Edgar William Jacobi, also known as Moloch the Mystic, was a retired supervillain and former crime lord who fought the Minutemen and other superheroes such as Doctor Manhattan and Ozymandias for several decades.
Edgar was born with a physical deformity, a skinny ugly face and large pointed ears that made him look like a goblin. He was never loved by his parents, who provided him only with basic food and clothes. He attended school in his small rural town where he was bullied by his schoolmates. Like everyone else, Eddie wanted to belong to someone who would accept him and care for him. He held a romantic interest for Marie, a girl in his class, but when he sent her a valentine, she hit him down. As he was taught never to hit a girl, he didn't react.
When a carnival visited his town, Eddie stole a quarter from his father (his first criminal act) to visit there, and spent all of it to watch all five shows by Fantastico the Magician. He saw magic as an escape from his miserable life and after the show he insisted to see Fantastico in his trailer, and was trained by him. Indeed, he started impressing his schoolmates with magic tricks and finally became accepted.
One day he asked Marie to be his assistant and she cooperated well. Then, she pretended to see him differently. However, sometime later, Eddie passed near a glade where Marie was copulating with David, and heard them talking about him, and how she planned to embarrass him.
Eddie then asked David's help to test a magic box he was preparing. Once David was inside, Eddie penetrated him with a sword. He then pulled his body on Marie's bed in her house. Marie woke up finding her lover gutted, something that "unhinged" her. Eddie was never caught and took a train away, leaving everyone behind.
In 1937 Eddie was found in Chicago. He became a vaudevillian and adopted the name Moloch the Mystic. Moving from town to town he performed 3 times a day but even then the money was not enough, as he had to pay any assistants he could find. He then resorted to bank robberies. Wanting to make a statement and use some style he wore a tuxedo and used his tricks to come and go. As he was making more money that way, he became a full-time criminal, and a boss of his own gang. Some of his stupider thugs believed he was a real warlock.
Moloch staged bank robberies, hijackings and kidnappings. He also opened his own opium den, and while the trade was declining, he used it to introduce new drugs. His den was also a source of information as the intoxicated costumers talked too much, and addicted women would have sex with him for more. He used his money to buy or steal more impressive and lethal tricks from scientists, such as the ability to use electric lightning with his hands, and the Solar Mirror Weapon which he took from Professor Tungren.
The Weapon enabled him to stage larger heists. But it also attracted the attention of the Minutemen who became his frequent nemesis. They often foiled his plans and sent him to prison. During his time there he would visit a Catholic chapel, being attracted to the ceremony and liturgy, but would always escape and return to his life of crime, running vice clubs. In the late '40s only he and the King of Skin remained at large. In 1960 he had his first encounter with Doctor Manhattan. He escaped again and spent the decade against the Comedian and Ozymandias. Dr. Manhattan showed up in his vice-den, Dante's to stop his exploits.
Starting dealing with narcotics in 1963, the Comedian was sent to stop him. He stormed into his warehouse and arrested him, right at the moment when he was devastated learning about John F. Kennedy had been shot. Instead of arresting him, the two shared a booze. After Kennedy's death, however, he and Comedian started some sort of "friendship". In late 60's Ozymandias stormed in Dante's and confronted him. His return in 1966 was (according to the Comedian) the reason for the brief formation of the Crimebusters.
The encounters with Dr. Manhattan convinced him that there was always something he could never escape. In one of his visits to the prison chapel he fell to his knees, and then confessed to a Catholic priest. Eventually his parole was approved and the priest said that he probably had "powerful friends" which Edgar denied. On his way out, promising to himself to be a better person, he saw Ozymandias waiting for him. As it turned out, he was the powerful friend who got interested in Moloch and after talking to the officials, he sped up his parole.
Exiting prison, Jacobi was given a temporary job in Dimensional Developments. Adrian Veidt presented Jacobi a chance to atone himself from his past life and offered him a very important job at Veidt Enterprises. He had prepared for him a small enclosed office where he was supposed to compare and cross-check the results from his teams researching a new energy source. Veidt ensured Jacobi that his job required his power of concentration he had displayed as Moloch the Mystic, and that his task was so important that it would better the world; he also asked him to keep the arrangement between themselves.
He didn't know that Veidt introduced some errors himself to check if Moloch could detect them. He also had hid a radioactive source in his office in order to cause cancer to him. Unknown to Jacobi, he had become a pawn to Veidt's master plan to get rid of Doctor Manhattan. Veidt frequently mentioned how much he trusted Jacobi, who in turn saw him as a kind, generous savior.
In the 1980s Veidt doubled Jacobi's salary and tasked him to deliver a package of "medicinal" cigarettes to Janey Slater, which however were carcinogenic. Eventually his health started to deteriorate, vomiting, feeling tired and suffering from insomnia, headaches and diarrhea. His condition was monitored by the company's private doctor (whose license had been revoked and was given this task by Veidt). At first he only told Jacobi that he had an infection, until he defecated blood; then he revealed to him that he had prostate cancer. Veidt (always presenting himself as his savior) offered him a leave, and to cover all his medical costs. Jacobi started trying Laetrile. When Eddie Blake discovered Veidt's plan to end the Cold War, he found the list of infected people and realized that Jacobi was one of the few people he could be certain was not a part of Veidt's plan. Drunk and hysterical, Blake broke into Jacobi's home at night and told him about the list, knowing that Jacobi would not understand. The next day he reported it to Veidt, who ensured him that the Comedian was just becoming delusional, and provided Jacobi with guards to keep his place safe. It was this that prompted Veidt to kill the Comedian.
At the Comedian's funeral, he attended incognito and put some flowers on his grave. Dr. Manhattan saw him but did not realize (or care) that it was his old enemy - unlike Rorschach who was also there without his mask.
Rorschach followed him to his house and threatened him. Jacobi told Rorschach that he has cancer and the story about the mysterious visit by the Comedian shortly before his death. This was witnessed by one of the guards working for Veidt so he decided to dispose of Rorschach as well.
In October 21 Rorschach again visited Jacobi and demanded that should he have any information regarding discrediting Dr. Manhattan, to leave a note in the trashcan opposite Gunga Diner. Later that day, Rorschach saw a figure dropping a message in that trashcan and visited Jacobi's house.
Jacobi saw in television that Dr. Manhattan was accused of causing cancer to Wally Weaver, Slater and Moloch. Then Jacobi realized that the cigarettes were the real cause. That moment Veidt came to his house and explained him his plan to save the world; he then offered him the chance to save the world with his death, like Jesus did, and Jacobi accepted.
There, Rorschach found Jacobi murdered, and was framed for the crime.
- Moloch is named after an ancient Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice, through fire or war. Moloch has been featured in John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, as a symbol of sacrifice. In particular, in “Howl,” Moloch is called “the heavy judger of men.” As Watchmen progresses, we learn part of Adrian Veidt’s plot involved giving former associates of Doctor Manhattan cancer in order to compel him into exile to further Veidt's plan. Moloch is one of the victims. Ultimately, Moloch himself is a sacrifice in more ways than one, and Veidt shoots him to frame Rorschach. His death is one of the millions Veidt committed as a “judger of men.”
- In Alan Moore's original script, Edgar Jacobi's physical appearance is described as "something like William Burroughs, if you happen to know what he looks like...a sinister old junkie with a massive intellect".