"Chapter Four": The detective interviews a prisoner, a simpleminded strongman who goes by his stage name "Muscles, the Man Mountain," and was once a friend of Laura Cummings.
Read beyond this point at your own risk!
Synopsis for "Chapter Four"
The detective interviews a prisoner, a simpleminded strongman who goes by his stage name "Muscles, the Man Mountain," and was once a friend of Laura Cummings.
Muscles knew Laura by her stage name "The Kid," who worked in a carnival as a sharpshooter and impressed the audience (and Muscles) with her marksmanship. He befriended Laura due to their common fondness over comic books and that they both don't get along with too many other people. Life for them was good until one day during a cast party held by the carnival employees, one of the roadies goes into a drunken rant that he admitted to beating his wife to death. The people don't know what to do about this before Laura privately tells Muscles that she is going to shoot the man for his wife's murder. Muscles tried to talk Laura out of it, but to no avail. Left in a dilemma, and wasn't too fond of reaching the police for help, Muscles ultimately resorted to killing the roadie by himself and making his death look like a suicide as the man was already drunk and thus leaving no suspicions.
Though life seemingly returned to normal, but for the next few weeks Laura refused to speak and meet with Muscles. On a rainy day, Laura came to Muscles' trailer and is frustrated with him, knowing for his murder and hiding it from her. Muscles tries to explain to Laura that what he did was to help her. But Laura was not concerned over what he did, but who he is. Muscles was left totally confuse before Laura told to him that he is Rorschach.
According to what Laura told Muscles, she believed that prior to the "squid invasion" the heroes Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, Ozymandias, The Comedian, and Rorschach tried to stop it but they were too powerless against the invaders. After the "invasion" the heroes planned to prepare for the next invasion by having their bodies destroyed by Manhattan, who then took their souls and implanted them in other bodies, hiding them from the invaders and fighting them from the shadows. Laura claimed that Ozymandias refused to do it, as he saw himself as the smartest person alive who can fight the aliens' mind control and the only known hero seen publicly in order to protect the heroes' plan. Manhattan only fled Earth to hide what he did.
Muscles was convinced by Laura's claims that he has Rorschach's soul inside of him. He doesn't disbelieve it considering that he and everyone else are living in a world where "blue men who control time" and "squid invaders who kill millions with mind powers" are facts, and Laura's claims are another fact. He took on wearing Rorschach's mask and costume, and began a killing spree on criminals, those who had bad records, and on probations, based on what Laurie informed him. Furthermore, Laura claimed that the people he killed are also mind controlled by the aliens, and making Muscles' duty more important. Muscles once asked Laura if she was the incarnation of Silk Spectre, in which she denied and claimed that she wouldn't be afraid of the squids if she was Silk Spectre.
Muscles' vigilantism came to an end when he found himself fall into a trap set up by the FBI and was caught in a hail of bullets when he tried to attack. Fortunately for Muscles, he survived. He told everything to the authorities of why he did it as he saw there was no problem keeping it secret. When the authorities confronted Laura, she denied knowing Muscles and claiming that he was a crazy person. After that, Laura ran away over fears that Muscles would come for her according to the note left behind.
Rather than being disappointed with Laura's apparent betrayal, Muscles still believes that some of Laura's claims are true, but she made the mistake to think Muscles to be an incarnation of Rorschach as Muscles realized he couldn't be that good as Rorschach from getting caught. Hence he believed that Laura ran away because she had made a mistake with him, and that she is still finding the right person who has Rorschach's soul, no matter how many times, in order to save the world.
After Muscles finish his story, the detective directly tells him that Laura is dead and she had found "another sucker" to dress him up as Rorschach, and she died with him. Muscles reacts with laughter, and explains to the detective that death doesn't stop Rorschach and neither does to Laura. He remains firm in his belief that Laura will be back somehow and continue in her journey to find Rorschach someday.
Appearing in "Chapter Four"
- Unnamed detective
- Rorschach (Muscles) (Flashback and main story) (First appearance)
- The Kid (Flashback only)
- The Comedian (Hallucination)
- Doctor Manhattan (Hallucination)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (Flashback only)
- Freddie (Flashback only) (Single appearance)
- Nite Owl (Hallucination)
- Ozymandias (Hallucination)
- Rorschach (Walter Kovacs) (Hallucination)
- Silk Spectre (Hallucination)
- Carol (Voice)
- Harold Cupps (Voice)
- Republican Party (Mentioned only)
- Richard Nixon (Mentioned only)
- Sawyer (Mentioned only)
- Robert Redford (Mentioned only)
- Rorschach (Wil Myerson) (Mentioned only)
- The Squid (Mentioned only)
- Rorschach's killing of a would-be bomber in Muscles’ thoughts is similar to how Captain Carnage was killed. However he was killed after stalking Rorschach due to being a sadomasochist.