|Nite Owl #2|
The issue is narrated by Nite Owl but gives a good deal of attention to Rorschach. In pursuing a couple of criminals, Nite Owl and Rorschach encounter a dominatrix. Nite Owl is intrigued while Rorschach is repulsed to the point of violence. As a result, their partnership is tested.
The theme of the issue is past hurts. The encounter causes Rorschach to revisit seeing his mother with a man when he was a child. Meanwhile, a murdered hooker causes Nite Owl to remember his father beating his mother. He remembers getting beat up by bullies. His mother counsels him to find something to place, "between yourself and the dragon." Something to shield him from harm - a "happy place" as it were. Hence, Dan's obsession with the Nite Owl is born. It's also revealed that Dan's mother wanted to abort him when she became pregnant.
"It doesn't matter," is repeated throughout the issue. But it does, to the people involved. Nite Owl goes against the advice of his mentor and, at the end of the issue, revisits the dominatrix.
Once again, J. Michael Straczynski does what he does best - takes the characters apart like a watch and finds out what makes them tick. A great issue and it doesn't even have a super fight! (SHOCK!)
In the backup story takes one tiny, lurching step forward with the Crimson Corsair finally giving the curse that is referenced in the title. He takes the main character's (I have no idea what his name is - if it was ever mentioned it has been issues since it has been repeated) soul and throws him overboard to begin his quest to find the three items he needs to secure his freedom.