Simply put, Moloch is a well-told story. Ostracized from birth because of his unusual appearance, Moloch's struggles with his identity and self-hatred are palpable and painful to bear witness. I'm a sucker for a well-told story about identity, and Straczynski and Risso nailed it in this issue. Many scenes had me wincing at the stuff Moloch was put through just for being different. Furthermore, to the team's credit, this wasn't done by vilifying the heroes or through some other cheap trick; I felt for Moloch and understood his decision to turn to villainy, because I got to know him.
Risso's art, by itself, didn't do anything for me, but I loved the way he framed shots. Moloch's face is often obscured or in shadows, because he states that he can't bear the sight of himself. Performing magicians are framed to be larger than life, and, in many other ways, the art is expertly used to frame the story from the perspective of Moloch, which made it much easier to feel what it was like to walk a mile in his tuxedo shoes.
I have to acknowledge the length of this series. This first issue was pretty meaty in terms of content, covering a significant portion of Moloch's background, and it feels like one more issue is just the right length to tell this story. The writing and the art really came together on this to produce an excellent story about an otherwise pretty minor character. The next time I read Watchmen, I'm going to feel a lot differently when I see Rorschach intimidating Moloch and shoving him into a refrigerator.