Geoff Johns definitely knew how to leave an audience wanting more. After their arrival on the DC Earth, Ozymandias and Rorschach split up to speak to the two greatest minds on Earth: Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor. Rorschach went to Wayne Manor and inadvertently stumbled upon the Batcave. Meanwhile, Ozymandias breaks into Lexcorp to talk to Luthor, which is a fascinating conversation to be sure. Before either Watchmen gains any leeway on their mission, both are interrupted. In the case of Rorschach, it’s Batman, returning from his nightly patrol. For Ozymandias, the interruption comes in the form of The Comedian, alive and well.
**Some Spoilers Below**
This issue follows the three paths the Watchmen characters have taken. Ozymandias takes on the Comedian, who reveals Dr. Manhattan saved him before his demise in the original Watchmen series. The villains Marionette and Mime get into a bloody brawl at the Joker’s bar, with the intent of taking on the Clown Prince. We also have Rorschach explaining his situation to Batman, as well as learn more about our new ink-blotted hero.
There is a lot to love about this issue. Readers get answers to some of the questions laid out in the first two issues as well as new questions to leave us guessing. We learn how the Comedian survived, but now ask what is the involvement of the JSA. We finally get clues on the background of Rorschach, but now wonder what will happen when the villainous couple face down the Joker. It’s questions and exciting setups like this that keep readers coming back and theorizing about the future of the series. This is written masterfully by Johns and harkens back to the original Watchmen series.
My favorite story to follow was actually the trouble Mime and Marionette got into. While it wasn’t the emotionally impactful story between Batman and Rorschach, their story turned out fun. Watching the pair of them tear through the Joker gang, especially with the reveal that Mime’s imaginary weapons are real, made me want to watch them. You’ll now have to wait a month for their next big fight with the Clown Prince of Crime.
Gary Frank brings his A-Game as usual, with Brad Anderson’s fantastic colors complimenting the illustrations. The biggest take away from the art is how there are clever transitions to each story. A prime example is when Rorschach is handing his predecessor’s journal to Batman, and the next page is Marionette and Mime taking each other’s hands. They are in the same position as the vigilantes, creating an interesting and creative transition between the stories.
The series continues to raise intrigue with its expanding mystery. We have more questions along with answers to old ones and a pair of genuinely amazing fight scenes. The art team continues to impress with the imaginative transition between stories being the highlight of the issue. If you aren’t on board already, best jump on this story as soon as you can.