I think Jacobs is right when he argues that Watchmen’s characters are simplistically sketched and have backgrounds/origin stories based on the tritest sort of Freud. What I think Jacobs is missing is that Moore did this on purpose, because Moore hates comic book heroes and wants you to share his disgust with the form. In addition to telling a story about the human condition, Moore is telling a story about the condition of the medium within which he is working: its ossification, its absurdity, and its failures.

Watchmen succeeds and endures, at least in part, because it’s a deconstruction (or outright rejection) of the ideas underpinning superheroes. Rorschach, like Batman, internalized his childhood traumas and focused that pain into an unrelenting drive to make the underworld pay. In Moore’s mind, Rorschach and Batman are psychopaths who have rejected society and wish to bend the world to their will. Moore simply follows that ideal to its logical conclusion, creating a hero who acts (or maybe reacts) without restraint and adheres slavishly to a moral code only he can decipher.

Sonny Bunch. Best response to my post yet.