Rorschach, the New York-residing, vigilante-minded renegade who is one of the Watchmen (and who is being played by Jackie Earl Haley in the ’09 Warner Bros. film), is quoted as follows on a new WB poster: “I wish all the scum of the earth had one throat, and I had my hands about it.” A furious loner, you bet, and yet he is not alone. In the Year of Our Lord 1976 Rorschach has a spiritual brother wandering the same fetid New York Streets — a little more than kin, a little less than kind.
Travis Bickle, the New York-residing, vigilante-minded taxi driver whose life peaked in ’76 when be blew away some bad guys in a Lower East Side tenement, is famed for having said that “someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.”
Rorschach and Bickle were born in 1940.
During the day, Rorschach walks around New York as a vagrant with a sign reading “the end is nigh.” During the night Bickle drives around the city, gaping at the perverts on the streets and consumed with disgust.
Politically, Rorschach is “an anti-communist, anti-liberal, reactionary, and strong nationalist,” per Wikipedia. He’s also been described as an “extremely right-wing character” by Watchmen author Alan Moore. Bickle supports the liberal Sen. Palatine but not really — he’s actually a radical conservative purist looking to bring the wrath of God down upon the Philistines.
Rorschach and Bickle are truly one spirit, one cockroach, one karate-chopping hand. If only they’d gotten together for a coffee one evening at the Belmore cafeteria to talk about Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford and CBGBs and Patti Smith and all the movies playing at all the New York repertory cinemas back then…gone now but what a time