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Chronological Watchmen read, yay!

12 October: Wow, on the first page, Rorschach seems like more of an obvious nutbar than I remember – less fox-crazy than mentally-12 crazy. Then Hollis and Dan telling stories, obviously both lost and sharing surface-cheerful depression. Dan makes fists and fiercely goes to confront what he thinks is a burglar, but momentary manliness impression is blown out of the water by immediate subservience to crazy fella. Detectives can’t be bothered to take on knotty murder case, intimidated by mystery rather than intrigued. Emphasis on total lack of heroes, only husks, empty masks.

13 October: Obvious-nutbar impression somewhat dispelled by Rorschach terrifying entire bar and effortlessly breaking into highly guarded government facility. Leads to the following priceless panels: cut for friendslist sanity )

It would be way too much fun to parse the social shifts in that scene. I mean, "fun." For a certain type of mind. The kind that knows, if you dissect something, you find out how it works, but it's really really dead...and does it anyway.
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I’ve been re-reading Watchmen over the last week or so (more and more slowly as I get near the end), and today realised there’s an even more d’awwwwww-inducing Nite Owl / Rorschach moment than the long awkward handshake:

When the two of them break into Veidt’s office and Nite Owl pokes around, finally hacking into the computer, while Rorschach talks…and talks…and talks.

Here’s the full text, from Rorschach noticing the chart on the wall to Dan finally rejoining the conversation: )

Obviously, there’s lots of thematic goodness in there, and there’s got to be something interesting going on while the always visually scintillating hacking goes on in the background, but sheesh, Rorschach! You’re monologue-ing, with rhetorical flourishes!

He’s so comfortable and happy (…for him) to have his bestest buddy working at his side again to share his thoughts with, instead of only his journal, and it’s goddamned adorable.

And it makes me wonder – all the ficcers (including me) write even 1960s Rorschach as Mister Terse. It feels wrong just to let him use a pronoun once in a while. But, based on this, what if he spent every minute of alone time with Nite Owl like this, chattering out every single thought that crossed his mind?

Poor, poor lucky Nite Owl – it would have been like working with a perpetual Raymond Chandler loop! Maybe he spent nearly every pre-Roche patrol gritting his teeth after a few hours and muttering “Shut. Up. Rorschach. Shut. Up. ShutUpShutUpShutUp!” Or giggling like a maniac at rapid-fire literary references.

Someone needs to write this. I don’t know if I’m up to it, but goddamn, someone needs to.

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