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Rorschach, the Anti-Hero

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Rorschach, the Anti-Hero

            In the realm of comic books, there are heroes and villains.

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  There are victims and bystanders.  However there is one type of characters that defies categorization that they need a category of their own.  They are called the anti-heroes.  These types of heroes are very compelling as they seemingly have good intentions, but behave in a totally different and unexpected ways.  In Alan Moore’s graphic novel ‘Watchmen’, he gave us an anti-hero called ‘Rorschach’.  Rorschach remains the most popular character among fans of the graphic novel even though the story features other heroes and villains.  In order to see the reason to his popularity, we need to look at his history, his actions and his morality.

            As with other masked heroes, Rorschach live a dual life.  He has two identities: his real name Walter Kovacs and the masked hero Rorschach.  As with other anti-heroes such as Batman and The Punisher, Kovacs’ past is an unhappy one.  His mother did not want him and he was constantly bullied by other children.

  This past has shaped his character into a serious, gloomy and tough character with a black and white view of good and evil.  This is a major reason of his popularity among fans as people in general like characters who managed to overcome troubles and tragedy to become a strong person.

            Action speaks louder than words, and the action of Rorschach truly defines his character.  His fights against criminal show his strength and agility.  He can fight several thugs at once while unarmed and he is not afraid of anyone.  These are the characteristics that people look for in a hero.  What makes the character works is that Moore did not just make him kill people for the sake of killing people.  His actions can be explained by examining his past, which makes his character real and understandable.

            The final factor that makes Rorschach so compelling is his morality and his view on good and evil.  His tragic past has made him see the world in black and white without a shade of grey.  It has made him judge each action on its own without the ability to see the bigger picture.  The end does not justify the mean.  Instead, the mean is judged individually.  The final, climactic scene in the graphic novel summarized his heroism.  While other heroes were willing to sacrifice innocent lives to achieve a greater good, he was unable to accept it.  He judged the action of killing innocent lives as evil, despite the intention being good.  This has made him a hero among common people.  While the heroes decide for themselves that they can play around with human lives in order to achieve what they perceive as the greater good, Rorschach maintained that no one should have that kind of power over the common people.  Rorschach, in his black and white view of good and evil, has become the people’s hero.

            In the movie adaptation of Watchmen, Rorschach has been successfully preserved.  The essence of his character is present in the movie.  His past, his actions and his morality are portrayed very well by the actor that would allow movie fans to admire him as much as the graphic novel fans.  The movie itself did evolve from the graphic novel.  Due to time constraints, the pirate subplot ‘Tales of the Black Freighter’ had to be cut.  Instead, it will make an appearance in the DVD release.  Also the extra features ‘Under the Hood’, which tells the origins and past of the characters, will be made as a documentary in the DVD.  The major transformation from graphic novel to the movie is the ending.  The screenwriters have decided that an alien invasion would be too unrealistic, opting for a nuclear disaster instead.  Despite the change, the adaptation to the big screen can be considered a success.

Cite this Rorschach, the Anti-Hero

Rorschach, the Anti-Hero. (2016, Jul 03). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/rorschach-the-anti-hero/

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