10
Jerry Nelson

Follow me on twitter and tell me what you think @the_hellhounds

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.

What do you think?

11,106FansLike
6,511FollowersFollow
17,528FollowersFollow