Written by Chris Micieli
Cover Rank: 7.5/10
An interesting choice for a cover. So far I’ve been underwhelmed by the covers through two issues. This one is better than the premiere issue but it still doesn’t capture Watchmen for what it is. It doesn’t even go along with original Watchmen characters. It’s basically a pile of clothing the Mime and Marionette wear clumped on the floor. However, again the cover plays more like a page 1 than a cover as one page in the cover is incorporated into the story immediately. From that aspect it is more on the creative side and we don’t get an image of a Watchmen character which would be much more appealing to the eye.
Best Variant Issue: 7/10
There is only one, and again, it’s not bad. If the original cover gives us clothing of non Watchmen characters then the variant most definitely will, right!? No. It’s Lex Luthor sitting at a desk. But a hand is extended to touch his shoulder, and who that hand belongs to is of great interest as we will find out in the pages that follow.
What I Like:
My pride for wanting this to be a fresh new Watchmen story has subsided and by that I mean Watchmen characters and ONLY Watchmen characters. It has to be if I’m to review this series fairly. I could go off and rank them negatively on this aspect alone but that would be unfair to the reader as well as beating a dead horse. I expressed my displeasure with that aspect in my review for issue #1, so I can easily set that aside now and review this series for what it is intended to be. Even if I was still bitter towards my not so fond take on them reviving the Watchmen, a lot of that has gone away with this exceptional issue. We are getting a little deeper into Ozymandias’ plan and why he wants the Mime and Marionette to join him in the mission to find Dr. Manhattan, who we finally get a glimpse of for the first time even though it’s in the form of a flashback. That flashback is the reason why the Mime and Marionette are along for this journey, though they don’t know that of course.
Having Rorschach and Veidt travel through time, or to a different time period, and to see where it is they end up was rather cool. It brings up so many types of questions that I hope will be answered at some point, but let’s not rush this. Let’s just enjoy the creativity at work here. I can’t really continue this review without spoiling where exactly they went, so close your eyes: Gotham City.
Veidt figured out a way to track the atoms that leave Jon’s body as he moves about and he’s tracked him to Gotham. Seeing Rorschach and Veidt arrive is the City and not know anything about it was amusing and exciting to watch where this goes as they explore the legendary home of a certain superhero. Which is exactly what the plan is for now. Rorschach is to find Batman, Veidt is looking for Lex Luthor and they have to convince the two to join the cause in looking for Dr. Manhattan in order to save the world. We don’t get that answer yet either but the lead up to Rorschach finding Batman is great reading. The tandem these two could possibly create is something that has me excited to see what’s in store. The short dialog between them is perfect.
What I didn’t like:
This could be written for any story arc, but the questions are starting to pile up and it’s in my hardwired, comic book fan nature to demand answers long before we are entitled to them. I’m still on the fence as to if this will stand the test of time like the original series, but I’m not going to make those statements anytime soon. It wouldn’t be fair.
I also would have liked a little more on the Mime and Marionette. They were showcased early in the issue through a backstory but as for the present they were more or less just there and talked about by Veidt. Fear not, however. They have made a move that will set them free within the city of Gotham.
Rorschach eating Batman’s breakfast. Has literally nothing to do with the issue as a whole, but it was damn funny to see. Batman’s confrontation of Rorschach about said breakfast was even better.
Aside from people stealing from the mouths of others, I really thought the art style going into and coming out of Batman’s storyline was very creative. They use the Watchmen side of the story to great effect as they introduce the Batman side. There’s little to no action that takes place within the issue so it relies heavily on the art style which is top of the line. You get a great sense of the bleakness of the world.
We would have plenty of questions to satisfy our curiosity, but the ending throws the twist of all twists at us and now we don’t know what the hell is going on.
What I’m Looking Forward To:
What the ending means for starters. There is a lot of explaining to do there. I’m also looking forward to the dynamic between Rorschach and Batman. The Veidt and Luthor aspect is interesting sure, but this seems made for a Rorschach/Batman dynamic team.
This also makes two issues with no sign of Dr. Manhattan in the present tense. We got a little tease from the flashback, but I’m not counting that. The build up for him to appear continues.
Variant Cover Art