It looks like Batman may be an important character in writer Tom King and artist Jorge Fornés' 12-issue Rorschach series (opens in new tab) debuting in October.
In a new interview with the creative team appearing Friday in the publisher's DC Connect #3, its new self-published catalog featuring its October 2020 solicitations (opens in new tab), King seems to imply but stops outright from directly confirming Gotham City's Dark Knight plays a key role.(opens in new tab)
Set 35 years after the end of the original Watchmen (opens in new tab) limited series (and Rorschach's death at the hands of Dr. Manhattan), the new Black Label series opens in a world that doesn't trust superheroes but celebrates Rorschach as "a cultural icon" due to his actions in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' original story.
"So what does it mean when Rorschach reappears as an assassin trying to kill a candidate running against President Robert Redford?" reads DC's solicit copy for issue #1. "Who is the man behind the mask, and why is he acting this way? It's up to one detective to uncover the true identity of this would-be killer—and it will take him into a web of conspiracies involving alien invasions, disgraced do-gooders, mystic visions, and yes, comic books."
Asked by DC marketing services specialist (and former Newsarama staff writer) Albert Ching in DC Connect to share details about a couple of new characters mentioned in the solicitation text - "a young woman partnering with Rorschach, and a detective investigating the mystery," King replies, "the detective is who you think he is."(opens in new tab)
That leaves two distinct possibilities, with Batman being the most significant and likely of them.
In addition to Batman significantly upping the profile of the year-long series and being DC's preeminent detective, King of course recently completed a long run writing Batman, which included time spent collaborating with Jorge Fornés. After the surprise end to his run last year, King was also supposed to continue writing Batman in the Batman/Catwoman series with artist Clay Mann (opens in new tab) announced for a January 2020 debut, but that series has yet to appear on DC's schedule.
Batman also now has a history with the Watchman characters as a major player in Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Doomsday Clock (opens in new tab) series, as well as 'The Button' crossover arc in Tom King's Batman run.
The other less likely possibility but worth mentioning until DC officially confirms the detective's identity is the Question - the enigmatic Steve Ditko-created character who along with other superheroes that originated at Charlton Comics served as analogs-Moore's inspirations for the original Watchmen cast.
Somewhat strangely, a "young woman partnering with Rorschach" actually isn't mentioned in the solicit copy, either in DC Connect #3 or the version released to the comic book press last week (opens in new tab). But King addresses her anyway.
"This is the young woman's first appearance," he replies. "She's going to be very important to a lot of things moving forward."
Check out a gallery of the preview pages from Rorschach #1 DC released last week.