"It is extremely difficult to be a white man in America right now... so I think I might try being a blue one."
Joseph "Joe" Keene Jr. was a Republican Senator from Oklahoma, running a presidential campaign against incumbent President Robert Redford while seemingly aiding the Tulsa police force's fight against the white supremacist terror group Seventh Kavalry, an offshoot of the larger order Cyclops. However, it's later revealed he is secretly the leader of the terror group who seeks to impose a new white supremacist order across the United States, and has been organizing the group's massacre of police officers as a way to push for laws protecting cops to keep his positive public image. He then seeks to kidnap Doctor Manhattan to steal his powers so that he can execute his plan to rewrite reality in order to fit his racist mindset.
Senator Keene was a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He was initially disappointed with his assignment because he hoped to be appointed to the Intelligence or Judiciary committee. As a member of the Appropriations Committee Keene was given access to a video of Adrian Veidt revealing he was responsible for the 11/2 Psychic Shockwave on November 2, 1985. Keene spent years making a pirated copy of the video which he shared with members of the Seventh Kavalry.
Keene is the true leader of the Cyclops splinter cell known as the Seventh Kavalry, using his position as an Oklahoma politician to mask his terrorist activities. He organized the Seventh Kavalry and used them to perpetrate the White Night—a massacre of off-duty police officers and their families on Christmas night. Keene gets dozens of Tulsa police killed just so he can institute a new law to protect cops and make himself look good. After discovering the presence of Dr. Manhattan, Keene has the Kavalry commit a variety of other murders and bombings, threatening the entire family of Angela Abar along the way, before capturing Manhattan and revealing his plans to drain the man's life force and powers to become a god and rewrite reality to one where white men reign supreme just to satisfy his racist, egomaniacal agenda.
When first introduced, Keene is shown to be a reasonable, kind politician with plenty of charisma, which he had learned from his father, retired politician Joseph David Keene. He showed public support for Tulsa police's war against the Seventh Kalvary, and attempted to bolster morale by spearheading the repeal of his father's Keene Act by adding an additional amendment allowing officers to wear masks and assume costumed identities.
Keene also put up a convincing facade of respect for police by showing up at the funeral of Judd Crawford, and almost seemingly surrenders himself to a Kavalry bomber that attempts to blow up the crowd, only being saved by Laurie Blake and Sister Night in the process. At first, Keene shows respect for Angela Abar.
However, his true personality is revealed when Sister Night's close colleague and friend Wade Tillman ("Looking Glass") is captured by Kavalry members and turned over to Keene, who reveals he's been behind almost all of the Kalvary's atrocities, including the White Night, the massacre of cops on Christmas Eve 2016, as well as the continued assaults against Abar and her family. A cruel sadist, he manipulates Tillman, using his troubled youth past, into removing Abar from the force to keep the Kalvary from continuing their attacks on her, allowing Keene's plans to continue unchallenged. In return, he sends the Kalvary to kill Wade in order to prevent him from revealing the truth (though Wade barely escaped the attack).
After capturing Laurie Blake, Keene shows his delusional traits by revealing his desire for god-hood, adding that he would stop at nothing to implement his bigoted worldview. Not even the fact that stealing Doctor Manhattan's powers would result in his death, thus devastating his love and companion Abar, bothered Joe.
- Master Politician: Very much like his father, Keene demonstrated an immense knowledge of politics including political policies and political campaigning well enough to be elected into the senate and pass an act that amended his father's Keene Act, allowing the police to wear masks and adopt superhero identities. Many believed he could have become president, given his charisma.
- Master Deceiver: Keene was a man of immense charisma and leadership. This allowed him to easily put on a public façade of being a benevolent, but ambitious politician all while being the malevolent, bigoted, megalomaniacal and sadistic leader of the Seventh Kavalry.
- Expert Tactician: Keene was able to successfully conspire with Judd Crawford to conduct the White Night, which resulted in him being able to pass his bill of putting police in masks which in turn played into his end goal of cementing public mistrust of the police.
- Joseph David Keene † - Father and Political Predecessor
- Republican Party
- United States Senate Appropriations Committee
- Seventh Kavalry - Subordinates
- Hector Godfrey - Supporter
- United States Government
- Robert Redford - Political Opponent
- Tulsa Police Department
- J.T. March III
- Jon Osterman/Doctor Manhattan †
- Adrian Veidt
- Laurie Blake
- Will Reeves
- Trieu Industries
- "Martial Feats of Comanche Horsemanship"
- "She Was Killed by Space Junk"
- "If You Don't Like My Story, Write Your Own"
- "Little Fear of Lightning"
- "An Almost Religious Awe"
- "See How They Fly"
Behind the Scenes