Spoilers ahead for Doomsday Clock #4.
Although this week's Doomsday Clock #4 served as an origin story for the new Rorscach, one important development emerged by the end of the issue: Saturn Girl is on the move.
This latest issue of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's 12-part event revealed the identity of the new Rorschach and told his backstory, revealing why he teamed up with Ozymandias and came to the DCU Earth. The series, which is bringing Watchmen characters into the DCU, gave more depth to the new character who's playing a pivotal role in the search for the time-meddling Dr. Manhattan.
So how did we find out more about Rorschach? Read on...
Who Is Rorschach?
The issue starts with the new Rorscach wishing for pancakes.
(There's obviously something about this guy and pancakes.)
But he isn't receiving pancakes. He's trapped in Arkham Asylum (where Batman put him last issue). And he's in line at the cafeteria. Instead of pancakes, he's getting some type of gruel.
Man, Arkham Asylum stinks, doesn't it?
After being pushed around a bit by another prisoner, then later beaten up by guards, Rorschach's memories cause the issue to switch to a flashback.
We're back in the Watchmen universe, and the identity of this new Rorscach is revealed.
His name is Reggie Long, and he's the son of Dr. Malcolm Long from the Watchmen universe.
He grew up an only child, with average grades and an easy-going personality that avoided fights and trouble. His friends take advantage of him, while his father makes headlines by treating Walter Kovacs, the first Rorscach.
As readers were shown in past issues, young Reggie was driving a car in New York City when it was attacked by the monster that Adrian Veidt genetically engineered and transported there.
He didn't come out of the experience well, having witnessed millions dying around him. He ended up in the Fitzgerald Mental Jospital in the Watchmen universe, where he was joined by many others who were driven mad by the disaster.
(At several points in the Watchmen universe, Reggis is treated by a psychologist who uses a Rorschach test on him. It's a repeated theme throughout the story of Reggie's incarceration.)
Inside the hospital, Reggie meets and befriends Byron Lewis, the Mothman from Watchmen's Minutemen superhero team.
The former costumed hero teaches Reggie to fight. He's also constructed wings so he can sneak out of the institute at night to smuggle in contraband.
Eventually, Mothman smuggles in the contents of Reggie's father's desk. And Reggie notices that notes regarding Walter Kovacs are missing.
When the news about Adrian Veidt breaks on television Reggie realizes the Ozymandias is responsible for his parents' deaths.
He now has someone to blame.
He and Mothman use the distraction of a fire to break out of the hospital. They're free, but Mothman isn't ready for the outside world and walks back into the fire. Like a moth to flame…
Before he died, Byron left a large envelope in Reggie's bag. It contained tickets for a boat ride, a map and instructions to Ozymandias' home, and a Rorscach mask.
Reggie uses these items to get himself to Adrian's home, but before he can kill the man, he finds out about his brain tumor.
As Adrian tells Reggie to go ahead and kill him, the young man sees regret in Adrian's eyes.
"I wanted them to see a monster," Adrian says. "But I am the monster. What have I done? What have I…? I'm sorry. I saw the light too late."
Reggie collapses. He cannot kill Adrian.
Eventually, Adrian tells Reggie that he can help him save the world, and the two depart to begin their mission.
Back in the present (and over in the DC universe), Reggie (known here as a "John Doe") is questioned by a psychologist in Arkham Asylum. Dr. Matthew Mason wanted to know all about Reggie's interaction with Batman.
The line of questioning doesn't work; Reggie doesn't say a word. After he's taken back to his room, he hears someone say his name.
It's Saturn Girl, and she opens the door to his room and introduces herself as "Jane Doe" (the name she's been placed under since she got her many, many months ago). She says she's "a friend."
Saturn Girl says she's been in Reggie's mind "for a few days" (which probably explains the flashback, as Saturn Girl was tracing Reggie's history).
"We need to get out of here before it's too late," she says. "I won't be around for much longer."
The two escape, and when Bruce Wayne finds out, he realizes that he underestimated Mr. Doe.
Doomsday Clock continues May 23 with #5.