Daniel "Dan" Dreiberg is the second former costumed vigilante known as Nite Owl, and a member of the Crimebusters. Following his relationship with fellow vigilante the Comedienne, he was taken into custody by the FBI.
Joining the Crimebusters
Dan Dreiberg succeeded the original Nite Owl, Hollis Mason, and became part of the second generation of costumed vigilantes. He joined up with other heroes to form the Crimebusters, but the team never came to fruition. Dreiberg continued to fight crime alongside his former partner Rorschach until he was forced into retirement due to the Keene Act which made costumed vigilantism illegal.
Return to Vigilantism
In October 1985, however, Dreiberg ignored the warnings of the Keene Act returned to vigilantism. On October 31, 1985, Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II broke Rorschach out of Sing Sing Correctional Facility.
Investigation of Adrian Veidt
On November 1st, 1985, Dreiberg helped in Rorschach's "Mask Killer" investigation. Dreiberg and Kovacs visited Happy Harry’s Bar & Grill to interrogate the criminal element. They tried to acquire information about an incident that occurred on the day of Kovacs' arrest, the attempted murder of Adrian Veidt by a contract killer, Roy Victor Chess. Through physical torture, Kovacs induced a scattered confession from a man who described himself as an employee of Pyramid Deliveries saying that he had delivered some envelopes to Chess at the request of his superior.
Upon discovering Veidt's involvement in the death and neutralization of costumed adventurers, Dreiberg, convinced of Veidt's guilt, persuaded Rorschach that they need to confront him at his headquarters in Antarctica. They aboard the Owlship, and fly en-route to the frozen continent, but not before stopping over at a nearby mailbox for Rorschach to deliver his journal to the New Frontiersman.
Following the death of Rorschach and their failure in stopping Adrian Veidt from releasing the Extra-Dimensional Biological Entity onto New York City, Dreiberg left Karnak and returned to America with Laurie Juspeczyk, leaving behind Archie in Antarctica.
Because of the cataclysmic psychic shockwave unleashed by the E.D.B.E. and the death of Steven Fine, the lead detective on the Rorschach case, Dreiberg's vigilante activities were never thoroughly investigated. In the months that followed, finding Dreiberg and Kovacs became a low priority for an overwhelmed police department as half their employees died in the psychic shockwave. As New York began its glacial return to stability, few cared about a loose end of the past.
Because of this, Dreiberg was able to go into hiding and changed his appearance and identity.
Dreiberg continued his career as a costumed vigilante following the 11/2 Psychic Shockwave and secretly started his own company MerlinCorp, providing him and Laurie Juspeczyk, and several state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States with their own versions of Nite Owl II's high tech vehicles and equipment to fight crime.
Sometime in the early 1990s, he and Laurie Juspeczyk, now going by the Comedienne, had broken up due to irreconcilable differences. Dreiberg wanted to settle down and have children, but Juspeczyk wanted to continue to vigilantism. Following their breakup, Dreiberg gave Laurie mocking gift in the form of "Excalibur", a vibrator modelled after Doctor Manhattan's penis, as he believed that she still harbored strong feelings for Osterman.
Oklahoma City Terrorist Attack and Arrest
In 1995, Dreiberg and Laurie Juspeczyk put aside their differences and worked together to stop the Oklahoma City Bombing and killed the perpetrator Timothy McVeigh. In violation of the Keene Act, they were both arrested by the police.
Refusing to Cooperate
While Laurie Juspeczyk chose to cooperate and ended up working for the FBI's anti-vigilante unit, Dreiberg refused to speak to the authorities and accepted the thirty year maximum sentence mandated by the Keene Act. In response to his imprisonment, he issued a blunt statement: "Never compromise, never surrender", quoting his late partner Rorschach. Following his arrest, Dreiberg's company, MerlinCorp, was seized by the government and his technological designs, such as his Owlship, were co-opted by police departments in the United States, including Tulsa PD. As of 2019, Dreiberg remains in federal custody and has steadfastly refused to speak to the FBI about the validity of Rorschach’s Journal, or confirmation into Adrian Veidt's involvement in the 11/2 Psychic Shockwave.
In 2019, Laurie Juspeczyk, now going by Laurie Blake, agreed to investigate the murder of Judd Crawford and the reemergence of the domestic terrorist group the Seventh Kavalry in Tulsa with the promise that, if Oklahoma's senator Joe Keene become the next president, he would pardon Dreiberg for her in return.
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the television series Watchmen and is an adaptation of Nite Owl II. The original character was created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and first appeared in Watchmen #1.