Watchmen Profile: Rorschach

03.04.09 8 years ago

Warner Bros.

This week we’ll be profiling the key characters in Zack Snyder’s upcoming big screen adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s classic graphic novel “Watchmen.” And with a nod to another comic publication that debuted in the same era, “The Official Handbook” of that other comic book company, we proudly continue with the former partner of Dan Drieberg, the last holdout against the Keene Act, the man with the inkblot face…


Real Name:  Walter Joseph Kovacs

Born: 1941

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation:  advertising, justice

Group Membership:  Crimebusters (disbanded), partnership with Nite Owl

Enemies: Unknown

Known Relatives: none

Aliases: none

Base of Operations:  New York City.

Powers/Abilities:  Rorschach’s face is hidden behind a mask of ingenious design.  Made from a material derived from the technologies of Doctor Manhattan, Rorschach’s mask mimics the effect of a Rorschach inkblot test, with ever-shifting symmetrical stain-like patterns playing across the white front.  Rorschach is exceptionally strong, although small, and he is a skilled improviser in combat, great in close quarters but also excellent with tactics.

History:  Raised by a single mother, Walter never knew who his father was.  There were always men in his house, but he never understood until he turned ten, when he heard a sound that sent him running to check on his mother.  He found her in bed with a customer, and the guy ended up storming out, leading his mother to physically abuse him.  When he was later cornered by two kids who called his mother a “whore,” he attacked them, disfiguring one in the ensuing fight.  He was sent to a juvenile foster care home for troubled kids, where he actually excelled in his studies.  He never saw his mother again.

His first job, working in the garment district, is what brought him in contact with the material he used to make his mask.  It was brought in by a customer who wanted a dress made of it.  Later, she decided she didn’t want the dress, calling it ugly.  Kovacs was fascinated by the experimental fabric and took it home with him.  When he saw a story in the paper about the young woman who ordered the dress and her violent death, he found himself compelled to action.  He made a new face for himself.  One he could bear to see in a mirror.  And he started to patrol the city as a vigilante.

Rorscach was a founding member of Crimebusters, a group that also featured Dr. Manhattan, The Comedian, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre II, and Ozymandias, and after that group’s short but famous time together, he was pushed over the edge by the brutal kidnapping and murder of a little girl.  What little restraint he had shown to criminals vanished, and he began to kill.  Even after the Keene Act was passed, Rorschach continued to work whenever and however he chose, unafraid of arrest or retribution.  He believes in absolute right and wrong, and the use of absolute force when required.

Let’s check out Rorschach in action:

Good Friend
Nite Owl looses his patience with Rorschach.

[Rorschach is played in the film version of “Watchmen” by Jackie Earle Haley, a character actor who has been working since the mid-’70s, when he made a huge impression as a child star in films like “The Bad News Bears,” “Breaking Away,” and “The Day Of The Locust.”  He worked only occasionally in the ’70s and early ’80s before taking 13 years away from acting.  “Little Children” marked his return to the screen and earned him an Academy Award nomination in 2006.  He’ll next be seen in a pivotal role in Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” later this year.]

Look for more “Watchmen” profiles all this week on HitFix:

Saturday: Silk Spectre II
Sunday:  Ozymandias
Monday: Nite Owl II
Tuesday: The Comedian
Thursday: Dr. Manhattan

Read Drew McWeeny’s Motion/Captured review of “Watchmen” here.

Find out more about the DVD “Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter.”
Find out more about the DVD “Watchmen: Motion Comics.”
Find out more about the “Watchmen” Movie Soundtrack.

Enter for a chance to win 3 Exclusive “Watchmen” Books here.

“Watchmen” opens nationwide and on IMAX on March 6.

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