Before Watchmen: Comedian/Rorschach

5.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Art: 7/10

Decent art

Bad stories

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Before Watchmen:  Comedian/Before Watchmen:  Rorschach

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Brian Azzarello

Artist:  J.G. Jones/Lee Bermejo

# of Issues:  10

Release Date:  2013


Before Watchmen: Comedian #1

Reprints Before Watchmen:  Comedian #1-6 and Before Watchmen:  Rorschach #1-4 (August 2012-June 2013).  The Comedian and his relationship with Jack and Bobby Kennedy is explored as the Comedian finds himself in Vietnam where he is waging a losing battle both in politics and war.  Rorschach faces off against a criminal calling himself Crime.  When the city faces a blackout, Rorschach must take the darkness to his advantage.

Written by Brian Azzarello, Before Watchmen:  Comedian/Rorschach collects two limited series of DC Comics’ tie in to the popular Alan Moore graphic novel classic Watchmen.  Both limited series were met with largely negative reviews.

I was kind of against Before Watchmen even before it was released.  Watchmen was such a monumental moment in comic book history that any decision to mess with it should be heavily debated and debated considered before enacting it.  The creative teams needed to be heavily screened and before picking.  I read all the series and these two series are possibly the worst of the batch.


Before Watchmen: Rorschach #3

The first part of the collection is Before Watchmen:  The Comedian.  It is a hodgepodge of events that doesn’t have a very cohesive story.  The first issue set the tone for the poor quality by having the Comedian have a moment with Moloch when they learned that JFK was assassinated…it reminded me of the bad villains crying for 9-11 in the famous Amazing Spider-Man #36.  The comic didn’t really have a theme and the story ended up in a mess of unnecessarily jumbled stories that were hard to follow their order.  I’m not a big Azzarello fan and this is a great example of why.

The second storyline involves Rorschach battling a rather generic crime villain that looks like he fell out of a Luke Cage:  Hero for Hire comic.  Rorschach is almost shown to be rather incompetent (something I felt he never was) and the story seems rather trivial.  I thought that the murderer would tie back in to the Watchmen novel somehow, but it didn’t.

Both Rorschach and the Comedian’s story fail to help Watchmen and are “Before Watchmen” by name only.  The stories really don’t enhance Watchmen or expand upon Watchmen by exploring aspects of the character and instead I felt presented both characters different then they were presented in WatchmenBefore Watchmen for the most part was a mistake and this is a great example of its failings.

Related Links:


Watchmen (2009)

Watchmen:  The End Is Nigh

Before Watchmen:  Minutemen/Silk Spectre

Before Watchmen:  Nite Owl/Dr. Manhattan

Before Watchmen:  Ozymandias/Crimson Corsair

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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