Friday, October 28, 2011

Super Hero by Divine Right

I've never been much of a comic reader, I'll be honest. I prefer photographs to cartoons, words on a page to conversation bubbles and real heroes that can do real things to those who can supposedly save this world. "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, my was first comic novel.

In American Popular Culture, we discussed as a class, the relations between justice and the heroes of "Watchmen." The entire character of Rorschach came spiraling together for me when Professor McRae related Rorschach to a vigilante in relation to a topic of countries. Relating the United States to Rorschach was a clever tie into the reading because he is an active hero in "Watchmen." This hero also decides how and why justice is served which proved to be a controversial topic in class discussion. Students could not seem to agree on an opinion of our justice system here in America because we struggled over whose hands the decision of "justice" should fall into. We, as a class, could agree on one thing: we do not think that each individual in the US should decide for him or herself how to make sure justice is being served. A common agreement was made on letting a higher power make these decisions for us. It seems the trouble we have with the justice system here in the US is trust in making the right move because we have too often seen the wrong move being made.

To tie this into the reading I chose a few symbols to work with. Within the first hundred pages I noticed a large amount of visuals including; crosses, statues of religious figures and words like lord, mercy and heaven. I thought this was particularly interesting because Rorschach himself seems to be a divine symbol of a god to his people and basically carries the title of the big shot who calls the last minute shot in every scenario. I thought it was yet another clever detail the book possessed because these items served as clues for its readers to pick up on the fact that he is shadowing a godly figure.


  1. This was also my first graphic novel. I never even read any sort of comic book when I was younger. I personally found the conversation about taking justice into our own hands very interesting. Even though most people seemed to not agree with our justice system 100%, no one wanted to live in a country where justice was up to the individual. This is because our country would be a complete mess. Revenge would be running wild. We need some sort of order, even if that order is still sometimes corrupt.

  2. This was my first graphic novel as well. I could not get into it because I was not used to the style of writing that it has. I see how your symbols are incorporated into the story. I also agree with everyone in class about needing a system to run our country. It would me utter chaos. But I also think that if we had some masked vigilantes than it would be completely different. If we had grown up with masked vigilantes than I think that we would have said something different.

  3. What you said about Rorschach is pretty intense. I don't see him as a divine symbol at all though, I think the fact that these things appear in the comic is sacrilegious and stands as a mockery to his biddings. I know that Pr. MacRae said that she thinks he is moral, but I don't. I think the imagery of his mask is kind of a testament to that. Rorschach's mask is an ink blot - something you see on a personal level in psychology. One thing really means another with an ink blot. This mental state is Rorschach's most powerful tool. His victims aren't just killed or brutally assaulted, they are haunted. Rorschach is more like a demon for me than anything else. His mask is like a possession.

  4. Just to be clear, I didn't say I thought Rorschach was moral. I said that _he_ thinks that he is, and that he represents a certain moral perspective that sees the world in absolutes. Chelsea, what do you mean by "sheltering a godly figure?" You lay out some fairly good questions, but don't really pursue them, sadly.