SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Doomsday Clock #4 by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank, Brad Anderson and Rob Leigh, on sale now.
One of the most surprising things about Doomsday Clock is that it didn’t just bring back Rorschach, it gave us an all-new Rorschach. It’s a very “superhero comic” thing to do to invoke the concept of legacy, and to be honest, it's not unprecedented in Watchmen lore, as Alan Moore and Dave gIbbons' story featured its own legacy characters in Nite-Owl and Silk Spectre. From the start, Rorschach II’s identity was shrouded in mystery, and that alone was enough to tell us that it was likely someone we already knew, or someone with a connection to someone we knew.
This week’s release of Doomsday Clock #4 confirms that theory, as we get the full origin of the new Rorschach, including his connection to the original Watchmen series and how he came to follow in Walter Kovacs’ blood-stained shoes.
World’s Best Dad
It’s been speculated for a number of months, and Doomsday Clock #4 confirms right out of the gate that Rorschach II is Reggie Long, son of Gloria and Dr. Malcolm Long. Dr. Long was the psychiatrist assigned to Walter Kovacs when the first Rorschach was arrested and imprisoned in Sing Sing, and his sessions with the vigilante gave readers of Watchmen more of an insight into his troubled mind. Reggie never appears himself in the pages of Watchmen, but a panel highlighting Dr. Long’s desk in Watchmen #6 featured a mug simply labelled “DAD,” suggesting the existence of a child.
Malcolm Long and Gloria’s marriage suffered due to the intensity of the former’s work with the infamous vigilante, and though they came close to reconciling, Gloria gave Malcolm an ultimatum between his vocation and his family. In many ways, Dr. Malcolm Long represents the good still present in the world as he turns his back on his wife to intervene in an assault occurring on the same street corner. His final words to Gloria sum up his character arc in Watchmen: “I’m sorry. It’s this world. I can’t run from it.” Malcolm's intervention breaks the bystander effect and causes other people to lend their help too, but moments later there’s a flash of white and Ozyamandias’ monster lands in New York, killing everyone.