Edward Blake: 1924 - 1977
The Comedian was born in 1924 as Edward Morgan Blake in Smallville, Kansas. He was the son of John and Laura Blake, and their second son. He was born several minutes after his twin sister, Zinda. He had a rather normal life until at age twelve when his uncle (John's brother) suffered a heart attack. John Jr and Edward were sent to the East Coast to help their uncle's family get through the hardship. According to Edward's juvenile case file, this is where he experienced several traumatic events, not only bullied by his older brother and the fellow dockworkers they worked with to help support their uncle's family, but also having been witness to a mob killing of two cops. In less than a year, Eddie had ran away from his older brother's care and taken to living on the streets. When he was 15 he was arrested by the New York Juvenile Correctional Services but quickly escaped.
Somewhere along the line, Blake found employment as a busboy at a comedy club and was even allowed to sleep in the backroom during the day when business was closed. It was here that he first heard of these costumed adventurers and tried his hand at it, mostly as he thought it would be "fun" to beat up people. Hollis Mason would later describe Eddie as a 'particularly vicious and brutal young man' who was an effective vigilante, managing to expunge most organized crime from the New York harbor. In one of those exploits, he beat every thug in The Bloody Ear down with a baseball bat.
In the fall of 1939, Blake read an advertisement in the New York Gazette written by Nelson Gardner with the help of Laurence Schexnayder that asked all other masked adventurers to step forward. What resulted was a unification that led to the forming of the Minutemen. Since he was the youngest member of the group, he had always made jokes that he was going to outlive and even bury all of them, as well as always having been flirtatious with fellow Minuteman Silk Spectre, despite his age difference. Blake soon quit his job as a busboy in order to live in his Comedian persona full-time. Nite Owl suspected Blake of salvaging money from all the criminals he was beating.
After a photoshoot in 1940, to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Minutemen's founding, Blake came on to Sally Jupiter. The two had a long-standing flirtatious relationship, mostly due to Sally playing up her Silk Spectre persona and Eddie having some sort of Freudian attraction to her after learning of her Polish heritage (Blake's mother was a Polish immigrant). Sally was only three years older than Blake, but she felt that he was still too young for her. Blake thought she was being hard to get so after the photoshoot, he followed her as she stepped into another room to change. He again came on to her, this time forcibly. As she exclaimed 'no' to his sexual advances, he persisted and she clawed his face. Enraged, Blake punched her in the stomach and then further struck her in the face until blood was spilling from her mouth. He continued to beat her until she was barely able to move. Hooded Justice interrupted the assault and caught Blake with his pants down over Sally's semi-conscious body. Hooded Justice savagely attacked Blake, breaking his nose and several ribs. Yet Blake only laughed and cracked taunting jokes. At some point, Hooded Justice realized that Blake was still just a kid and instead tossed him out of the room.
While Blake and Sally were both hospitalized for their injuries, Sally's agent, Laurence Schexnayder, persuaded her not to press charges against Blake for fear of what it would do to the group's image. Still, at Sally's insistence, Blake was quietly expelled from the team. Without other prospects, Blake continued to practice his profession on his own, although his self-restraint slipped more and more. A year later, Blake was stabbed by a small-time hoodlum and was seriously injured. Due to this injury, he decided to upgrade his costume into a darker, armored uniform for his own protection. He also began carrying a pistol. It was around this time that he was also recruited by an agent of the American government and offered a chance to serve his country.
Blake underwent training in counterintelligence, sabotage, survival, advanced combat, and was then assigned to the Pacific Theatre. Although he had no rank, the Comedian was put in charge of a squad of soldiers and was considered to be in command. His first mission was to map Japanese caves to be demolished. They were ambushed by a sniper and fled straight into a minefield. Six of his team were killed and a shockwave from one blast launched Blake into a tree, causing him to blackout. Thought dead by the survivors, Blake was rescued by a native mother and her child. They tended his wounds and Blake was able to return to base.
Upon his return, Blake heard the battalion commander ordered the artillery to raze the area. Blake told him about the native woman and child, but his pleas were ignored. Blake charged back in, attempting to return to the cave where the natives lived in order to rescue the woman and child, but he was too late. The woman emerged mutilated from the artillery fire just as Blake arrived. Teary-eyed, Blake shot her dead as a mercy. The next morning, the camp woke up to find the battalion commander's throat had been slit in his sleep with a Japanese bayonet. Blake heard the news, smiled, and went back to bed. During his remaining years in the Pacific, Blake became a hero, and later established a friendship with a PT Boat Commander by the name of Lt. Kennedy.
In 1945, Blake was court-martialed for killing 7 Japanese POWs on a bet, claiming he could shoot them all with 8 bullets at 50 paces. The charges were dismissed due to lack of evidence but by this time the war was over.
In late 1946, after the death of Ursula Zandt, Eddie went to the graveyard to pay his respects. There he met Sally Jupiter and persuaded her that they should talk. The two had coffee and Eddie mostly talked about his war-time experiences and Sally talked about the circumstances of Ursula's expulsion from the Minutemen and her murder. The two decided to reconcile their troubled past by hunting down the Liquidator, an anti-Semitic serial killer. While history records that it was Captain Metropolis and Hooded Justice that found Liquidator in 47, he was already dead when they tracked him down. The corpse was found in a bathtub in an otherwise spotless motel room. Sally retired from the Silk Spectre persona that same week.
A year after the retirement of Sally, Eddie and Sally met for drinks to toast a "job well done."
Following the disappearance of Blake's sister Zinda, Blake became newly invested in his resolve to fight crime. This may have been the only time that the Comedian became a true 'hero.' His former peers became somewhat obscure, but Blake flourished as the only masked adventurer left still making headlines due to his government connections. He was transformed into a sort of patriotic symbol of American justice. During the HUAC hearings, Blake was the only vigilante not forced to testify, likely also because of his involvement with the government. During these HUAC hearings, Hooded Justice went into hiding. J. Edgar Hoover ordered an FBI-wide investigation to find him. The Comedian stalked Nite Owl and Mothman, discovering their secret base, where they were researching Ursula Zandt's audio tapes. He then moved to Boston, where she was murdered, and researched the Evidence Office for case files found on her, and got a lead to circus strongman Rolf Müller, whom Zandt had suspected to be Hooded Justice. We know Blake went to Rolf's trailer at Big Top Circus but we do not know for certain that he found Rolf there (Rolf would later turn up strangled and with a bullet through the head three months later, washed up in Boston Harbor). Later evidence would reveal that Rolf was a serial killer and was not believed to have been Hooded Justice. Blake ultimately reported to his superiors that he had been unable to find Hooded Justice.
In the late '50s a new vigilante, Ozymandias, attempted to discover Hooded Justice's whereabouts and followed the traces of the Comedian for clues. The Comedian caught wind of this and found Ozymandias snooping around the docks where Rolf Müller had washed up. Comedian told the youngster not to bother looking into this case, but he still stuck around to humor the youngster's questions. When the Comedian had enough fun, he turned to leave. Ozymandias insisted the interrogation was not over and a fight ensued. The Comedian showed the young genius that experience accounts for something, and left Ozymandias with a few broken ribs to remind him to respect his elders.
In 1960, Blake and other former Minutemen attended a Red Cross charity event for the India Famine along with other new heroes, like Dr. Manhattan. He spoke a little with a very troubled Captain Metropolis. It was the second time he met Ozymandias, who actively avoided him.
In 1962, Blake broke into Hollis Mason's house and woke him up by playing a music record. He informed him that Hoover was not happy with the book he was writing.
Throughout the 50s and 60s, Blake continued to enjoy a close relationship with the Kennedy family. The Comedian is rumored to have regarded Bob Kennedy as much more of an effective crimefighter than himself. I have uncovered circumstantial evidence that may suggest that Blake was involved in the barbiturate overdose of one of JFK's mistresses after Jackie Kennedy confided her frustrations with a "drug-addled peroxide whore" to Blake. After losing a bet with JFK, Blake was to join the president on a trip to Dallas to buy him a steak dinner. However, an assassin killed the president that very same day. I suspect Blake may have been that assassin as Blake was not part of the detail at the time of the shooting.
Perhaps tired of American politics or upset over the death of his friend, Blake requested permission from the new president to travel to Vietnam to act as an adviser to the soldiers. Shortly after his arrival, Blake led a direct approach (for the first time in the war) and attacked a band of Vietnamese soldiers, slaughtering the last of them with his military knife. For this action, he was called back Stateside but no official charges were brought against him.
While in San Francisco going through that court martial, Blake overheard some goons discussing a costumed crimefighter dressed in yellow and black that had roughed them up. Blake called up Sally and learned that Laurie had ran away. Sally told Blake not to get involved, but he hung up the phone rather than listen to her pleas. When Blake found Laurie's boyfriend admitted into the hospital, Blake paid him a visit and convinced him it was in his best interest to join the Army and leave Laurie alone. Blake even made sure the kid got on the bus bound for boot camp.
When Blake went back to the bar to call Sally from a payphone, he heard the same goons before discussing how the Chairman had learned Laurie's identity and was going to make an example out of her. Blake killed those goons right there and ran into the street, hijacking a bus and driving to the house Laurie and her boyfriend had been renting. He was too late to save Laurie from most of the assault, but arrived just in time to make sure the Chairman never bothered Laurie again. Blake gave the Chairman a high-speed getaway on the bus' grill for several blocks before dropping him off in the side of a house. Before Laurie could investigate, Blake put the unconscious driver back in his seat and fled the scene.
Invited to join the Crimebusters by Captain Metropolis, Blake returned to New York City. It was here that the Comedian argued with Captain Metropolis, Doctor Manhattan, and Ozymandias about the futility of such teams. Nevertheless, though he mocked it and agitated almost everyone present (Rorschach was moderately impressed by the Comedian's perspective), Blake decided he'd stick around for a bit and see if this team would be different. After the initial meeting, Blake met Laurie Juspeczyk, now the new Silk Spectre, and asked her if her mother ever talked about him. Their conversation was quickly broken up by an angry Sally Jupiter. The Comedian seemed genuinely perplexed that Sally was still holding a grudge against him, saying he thought they had settled their differences. Laurie would later note that the Comedian looked sad as he watched her and her mother drive away and remembered feeling sorry for him at the time. That would be the last time she felt sympathy for him for a number of years.
Soon after the disbanding of the Crimebusters, Blake went back to find work for the government but found himself rejected by the administration. Shortly after his rejection, Robert Kennedy, Blake's once friend, was assassinated. Later documents connected to Richard Nixon would reveal that Blake had done this on orders of then former Vice President Richard Nixon as part of an agreement to "prove his loyalty" to Nixon who was running a campaign for the Oval Office. Soon after Nixon took office, Blake was then dispatched to Saigon. Where he was partnered with his former Crimebuster comrade Dr. Manhattan who had joined the effort at Nixon's command. Together they played a major role in the United States' war with Vietnam. Shortly after Manhattan's godlike powers forced the North Vietnamese into full surrender, Blake was confronted by a Vietnamese woman he had impregnated. He told her bluntly that he planned to leave the country immediately without her, and in a rage, she slashed his face with a broken bottle. Blake shot and killed her, despite Manhattan's protest. Once again, Blake was court-martialed for the incident but the charges were dropped for lack of evidence.
In 1974, Blake killed two reporters before they could reveal the details of the Watergate scandal. He also killed an FBI agent who had made contact with them, divulging information on Nixon. As news broke on the deaths, Blake was at a banquet where Manhattan and Laurie Juspeczyk were also in attendance. Blake had drank too much that night, leading to Laurie confronting him and calling him a rapist. Startled into silence, Blake didn't defend himself as Laurie then threw her drink in his face and began to pummel him before Manhattan teleported her home.
In 1976, the Daily Planet divulged the details of the Watergate murders in an article written by Perry White. Richard Nixon committed suicide in the Oval Office rather than face the consequences of his illegal activities. Blake cut a deal with a shadow agency to keep his involvement from coming to light for the time being until an official pardon could be arranged.
During the police strikes of 1977, Comedian teamed up with his former Watchmen comrades to quiet the unrest. Specifically, the Comedian teamed up with Nite Owl II in his Owlship. During that time, Nite Owl reminisced that the Comedian mistook the Owlship's flamethrower for a lighter and almost caused a disaster. During one particular outing, the Comedian responded violently to protesters, throwing a grenade into a crowd, driving the crowd away scared. He also began shooting anyone who was so much as painting a graffiti against the vigilantes. He explained to Nite Owl that his political connections have informed him there was an Act in the making, looking to do away with the likes of the Watchmen, but until then the adventurers must protect the people "from themselves."
Whether it was in response to those events or actually already in the works as the Comedian told Nite Owl, the Congress passed the Keene Act that summer, requiring all heroes to register with the government if they wished to remain active. The majority of them "retired" in anonymity, while one other, Rorschach, continued his activities in open defiance of the law. Silk Spectre, Doctor Manhattan, and Comedian were the only ones who registered with the government.
The Comedian: 1977 - 1987
- Hand-to-Hand Combat: The Comedian was a skilled hand-to-hand combatant in excellent physical condition, even at the time of his death at the age of 63. He is one of the few people to have beaten Ozymandias in a fair fight (well, "mostly" fair fight).
- Firearms: The Comedian was exceptionally well-versed in the use and repair of nearly all firearms.
- Indomitable Willpower: Blake was regarded as having an immense willpower. He can resist torture and interrogation, push himself through pain and injury.
- Military Training: Blake is a master of stealth, tactics, strategy, vehicle operation, underwater operations, swimming, knife throwing, firearms, hand-to-hand combat, and demolitions. He also speaks English, Russian, and German.
Trivia and Notes
- In 1949, there was going to be a movie starring or featuring the Comedian in the works. It was titled "Okinawa Dawn" and seems to be based on his adventures in the Pacific Theatre. The document believed to be the script details the Comedian alongside several soldiers. One of them has wandered into danger and the Comedian fights all protests and runs off to save him. He is ambushed by a hidden Japanese soldier. A fight ensues and ends with the soldier at the Comedian's mercy. He has a knife, poised to slit the soldier's throat, but throws it aside and ties him up, saying "Looks like the war is gonna end a bit early for you, friend."
- The child of the Vietnamese women survived childbirth. Her name is Paula Nguyen and she helped with Adrian Veidt's plan.
- Ursula Zandt often sided with him in early discussions during their time in the Minutemen. She came to see him as a younger brother. When the Comedian was ejected from the team, Ursula abstained from the voting process. Prior to the vote, Ursula explained that she agreed his transgression was reprehensible but also claimed she felt banning the Comedian was not the right punishment.
- He believed Nelson and Hooded Justice had an affair during their time as Minutemen and taunted the two relentlessly about it.
- There are rumors that Nelson and Hooded Justice convinced Sally to seduce Comedian after a photoshoot, only for Sally to then shift gears and scream for help. This rumor was denied repeatedly by Hollis Mason and Sally Jupiter, but it is worth mentioning that Nelson was the one who sent Hollis with Hooded Justice to go find Sally and it was Hooded Justice who beat the Comedian to submission, all the while with the Comedian revealing his belief about Nelson and HJ's relationship to the rest of the team. [Further evidence for this rumor would be Sally's own reversal of opinion on the Comedian in her later years].
- It is believed that Nelson may have hired Eddie Blake to threaten Hollis Mason, using the excuse that J. Edgar Hoover was ordering Blake to make the threats. It is also possible that J. Edgar Hoover did order the threats, under the recommendation of Nelson, who was a personal friend.
- Adrian Veidt suspected he killed Rolf Müller in 1952 and may have posed as Hooded Justice himself a number of times, thus accounting for the discrepancies between the sightings of Hooded Justice in 1953 - 1955 and the proposed murder of Müller in 1952.
- Edward Blakie is a character from the Watchmen comic.
- The relationship between Edward and Zinda Blake is unique to Earth-27.
- The Bloody Ear beating, meeting Sally after Ursula's funeral, the mission where he ended up in a cave and visiting Hollis Mason are nods to Before Watchmen: Minutemen. In the comics only Silk Spectre killed the Liquidator.
- Killing Marylin Monroe, being friends with Kennedy and his exploits in Vietnam are nods to Before Watchmen: Comedian.
- Various media show Comedian's involvement with JFK assassination differently:
- Watchmen comic implies it was him who shot him, but doesn't confirm it.
- Watchmen movie shows it was him.
- Before Watchmen: Comedian comic shows him being somewhere completely different.