Early life Edit
J. David Keene was born in 1930 in Greenwich Village. From an early age, he demonstrated an aptitude for public speaking, delivering his first speech at age twelve while attending Hunter College High School. From there he studied Political Science at Yale University for seven years.
Political Career Edit
Becoming a Congressman Edit
House UnAmerican Activities Committee Edit
In 1952, Keene joined the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and with the help of the Comedian, he rounded up several costumed adventurers and forced them to reveal their identities to the government.
Joining Cyclops Edit
At some point, Keene joined the Cyclops, a secret white supremacist organization dedicated to restoring "racial balance" in America. In May 1955 during a white-tie fundraising event at the home of Tulsa sheriff Dale Dixon Crawford Keene publicly rebuked Hooded Justice for refusing to reveal his identity to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. On June 2, 1955, under the orders of the Cyclops, the junior congressman gave Sheriff Crawford a George Caitlin replica painting called Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship as a gift and wrote a letter to him explaining that the painting is a reminder for him to never betray his birthright, always remain hopeful even when misfortune arises, and to execute his duties as sheriff of Tulsa P.D. with the talents of their adversaries, and double down on them.
Keene Act Edit
In 1972 he was elected as a Republican senator of New York and in 1976 he allied himself with the New York Police Officer's Union on protesting at the liberties taken by the masked adventurers. In 1977, the following year, he tabled the infamous Keene Act, which banned costumed crimefighters except for those sanctioned by the government.
He later retired and his son, Joe Keene, would author the Defense of Police Act, an emergency amendment to the Keene Act that would protect the identities of law enforcement by making masks a requirement for officers.
Conspiracy in Tulsa Edit
Cyclops' Master Manhattan Plan Edit
In 2019 Keene Sr., along with several high-ranking members of Cyclops, arrived at Seventh Kalvary headquarters to bear witness the capture and extraction of Doctor Manhattan's powers. As he greeted his son, Joe Keene, with the symbol of the Cyclops, Laurie Blake tells her captor that she would have never pegged Keene Sr. as a secret racist. As the attack at Angela Abar's house commences, Manhattan is trapped. Keene Jr. explains to the gathered audience about Cyclops' original long-term plan of revolting against President Redford by arranging racially-charged events like the White Night, but after discovering Manhattan's presence on Earth they changed their plans to take Manhattan's powers instead. Angela shows up to try to stop the event, but Keene Jr. ignores her warning.
Lady Trieu’s Secret Plan Edit
Joe Keene entered the booth, but just as the system is activated, the entire area is teleported to Greenwood by Lady Trieu. Trieu explained that she needed the Seventh Kavalry to capture Doctor Manhattan without them detecting her own involvement. Due to the Kavalry's lack of knowledge regarding safety measures, Keene Jr. is liquefied during the process much to everyone's horror including Keene Sr. himself. Trieu then proceeds to kill Keene Sr. along with the other Cyclops and Seventh Kalvary members on behalf of Will Reeves.
"Give the American people uniforms over costumes."
—Senator J. David Keene
"If they [costumed vigilantes] have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear. So why do they hide?"
—Senator J. David Keene
- Chapter IV: Watchmaker (mentioned)
- Watchmen (film) (viral marketing)
- Watchmen (TV series)
- Other than the "Keene Act", nothing else is mentioned about Keene in the original novel, not even his first name, so no identification is certain. It is possible that Senator Keene is supposed to be based on David Keene, Spiro Agnew's adviser during the Nixon administration.
- Louise Easton wrote an article about him in the Political Gazette.
- The persona of "John David Keene" was invented for the viral marketing surrounding the live action film adaptation of Watchmen.
- His given name is not formalized by any original source but related material from the HBO show reveals his name to be J. David Keene which is a compromise with the film material persona. He could be named ‘Joseph’ since his son's name is Joseph “Joe” Keene, Jr.