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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:31 pm 
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SmilingSymmetry wrote:
waylayer wrote:
... Now for the common thugs, I think we'll just have to suspend our disbelief and ignore the fact that at least some would be packing heat, and that Rorschach and Nite Owl would probably have been riddled with bullets while trying to take down Underboss and the like.


Isn't that weird when you think about it? That all the costumed heroes (besides Manhattan) always chose enemies that didn't have firearms?


Maybe it's just along the lines of "a more innocent time" sort of ideal, whereby we have to believe that most thugs back then would only carry bats and pipes instead of firearms. I don't remember Spider-Man in the 60's being attacked by many villains/thugs that carried guns, now that I think about it. At most you'd get the odd character with a revolver, but most thugs just weren't carrying in the early days. :p

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:00 pm 
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waylayer wrote:
SmilingSymmetry wrote:
waylayer wrote:
... Now for the common thugs, I think we'll just have to suspend our disbelief and ignore the fact that at least some would be packing heat, and that Rorschach and Nite Owl would probably have been riddled with bullets while trying to take down Underboss and the like.


Isn't that weird when you think about it? That all the costumed heroes (besides Manhattan) always chose enemies that didn't have firearms?


Maybe it's just along the lines of "a more innocent time" sort of ideal, whereby we have to believe that most thugs back then would only carry bats and pipes instead of firearms. I don't remember Spider-Man in the 60's being attacked by many villains/thugs that carried guns, now that I think about it. At most you'd get the odd character with a revolver, but most thugs just weren't carrying in the early days. :p


And being set in an alternate world, there may be more restrictive gun laws. ;)

Would a person be able to get away with threatening or murderous behaviour without some kind of retribution? Well, I'm sure plenty get away with it every day but what goes round comes round and will eventually be caught or killed. Maybe the criminal fraternity know when to look away, especially when they're not the ones being targeted - no honour amongst thieves?

The reputation Rorschach has built, no doubt for fighting crime without boundaries, applying his own justice as judge, jury and executioner would certainly send ripples of concern throughout the criminal class. However, I'm trying to think how any of the costumed heroes would repel bullets without a Veidt Masterclass on how to catch a bullet. Maybe they just dodge them?

The beauty of the story being set in an alternate reality is you can make up your own logic to go with it.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:17 pm 
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Seemore wrote:
The beauty of the story being set in an alternate reality is you can make up your own logic to go with it.


Yes, and as much as I love Mothman for being just the silliest guy on Earth, any foe could use a kid's slingshot or a well-placed water balloon to bring him down. How would anyone actually let themselves get caught by such a clown? What class of criminals was infesting Hartford? Jaywalkers and bubble gum thieves?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:18 pm 
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Seemore wrote:
The reputation Rorschach has built, no doubt for fighting crime without boundaries, applying his own justice as judge, jury and executioner would certainly send ripples of concern throughout the criminal class. However, I'm trying to think how any of the costumed heroes would repel bullets without a Veidt Masterclass on how to catch a bullet.


Well, they've obviously all had Masterclasses on how to catch bullets. There's your answer.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:16 pm 
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DrFünkehattan wrote:
Bear in mind though that Rorschach is a tactical savant who has proven time and time again that he can take any at-hand object or other resource and turn it against his opponents in deadly fashion. Regardless of what he's actually carrying on his person, Rorschach's reputation for leveraging his surroundings would qualify him as "armed" in the eyes of most criminals and ordinary citizens, ergo most people wouldn't take the chance of screwing with him.

Yes, I mentioned that in my first post. You could say that Rorschach is armed with knowledge, but the use of “armed” that was referred to was dealing with the possession of weapons. From your stance, there would be no point in having the term “armed” as everyone could hypothetically be armed at all times. When criminals are described as “armed and dangerous,” it means that they have a weapon, not that the second they see a police officer they will fashion a weapon from objects they find around them. It was that use of the word “armed” that is used in the comic and what I was referring to. I think...


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:08 pm 
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well look at The Comedian, at 16 he was walking around the habors of new york beating up thugs in a gaudy jester-themed costume. then he switches to more a militaristic armor which he also starts to carry to a firearm. While Nite Owl thought it was fun to stop costumed criminals and put them in jail, something tells that Blake did alot more then simply stop criminals.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:27 pm 
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TheLeader wrote:
DrFünkehattan wrote:
Bear in mind though that Rorschach is a tactical savant who has proven time and time again that he can take any at-hand object or other resource and turn it against his opponents in deadly fashion. Regardless of what he's actually carrying on his person, Rorschach's reputation for leveraging his surroundings would qualify him as "armed" in the eyes of most criminals and ordinary citizens, ergo most people wouldn't take the chance of screwing with him.

Yes, I mentioned that in my first post. You could say that Rorschach is armed with knowledge, but the use of “armed” that was referred to was dealing with the possession of weapons. From your stance, there would be no point in having the term “armed” as everyone could hypothetically be armed at all times. When criminals are described as “armed and dangerous,” it means that they have a weapon, not that the second they see a police officer they will fashion a weapon from objects they find around them. It was that use of the word “armed” that is used in the comic and what I was referring to. I think...

I think maybe we're just disagreeing on terminology here. When I say that Rorschach should probably be considered "armed" by default, I'm referring to his ability to improvise weapons; you could think of it as being "armed with knowledge," but I see it more as a primal, vicious mindset that allows him to see ways to hurt people where 99.% of us would just see harmless, mundane objects.

I've played lots of run-and-gun shooter video games where the player's POV artificially highlights items that will deal damage if interacted with, i.e. your standard explosive barrels, breakable steam pipes, etc. I envision Rorschach's improvised-weaponry sense as being somewhat similar in practice if not in literal fact.

As for whether his grapple-gun counts as a weapon in normal legal terms, I'd be inclined to say yes. If you or I were stopped on the street and found in possession of a gun-shaped CO2-fired projectile launcher of any type, we'd probably be cited for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. It wouldn't matter whether we were using it for "spelunking" (right, Mr. Wayne?) or shooting SWAT cops in the sternum, it would still look a bit suspicious in the eyes of the law.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:48 pm 
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DrFünkehattan wrote:
It wouldn't matter whether we were using it for "spelunking" (right, Mr. Wayne?)


You make me laugh


Well, many of them were trained and look at all the gadgets NO II had lying around in his basement? his exoskeleton is a fine example.

The masks were much more than merely a mask, Hollis was a Cop, Laurie was trained like a Spartan from birth pretty much, Rorschach had gymnastics skills and boxing skills (and his skill of being batshit crazy and inventive), The Comedian carried a gun or more at all times, Ozymandias was a gymnast and I think he learned various martial arts in the East (and it looks like he has smooth psuedo armor under his robes), but hollisticatly they were far from people just throwing on pajamas and running into the first dark alley.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:17 am 
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MoreMoorePLZ wrote:
Kovacs was short in stature and slight in build. Dr.Long describes him as 140 lbs. How can an untrained, and relatively speaking, average person be able to survive doing what Ror did? ... Without any back story describing intensive training or instruction in Martial Arts or something, it is difficult to buy the idea of Ror as an effective combatant, much the less the feared vigilante that he is described as in the GN. ... To put it in RPG terms (which I haven't touched in years, so bear with me here), I would imagine that Kovac's physical stats would be, for the most part, unimpressive.


I don't know. As other people have mentioned, Rorschach already has some prior training in boxing and gymnastics, coupled with his "Rorschach Vision" that lets him pick out insta-weapons.

But Rorschach's "physical stats" being unimpressive? Rorschach broke a toilet bowl with a single kick in the prison scene, pulled himself up a thirty story high building to reach Blake's apartment, and was able to endure Antarctic temperatures with nothing more than a trenchcoat. No "average" man could accomplish these feats.

His fighting skill level might be debatable, but methinks Rorschach has stunningly high physical attributes for a homeless, arguable malnourished forty year old man.

All of this really does play into the suspension of disbelief though. Of course it's highly unlikely/nigh impossible that an unarmored Rorschach and Nite Owl would ever survive an encounter with gun-toting gang members. Of course a man cannot catch a bullet, no matter how much physical training he's had. Of course a man would freeze to death without proper clothing in Antarctica. We're just meant to...look over these things. ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 10:18 am 
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JiangWei23 wrote:
We're just meant to...look over these things. ;)


Like the blue dude who reassembled himself after having his intrinsic field ripped apart.

And besidesI have two words for the debate about lack of armor and such: Early Batman

Yes, Batman had no powers (hurm, like most of the watchmen crew) and wore a thin fabric (pressumably) outfit (like most of the Watchmen crew) yet he fought gun toters all the time, in the 40's everyone was whipping out their pieces and blasting at ol' Bats, and this is what Moore is going for, he's clearly trying to show how foolish it is to believe a man in a sweatsuit and a cape can go up against gun wielding thugs and escape unscathed, especially when he himself is unarmed and relatively untrained in being Neo from the Matrix

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 am 
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Interesting thread. I think Waylayer made a swell point remembering that a) thematically, having the super-heroes *not* dying from a case of the bullets (or at least not doing it enough to make people realize the sublime stupidity of the idea) might be a reference to those "more innocent times", where Batman wore cotton fabric and managed to survive every night.

and, b)

that, within the psychological framework of that alternate reality, it all might as well have been an elaborate fantasy play for the adults involved. Who is to say that it wouldn't have flied in America? The US has always been crazy about fads - telephone booth stuffing, flag pole sitting, gold fish swallowing - and, hell, there *are* costumed people running around in our reality, even though they're more on the lame side of things.

Moloch started as an entertainer, Sally Jupiter went that way after a while. I think it was a smart move from Mr Moore to tie those beginnings the notion of air-headed entertainment (or sad, sad, mental imbalance, but that's not relevant for the issue being discussed here). You have to have a geek's heart to even consider donning a costume and go out at night looking for trouble. By doing that, those geeks captured the news (at least for a while), and what could be sweeter than national fame for people who are by definition an isolated, outcast bunch?

Of course, the broth thickens as we move over to the second generation super-heroes; Rorschach is the ideal character to use as an example, since he's the epitome of the feared masked vigilante.

I think we can break down the subject in two sub-sections: Battle and Intimidation. As for Battle, there's not much that can be said after the "suspension of disbelief" point is made. Even though Walter Kovacs had some gymnastics and boxing training, a bullet is still a bullet.

But I totally buy the Intimidation aspect of it. Think about it, remembering to take in information with all your senses: First of all, dude reeks. The olfactory sense is very powerful and is strongly connected with memory and basal emotional responses. And here they would be telling you "this guy has a very short list of priorities that doesn't include his own well-tending, but includes hurting people like me".

Then you have his reputation - this guy has sent a lot of guys to the grave, most of the times in extremely painful ways; he's an old timer, which means he's been doing it for maybe longer than you've been living, if you're a young punk... Add the monotone voice and shifting mask, and I'd say he'd have your attention for as long as he wanted to.

That could even answer for why no one tried to take a pot shot at him in that scene where he breaks Steve's fingers in his first Happy Harry appearance. Sure, it's an easy shot and all but... what if you missed?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:31 pm 
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I thought that moron Steve was one of the devices a writer uses to deal with the improbability of people tolerating abuse from superheroes. He's from out of town, so he has an excuse for not being afraid of Rorschach, or even knowing who he is. I don't know if I can accept that the pain of having his fingers broken was so terrible that he was paralyzed by it. If you want to talk about primal responses to dangerous situations, why didn't he grab a beer bottle with his good hand and take a swing at Rorschach with it? Did he have too much sense, or not enough? Was he really supposed to be representative of an unusual event in one of Rorschach's patrols, and if so, should we assume that no wild cards ever turned up that Rorschach couldn't handle? I know that if he tried that in a bar where I live, even in 1985, there would probably be so many screaming girls, drunks, partying frat boys and other people who had no intention of feeling a moment's fear, that it just wouldn't work.
On the topic of Batman going out in the Golden Age in nothing but thermal underwear to protect him, there were also heroes from the pulps of that time, like The Shadow, who were made with real problems in mind. He had to go to Tibet to learn how to "cloud men's minds" with mystic arts before the writers would attempt to show him winning every gunfight he got into back on the streets of New York. Batman wasn't that innocent. He broke somebody's neck, and shot somebody, shortly after his debut. He just wasn't developed with realistic concerns in mind, as some more gritty characters were. Of course, this probably contributed to his much greater popularity over the years. The more they make him reliant on technology, with scopes and radio receivers in his cowl, and grappling guns instead of ropes and acrobatics, the more plausible his activities become, and the less cool he is, I think.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:49 pm 
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behemoth wrote:
I thought that moron Steve was one of the devices a writer uses to deal with the improbability of people tolerating abuse from superheroes. He's from out of town, ...


Not nescesarily.

As someone else pointed out in another thread, he is probably the same guy that is in chapter II, page 16 panel IV. Third "rioter" from the left.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:54 pm 
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behemoth wrote:
He's from out of town, so he has an excuse for not being afraid of Rorschach, or even knowing who he is.


Sure, sure, that would be an acceptable reason for him not reacting - but I have to say I think that line about being from outta town was bull; just him trying to get a free pass.

...On the other hand, if he knew about Rorschach... why make the "Ror stinks" comment at all? Hurm. Must remember to investigate further.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 1:11 pm 
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Mmeltdowneater wrote:
behemoth wrote:
I thought that moron Steve was one of the devices a writer uses to deal with the improbability of people tolerating abuse from superheroes. He's from out of town, ...


Not nescesarily.

As someone else pointed out in another thread, he is probably the same guy that is in chapter II, page 16 panel IV. Third "rioter" from the left.


I can't find that claim in a search for the likely keywords.
Pro: They both have missing top front teeth, and at least one earring in their right ear.
Con: Steve says he's from out of town, and the rioter is in New York. Steve wears a camo jacket, and the rioter wears a vest with a striped shirt. Steve has short hair, and the rioter has long hair. Steve tries to apologize his way out of a beating, and the rioter is raising hell, suggesting they have different characters.
I don't see them being the same guy. Even if he were the rioter, he could still be used as a device in the way I mentioned, and put in the riot as an easter egg, but why that would be the case, I don't know.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:31 pm 
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Dr. Brooklyn wrote:
Yes, Batman had no powers (hurm, like most of the watchmen crew) and wore a thin fabric (pressumably) outfit (like most of the Watchmen crew) yet he fought gun toters all the time, in the 40's everyone was whipping out their pieces and blasting at ol' Bats, and this is what Moore is going for, he's clearly trying to show how foolish it is to believe a man in a sweatsuit and a cape can go up against gun wielding thugs and escape unscathed, especially when he himself is unarmed and relatively untrained in being Neo from the Matrix

I just want to mention that Batman did wear a bullet proof west in the early days and not just thin fabric.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:11 pm 
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Last edited by People Must Be Told. on Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:19 pm 
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JiangWei23 wrote:
Rorschach broke a toilet bowl with a single kick in the prison scene, pulled himself up a thirty story high building to reach Blake's apartment, and was able to endure Antarctic temperatures with nothing more than a trenchcoat. No "average" man could accomplish these feats.



I would like to point out that Antarctic temperatures really arent as cold as you think.

Rorschach and Nite Owl Visit Antarctica on November 1st. That's the height of summer in the southern hemisphere.

From Wikipedia

" Along the Antarctic Peninsula, temperatures as high as 15°C (59°F) have been recorded, though the summer temperature usually is around 2°C (36°F)"

Also Antarctic temperatures are warmer along the coast (Karnak was coastal).

As a point of reference Winter 2008 in New York commonly reached (15°F)




In other words, Winter in NYC > Summer in Antarctica.



Rorschach didn't need a coat not because he was superhuman or had epic endurance.

He didn't need a coat because he was used to dealing with much lower temperatures in New York anyway, and has been doing so in his attire for decades.



I mean forget Rorschach... most normal people would do fine in the Antarctic during summer.

Take a look at this photo... those researchers aren't even wearing gloves or scarves or face protection.....which Rorschach actually had.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AntarcticaSummer.jpg


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:42 am 
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Rorschach and Nite Owl Visit Antarctica on November 1st. That's the height of summer in the southern hemisphere


No, it isn't (is from Southern Hemisphere) just as it is not midwinter in the Northern Hemisphere. The seasons are exactly reversed so November 1st is Spring, a month from the official start of Summer and a month and 23 days from the actual start of Summer. December and January are the warmest months in Antarctica.

However the measurable temperature isn't that cold. November it can get as high as 5 above zero but usual range is -3 (25) and 0 (33).
The range in November 1985 was -3 (25) to +3 (42).

Those temps are not that cold but I doubt New York could match Antarctica's wind chill factor and if it did it could kill. The temperature itself isn't the only indicator of comfort. Antarctica's average wind speed is 67km/hr, 44mph but 320km/hr, 198.8mph has been recorded.
One is also hurled with shard of ice and snow. It stings! (I have not been there but I have been outside in a blizzard more than once).

In real terms an air temperature of 0 and the average speed of 67kph creates a effective temp of -14.2. At -3 and 100kpm (likely conditions for thick settled snow which is being blown about) it's -20.9. (Data from Australian Antarctic Division)

If if wasn't windy Rorschach would be cold but quiet safe in his existing clothes (if completely still you can go out in -40 in shirt sleeves) but it was windy, very windy, and that would make it dangerous for him.
It's unlikely he would have survived 30 minutes outside, maybe less. At least he would have had hyperthermia and dangerously low blood pressure, been very stiff and sore. He would either he shivering uncontrollably or, worse, he'd be past this state and would die unless immersed in tepid water or similar immediate treatment.
the smaller you are the quicker you fade on average too.

He was amazingly lively for someone in that state but he does have an iron will so maybe that possible for Rorschach?

That's what I love about the book. You can ask and answer all these questions and you are still left, more than half the time, scratching your head.

It's a theme in other series too. A big will can allow one to overcome those physically stronger and do things physically unlikely. I find you just need to believe these characters' hutzbah to enjoy the story. Sure they are a little larger than life but if they weren't there would be no story, no oh-so-human "super" heroes and that would suck.
It's not their average physical prowess that marks them as human anyway so a little diddling takes nothing away from the point.

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Personally, I don't like Blake's post-Nam gimp mask. Makes him look like a gay hooker...


Oh hells yeah! Glad that was ditched for the film!

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:39 pm 
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On a related note, for those of you that hang around here and haven't already read it, you'd do well to check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kick-ass. It handles a lot of the discussion points here.

And is completely awesome.


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