Fiona Staples Covers ‘Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man’ #1 In First Marvel Work
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Rorschach’s Journal. October 12, 1985:
Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout “Save us!”… and I’ll look down and whisper “No.” They had a choice, all of them. They could have followed in the footsteps of good men like my father or President Truman. Decent men who believed in a day’s work for a day’s pay. Instead they followed the droppings of lechers and communists and didn’t realize that the trail led over a precipice until it was too late. Don’t tell me they didn’t have a choice. Now the whole world stands on the brink, staring down into bloody Hell, all those liberals and intellectuals and smooth-talkers… and all of a sudden nobody can think of anything to say.
The thing that bothers me about this quote is that since the movie came out, people started quoting it as though it were divine wisdom, some kind of snarling refutation of modern life and humanity. It’s bizarre to think that people might actually agree with Rorschach’s misanthropy, or even think that that’s what Alan Moore was going for with this scene.
Rorschach, like all the Watchmen, is a deeply disturbed individual-he has to be, to think that putting on a mask and going out beating up criminals is somehow a desirable thing to do. He’s the ultimate contradiction at the heart of the superhero myth-the belief that he is capable of making a difference to the human condition by virtue of his own superiority, but that those same humans are so very inferior that there’s no reason to bother, except as an outlet for his own nihilistic rage. He simply isn’t capable of seeing goodness or altruism in others, which is how he identifies the Comedian’s murderer; he is the stopped clock right twice a day, understanding the conspiracy because he sees conspiracies everywhere, and just this once gets it right.
Rorschach, in this scene, is Gordon Gecko declaring “Greed is good”. He’s not a hero, he’s an anti-hero, representing all that is psychotic and disturbed about a group of people who don’t even understand that they’ve turned morality on its head, but who just think that they’re so much smarter and better than everyone else that only they can really see “how the world works”. The tragedy of the story (and Watchmen is definitely a tragedy) is that it is their own virtues that lead them down this path, making them blind to all the things that, in a better world, they would be fighting for.
It’s easiest to understand that tragedy in the context of the villain of Watchmen, but it applies to all of them in one way or another, and Rorschach’s misanthropy is merely outmatched in scale, not banished or vindicated.
I tried explaining Saga to a non-comics reader today. Things didn’t go so well:
The Noh-Varr Story I Could Never Tell
I’m often asked about what limits Marvel put on doing Young Avengers. Basically, very little, because I had a pretty good idea of what would fly and what wouldn’t. If it wouldn’t, I wouldn’t try and it.
So, I would never do this story idea, for reasons that will become immediately obvious. But I’ve alluded to it a few times, and said I’d let it into the wild when the run was over… so here it is.
NSFW or anyone who doesn’t like bleaching their brain.
Fraction/Zdarsky - Sex Criminals #1
The two panels from Saga #12 that caused the issue to be briefly prohibited from sale on iOS. (Android users had no problem buying it straight through the Comixology app, however.)
Big gay cocks everywhere. Hallelujah!
(It should go without saying that Saga is still one of the best new comics out there and you should all be reading it.)