In the original Watchmen comics, Rorschach—a slightly psychotic villain with an ink-blot mask, mirroring his own “black and white” view of morality—was named Walter Kovacs, a homeless man. After discovering that his former colleague, Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, had orchestrated a massive “alien” attack for what he felt was the greater good of humanity, Kovacs threatened to expose him; as such, he was killed by his fellow superheroes.
Much of Kovacs’ story was told to his psychiatrist, Dr. Malcolm Long, who happens to be African-American. Since the new Rorschach has been revealed as a black man (first by the writer Geoff Johns, then in a previous issue when he takes off one of his gloves), many fans believed that it would be Long himself. They were close—it turns out that Kovacs’ successor is Long’s son, Reggie, who has been personally affected by the Minutemen’s drama in more ways than one.
Apparently, Reggie was one of the people at Ground Zero for the supposed alien attack, which killed three million people; mentally scarred by the incident, Reggie was thrown into an insane asylum. He managed to escape numerous times, only to be recaptured, but each time manged to sneak back in some new contraband, including his father’s notes about Rorschach. In the asylum, he met fellow patient Byron Lewis, also known as Mothman from the original comic. Together, they provided enough information for Reggie to recreate Kovacs’ costume and become a superhero himself.
In Doomsday Clock, Veidt’s plan was quickly exposed, in large part because of Kovacs’ journal about the case; as such, Reggie understandably has an intense hatred of Veidt, who killed millions and scarred him personally. Nevertheless, he has teamed up with the older hero in order to help protect their world, with the pair working together to find Doctor Manhattan.
Many fans were dismayed about the idea of a Watchmen sequel—like most of Alan Moore’s work, it is considered a sacred cow—but so far it seems to be doing well, with many praising its ability to mimic Moore’s story while adding its own twists. Hopefully the story of Reggie Long and the other characters, old and new, will continue to please fans as it proceeds from here.