While pursuing some street criminals, Nite Owl and Rorschach come across a rather helpful dominatrix in the midst of her “duties.” Turns out she is known as the Twilight Lady and “runs a stable of high priced call girls and fetish operations.” She seems friendly and helpful enough to the crime fighters though as she decks one of the errant thugs fleeing the duo, but Rorschach’s experience with sexual “deviants” has been pretty horrific. His sensitivity to such sexual activity, in opposition to Nite Owl’s repressed interest in it, threatens to drive a wedge between the two as a crime fighting duo. When Nite Owl decides to investigate Twilight Lady closer, in relation to a case he’s on concerning a murdered call girl, is he succumbing to his curiosity or attempting to right an injustice?
J. Michael Straczynski continues to write one of the best Watchmen prequel series of the bunch as he delves deeply into the psyches of both Nite Owl and Rorschach, as well as Nite Owl's violent childhood abuse and the sexual deviancy of Rorschach’s mother, both of which have had very formative effects on the two. Nite Owl is as curious about the Twilight Lady’s dominatrix act as Rorschach is repulsed by it. To Rorschach “another dead whore” is not a bad thing. To Nite Owl though, the potential threat to Twilight Lady is something worth looking into, especially if it gives him a chance to end up saving her or any of her call-girls’ lives. Deep and engaging on many psychological and moral levels, Before Watchmen: Nite Owl is Straczynski at his best.
Andy and Joe Kubert’s art is, once again, as solid as it always is. As I’ve stated before though, the sketchiness of their pencils and inks are a little much for my taste. Nearly everything they draw has a multitude of unnecessary lines about it. Their sense of panel layout and body language is impeccable though.
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl, along with Before Watchmen: Ozymandias are both high quality works that continue to faithfully add to the overall characterization of Watchmen’s highly dynamic and engaging characters. I can’t wait for Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #3.