Brian Azzarello offers a wonderful story of Rorschach operating alone on the streets with little more than his own fury and a mask. In this first installment he has already developed a reputation and endures a less-than-pleasant encounter with a high-ranking drug dealer. While this issue mainly follows Rorschach attempting to break up a drug ring, the title has bookends featuring an unidentified serial killer nicknamed The Bard, who will presumably be the big bad for this arc.
The book was intense but had me chuckling delightedly throughout. Azzarello and Bermejo clearly have a fondness for this character and portray him with a deep respect and joy. There are several callbacks to Watchmen as you might expect. Azzarello uses Rorschach’s journal to introduce the story, but that gives way to dialogue and art after a of couple pages, as he lets the story unfold organically. And, Rorschach’s trademark “Hurm” is used perfectly (and sparingly, Bryant). A wonderful opening to a promising story, I cannot wait for Issue #2!