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Joseph David Keene Sr. was a former United States Senator of Oklahoma and author of the Keene Act which made masked vigilantism illegal and regulated the use of masks in law enforcement. Keene was also a senior leader of the white supremacist organization known as Cyclops.


Political Career

House UnAmerican Activities Committee

Joseph David Keene, a junior congressman, joined the House Un-American 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.

Becoming a Senator

In 1954, Keene ran as a Republican for the U.S. Senate as part of the "Calvary Wave" of anti-communist freshman lawmakers. War hero and former Minutemen member, Eddie Blake campaigned for Keene and is victorious; he becomes senator of the state of Oklahoma.

Joining Cyclops

At some point, Senator Keene joined the Cyclops, a secret white supremacist organization dedicated to restoring "racial balance" in America. In May 31, 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 Un-American Activities Committee.[2]

On June 2, 1955, under the orders of the Cyclops, Keene 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 with the talents of their adversaries, and double down on them.

Keene Act

In 1977 Keene proposed an emergency bill to respond against costumed vigilantism. That same year, he tabled the Keene Act, which would ban costumed crimefighters except for those sanctioned by the government.[3][4] During this time, riots were occurring throughout the country due to the police strikes, most notably in Washington, D.C. and New York City. When asked to respond to the Bronx riot that was recklessly quelled by the Comedian and Nite Owl II, Keene responded stating that "the use of excessive force by the so-called heroes only provides further evidence of their lawlessness."[3][5]

Meeting Judd Crawford

When Judd Crawford, the grandson of Keene's friend Dale Dixon Crawford, joined the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department, he worked on Keene's security detail. During this time he befriended his son, Joe Keene, and became close family friends.


Keene later retired while his son and political successor, Joe Keene, would author the Defense of Police Act, an emergency amendment added to the Keene Act that would protect the identities of law enforcement by making masks a requirement for officers.

Conspiracy in Tulsa

Cyclops' Master Manhattan Plan

In 2019 Keene Sr., along with several high-ranking members of Cyclops, arrived at Seventh Kavalry 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 takes notice and tells her captor that she would have never pegged Keene Sr. as a secret racist. During the attack at Angela Abar's home, Manhattan is trapped. Keene Jr. explains to the gathered audience about Cyclops' original long-term plan of revolting against President Robert 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.

Lady Trieu’s Secret Plan

Angela Abar shows up to try to stop the event, but Joe Keene Jr. ignores her warning and enters 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 along with the other Cyclops and Seventh Kalvary members on behalf of Will Reeves.[6]





  • It is possible that Joseph David Keene is supposed to be based on David Keene, Spiro Agnew's adviser during the Nixon administration.
  • Keene's given name is not formalized in the original source material, however, supplemental material from the HBO series reveals his name to be J. David Keene which is a compromise with the 2009 film material persona, "John David Keene". In episode three, his full name is revealed to be "Joseph David Keene Sr.", which makes sense since his son's name is Joseph “Joe” Keene, Jr..[7]