The Dark Herald busts Alan Moore’s false claims about the creation of his iconic character, Rorshach.
In 1983, Time Warner bought up the Action Heroes of venerable old 3rd place runner-up Charleton Comics. This was supposedly a “gift” to Dick Giordano who was the managing editor of DC and had been an editor at Charleton for a number of years. As unbelievable luck would have it this “gift” tied up a lot of long-standing rights issues, where frankly, DC wasn’t the good guy. It was right around that time that Marvel’s Captain Marvel took suddenly dead. Why yes, Charleton was indeed the original rights holder on Captain Marvel. Why do you ask?
The reason I bring this is up is that Rorschach was not an original character, he sure as hell wasn’t based on Batman, and Alan Moore had nothing to do with his creation.
Rorsach was originally based on The Question. Moore was using all deconstructed versions of all the Charlton Action Heroes to tell his long winded What If story.
As you can see when Giordano finally got around to asking his hairy boy wonder, ‘What the fuck are you doing to the characters we just bought?” Moore’s top to bottom redesign involved putting blotches all over The Question’s face.
The Question was created in the late sixties by the legendary Steve Ditko who was based on his previous character Mister A.
“Mr. A was inspired by Objectivism, the belief system and moral absolutism of the philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand. Ditko has been quoted as saying that his creation The Question was intended as a version of Mr. A that would be acceptable to the Comics Code Authority.”
The lefty as hell Alan Moore would have known all about where The Question came from. The obsessed objectivist who asked questions that shouldn’t be asked can come across as a conspiracy nutcase, depending on the circumstances. And that was the aspect of the character that Moore leached on to. He set to work dragging Ditko’s right-wing creation through the slime as a dysfunctional conspiracy nutcase, hobo who couldn’t remember to bathe.
That being said, we’ll always have Moore to thank for this meme.