Edward Morgan Blake was a masked vigilante formerly known as the Comedian and a paramilitary operative for the United States government. Blake was a member of the Minutemen, the Crimebusters, as well as a hero in the Vietnam War.
Early Costumed Career
Edward Morgan Blake was inspired by newspaper coverage of Hooded Justice, and became a notouriously violent vigilante known as the Comedian. Donning a domino mask and a yellow jumpsuit, and Blake roamed the waterfront sections of New York City at night, addressing even the smallest spot of trouble with an alarming degree of violence, whether it’s clearing an underpass of a homeless encampment or stopping a sexual assault behind a roughneck bar,
Blake was a founding member of the Minutemen.
On the evening of October 2, 1940, Blake sexually assaulted his teammate Silk Spectre following a procedural meeting at the team’s New York City headquarters. At the time, he was twenty and she was sixteen. Hooded Justice happened upon the assault and stopped it with brutal force. Though Jupiter wanted to testify against the Comedian, Louis Schexnayder convinced her to drop the charges for the sake of the team's public image. Instead, Blake was kicked out of the team.
Eight years later, Sally and the Comedian would have consensual sex, with Sally being impregnated with their daughter Laurie. Laurie would be raised by her mother, not knowing who her true father was until 1985.
Government Sponsored Activity
House UnAmerican Activities Committee
During the 1950s, while his former peers were continuing to fight on the streets, 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 conservative 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 1966, the Comedian was invited to join the Crimebusters by his former Minutemen teammate Captain Metropolis. The teamup never came to be as Blake and the rest of the team was uninspired by this nomenclature and by Gardner himself.
Still working as a U.S. operative, Blake was sent to fight in the Vietnam War. While in Saigon, he teamed up with Doctor Manhattan who joined in the effort in March 1971. Doctor Manhattan played a major role in giving the United States' a major advantage against the North Vietnamese, while Blake led his own military unit called the Blazin' Commandos. During the war, he and his unit burned down a village outside of where the My Lai massacre took place and forced the surviving villagers to march. One of the villagers was a young woman named Bian My who would end up having severe trauma from the incident and grow to resent U.S. imperialism.
On June 29, 1971, North Vietnam surrendered to the United States. Alongside Doctor Manhattan, Blake became a war hero and an inspiration to his fellow right wing fanbase back home.
Further Government Activity
Blake continued his work as a government operative, with many of his missions remaining classified. The few missions the public is aware of were known to be notoriously violent and disturbing.
In 1979, Blake successfully rescued American and Canadian hostages taken by anti-Manhattanite jihadists in Iran. Because of Blake’s notoriously violent methods, the individuals he brought back alive from Iran suffered from PTSD for years, mostly from witnessing the sadism Blake inflicted upon their captors.
In 1985, the Comedian was killed by his former vigilante teammate Ozymandias for his connection to a conspiracy Veidt had been orchestrating to end the Cold War.
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 following the publication of his journal he sent to the newspaper New Frontiersman. However, the journal would be considered a hoax and just the ramblings of a madman; Adrian Veidt would shrug off the rumors as "fake news".
Blake would become a polarizing symbol of American authoritarianism and imperialism and as such, he was simultaneously beloved and loathed.
In 2019, a hit series called American Hero Story: Minutemen aired, dramatizing all the known information about Blake's time with the Minutemen's as well as his solo career.
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.
Behind the Scenes
- 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.