"Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian's is the only thing that makes sense."
Edward Morgan "Eddie" Blake, also known as The Comedian, was a masked vigilante and paramilitary operative for the United States government. He was a member of both the Minutemen and the Crimebusters. Blake had been active for forty-five years through the aid of government-sponsored activities and the press conjuring him into a patriotic symbol of war and victory.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life
- 1.2 Minutemen
- 1.3 Independent Crime-fighter
- 1.4 Government Sponsored Activity
- 1.5 Death
- 1.6 Legacy
- 2 Abilities
- 3 Equipment
- 4 Personality
- 5 Appearance
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Creation
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Character gallery
- 10 References
- 11 Navigation
Edward Morgan Blake was born in 1924. Almost nothing is known about Blake's early life. In 1939, Blake became a costumed adventurer known as the Comedian, wearing a gaudy yellow-and-purple boiler suit and domino mask. He gained city-wide attention after he thwarted a robbery of a jewelry store in SoHo. He also had a number of highly publicized clashes with members of the Garbino organized crime family. 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. He was the sixth official member to accepted in the group. 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. As World War II began in Europe, he wished that they would be sent where the action is.
Assaulting Silk Spectre
On October 2, 1940, Blake attempted to sexually assault Silk Spectre while she was getting dressed. At the time, he was 16 and she was 20. 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 only replied, "Get out."
Expelled from the Minutemen
Blake had been expelled from the Minutemen 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.
In 1941, Blake was stabbed by a small-time hoodlum and was seriously injured. Due to this, he decided to upgrade his costume into a leather-based uniform for his own protection, and began carrying a pistol.
In the 1940s, Blake was drafted into World War II, where he served as a special operative for the OSS and Army Intelligence. He gained recognition as a war hero for his efforts and successes. In May 6th, 1945, Blake made a bet with a military officer that he could kill all seven Japanese prisoners of war with just eight bullets at a range of 50 paces. Blake shot and killed seven Japanese prisoners of war. Blake was court martialed for the incident, but the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. While in Tokyo, Blake contracted Syphilis and was treated by Dr. Edward Ross.
Around 1949 he had another encounter with Sally Jupiter while she had been married to Laurence Schexnayder. 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.
In 1949 there appeared to be a movie produced by Stellar Studios starring or featuring the Comedian in the works. It was titled Okinawa Dawn and seems to be based on his adventures in the Pacific theatre, possibly inspired by war hero Audie Murphy's biographical movie about his own exploits. The page of the script that was revealed shows the Comedian alongside several soldiers. One of them has wandered into danger and the Comedian fights all protests and runs off to save him. He is ambushed by a hidden Japanese soldier. A fight ensues and ends with the soldier at the Comedian's mercy. He has a knife, poised to slit the soldier's throat, but throws it aside and ties him up, saying "Looks like the war is gonna end a bit early for you, friend."
Government Sponsored Activity
House UnAmerican Activities Committee
During the 1950s, while his former peers were column-fillers, Blake flourished as the only masked adventurer left still making headlines due to his government connections which were transforming him into a sort of patriotic symbol of American justice. He also campaigned for several politicians including Joseph David Keene.
During the House UnAmerican Activities Committee hearings, Blake was the first to answer the summons and ultimately served as justice of the peace for Senator Joseph McCarthy's committee by delivering subpoenas to others costumed adventurers. Because of his involvement with the government and support for members of the HUAC, Blake was the only vigilante not forced to testify.
After Hooded Justice's statement to the Amsterdam News regarding his refusal to cooperate with the government, Blake responded in an interview by saying "Hooded Justice was always a total weirdo if you ask me. It might be better off for everyone if he just, you know, faded away. I don't think he'll like the alternative."
In 1960, Blake and other former Minutemen attended a Red Cross charity event for the India Famine along with other new heroes, like Doctor Manhattan. He discussed a little with a troubled Captain Metropolis.
That same year, he was invited to join the Crimebusters by Captain Metropolis, but he quickly ruined the older hero's hope of a new team by mocking him, claiming he was only doing it for vanity and glory, and even set his 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. Ozymandias saw the three from the distance arguing. 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; after this incident, he wore an enclosing leather gimp-style mask when dressing as the Comedian. He was court-martialed for the incident but the charges were dropped for lack of evidence.
In 1974, a banquet was held in his honor. G. Gordon Liddy and Gerald Ford were there as well as Doctor Manhattan with Laurie Juspeczyk. Blake was with a company discussing the deaths of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who were found in a garage, and the publication of underground newspapers that linked them to a conspiracy; Blake joked that the editors of Berkeley Barb took drugs and came up these stories; he also joked about John F. Kennedy's death. Then Laurie (who had drunk too much) approached him, accused him as a rapist, leaving Blake petrified. She even threw a glass of drink at his face. Angered, Manhattan teleported her home.
The Keene Act
The costumed adventurers faced massive backlash and rioting in the 1970s. 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, throwing a grenade driving the crowd away scared, shooting one who was painting a graffiti against the vigilantes. He explained to his mate that there is an Act in the making, but until then the adventurers must protect the people "from themselves". He claimed that he didn't go crazy like the others, and keeps things in proportion, trying to see the funny side.
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.
The Comedian later resolves the Iranian Hostage Situation around 1978 and frees the captives. This action silences many of his critics, though Laurie Juspeczyk still hated him. The Comedian's actions during the hostage crisis are suggested to have traumatized those who were rescued by him. A panel shows a jubilant Comedian on the stairway of the plane returning the hostages, while the hostages standing near him appear traumatized. This contrasts with the joyous appearance of the returned hostages; his method of "resolving" the crisis was traumatizing to those involved.
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.
On the night of October 11th, 1985, Blake was writing a personal letter to Laurie Juspeczyk until Adrian Veidt, who was controlling the island's activity and had bugged Moloch's apartment for his own reasons, barged in and attacked Blake, beating him up and then throwing him through the apartment window resulting in him falling to his death. An investigation of his death is brought forward by both the New York City Police Department and Rorschach, the later suspecting foul play. The CIA informed Doctor Manhattan about his death, and theorized that Libya was responsible.
"We all have family. Some of them we just don't talk about."
Blake was buried in a cemetery under the rain with his coffin covered with the American flag. Protestors could be seen outside.
While trying to convince Doctor Manhattan to save the Earth from nuclear war, Laurie Juspeczyk 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.
Blake's murder would be exposed by Rorschach in his journal he sent to the newspaper New Frontiersman. However, the journal would be considered a hoax and just the ramblings of a madman; Veidt would shrug off the rumors as "fake news".
Blake's legacy lives on in his daughter Laurie, who took his last name, adopted the moniker of "the Comedienne", and took up his violent and nihilistic ideology as part of the FBI's Anti-Vigilante Task Force.
- 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 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 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 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).
- Leather Body Armor
- .45 Pistols
- Tear Gas Grenades
Blake is a cigar-chomping, gun-toting vigilante turned paramilitary agent. He is described variously as "deliberately amoral" with a "practiced cynicism", meaning that he usually has little regard for social conventions or human life. Always in character as the Comedian, he describes the world as a sadistic joke that only he understands, but in the end his practiced cynicism is shattered when he discovers a plot that he regards as a "practical joke" even he can't believe anyone would pull.
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.
- Laurie Blake/Silk Spectre II - Daughter
- United States Government
- United States Armed Forces
- Blazin' Commandos
- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias - Killer
- Viet Cong
- Vietnamese Woman † - Victim
- Bian My †
- John F. Kennedy † - Possible Victim
- Bob Woodward † - Possible Victim
- Carl Bernstein † - Possible Victim
The Comedian 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 film series. 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 assassination of John F. Kennedy; he also appears when still-President Richard Nixon arrives at NORAD.
- The Comedian is one of the only masked adventurers, along with Captain Metropolis, to be a member of both the Minutemen and the Crimebusters.
- In Issue #5, 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.
- Though an actor portraying the Comedian in American Hero Story, HBO's Watchmen show within a show, first appeared in "It's Summer and We're Running Out of Ice", Edward Blake himself wouldn't appear until "This Extraordinary Being". Both real-life actors went uncredited in their roles.