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The Crimebusters were an extremely short-lived team of costumed adventurers, mostly made up of second generation legacy heroes (like Silk Spectre II and Nite Owl II), Minutemen alumni (such as The Comedian and Captain Metropolis),and new, younger vigilantes of the early 60's (like Rorschach and Ozymandias). They were intended to be a successor to the Minutemen of the 1940s, but whole the project quickly imploded on its very first meeting one night on April 14, 1966.



Following the break-up of the Minutemen in 1949, the United States continued to operate without organizations of masked vigilantes for almost two decades, even though their exploits individually inspired the next generation of heroes. During this period, former Minutemen member Captain Metropolis grew frustrated watching as specialized law enforcement stood still as crime continued to thrive.

First Meeting[]


First meeting of the Crimebusters

In April 1966, with the help of Ozymandias, Gardner established the "Crimebusters" as a potential successor to the now-defunct Minutemen. Gardner believed that the social climate of America had become so overrun by social unrest and by the return of old foes (such as the Minutemen archenemy Moloch the Mystic, who had reportedly just recently founded another underground crime syndicate in New York City) that a new collective of masked crimefighters was the answer.

At their first meeting at Gardner's mansion, a debate arose over the validity and necessity of such a group; Rorschach believed such a group would be merely a "publicity exercise" and would also be "too big and unwieldy." The Comedian expressed the strongest opposition, cynically stating that the threat of nuclear war looming over the world made Gardner's idea of "playin' cowboys and Indians" insignificant in the Atomic Age. To prove his point, the Comedian set fire to Gardner's carefully planned display. The only vocal support for Gardner's idea came from Nite Owl II who believed it was valid since he and Rorschach had some success fighting gangs by working together. The only members of the group who didn't participate in the argument over Crimebusters' validity were Doctor Manhattan and Silk Spectre II, as they were both too busy looking at each other to pay attention to what was actually going on in the room.

Aftermath and Legacy[]


Eddie Blake setting fire to Nelson Gardner's display

After their notorious first meeting, not much is known about how the idea of the Crimebusters went. It's never made clear if they ever gathered up again and worked communally as a team with headquarters like the Minutemen had in its prime. However, this seems very unlikely since no team victories were ever mentioned and the vigilantes remained mostly separated. For instance, Doctor Manhattan and Silk Spectre II went out "on patrol" together where they established their romantic relationship. In 1970, the Comedian and Manhattan joined forces under President Richard Nixon's orders to fight in the Vietnam War and ensure American victory, fighting as agents of the U.S. government, but not as "Crimebusters". Rorschach and Nite Owl remained as a pair (as when hunting Jimmy the Gimmick or the Underboss) without acting on behalf of any team. Also, Rorschach investigated the case of the Blair Roche disappearance/kidnapping by himself. Captain Metropolis retired from masked adventurism shortly after the 1966 incident and later was decapitated in a automobile accident on October 3, 1974.

One of the most critical and defining consequences of the botched meeting was as the catalyst for the fatal 11/2 Psychic Shockwave Event, as the fiasco helped completed Adrian Veidt's disillusionment with costumed adventurism and inspired him to plan his years long conspiracy to prevent the coming nuclear holocaust by any means necessary.



  • The name for the failed superhero team came from a fan letter that was published in Captain Atom #87 in 1967[1], where the writer (Sean Cook of Eldorado, Kansas) suggested to Charlton Comics editor Dick Giordano that the company should start a new comic called "THE CRIMEBUSTERS", featuring its main lineup of superheroes (Captain Atom, The Peacemaker, Nightshade, Blue Beatle, Thunderbolt, and The Question) as a team, and even asking for The Question to have his own comic book title. 20 years later following its publication, the Charlton superheroes eventually became the models for Watchmen's main characters, which somewhat at least realized Cook's idea.