Making Small Talk with Rorschach – Watchmen #6

The cover to Watchmen #6
Get yer mind out of the gutter!

From Series: Watchmen

What Happened:

Rorschach (Walter Joseph Kovacs) is in jail and this is going to go GREAT.

The issue is told from the perspective of his psychiatrist, Dr. Malcolm Long, who is more interested in Rorschach on a publicity level. Hoping to make a reputation on his work with this patient, Dr. Long’s notes focus on Rorschach’s appearance and take everything he says at face value. Turns out ol’ splotch face is holding a lot back from Dr. Long at first.

While Rorshach is having flashbacks of discovering his mother prostituting herself and causing permanent bodily harm to neighborhood boys who insult him, Dr. Long is only hearing about pretty butterflies and flower. Things are going pretty good from his point of view. At home he even has sex with his wife (Gloria Long)! What a great day.

Turns out sex is an all night event (how would I know?) and Dr. Long is really sleepy when he next interviews Rorschach. During this meeting, Rorschach details where the “Rorschach” persona came from. Originally it was just a mask he made out of a dress. He hated to touch the dress because women’s clothing is for women and ghouls alone. The fabric of the dress had ink between two thin layers, creating the moving black splotches. Rorschach thought it looked pretty so he sewed it into a face and put it in his car trunk.

Look, I don’t have to explain what a person does with pretty things. We all know.

After hearing of a woman who was raped, tortured, and killed while witnesses did nothing and watched, Rorschach decided people are awful. Granted, the world is a little more complicated than that, but hard to find fault in his analysis of the situation. From here he decided he should put on a scarf and hat and beat up criminals. Dr. Long thinks that’s a little extreme but Rorschach calls him a bad person which really rains of Dr. Long’s parade.

That night they both have separate trials! Rorschach almost gets stabbed but instead horribly burns his attacker’s face with cooking fat. Meanwhile Dr. Long doesn’t have sex with his wife. What a bad day.

At their next meeting, Rorschach spills the beans about when he spilled the dog brains. This was the case which made Rorschach put away the persona of Kovac and only behaved as Rorschach. The event was when, searching for a missing girl he promised to return to her parents, Rorschach discovers she was butchered and fed to some dogs. So he kills the dogs, then waits for the man who did the butchering and kills him as well. He considers all the time spent before this as “being soft” on the criminal element.

Rorschach’s influence on Dr. Long continues to grow as he ruins a perfectly fine dinner with his wife and another couple. Now, it’s never stated anywhere in the comic, but I also assumed the other couple were swingers visiting the Long’s for a wife swap situation. This has nothing to do with Watchmen, or the quality of its story but I just wanted to get that down somewhere: Dr. Long bummed out a open marriage couple so much they decided to bounce.

Dr. Long’s wife leaves him after this and he endures a nightmarish second night without having sex with her. Never had I felt such sympathy for a character. The secret hero of the story?

What I Learned From This Comic:

Ink blots always look like either a flower, or a butterfly, or a dog’s head split open with a meat clever.

The Creators:
Writer: Alan Moore
Penciler, Inker, Letterer & Cover Artist: Dave Gibbons
Colourist: John Higgins
Executive Editor: Dick Giordano
Editors: Len Wein & Barbara Kesel