"Justice is coming to all of us. No matter what the fuck we do."
—The Comedian to Rorschach
Edward Morgan "Eddie" Blake was a violent, nihilistic vigilante and war hero known as the Comedian. He worked with the Minutemen, the Watchmen, and the United States Government, respectively. Blake was killed by Ozymandias to ensure his plans remained secret.
Edward Morgan Blake was born in 1918. Almost nothing is known about Blake's early life.
Becoming the Comedian
In 1939, Blake became a costumed adventurer known as the Comedian. Hollis Mason had described him as a 'particularly vicious and brutal young man' who was an effective vigilante, managing to expunge most organized crime from the New York harbor.
Joining the Minutemen
In the fall of that year, Blake read an advertisement in the New York Gazette written by Nelson Gardner with the help of Laurence Schexnayder that asked all other costumed adventurers to step forward, a unification that spawned the Minutemen. Since he was the youngest member of the group he had always made jokes that he was going to outlive and even bury all of them, as well as always having been flirtatious with fellow Minuteman Silk Spectre. During his time with the group, the Comedian gained renown fame for capturing an assassin known as Italian Shadow, who for years had avoid police pursuit.
Blake earned a reputation for stealing money from the criminals he apprehended. Blake would frequently mention his young age to support and justify his selfish and individualistic attitudes, as the Minutemen was the only place where he could make a living. Nite Owl accused him for salvaging money from all the villains he was beating.
Assaulting Silk Spectre
After a photoshoot in 1940, Blake attempted to sexually assault Sally Jupiter (who was about three years older than him) while she was getting dressed. As she exclaimed 'no' to his sexual advances, he persisted and she clawed him in the face; Enraged, Blake punched her in the stomach and face until blood was spilling from her mouth and laid her on the ground barely able to move. Hooded Justice interrupted the assault in time and caught Blake with his pants down over her semi-conscious body. He savagely attacked Blake, breaking his nose and kneeing his groin, then held him up to face him. (While he coughed up blood, it dripped from his chin to his shirt in a small drop about where his badge would be years later). Blake laughed and said "This is what you like, huh? This is what gets you hot..." but to this Hooded Justice continued to assault him.
Expelled from the Minutemen
Blake had been expelled from the group with minimal publicity, but Sally Jupiter's agent, Laurence Schexnayder, persuaded her not to press charges against him for fear of what it would do to the group's image, so he continued his profession on his own, although his self-restraint continued to slip.
Following his expulsion from the Minutemen, Blake continued to fight criminals as an independent crime-fighter in a new costume.
Blake underwent training in counterintelligence, sabotage, survival, advanced combat, and became a war hero in the Pacific War during World War II.
Reencounter With Sally Jupiter
Around 1948 he had another encounter with Sally Jupiter while she had been married to Laurence. One year later she had a child that would be later revealed to be Laurie. While never explicitly mentioned, the second sexual encounter between the Comedian and the first Silk Spectre is said to be consensual, and at the end, in spite of everything, Sally had feelings for the Comedian.
House UnAmerican Activities Committee
During the House UnAmerican Activities Committee Blake was the only vigilante not forced to testify, likely also because of his involvement with the government.
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
In 1963, Blake was in Dallas, Texas nominally as Richard Nixon's bodyguard, and was the assassin responsible for killing John F. Kennedy.
That year he was invited by Ozymandias to join the Watchmen, but he quickly ruined the younger hero's hopes of a new team. Blake even set Veidt's crime display on fire while saying that old fashioned crime-fighting methods were useless for saving the world when the threat of nuclear war lay overhead at all times. This rant opened Ozymandias's eyes.
It was also here that the Comedian met his daughter, Laurie Juspeczyk, now the new Silk Spectre, and asked her if her mother ever talked about him, but their conversation was quickly broken up by an angry Sally Jupiter. The Comedian seemed genuinely perplexed that Sally was still holding a grudge against him, saying he thought they had settled their differences. Laurie noted that the Comedian looked sad as he watched them drive away, and felt sorry for him. That was until her mother told her of their past history (but still not telling Laurie that she was his daughter), after which she felt nothing but disgust and hatred towards him.
Shortly after Manhattan's godlike powers forced the North Vietnamese into full surrender, Blake was confronted by a Vietnamese woman he had apparently impregnated. He told her bluntly that he planned to leave the country immediately without her, and in a rage, she slashed his face with a broken bottle. Blake shot and killed her.
His injury led to a disfiguring scar that ran from his right eye down to the corner of his mouth, giving his face the impression that he was constantly sneering.
Assassination of Woodward and Bernstein
Blake assassinated both Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein before they could reveal the details of the Watergate scandal.
Police Strike of 1977
The costumed adventurers faced massive backlash and rioting in the 1977. Masked adventurers were sent to quiet the unrest and the Comedian teamed up with Nite Owl II in his Owlship. During that time, Nite Owl reminisced that the Comedian mistook the Owlship's flamethrower for a lighter and almost caused a disaster. The Comedian responded violently to the protesters, physically assaulting multiple people, throwing smoke grenades driving the crowd away scared, shooting one who was painting a graffiti against the vigilantes. He explained to Dreiberg that there is a new law in the making that will make vigilantism illegal, but until then the adventurers must protect the people "from themselves".
In response to those events, the Congress passed the Keene Act, requiring all heroes to register with the government if they wished to remain active. The majority of them "retired" in anonymity, while one other, Rorschach, continued his activities in open defiance of the law. Doctor Manhattan and the Comedian were the only two who registered with, and were employed by, the government. Around that time the Comedian had underwent covert missions fighting Marxist republics in South America.
Death & Legacy
While on a plane during a mission in 1985, Blake noticed suspicious activity on an uncharted island. He infiltrated the island and learned of its purpose, the realization of which was severely traumatizing. Unable to bear the burden of knowledge alone, Blake broke into the apartment of Edgar Jacobi, who had fought Blake years earlier as Moloch the Mystic, and rambled drunkenly about the island.
Adrian Veidt, who was controlling the island's activity and had bugged Moloch's apartment for his own reasons, responded by attacking Blake in his apartment, beating him up and then throwing him through the apartment window resulting in him falling to his death.
Blake's funeral was held at a cemetery in New York City under the pouring rain. In attendance were Adrian Veidt, Jon Osterman, and Dan Dreiberg, and Walter Kovacs, the later who remained outside the gates of cemetery to hide his identity from the rest of them. His coffin was covered with the American flag.
Following Blake's death, a rogue vigilante named Rorschach began to independently investigate the murder. While searching Blake's apartment, Rorschach discovers a hidden closet containing a costume and other items that indicate that the murdered man was the Comedian, a former member of both Minutemen and the Watchmen. This discovery raises Rorschach's suspicion of a plot to kill costumed heroes ("masks"); his continuing investigation into Blake's murder leads to a much larger, more horrifying secret.
While trying to convince Doctor Manhattan to save the Earth from nuclear war, Laurie Jupiter came to the shocking realization that the Comedian was her father. This revelation provoked an unexpected emotional response in the superhuman Manhattan, who was stunned that two people as different as the Comedian and Sally Jupiter could come together and produce a child, and that child being Laurie, he realized that such odds of improbability extended to all members of the human race. This revelation encouraged Manhattan that human life was worth saving and, later, gave Laurie a chance to reconcile with her mother.
- Peak Human Condition: Throughout his long career as a costumed adventurer and government operative, Blake developed and maintained a physique that granted him extreme, albeit non-superhuman, levels of strength, speed and stamina that the average human did not possess. His immense physical prowess allowed Blake to fight and defeat a young Ozymandias early in the latter's career. However, despite his incredible capabilities, Blake was not strong or fast enough to keep up with Veidt when the former was in his 60s and had been ambushed by the latter. Like other costumed adventurers, Blake was portrayed as being seemingly superhuman in terms of strength and resilience. He has been shown to be strong enough to smash his fist through a stone wall during his final fight with Ozymandias. This superhuman physicality was not affected at all by his age, as his great youthful vitality followed him to his old age, allowing him to roll, sprint, and fight men only a portion of his age. He could even land on his feet from several feet in the air without being hurt, weakened or slowed down. However, there are people who have overpowered and beaten him, such as Hooded Justice, who bashed his face to a bloody pulp while restraining him (albeit that time, he was caught off guard), and Ozymandias, who thoroughly dominated a dispirited Blake in their last confrontation.
- Master Combatant: Blake was an incredibly skilled, self-taught hand-to-hand combatant who was in excellent physical condition, even at the time of his death. In the Under the Hood excerpts it is revealed that the Blake defeated Ozymandias in combat during their first encounter - a loss that Adrian Veidt never got over personally. Veidt described Blake as the "perfect fighting man" when he revealed to Nite Owl II and Rorschach how he had stumbled upon his plan to trick the world out of impending disaster and bring an end to all war. In denigrating his mortal enemy's martial prowess as amounting to little more than a "skillful feint" and "devastating uppercut", Ozymandias perhaps described exactly how Blake had beaten him when they first met.
- Master Marksman: Blake was proficient with virtually all military and non-military grade weaponry and was an master marksman. He was able to wield high caliber assault rifles, shotguns, as well as handguns with great accuracy. He even utilized a flamethrower during his time in the Vietnam War.
- Master Assassin: As a government-sanctioned agent from 1942 until his death, Blake was very skilled in assassination techniques, as well as received professional training in special operations, urban and guerrilla warfare, espionage, intelligence gathering, and military tactics. In these covert disciplines, he proved so talented and effective that during the 1960s and 1970s he was a "Black-Ops" type agent for the U.S. government, possibly as part of the CIA's elite "Special Activities Division". He fought as an active combatant and government liaison in several wars, most notably World War II and the Vietnam War killing several enemy combatants with no mercy.
- Gifted Intelligence: Despite his incomplete education, Blake was highly intelligent and possessed remarkable detective skills of deduction and analysis. He was the first costumed adventurer to discover Ozymandias' plot, and the first character to fully recognize Doctor Manhattan's growing detachment from humanity. He also correctly intuited Hooded Justice's sexual orientation (although he apparently wasn't the only member who suspected this).
- Colt M1911A1: The Comedian carried a pistol as his sidearm in Vietnam. He fired it at the Vietcong from a helicopter, and later used it to shoot and kill a pregnant Vietnamese Woman.
- D&L Sports Professional Model Longslides: As the Comedian, Blake carried two custom 1911-series D&L Sports Professional Model Longslides as his sidearms, with ornate smiley-face grips to match his logo and Picatinny Rails. They had "Nixon 1970" written on the grips, indicating they were a gift from Nixon for serving in the Vietnam war. He tries to bring up one of his 1911s fitted with a sound suppressor to combat Veidt in his home but fired off one stray bullet shot to no avail and was disarmed. His second pistol was on display in his hidden closet armory.
- Detonics CombatMaster: A stainless steel pistol was seen in Blake's hidden closet armory. The gun had a flat top cutaway section after the rear sight and a dip in the ejection port.
- Smith & Wesson Model 686: A revolver was also seen in Blake's hidden closet armory.
- Flintlock Pistols: Several flintlock pistols were on display near Blake's decorative swords.
- Ithaca 37: The Comedian used a shotgun to fire on a rampaging crowd with rubber bullets.
- Franchi PA3/215: Another shotgun was on display in Blake's hidden closet armory.
- Carcano M91/38 Short Rifle: Blake used a scoped rifle to assassinate John F. Kennedy.
- CAR-15: A 10" barreled rifle with a collapsible stock was on display in Blake's hidden closet armory.
- Heckler & Koch HK91: A telescoping stocked rifle was on display in Blake's hidden closet armory.
- Heckler & Koch HK91A2: A fixed stock rifle was on display in Blake's hidden closet armory.
- Heckler & Koch MP5SD3: A submachine gun was on display in Blake's hidden closet armory.
- Remington 700 (Marksman's Rifle MR-700 Conversion): A sniper rifle was on display in Blake's hidden closet armory.
- Percussion Rifles: Three percussion rifles/muskets were hanging in Blake's apartment.
- M60 Machine Gun: A machine gun was on display in Blake's hidden closet armory.
- M79 grenade launcher: The Comedian used a grenade launcher to fire smoke rounds at people trying to vandalize buildings. It was later seen on display in his hidden closet armory.
- Cobray CM203 Flare Launcher: A flare launcher was on display in Blake's hidden closet armory.
- M1A1 Flamethrower: The Comedian used a flamethrower to light his cigar and set a Vietcong soldier on fire.
While in the Minutemen, the Comedian's costume was extremely gaudy, consisting of a bright yellow and purple boiler suit. He has purple gloves and boots as well a similarly colored domino mask over his eyes to protect his identity. Also, he had a bright red belt buckle in the shape of a laughing face. In 1941, due to an unexplained incident, he was stabbed and decided to convert his armor into something more protective. He then produced the armor that would serve him throughout the rest of his career, made out of thick leather and patriotic shoulder pads, although he kept the same mask for quite some time. On V.V.N. Night in Saigon, he was slashed in the face with a bottle by a girl he had gotten pregnant. Afterward, he wore a more protective and concealing mask.
Blake was fairly slight but lean (and mean) when introduced as a member of the Minutemen, but his physical stature greatly increased over the years, which could be attributed to the fact that he was only a teenager at the time he served with the group. At the time of his death, Blake was quite tall and had a very well-built, muscular physique despite being in his early sixties. He was described as being 225 pounds, being built like a linebacker, and being in terrific shape despite his age.
Throughout the work, the Comedian is typically seen wearing or in close proximity to the "smiley-face" button which is closely associated with him. At the beginning of the series, the button is smeared with a single drop of blood which, if the button is viewed as a clock face, is at the position of the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock at the time of the series, eleven minutes to midnight. However, the smile is constantly appearing when Blake is not present, possibly at important junctures in the story.
He was created by Watchmen writer Alan Moore and illustrator Dave Gibbons, although, like all characters in the series, he was based on a Charlton Comics character, in this case Peacemaker, created by writer Joe Gill and artist Pat Boyette. The Comedian's alter-ego of Edward Blake is a play on the name of movie director Blake Edwards,  best known for the Pink Panther comedies. His character design is said to have been based on actor Burt Reynolds.
Moore also loosely based him on G. Gordon Liddy, although Liddy himself appears a few times in Watchmen as a separate character: at a banquet in Blake's honor he is mentioned in the text and laughs at Blake's reference to the Kennedy Assassination; he also appears when still-President Nixon arrives at Norad.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the Comedian in the film. He is best known as Denny Duquette in the television show Gray's Anatomy, John Winchester in Supernatural, and Negan in The Walking Dead. Morgan was initially put off about playing the Comedian as the characters dies in the first chapter. His agent convinced him to continue reading the graphic novel to see how important the character was, and Morgan then showed interest.
In the film, the Comedian is described as being 67-years-old at the time of his death. This means he was born around 1918 and is therefore about six years older than the Comedian in the graphic novel. His facial scar is not as deep in the movie, being hardly noticeable at all.
Implied actions by the Comedian in the graphic novel are explicit in the film adaptation. Examples include the Kennedy assassination and the assassination of Woodward and Bernstein. In the original graphic novel, the Comedian was half-sarcastically asked if he had something to do with killing the two reporters, but he waved it off and jokingly denied it.
Like others in the series, Blake is portrayed as being seemingly superhuman in terms of strength and resilience. He has been shown to be strong enough to smash his fist through a stone wall during his final fight with Veidt. This superhuman physicality was not affected at all by his age, as his great youthful vitality followed him to his old age, allowing him to roll, sprint, and fight men only a portion of his age. He could even land on his feet from several feet in the air without being hurt, weakened or slowed down. There are only two people in the film who have overpowered and beaten him severely, such as Hooded Justice, who bashed his face to a bloody pulp while restraining him (albeit when he was caught off guard), and Adrian Veidt, who sent him flying through the air, beat him to a pulp, chopped his fingers with a butcher knife Blake threw at him, and finally killed him by tossing him through a window.
Watchmen: The End is Nigh
In the video game Watchmen: The End Is Nigh, Nite Owl and Rorschach are tracing the criminal Underboss, whom the Comedian frames for the murders of Woodward and Bernstein, clearly to cover up the Watergate scandal. The morning after Underboss' capture, Richard Nixon secures a second term as President.
- In the film, Blake's apartment number was 3001 but after throwing the cup it knocks down the 1 making it 300, a nod to Zack Snyder's previous film before Watchmen.
- In Chapter V: Fearful Symmetry, the number of the case file for his murder held in the police department, is 801108. It is a palindrome, with symmetrical digits, like many other elements in that chapter.
- Watchmen author Alan Moore has stated that the character of The Comedian was based in a large part on G. Gordon Liddy.