Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen continues to be mined by DC Comics for story ideas some 30+ years after the 12-issue miniseries debuted. Although it enjoyed a long tenure as a “hands off” project while DC built its graphic novel business on its back, in recent years, post-Paul Levitz, the gloves have been off, starting with Before Watchmen in 2012 and the more recent Doomsday Clock, which brought the Watchmen characters into contact with the DC universe. These projects were done without the support or approval of Moore, who has “angrily” distanced himself from anything Watchmen due to his ownership dispute with DC (among other reasons).
Which brings us to today, in a world where Watchmen is not just a very well-regarded comic from the 1980s, but also a very well-regarded HBO show. DC has announced a new Rorschach 12-issue series by Tom King and Jorge Fornés that sounds like it has more in common with the TV show than the original comic.
Here’s how DC describes the series:
It’s been 35 years since Ozymandias was exposed for dropping a giant telepathic squid on New York City, killing thousands and ending the public’s trust in heroes once and for all. The Minutemen are gone; only their memory lives on. Especially the infamy of Rorschach, who has become a cultural icon since Dr. Manhattan turned him to dust.
Rorschach may have spoken truth, but he wasn’t a hero.
So what does it mean when Rorschach reappears as part of a pair of assassins trying to kill the first candidate to oppose President Robert Redford in decades? Follow one determined detective as he walks backward in time, uncovering the identities and motives of the would-be killers, taking him deep into a dark conspiracy of alien invasions, disgraced do-gooders, mystical visions, and yes, comic books.
“Like the HBO Watchmen show and very much like the original ‘86 Watchmen, this is a very political work,” King said in the press release. “It’s an angry work. We’re so angry all the time now. We have to do something with that anger. It’s called Rorschach not because of the character Rorschach, but because what you see in these characters tells you more about yourself than about them.”
The Black Label maxiseries begins in October.