Reggie Long is the only son of Malcolm and Gloria Long. In his childhood he was a quiet boy, unexceptional. His almost laconic behavior meant that while he was a good son, he also struggled to forge close relationships, and remained a loner for most of his life. He was frequently bullied as a child by a boy named Joey Kennedy, who lived across the street.
Reggie was attending college when the vigilante Rorschach was apprehended by authorities. His father was assigned Rorschach as a patient, quickly growing fixated on him. Reggie was unaware of how severely Rorschach affected his father, as his mother lied to him when he checked in. When Rorschach escaped and nuclear war appeared imminent, Reggie drove from university back to New York City to evacuate his parents, only to be caught in the middle of the New York City Massacre. The psychic shockwave from the alien creature drove Reggie temporarily insane, for which he was locked in an asylum. He made an unexpected friend there: Byron Lewis, formerly Mothman, and now the last of the Minutemen. Byron made frequent escapes from the facility, and although he was always recaptured, he managed to smuggle in contraband for the inmates. On one such escape, he recovered the last of Malcolm's belongings and gave them to Reggie, who found the notes on the Rorschach case inside, as well as his father's mug. Their friendship greatly improved Reggie's psychological health, as he was able to push past the images the alien creature had imprinted in his mind by thinking of Mothman.
Unfortunately, Reggie was tormented by a sadistic caregiver named Jason, who shattered the mug in front of him for being contraband. Following this incident, Byron trained Reggie on how to fight. While never a fighter himself, Byron had memorized the techniques utilized by his teammates, and taught Reggie how to use them all. He became the inheritor of the Minutemen's legacy, as well as that of Rorschach, who he grew fixated upon as he read his father's notes.
As the controversies surrounding Adrian Veidt grew and the government opened an investigation into him, Reggie was due to be transferred to a state facility in Washington D.C for interrogation. When Jason came to collect him, Reggie critically wounded him, and in a subsequent psychological evaluation in which he was presented with a ink blot test and asked to describe what he saw, he simply replied: "Rorschach."
When Veidt was exposed, Reggie swore revenge. He burned down the asylum, escaping with Byron, only for Mothman to begin hallucinating and turn back, burning to death. He left a final bag of contraband with food, water, a ticket on a boat to Antartica, and a map to Karnak. There was one other item in the bag: Rorschach's mask.
As Rorschach II, Reggie confronted Veidt in his arctic stronghold, but found the once great Ozymandias despondent and unwilling to fight back. With an inoperable tumor on his brain and the guilt of his actions weighing on him, Ozymandias resigned himself to Reggie's judgement. Reggie, believing he saw remorse in Veidt, decided to spare him. The two agreed to work together to save the world from impending disaster.
Doomsday Clock Edit
On November 22nd, 1992, with the world on the edge of total nuclear war, Rorschach reflected on the events that had led humanity to the brink as he stormed Sing Sing Prison. He located the cell of the Marionette, a former costumed villain whom his predecessor had encountered and beaten, warning her that if they ever met again he would drop her down an elevator shaft. Recalling this encounter upon seeing him, she demanded proof to his claim that he was a different man. He pulled off his glove, revealing himself to be African-American to her. He revealed he was there to recruit her for a job, but Marionette insisted that Rorschach help her spring her husband Mime first. Unable to convince her otherwise, Rorschach reluctantly agreed.
After escaping Sing Sing with Marionette and Mime, Rorschach led them through the sewers of New York to the old base of Nite Owl II, where they encountered Adrian Veidt. Veidt revealed that Rorschach was working for him; Rorschach corrected him, saying they were working together, and appeared frustrated when Veidt attempted to compliment him for how different he was compared to Kovacs. Veidt abandoned that line of conversation and instead informed the group what the job was: to find Doctor Manhattan and bring him back to Earth so that he might repair the damage that's been done.
Rorschach and Veidt discussed their mission and their reluctant allies as they prepared for their mission. Veidt revealed that he selected Erika Manson due to an encounter she had with Manhattan in the past. He hopes that reminding him of said encounter might help leverage his assistance, but Rorschach is not nearly as optimistic. The team files into the Owlship, which Ozymandias has reconfigured for quantum tunneling, and leave the universe just as a nuclear missile destroys New York City.
They crash land in Gotham City on December 20th 2018, where Ozymandias and Rorschach quickly subdue Mime and Marionette before leaving to research where they have landed at a nearby public library. They determine a number of facts about the world, and then split up to find the world's two smartest men: Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne. Ozymandias goes to speak to Luthor at LexCorp, while Rorschach goes to find Wayne at Wayne Manor. Ozymandias warns him to keep all interactions to a minimum.
Rorschach breaks into Wayne Manor, finding a plate of pancakes prepared by the butler Alfred. Rorschach downs them with pleasure before noticing an unusual draft of air, which he traces to the clock on the far end of the room. He pulls it aside to find a secret passage and proceeds through it, tripping a sensor and silent alarm in the process. Rorschach finds himself in the Batcave, surrounded by Batman's collection of artifacts that he's kept from various encounters over the years. At that point, Batman himself appears to confront the intruder.
Rorschach rushed to explain the situation to the notoriously slow-to-trust Batman, before realizing that he could easily cover his bases by handing over Kovac's Journal. Rorschach stood around while Batman began to read, before asking how far he had gotten. Batman replied that it had been a long day and he was only on Page 4, before offering him somewhere to sleep and clean up, an offer which Rorschach accepted. Initially uncomfortable with the large rooms, he eventually settled in and removed his costume before taking a shower. He grimaced with pain as he drew blood in an attempt to scrub himself clean. He later fell asleep and had a nightmare recalling Veidt's attack on New York, which he witnessed when he attempted and failed to rescue his parents on the eve of nuclear war.
He was awoken by Batman, who claimed to have completed the journal and located Doctor Manhattan at Arkham Asylum. He and Rorschach broke in, and Batman led his new compatriot to a cell. However, Manhattan was nowhere to be found, and Batman locked Rorschach inside. Believing him to be simply insane, Batman walked away as Rorschach threatened, begged, and screamed to be let out.
He was listed as John Doe by the prison authorities, who were tipped off by Batman about his presence. He was handled like any other inmate, though a special psychologist by the name of Matthew Mason was assigned to work with him. Unbeknownst to Reggie, Dr. Mason was Batman in disguise, covertly monitoring him. Regardless, Reggie said nothing during their meeting. He reflected on his life during his stay at Arkham before being unexpectedly freed by the time displaced Saturn Girl, who brings him along to find the one man who can help them: Superman.
He and Saturn Girl happen upon Johnny Thunder and save him from some thugs. He then inquires Johnny about the lantern. They are later picked up by Ozymandias in the Owlship. He happens upon Batman, Mime, Marionette, Joker and Comedian and witnesses Adrian summon Dr. Manhattan. When Manhattan reveals Adrian lied about having cancer, he became furious and attacked him.
As Rorschach II, Reggie shares many of his predecessor's mannerisms, to the point that Marionette is at first certain that they are one and the same. However, Adrian Veidt notes that Reggie does not share Kovacs's uncompromising nature and is much more unpredictable. Rorschach II also demonstrates a great reverence for not only the original Rorschach, but his friends and partners. He also is quite knowledgeable about their exploits, knowing for example that the Owlship is called Archie. He also shares Kovacs's dislike of Ozymandias, only allying himself with the former hero as no other option remains. This is due to the fact that his parents died in the New York City Massacre. Pancakes are a personal favorite meal of his. Reggie grew up in New York City, where his mother and father apparently lived. He is shown to have a great appreciation for family and home, as it was what convinced him to spring Mime, and what drives his need for revenge on Ozymandias.