At the end of Watchmen, we saw the death of Rorschach, Walter Kovacs, at the hands of Dr Manhattan.
A scene recently revisited in the DC Universe Rebirth Special #1 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, with Pandora dying in a similar fashion, presumably at the hands of Dr Manhattan.
So when it was revealed in the ashcan for Doomsday Clock #1 that, yes, Rorschach was alive and kicking in 1992, the question was asked, who was it under that mask and writing Rorschach's new journal?
Bleeding Cool posted the Runners And Riders as to who the person under the mask may be.
Two to one: Walter Kovacs. Manhattan took him apart, he could put him back together again. Or Adrian Veidt cloned him.
Evens: Adrian Veidt. Ozymandias, look upon his wonders and despair. He is missing from his tower, his pleasure dome, and he is gone. Possibly with a tumour. It makes a good disguise.
Three to one: Dan Dreiberg. Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are missing, Dan probably knows where Rorschach kept his spare get up.
Five to one: Laurie Juspeczyk. No reason it couldn't be a female Rorschach. She's out while Dan is asleep at home.
Three to one: Bruce Wayne. The crossover has happened. Bruce Wayne has read the journal, after Manhattan stole if from US authorities and, in the manner of Matches Malone, has decided to add another disguise to his repertoire.
Ten to one: Clark Kent. He's just been killed in the DC Universe, and three days later he rose again at the hands of Dr Manhattan and as that storyline plays out he now has to remain in disguise. Well, it's this or a beard.
Fifty to one: Donald Trump is President of the USA in 1992. But he preserves his privacy… while still going around being a dick.
A hundred to one: Seymour. He found Rorschach's diary, after all. Who knows what reading it did to him — or what happened when the Gazette ran with the story instead?
Well, Comics Heated Up has scanned in the pages from an embargoed preview copy revealing all, as well as showing the appearance in the comic of a DC character.
As Bleeding Cool pointed out, Marionette and Mime, being broken out by Rorschach are based on Steve Ditko's Charlton characters Punch and Jewellee .
Rorschach did indeed throw someone else down an elevator shaft in Watchmen, the villain Captain Carnage who got superheroes to fight him as a sexual kink. But, as we suggested, this is not him.
The mask may not be off to us. But there is a man behind the throne. Veidt. And Rorschach is working for him. And as for that image of a brain tumour from the first few pages…
It is indeed Veidt's. And then, somewhere, somewhen, we have Superman and Lois…
Is it all a dream?
Doomsday Clock #1 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank is published by DC Comics on Tuesday night at 11.57pm.