“…He sure as hell is angry, but he does have moves.”

§ March 10th, 2008 § Filed under watchmen Comments Off on “…He sure as hell is angry, but he does have moves.”

Okay, I’m pretty sure someone else in the comicsweblogosphere has already covered this at some point, but I don’t remember anyone doing so off the top of my head, and I’m not gonna check and see because I still want to post about it. Plus, I mentioned this comic to pal Dorian and Employee Aaron, and they were all “nuh uh,” and I was all “yeah huh,” so I’m gonna post it here just in case any of you out there hadn’t heard about it or seen it either.

Anyhoo, Question #17 (June 1988, by Denny O’Neil, Denys Cowan, and Rick Magyar) features our hero in his civilian identity as Vic Sage, having boarded a plane flight after picking up some choice reading at the terminal newsstand.

And the reading material in question?

First off…sure, it’s an in-story plug for one of DC’s high profile projects…a fairly blatant one, even more so than that one from The Flash.

Second, of course Rorschach stands out to Vic Sage, since Vic’s alter ego as the Question was a real-world inspiration to the Watchmen character’s look.

Third, that certainly looks like Gibbons’ art from that one promo image in the fourth panel. Moore and Gibbons aren’t credited at the beginning of the comic with anything in this issue, but they are given a special “thank you.” I wonder if either of them were even aware Rorschach went walkies into this book, and out of their control.

Anyway, Vic and his ’80s hair start reading, and it’s apparently compelling reading since he immediately nods off. And how tough of a guy is Vic Sage/The Question?

He provides hardboiled narration for his own descent into sleep, that’s how tough.

He immediately jumps into dream-sleep, and he relives some previous tragedy in his dream, only with Vic in Rorschach’s costume instead of his Question duds:

Vic wakes at that point, calling the experience “weird,” which, okay, fair enough. He also reminds everyone to rush right out and buy the critically-acclaimed Watchmen trade paperback by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, now out in stores! And it makes a great gift! (Okay, he doesn’t really say any of that, which I’m only saying to nip the “huh? That’s not in my copy” comments in the bud.)

Later, after imbibing a little too much at the local gin joint while trying to drink a potential information source into giving up the goods, he finds himself in a fight with said source that Vic only just barely wins. The excitement and the drink get to be a bit much for him, so once he’s back at the hotel:

Er, not that Rorschach would laugh. At anything. And you know, come to think of it, “Dead Air TV Static” is a good design for a pair of pants.

There is one more Rorschach reference in the book, after the Question gets the tar beat out of him again, and he’s being driven off to some nefarious fate, he manages to moan out Rorschach’s signature phrase:

And there you go. Question #17. Your Watchmen collection just isn’t complete without it.

Next: those Captain Atom and Legion of Super-Heroes issues you need to complete your collection of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.

Comments are closed.