Gather around kids, and I’ll tell you why if you think if either Batman or Rorschach is better than the other you still couldn’t be more wrong.
Batman is not “everyman”
He’s “everyman’s” dream.
That said… how well does he relate to the “everyman”?
Bruce, with his alter-ego, is the embodiment of everything we want to do with our lives given the opportunity, the motivation, and the means. Along with some tragedy sprinkled on to give Earth-shattering profoundity that is the glue that makes the cape and pointy ears stick to the character.
But if it weren’t for the costume, men would have despised him and women would have found him pretentious. We’re not members of a species that takes kindly to power or status when both can give the holder carte blanche over the destiny of so many when so little is common among us.
And the lifestyle Bruce carries on, at least in public, is impossible to relate to for most people.
The costume is the only thing saving Bruce from being turned into a villain. In that aspect, Batman of the pre self-censorship comic world and Rorschach of the 80’s may have been able to get along (if not see eye to eye on some issues). Not so ironic when you consider costumed or deformed super-villains were such a necessity to make the line bold and clear with Batman. It wasn’t just pickpockets that he was punching out.
And if Bruce every wanted to fight crime without the costume, the only way would have been to buy out the city and exert force by any means necessary. Public anonymity can be a great asset.
And speaking of fascism…
Rorschach isn’t nuts, but pretty close
Once every blue moon, a character will appear that will make McCarthy look like Mary Poppins… Even without the cross-dressing.
In a way, Rorschach pulled off what most other superheroes couldn’t. Become “everyman” with his costume on.
As far as he’s concerned, there’s his way, and the wrong way. There is no middle ground here… no room for that since between him and unspeakable evil is the bottomless pit that is his contempt for injustice. No knob to dial in a degree when it comes to guilt.
This is how a lot of people already see the world (or love to brag so, or think so privately).
Rorschach is the blue collar bible belt (minus the bible) personified into a mask wearing, improvised weaponry wielding, fedora and trenchcoat sporting bad ass. Violence isn’t the ends, it’s just the means. And boy is he violent…
If the Joker had a penchant for justice and had some semblance of self control, an ultra-calm demeanor, an ultra-right-wing perspective, and no silly toys to play with, he would have made a fine Rorschach.
Can you say apples and oranges?
There’s a lot more to it than asking “can [insert superhero] from [comic-x] defeat [insert villain] from [comic-y] ?”
Behind the origin of every superhero, plus the myriad of past resets for some of the popular ones, is a retelling of justice, of reality and the human condition. Which is why every comparison point you can create between the two to present one as superior or inferior to the other will end in nothing but failure.