16 April 2008

Rorschach the Optimist

Alan Moore

To the winner goes the SPOILERS

Whoo! This is the week I've been looking forward too. My dad got me a copy of Watchmen when I was in high school, and I've loved it ever since.

Anyway, with this latest reread I noticed something sort of odd. Rorschach, probably the scariest character in the entire comic, is actually kind of an optimist. But not happy. Just an optimist. I mean, I'd be hard-pressed to think of a less cheery comic book character. But he really believes in what he's doing, and he believes it in a good way.

Witness this. In the second issue of Watchmen (I have to go by issue--my trade has no other page numbers), Rorschach goes to visit the Comedian's grave. He is busy pondering the case of the Comedian's murder, and provides us with this really amazing quote:

"So many questions. Never mind. Answers soon. Nothing is insoluble. Nothing is hopeless. Not while there's life."

Think about that. Rorschach is sketchy and violent and has a lot of prejudices. He does not get along well with others and never smiles. But he's the one who believes in the human race. Dan Dreiberg can't decide what he wants, let alone figure out what he wants for other people. Laurie Juspeczyk always hated the hero business. Ozymandias can only help people by doing things for them, and Dr. Manhattan doesn't care.

But Rorschach...he thinks things are going to work out. He thinks that things are probably going to work out all right. Which is kind of weird, given how much he dislikes most people.

I think I like Rorschach a lot more now.

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