Joseph David Keene Sr. was a former U.S. Senator of Oklahoma and author of the Keene Act which made masked vigilantism illegal and regulated the use of masks in law enforcement.


Early life

Joseph David Keene was born in 1930 in Oklahoma. From an early age, he demonstrated an aptitude for public speaking. He studied Political Science at Yale University, and from there he decided to pursue a career in politics.

Political Career

Becoming a Congressman

In his early twenties, Keene ran for Congress. War hero and former Minutemen member, Eddie Blake campaigns for Keene and is victorious; he becomes a congressman of the state of Oklahoma.

House UnAmerican Activities Committee

Keene 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.

Joining Cyclops

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 Un-American Activities Committee.[2] 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 with the talents of their adversaries, and double down on them.[3]

Keene Act

At some point, Keene was elected as a Republican senator of Oklahoma and in 1977 he proposed an emergency bill to respond against costumed vigilantism. That same year, he tabled the infamous Keene Act, which would ban costumed crimefighters except for those sanctioned by the government.[4][5] 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."[4][6]

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 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 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 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

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.[7]


Physical Appearance






  • 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..[8]



ve Watchmen characters
Costumed adventurers
Minutemen Captain MetropolisHooded JusticeNite Owl IThe ComedianSilk Spectre IDollar BillMothmanSilhouette
Crimebusters Captain MetropolisDoctor ManhattanRorschachThe ComedianOzymandiasNite Owl IISilk Spectre II
Tulsa PD masks Sister NightLooking GlassPandaPirate JennyRed Scare
Other vigilantes Reggie Long
Criminals & villains
Costumed villains Captain AxisCaptain CarnageClaude BokeMoloch the MysticErika MansonJimmy the GimmickKing MobKing of SkinLiquidatorMarco MaezScreaming SkullSpacemanTwilight Lady
Knot Tops AlineLawrenceRoxi
Seventh Kalvary CarmichaelThe SuspectRenee
Cyclops Judd CrawfordJane CrawfordJoe KeeneJohn David Keene
Criminals Big FigureDerfGeorge PatersonGerald Anthony GriceHarvey Charles FurnissMichaelOtisRolf MüllerRoy Victor ChessUnderboss
Government & law enforcement
Politicians Alexander HaigJane CrawfordJoe KeeneJohn David Keene
New York PD CapaldiFrancis GiancarloGreavesHollis MasonJoe BourquinSamuel J. BattleShawSteven FineWillis
Tulsa PD Charlie SuttonJudd Crawford
FBI Dale PeteyKaufaxLaurie JuspeczykLuxem
Military ForbesGregHoldenJ. SandersonPetermanPiercePitch
Other Anthony RandolphMulhearneyWilliam Parker
Partners & family of masked adventurers

Adrian Veidt: Ingrid Renata Veidt
Angela Abar: Calvin AbarEmma AbarTopher AbarMarcus AbarRuth RobesonO.B. Williams
Eddie Blake: Vietnamese woman
Hollis Mason: Hollis Wordsworth MasonLiantha Mason
Jon Osterman: Inge Osterman
Laurie Juspeczyk/Sally Jupiter: BellaLaurence Schexnayder
Nelson Gardner: Norbert Veldon
Reggie Long: Gloria LongMalcolm Long
Ursula Zandt: BlancheGretchen
Walter Kovacs: Peter Joseph KovacsSylvia Kovacs

Notable others BernardBernieLady TrieuWill ReevesMs. CrookshanksMr. Phillips
Journalists Alan MorganAlain GuillonAlan MorganDoug RothHector GodfreyJim WeissMike GreenvilleSeymour DavidTed KoppelTed PhilipsTina PriceWilliam F. Buckley Jr.Zelda
Scientists Ed CoreyWhittaker FurnesseJaney SlaterJon OstermanMilton GlassTungrenWally Weaver
Artists Hira ManishJoe OrlandoLinette PaleyMax SheaNorman LeithVargaWalt Feinberg
Writers DeniseHal EisnerJames Trafford March
Celebrities Edmund TaylorIrwinJanet SmithJeremy MillerRed D'Eath
Others Abie, Howe, Cheatem and DeweyAngela NeubergBellaBlair RocheCarol-AnneChuckDavidDexter RedbackDolores ShairpFantasticoGordian Knot manHappy HarryJacobJimmyJoeyLeo WinstonMarieMarlaMoe VernonMrs. HirschMrs. MusanteMusanteOscar HuberRandyRichardsonRobert DeschainesRosaSheilaSteveTinoTino Musante Jr.Watch seller
Based on real world persons
Politicians Dwight D. EisenhowerRobert RedfordFranklin D. RooseveltGerald R. FordHarry S. TrumanHenry KissingerJ. Edgar HooverJohn F. KennedyLyndon B. JohnsonRichard M. NixonRobert F. Kennedy
Others Eleanor CliftG. Gordon LiddyJackie KennedyKitty GenoveseSam GiancanaLee IacoccaPat BuchananRamses II
Celebrities Cassius ClayJohn McLaughlin
Animals & creatures
Alien MonsterBubastisFred and BarneyPhantom
DC Rebirth crossover characters
BatmanJohnny ThunderSuperman
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