Crime is more than just risky business, it’s a dirty business. And that is what writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo capture in this story. Although the placement of this tale within the continuity of the preexisting world of Watchmen, the original text and prequels alike, is not entirely clear, it nonetheless breathes life into the rich, complex character of Rorschach.
As a modern master of visual storytelling within the crime genre, Azzarello is well versed and understands Noir as well as, if not better than any other working writer in the medium of comics. Azzarello showcases an ability to write razor-sharp dialogue laden with subtext and wit to the point that dark humor is inevitable. This enriches the story and increases its enjoyably.
This is without a doubt one of the strongest collaborations BEFORE WATCHMEN has presented us with. Azzarello’s script and story has a strong sense of pacing that is only fortified by the brilliance of Bermejo. His attention to detail is evocative and atmospheric. Bermejo captures and maintains the tone and mood necessary for a yarn set Rorschach world.
The structure of this story will play a big part in its execution and whether it succeeds or falls short. Being a four-part miniseries, Azzarello has three more issues to deliver the goods. With the help of Bermejo, this book promises to shape into solid showing for both collaborators.
BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH makes at least one thing clear. Azzarello and Bermejo are collaborating to create the most visually striking storytelling of the BEFORE WATCHMEN event thus far. Grit and grime is the name of the game, and these two creators are playing for keeps. To keep their level of craft at a high level throughout. And ultimately, to keep readers coming back for more. It’s safe to say, both are sure bets.