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Ursula Zandt, also known as The Silhouette, was the first female costumed adventurer and a former member of the Minutemen.

BiographyEdit

Little ursula

Ursula Zandt was born in Austria on September 4, 1917 to a wealthy aristocratic Jewish family. She and her family left Austria after it was taken over by the Nazis. She lived in the Austrian town of Linz where she lost most of her family.[1] Growing up in a Nazi-overrun orphanage with her young sister Blanche she was aided by the orphanage's pharmacist Gretchen. Ursula held Blanche close to her, reading her verses from A Child's Garden Verses. Despite understanding their grave situation, Ursula tried to cheer her up.[2]

She started loving Ursula and started planning the escape of the siblings, but Blanche was taken into a sealed-off room. Ursula poisoned and killed the guards and entered the room to find her sister, brutally tortured and eventually murdered by a mysterious man in a black mask. Gretchen saved her life by shooting the man down, and the two fled to the United States to begin a new life and became lovers. This traumatic experience would set the course for Zandt's crimefighting career under the pseudonym "The Silhouette".[2]

In 1939, the Silhouette made the headlines after exposing a crooked publisher who was trafficking child pornography,[1] as told in Hollis Mason's book Under the Hood. The article stated that she gave a punitive beating to the entrepreneur and his two lead cameramen.[3] She then went on to hunt down the child trafficking industry. She ran after two kidnappers who were carrying a boy inside a rolled carpet in Chinatown. Silhouette made a public appearance in Vogue.[4]

As Gretchen was dabbling in the new science of psychotherapy, Ursula used to record hours of narration about her life in audio tapes.[5]

Later that year she read the ad in the Gazette asking for other masked adventurers to step forward, and joined the Minutemen shortly after.

She questioned Larry Schexnayder and Captain Metropolis's interest in image and publicity rather than essence; she proposed to hunt down the child trafficking ring, but Larry found it a "sad" case, while they should be after crime bosses. This forced Zandt to continue investigating alone. Leaving after a Minutemen meeting she was joined by Hollis Mason (who wanted to know her better) and Mothman to investigate the disappearance of a boy from the Midway.[1] Hollis went on in helping her when not working for the Police or the Minutemen and managed to establish a strong relationship with her. Despite their "rules", he decided to reveal his full name and job, and gave her the number of his call box.[6]

Rescue

Saving Ursula.

In one of her endeavors, Ursula entered a movie theater where high-class men were watching child pornography. She managed to rescue a girl but she fell in her darker side and wanted to kill everyone there. She took the girl and attempted to leave, but she was shot, and the girl was killed. She called Mason and made her way to a church. Mason deserted his beat, hot-wired a car and drove her to her doctor, who was actually her girlfriend, Gretchen.[6]

Expulsion and deathEdit

NYPD incident report

NYPD incident report for the murder of Ursula Zandt (AKA The Silhouette) and her lover, Gretchen – November 12th 1946.

In 1946, the press revealed that she was living with another woman in a lesbian relationship.[2][7]

Laurence Schexnayder persuaded the group to expel her to minimize the P.R. damage. She was voted out 4 to 2 (even Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis voted against). Hollis announced to her their decision but they would continue to work together. She handed him a file with murdered kids to look up in the police files. Two weeks later Hollis sent her what he could gather. She left with Gretchen for a Motel in Marina Bay and announced to Hollis she would return with the results of her investigation.[2] She had found some leads and suspected Rolf Müller, a circus strongman.[8]

Six weeks later, she and Gretchen were found murdered by the Liquidator in a brutal vengeance killing in that motel. When the Minutemen learned that the Liquidator was back in New York, Sally Jupiter herself broke into his hideout and killed him. Byron Lewis arranged for them unmarked graves so that they wouldn't be defiled by haters. Sally and even Eddie Blake paid their respects.[2]

Nite Owl and Mothman continued her work, while the Comedian went to Boston and investigated the effect found on her and found her leads to Meuller. Meanwhile, he made Nite Owl suspect Hooded Justice, leading to latter's death.[8]

Rorschach added in his journal that she 'retired in disgrace, murdered by a minor adversary seeking revenge.'[9]

In the 2009 film adaptation, it is implied that Zandt's murder was a hate crime, as the two women were found in a morbid, bloody embrace, and the words "Lesbian Whores" were written on the wall in their blood.

AppearanceEdit

She wore black pants, heels, and a black top, as well her hair was just as black, but she wore a red belt that showed brightly beneath her shirt. She was notably never seen without a cigarette.

In the Before Watchmen prequel, her attire is quite unlike what is seen in her few appearances in Watchmen: She wore a fedora hat, occasionally a coat, and was armed with two pistols.

CharacterEdit

Hollis Mason believed that she was one of the few who wanted to do something meaningful. Her experiences gave her courage and strength not expected from women of her small stature, causing many to underestimate her.[4]

Induced from Sally Jupiter's comment much later, it appears that she never told the group her real name, it was only revealed to the press after her death. As a Jew, she was greatly bothered by Hooded Justice's pro-Hitler stance, but Laurence Schexnayder managed to sweep the incident under the rug.

In an interview with Probe, Sally Jupiter admitted that she didn't like Ursula as a person, and she wasn't easy to get along with. Even though she had voted to expel her along with everybody else, she reflects that they shouldn't have done that because it wasn't fair or honest since she wasn't the only gay person in the group, yet they threw her out just the same.[10]

AppearancesEdit

References


NavigationEdit

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

Civilians
Notable others BernardBernieLady TrieuWill ReevesBianMs. 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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