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‘Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #4’ Review – ‘Rorschach #5’ a.k.a. Rorschach on Fire

BW Nite Owl 4 colorThe comic book event of the summer is nigh!  Before Watchmen, the much-anticipated prequel series to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, will consist of seven limited series and an epilogue one-shot.  Stay tuned, as the Fanboy Comics crew will be reviewing each title as it is released. Hurm. 



Trapped by an insane reverend who intends to burn him alive, Rorschach is in serious trouble while Nite Owl and The Twilight Lady rush to his aid for reasons none of us can recall. Nite Owl #4 is a pretty good Rorschach story, further highlighting the man’s descent into violence and mayhem as he reveals more of how his twisted mind works. Nite Owl is really a secondary character in this tale. Besides wagging a finger at Rorschach, he could be removed from this issue and it would have played out perfectly. This fact on its own made this issue kind of disappointing, although Rorschach’s “You talk, I’ll do” line to Nite Owl highlights that it’s in the owl-themed hero’s nature to stand on the sidelines while Rorschach kicks a– and “hurms.”

This issue includes some incredibly well-drawn panels, mostly involving Rorschach and fire in a horrifically beautiful kind of way. The story as a whole does a decent job of linking the entire miniseries together (even the disconnected Issue #1) and tying it all into Watchmen itself. I had completely forgotten The Twilight Lady’s brief appearance in Watchmen, so it was nice to be reminded and see how JMS took such a throwaway moment and created a story arc out of it. I appreciate this series a little bit more after seeing how it all fit together.

That said, I’m not all that thrilled with The Twilight Lady’s role in this issue. At times her sexuality has been a strength for her, but the further into the story I’ve gone, the more one-noted she seemed to become. I also wasn’t particularly happy that she falls into some truly cliché and overdone roles this issue, including the damsel in distress, and she gives the, “I can’t fall in love because I’m a slut” excuse, condemning women who enjoy sex outside of marriage as “not good.” This behavior was a huge let down and completely undeserving of the woman featured in Issues #2 and #3.

So, that’s Nite Owl. As a series, it’s all over the place but has some good moments spread throughout and some neat connections and allusions to Watchmen that will make it worth reading for some. Just don’t get your hopes up thinking this series is all about Nite Owl, when in reality it’s about a diverse cast of characters that inhabit the Watchmen universe.




Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor


Favorite Comic Book SeriesAtomic Robo Favorite D&D Class:  Wizard Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  Cookies N' Cream


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