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For other versions of Jon, see Doctor Manhattan (disambiguation).

"In the end? Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends."

—Doctor Manhattan's final words to Ozymandias

Doctor Jonathan "Jon" Osterman was a nuclear physicist caught in a radioactive particle test, which transformed him into a god-like being known as Doctor Manhattan. After failing to help and abandoning Earth, he traveled to the Metaverse, where he reordered the timeline and ruined countless lives. He was convinced by Superman to restore their world and return to his home, which he saved from Armageddon, transferring his life-force to both his adopted son, Clark Dreiberg, and the planet itself.


Early Life

Watchmaker's Son

Jonathan Osterman was born on August 14, 1929 in Germany. His father, Josef, was a watchmaker, and Jon planned to follow in his footsteps. One of his first memories was when he was nine years old and his father gave him a complicated clock as a birthday present in order to teach him that time has weight and power.[1]

Escaping Germany

In 1939 the Osterman family decided to secretly leave Germany before they apprehended his Jewish mother, Inge. Jon was hidden inside a box for market goods, but before their wagon reached the border, they were stopped by Nazis. Jon's mother ran away in order to distract the soldiers from searching the wagon, giving ample time for his father to kill both of them, but she was killed in the process. He and his father reached New York and Josef worked for a watchmaker.[2]

Pursuing Nuclear Physics

Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

Young Jon Osterman

When the United States drops the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Jon is sixteen and lives with his father in Brooklyn. The summer morning after the event he was studying the pocket watch belonging to his father in their kitchen, presumably in training to take his profession. His father, confronted with the undeniable facts of the theory of relativity and the advance of military science, declares his profession outdated and throws the clocks out the windows, urging him to instead pursue a career studying atomic science.[3] The incident represents the turning point in Jon's potential future and foreshadows Doctor Manhattan's 'exterior' perception of time as predetermined and all things within it as so determined, including Doctor Manhattan's own reactions and emotions.

Princeton University

Osterman attended Princeton University from 1948-58 where he watched Albert Einstein in a lecture.[3] Always fascinated with clocks, he had the reputation among his fellow students that he was too stuffy and narrow and casually ignored him in their activities. Nonetheless, an attractive girl was interested in him and once she attempted to invite him to hike down the lake with the others, hoping to offer him a chance to be surprised by life. Jon, however, preferred to finish his job.[1] Despite his stuffiness, however, he forms friendships with several students from New Jersey.

As a PhD student, Osterman chose to do his dissertation on the neutrino theory of light involving C waves. Once completed, he submitted his doctoral dissertation to Dr. Michael Florence, the chairman of Princeton University's Department of Physics. On May 6, 1958, Osterman is informed by Florence that his dissertation was accepted by the department.

Career at Gila Flats

Osterman graduates and is awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Nuclear Physics. Upon graduating he is invited by Dr. Milton Glass, who read his doctoral thesis at Princeton, to visit the Gila Flats Test Base. Glass hired Osterman to replace Hank Meadows to come work at Gila Flats as a project researcher in the facility's Weapons Testing Center, where experiments were being performed concerning the intrinsic fields of physical objects which, if tampered with, result in their disintegration. Here he befriended Wally Weaver and met Janey Slater, a fellow researcher, who buys him a beer; they eventually become lovers.[3]

During a trip to New Jersey to see his friends in July 1959, Janey accompanies him to see her mother. She doesn't answer the phone so they spent time in the Palisades Amusement Park. Thinking they are a couple, a photographer calls them over and takes a souvenir picture. Near the shooting gallery, Janey's watchband breaks, and the watch is damaged when a fat man[4] steps on it. That night Janey's mother still doesn't answer so they spend the evening in Jon's hotel. They sit in the bed examining the broken watch promising he can fix it. Then they make love.[3]

One month later, on August 20, 1959, shortly after his thirtieth birthday, Jon plans to give Janey the repaired watch, only to discover he has left it in his lab coat which is inside the intrinsic field experiment test chamber. While Jon is inside the test chamber retrieving his coat the door closes, automatically locking as a safety feature in preparation to disintegrate test block 15. Unable to open the door or override the countdown, Osterman's colleagues - save for Janey, who cannot bear to see the last moment and flees the room - can only watch, horrified, as the countdown for the current experiment shortly reaches zero, and Jon has his 'intrinsic field' removed. Bathed in the radiant light, he is torn to pieces from the force of the generator, instantly vaporized and officially declared dead.[3]

Soon after the accident, Dr. Milton Glass attempted to reverse the intrinsic field generators in an attempt to recreate him but this failed. He then announced the news to his father. A token funeral is made in his honor and Janey put their photo behind the glass of the Bestiary.[1][3]


Jon Osterman's appearance during his transformation

The following months see a series of strange events and apparitions at the research base, leading residents to speculate the area is now haunted. It becomes plain that Jon's consciousness has survived as an electromagnetic pattern and learned to control the particles and used them to reform himself as if he reassembled a watch.[5][3] This progression being indicated by a series of partial bodily reappearances: first as a disembodied nervous system, including the brain and eyes; then as a circulatory system (November 10); then a screaming partially muscled skeleton (November 14). Each time, the appearance only lasts for a few seconds.[3]

Jon fully reappears on November 22, 1959[6] in the Gila Flats cafeteria; a whistling sound is heard, cutlery is sparkling and he appears as a tall, hairless, naked, blue-skinned figure in an ultraviolet light that caused sunburn to those present.[3]

His relationship with Janey proceeded although she felt that everything changed around them. The following Christmas she bought him a golden ring and Jon admired its molecular structure. Janey expressed her concerns and that she was scared. Jon quieted her promising that he will always love her, although he knew it would change.[3]

The next year the government entered the process in making him a costumed adventurer and prepared a suit and hat for him as well as a name reminiscent of the Manhattan Project for their enemies. Dr. Manhattan didn't like the association with the atomic symbol and rather chose to mark his forehead with the symbol of the hydrogen atom.

Effect on the Cold War

A new symbol

Jon gradually becomes a pawn of the United States government, though the means by which his loyalty is secured are never revealed; he is given the code name 'Doctor Manhattan', a reference to the Manhattan Project that, it is hoped, will defeat America's enemies. He is also provided with a costume that he begrudgingly accepts, though he refuses to accept the icon design which is provided for him (this being a stylized orbital model of the atom). Instead, Jon chooses as his emblem a representation of a hydrogen atom, whose simplicity he declares to be something that kindles his respect; accordingly, he painlessly burns the mark into his forehead.

He was filmed dismantling a rifle, destroying a Patton tank and announced in public. He was considered the "Dawn of super-hero".[7][3]

In 1960 he offered Indian president Rajendra Prasad to fix the famine problem in his country by altering the nitrogen content of India's topsoil, resulting in more fertile land, but he couldn't understand. Instead, Manhattan attended a fundraising event with other former costumed adventurers.[1] There he met aging Hollis Mason and Ozymandias, the world's smartest man, the only person he found interesting enough.[3]

Later that year, the Pentagon sent him to fight Moloch to justify his name as a "crimefighter". He entered Dante's, Moloch's vice den, and made the head of a gangster explode.[3]

Accompanied by Milton Glass, he met President John F. Kennedy in '61, who asked him how it is like to be a super-hero. Jon jokingly answered that JFK should know already. JFK had problems with Cuba but didn't ask for his help.[3]

The next year he attended a banquet in honor of Hollis Mason who decided to retire from being Nite Owl. In a private dialogue, he shares with Jon his plans to become an auto mechanic. From that he got the idea to synthesize the massive amounts of lithium required for polyacetylene batteries, allowing all motor vehicles to become electric. His actions radically altered the world economy and technology and his presence tips the balance of the Cold War in the West's favor, and the United States consequently becomes more aggressive and adventurist during this period.[3]

He predicts but "fails" to prevent the murder of President Kennedy. Around that time his relationship with Janey Slater becomes strained and they begin arguing.[8] While arguing he predicts that they will make love; moments later she receives the golden earrings Jon made for her, shaped like a hydrogen atom, quieting her anger.[3]

In 1964 he decided to change his attire and informed the Pentagon.[3][9]

Dr. Manhattan was summoned by Captain Metropolis for the first meeting of the Crimebusters superhero group and Slater came with him. Laurie Juspeczyk, the second Silk Spectre, catches his eye, something that was noticed by Janey.[10][3] Metropolis pulled lots to assign them to pairs, which further enraged Janey, blaming him for altering the result to team-up with her, although Jon claimed that in this quantum reality he was always to be paired with her.[1] This didn't stop him from patrolling with her and soon they came close. Learning this, Janey left him bitterly.[3]

A few years later his father Josef died and Manhattan decided to publish his birth name. Soon after he moved with Laurie to Washington, D.C., following the closure of Gila Flats.[3]

At President Richard Nixon's request, he brings America to victory in the Vietnam War within three months. There he meets up with the Comedian. Many Viet Cong surrendered personally to him in superstitious awe.[3] On the victory celebrations and the day Nixon arrives to Vietnam, he witnesses how the Comedian kills a Vietnamese woman he had impregnated. The Comedian noted that Dr. Manhattan is losing touch with humanity.[10]

This victory shapes the American political process, as the 22nd Amendment is repealed and Nixon is then repeatedly reelected (by 1985, he serves his fifth term). Critics, however, suggest that, far from solving the problems underlying the international tension, Doctor Manhattan's presence, in fact, exacerbates them while stifling their expression, which inevitably builds towards disaster, as Milton Glass wrote in Dr. Manhattan: Super-Powers and the Superpowers.

In 1973 he accompanied Laurie at a banquet to honor the Comedian. There she assaulted him for attempting to rape her mother. He became angry at her behavior and he teleported her home.[11]

During the 1970s there are riots against the costumed adventurers, Manhattan with Laurie attempt to quiet the unrest in Washington.[10] Laurie attempted to hold ringleaders from the crowd outside the White House. This seemed to go on too long and Manhattan teleported everyone to their homes; 2 of them died of a heart attack, although Manhattan believed that more would die during the riots. Eventually, the Keene Act passed outlawing the superheroes, but as the country's defense rested in Manhattan's hands, he continued working for the government.[3]

In 1981 he moved to the Rockefeller Military Research Center where he performed research and construction of new technology.[3] Laurie was assigned with him, who (in her mother's words) "has to get the H-bomb laid every once in a while".[10]

In the summer of 1985, he and Laurie walked to Grand Central Station and bought a Time issue celebrating Hiroshima week; the cover had a frozen wristwatch, whose arms had stopped at the same position as Janey's when her own was broken.[3]

During the execution of Adrian Veidt's plot to save the world, he fabricates evidence to make Manhattan wrongly accused of giving cancer to those exposed to him over long periods of time.

At an unknown point prior to 1985, he intervened at a government bank being robbed by Marco Maez and Erika Manson, the costumed criminals' Mime and Marionette. Mime defied Manhattan in a wordless stand-off, but before Manhattan could eviscerate him, Marionette stepped in the way, declaring he'd have to kill her first. Seeing that Marionette would have a child who would one day become very important to Laurie, though unable to work out the fine details to a strange blind spot in his vision, Manhattan quietly dropped his hand and withdrew, allowing the two to be captured by the authorities.

Events of Watchmen

Death of the Comedian

Rorschach meets a gigantic Doctor Manhattan

When the Comedian was killed, Dr. Manhattan was informed by the CIA.[3] Rorschach came to warn him and Laurie that the Comedian was dead, and all former costumed adventurers should watch out. His attitude disturbed Laurie and Jon dismissed Rorschach by teleporting him out. As he was busy locating a gluino, he allowed Laurie to go out with Dan.[12]

The Comedian's funeral

Jon attended the Comedian's funeral and reflected on their association in the Vietnam War.[10] He sensed Moloch's presence but he was not sure that he knew him once.[3]

Exiled to Mars

He appeared in Benny Anger's show where he would be interviewed. Agent Forbes briefed him on the politics of the Cold War that he might be asked upon. However, it was not what Manhattan was there for. The magazine Nova Express made an investigation about whether Dr. Manhattan caused cancer to his associates, and Doug Roth (who had previously interviewed Janey Slater) made these allegations in public; a fray erupted and the journalists came towards him asking for details concerning his relationship to Slater. Forbes attempted to guide Manhattan outside and hold off the journalists. Eventually, Manhattan teleported everyone away.[8]

Reflecting on Mars

He leaves his place for the abandoned Gila Flats and recovers the photograph with Slater. He then teleports to Mars.[8]

However, this was a frame arranged by Adrian Veidt to induce Osterman to leave, to remove his interference in his scheme to save the world. During his absence, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, bringing the world closer to a nuclear war than ever.[8][13]

Eventually, he briefly returns one hour before November 1 to bring Laurie (who, in the meantime, has taken Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl II as a new lover) to Mars, where they argue over the fate of the human race.[14] Discussing why he should do anything to aid humanity, Laurie inadvertently wins the argument when she goes through her life and realizes to her shock that her father is Comedian, a man whom she despised for sexually assaulting her mother. From that revelation, Doctor Manhattan is amazed by the improbable chances that occurred to result in the birth of Laurie, which he sees as a stunning "thermodynamic miracle." By extension, this miracle can apply to any living thing on Earth, and so Doctor Manhattan decides to return to Earth to protect humanity rather than disregarding it as insignificant.

Confronting Adrian Veidt

Although they return too late to stop Adrian Veidt's plan, they teleport to Karnak, Antarctica to confront him. Veidt hinders Doctor Manhattan with a tachyon generator that interferes with his ability to see the future and then disintegrates him by subtracting his intrinsic field. To Veidt's surprise, Manhattan restores himself much more quickly this time, but when Veidt reveals that his scheme, in which he used his alien monster to kill half of New York City, appears to have averted the looming nuclear war by frightening the world's governments into cooperation, Manhattan realizes that to expose the scheme would be too dangerous for all life on Earth. Manhattan and the other superheroes except for Rorschach agree to keep quiet to preserve Veidt's results. Rorschach leaves on his own and is murdered by Manhattan to prevent him from ever telling the truth. Manhattan does so reluctantly, at Rorschach's own insistence, who asserts that his death is the only thing that will ensure his silence. Manhattan does not mention Rorschach's death when talking to Veidt not long after, instead of telling Veidt he "does not think Rorschach will reach civilization".

Leaving Earth

Doctor Manhattan decides to depart Earth again, but suggests that he might return one day. Adrian Veidt is surprised by his decision, pointing out the apparent contradiction with Manhattan's renewed interest in human life, to which Manhattan suggests that he may "create some [human life]" in another galaxy. When Veidt asks if his plan worked out in the end, Jon Osterman smiles and enigmatically replies that "nothing ever ends," and disappears. In reality, Jon decided to broaden his range of exploration and travel to a completely different universe.

New 52

Jon observed the Flash as he attempted to restore his own universe and undo the temporal distortion caused by Flashpoint. Jon interfered with this by erasing ten years of the restored universe's timeline and in effect creating a new reality.


It was revealed that Jon's actions left the residents of Earth 0 ten years younger and caused them to lose much of their past. Jon continued to observe and experiment with this universe over time.

At one point, Jon rescued Jor-El from the destruction of Krypton, setting him up as Mister Oz to watch his son's life on Earth. Jon's intent was for Jor-El to second-guess his decision to send Kal-El to Earth.

After Owlman escaped with the Mobius Chair to the Moon, he and Metron used its power to learn the secrets of the universe, only to be incinerated by Manhattan after discovering his meddling with the timeline. Jon then imbued the Mobius Chair with a portion of his power.

The Button

When the Comedian's button appeared in the Batcave after Wally West returned to the timeline, Reverse-Flash attacked Batman in the cave and took the button. Using it as a beacon, the Reverse-Flash set out through the timestream to find its owner. After finally tracing it to a location, he sensed Jon's power upon arrival, demanding him to reveal himself. Jon then did so, frightening Reverse-Flash to the point of begging for his life. Jon then partially incinerated Thawne and transported him back to the Batcave with half his body reduced to burnt muscle and bone. Just before dying, Thawne exclaimed that he saw "God". Jon then retrieved the button from the ground where it had fallen.

Doomsday Clock

Within years after Jon's departure from his world, it had become pure chaos. Adrian Veidt became desperate and attempted to find Jon, believing only he could bring order back to the world. To this end, Veidt used quantum tunneling to follow Jon into the Flash's universe. After arriving, he discovered that Jon had teleported Eddie Blake to this universe just before he had died at Veidt's hand in their home reality. Jon is summoned by Veidt. He reveals the reason he spared Mime and Marionette was because their second child does something to impress him. He also reveals Veidt was lying about having cancer, before leaving for Mars. It is then revealed the reason he came to Prime Earth is because he saw an enraged Superman punch him and saw nothing happen afterwards. He believes Superman kills him or he destroys everything.

The energy that caused Firestorm's explosion in Moscow matched that of Dr. Manhattan which the Justice League traced to Mars. When multiple heroes from Earth, along with Firestorm arrive, he has Martian Manhunter broadcast his vision of the future where he destroys Superman or is destroyed himself. The heroes attack him but he doesn't see them as a threat, instead inquiring about the unusual properties of their universe such as the Lanterns' rings and magic. To undermine Firestorm, Jon shows Ronnie that Professor Stein meaningfully fused them together in that explosion. Captain Atom attempts to destroy Jon by unleashing his full power, but Jon rebuilds himself and completely knocks out every hero.

It was later revealed that Jon had been on Earth Prime far longer than anyone suspected. He watched as the world seemingly adjusted, changing everything around him and all of it seemingly centered around Superman. Out of curiosity, Jon messed with history, preventing Alan Scott from obtaining his Green Lantern Battery and allowing him to die. This created a timeline where superheroes came to existence much later, as the Justice Society of America never existed, and turned Superman into a more alien figure. However, he became haunted by visions of his fated encounter with Superman.

As Superman went to confront Black Adam and his entourage at the White House, Jon waited for Superman to arrive, watching as Superman crashed in front of him. Veidt reveals to Saturn Girl that Jon had revealed to him the real reason he didn't kill Mime and Marionette - because he knew that their son will grow up to be bring joy to a woman who was very important to him in the past. This was the reason Veidt had the two broken out of prison again. He realized that Jon had come to their universe to be with those similar to him: the super-heroes of whom there were many in this universe. He asked Jon for help but he refused as he thought either Superman will destroy him or he will destroy the universe. As a result, Veidt made a new plan to save both universes by making sure the League was incapacitated and Jon would confront Superman alone.

Osterman warned Superman that either he will destroy him or he will destroy everything. The potential showdown however was interrupted by a fight between metahumans from various countries. Meanwhile, Superman's wife, Lois Lane, was shown, by Lex Luthor, the exact same picture of Dr. Manhattan with Janey Slater that had been left throughout various time periods, telling her to expose it to the world that someone had altered their timeline in the past. Meanwhile, when Superman questions Jon why he isn't helping, he states he's seen the future where he won't. Questioned again, he reveals how his own world was destroyed after an opportunity at peace.

Jon reveals to Superman that he altered the past, causing his parents to die and erasing people he once knew merely out of curiosity. He then tells him to make a choice between destroying him or being destroyed, telling him that he can't see the future beyond it. Superman however chooses to protect him from Pozhar's attack. When questioned by him, Clark responds that there is a third choice. Seeing so many pictures of him and Janey he had created, Clark realizes she must have been important to him.

Superman then tells Jon that maybe he can't see the future because he might have to give everything up to save his world and he can choose it. Inspired by his words, Jon decides to undo his alterations by moving the Green Lantern back into Alan Scott's reach. This restored the JSA, the JSA in turn inspires a young Clark to become Superboy, which also inspired the Legion of Super-Heroes and ensured the survival of his parents. Jon also finds that every time the metaverse is altered, the Multiverse is expanded to preserve every world where Superman lived. He also sees the future and the forthcoming crisis as well as alterations to the timeline, realizing in the end that Superman will always guide mankind. Manhattan then summons Veidt, the Comedian, Mime and Marionette to himself. He leaves Mime and Marionette on Prime Earth, assuring they'll see their son again before leaving for 1954 where he encourages Carver Colman to come out as gay.

Jon's actions resulted in the JSA and Legion of Super-Heroes coming to Superman's rescue while also stopping the metahuman battle. Lois meanwhile is able to expose the truth of Firestorm's explosion because of Veidt. He then travels back to his world, to 1992, where Veidt's plan had been exposed and had led to a nuclear holocaust. He then travels back in time to stop the missiles, making all nuclear weapons on Earth disappear before taking away Mime and Marionette's son, realizing that he himself was the reason why he couldn't figure out the child's future completely. He raises him as his own and names him "Clark" in honor of Superman. Who showed him what it means to be a true hero.

After Clark grows up into a young kid, Jon shifts his consciousness to look to a timeline where Janey convinced him to continue enjoying lunch and not bother to retrieve her watch. As a result, he is never transformed and he and Janey marry six months later and start a family. Smiling, Jon remarks it was a nice daydream to exist in. He tells Clark to find Daniel and Laurie Dreiberg, the former Nite Owl and Silk Spectre respectively, so he would be loved and will give it back. Now that Superman had inspired him, he regretted that he couldn't be the hero people needed, transferring what remains of his powers to Clark so he would become a true hero for their Earth before he himself ceased to exist.

Dark Nights: Death Metal

It was later revealed that Doctor Manhattan tried to fix the fractures of the Multiverse, residuals of every previous crises, using his positive Connective Energy but his actions were not enough. The leftovers of his energy were gathered by the Quintessence and gifted to the Justice League to fight the mother of the Multiverse Perpetua.

The last remains of Doctor Manhattan's power, within the Mobius Chair, are absorbed by Wally West who tried to finish Jon's fixing of the Multiverse, failing because of the Batman Who Laughs' actions.



  • Connective Energy: Due to being exposed to Connective Energy, Osterman's "intrinsic field" was removed due to an accident that sent his atoms flying, leaving him with barely enough control over his DNA structure. Over time, he was able to re-evaluate his physiology and become Doctor Manhattan, a quantum being of nearly unlimited power.
    • Nigh-Omniscience: Osterman perceives time in a non-linear fashion. This means that he sees the past, present, and the future simultaneously. Likewise, he can grant others with this "atemporal" vision. While originally limited to only his perception of time, Osterman later learned to view the timelines of others, as well as possible timelines that never happened. He was able to see the entire timeline of the metaverse when reconstructing the changes he made to it.[10] However, this power can be blocked by tachyons, restricting him to only the present as the only facet of time that he can see and actively experience, blocking his atemporal vision from probing far enough to perceive the future.[12]
      • Precognition: Due to his ability to see the past, present, and future simultaneously, Osterman is able to look into the future of his own timeline, or any timeline he wishes.[10]
      • Retrocognition: Due to his ability to see the past, present, and future simultaneously, Osterman can see past timelines that were erased or altered.[10]
      • Time-Travel: Due to his ability to view the timestream from a third person perspective, Osterman is capable of traveling throughout the timeline at will.[13] He can also pull others through time along with him.[7] By altering the outcomes of certain events while travelling throughout time, Jon can create new timelines that splinter reality in both past and future.[14]
    • Bio-Fission: Osterman is able to split and replicate himself. He is capable of dividing his quantum consciousness among other separate physical forms resembling his physical appearance.
      • Bio-Fusion: Likewise with his Bio-Fission ability, Osterman can bring his sentient copies back into his body without any adverse side effects.
    • Cosmic Awareness: Osterman possesses an understanding of the workings of the universe on a cosmic scale, and has the ability to oversee other universes as he wishes.
    • Dimensional Travel: Osterman is able to travel to other realities at will.
    • Electrokinesis: Osterman can generate sparks of electrical energy from his body, as well as from the objects he telekinetically levitates.
    • Elemental Control: Osterman is capable of manipulating elements at will. He was capable of creating an oxygen aura around Laurie Juspeczyk when he brought her to Mars.[15] He was also able to instantly create water.
    • Enhanced Intellect: Osterman's mind is far more enhanced than that of a normal human. He has perceived events so tiny and so fast they can hardly be said to have occurred at all.
    • Enhanced Senses: Osterman's senses are far acuter than any normal human. He has been able to sense the heartbeat of a child inside of an unnoticeably pregnant woman.
      • Enhanced Hearing:
      • Enhanced Vision: Osterman states he is able to read atoms.
    • Energy Construct Creation: Osterman can create and manipulate various energies in a manner that creates matter from virtually nothing. It is unknown whether some of the creations he made were the manipulation of matter, molecules, or entirely quantum energy constructs. Osterman is also seemingly able to create life with his own power, as displayed when he used his energy to accelerate evolution on an uninhabited planet as an experiment.
    • Energy Projection: Osterman is able to manipulate multiple forms of energy with precision. He is able to cause massive explosions at will.
    • Flight: Manhattan is not restrained by basic physical laws and can levitate and fly at will.
    • Force Field: Osterman is capable of projecting powerful force-fields.
    • Immortality: Never seeming to age, Osterman never appears any older both physically and mentally after his accident. He stated that the world grew older around him.
    • Intangibility: Bullets and blows travel through Osterman ; as such, he can allow all objects to pass through him without so much as a reaction. He can extend this ability to other people and objects. His intangibility coincides with his ability to phase through matter, allowing him to pass through solid substances without any considerable difficulty or loss of control. His intangibility has no specific emphasized drawbacks.
      • Phasing: Osterman is capable of phasing his body through solid matter.
    • Invulnerability: Osterman possesses incredible durability and is practically invulnerable to any physical harm. His durability has allowed him to walk across the sun unharmed.
    • Molecular Reconstruction: Osterman was able to restructure himself after the removal of his intrinsic field. Osterman is not limited to using this reconstruction power only on himself. He has taken apart most inanimate objects and even taken apart human beings as well as reconstructing Martian sand into large glass structures. He was also able to instantly transform water into milk.
      • Disintegration: Osterman is capable of using his power to completely disintegrate human beings,
      • Regeneration: Osterman can regenerate his entire body from total disintegration (down to the sub-atomic level), endlessly, as long as his consciousness survives.[18] He was also able to instantly recover from a snapped neck.
    • Photokinesis: Osterman can shift the color frequencies of the light around him in order to hide his true appearance and make himself appear as he wishes others to see him.[8]
    • Power Distribution: Osterman was capable of transferring his power to Cal Abar.
    • Radiation Production: Osterman's body emits some level of ultraviolet radiation.
      • Thermokinesis: When Osterman restructured his body, he produced great amounts of heat from his body's ultraviolet radiation. It was great enough to give nearby people sunburns.
    • Reality Alteration: Osterman can create new universes with even the most casual act, as well as destroy them.
    • Self-Sustenance: Osterman doesn't require food, sleep, or oxygen to survive.
    • Size Alteration: Able to grow or shrink incredibly fast without a seeming limit, Osterman displayed great abilities and focus while at these sizes without a loss of control in any fashion.
    • Superhuman Strength: While in microscopic size, superhuman heights or in a seemingly normal form, he displayed great physical strength such as hurling tanks, lifting planetary structures, and heaving delicate technological equipment about.
    • Telekinesis: Osterman is capable of manipulating the movement of objects with his mind.[20] He could also use this ability to cause a person's head to forcefully explode.
    • Teleportation: By warping space around him, Osterman can teleport himself and others at will. Osterman had teleported huge and small objects, people and animals alike.


Veidt correctly assumed tachyons; a large burst of them can slow his ability to see the future to a moderate extent, but still, his telekinetic powers were unaffected. (Note: tachyons exist only in theoretical physics)

Although it was not seen in practice, Dr. Manhattan surmised that an EM pulse would cause such "static" that obscures the future, hinting at another possible weakness.[11]

Character gallery


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #01
  2. Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #03
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 Chapter IV: Watchmaker
  4. Moore admitted in Comics Interview #65 that this was deliberate; note that it parallels his father's destroying the watch in the aftermath of Hiroshima!
  5. Chapter XII
  6. Exactly 4 years before JFK's assassination.
  7. Under the Hood: Chapter V
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Chapter III
  9. This marks Jon's declining humanity, which is progressively mirrored by his gradual shedding of the uniform - by the end of the 1970s, he refuses to wear anything at all except for mandatory public appearances.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Chapter II
  11. 11.0 11.1 Chapter IX
  12. Chapter I
  13. Chapter V
  14. Chapter VIII
  • The Art of Brian Bolland (326 pages, Image Comics, November 2006, ISBN 1582406030)
  • David Anthony Kraft's Comics Interview #65, 1988, interview with Moore and Gibbons (by Chris Sharrett)