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Laurie Juspeczyk: 1949 - 1987

Laurie Juspeczyk was born in 1949 and was raised by her mother Sally Jupiter and her husband Laurence Schexnayder; after her birth, problems in the couple's marriage began, leading to a rather sad upbringing for Laurie, though Laurie did not recall most of the trauma, having blocked out huge chunks of her early childhood memories.

One of Laurie's few unblocked memories was from a night in 1954 when she caught her mother and Laurence arguing over how they ended up together. Though Laurie did not recall details of this event, she would often relive it in nightmares and she somehow knew that this memory left her with the impression that Laurence was not her real father.

As a teenager, the beautiful auburn-haired Laurie began to be groomed by her mother to go into the "family business" of crime fighting. Laurie had wanted to work with animals, but this was not taken into consideration. Eventually, Laurie decided if she had no choice about being a crimefighter she could at least decide what kind of crimefighter she would be. Rather than a flaunty and flirty heroine like her mother, Laurie decided she would train her body and mind as a weapon. The gym became a great way to avoid her mother.

In 1964, Laurie was living with her family in a Los Angeles villa when "Uncle Hollis" paid a visit to gather notes for a book he was writing. This ignited Sally's motivations for Laurie's future. In 1966, she acted like an agent for her daughter, picking out her revealing costume. Sally's new passion wore thin on Laurie and soon she ran away from home with her boyfriend. The pair moved in with a group of artists, and Juspeczyk began to engage in independent vigilante activities. She became involved in investigating a drug ring that was pushing a mind-controlling version of LSD on unsuspecting hippies. When Laurie's boyfriend was poisoned by this drug during a party, she doubled her efforts and tracked down the dealer Gurustein. After putting the hurt on him, Laurie was able to discover the location of his boss, the Chairman, and then put an end to their plan despite the Chairman escaping.

Shortly after this, Laurie's boyfriend suddenly left her to join the Army, citing his fear about her lifestyle as the reason. After he leaves, her home is attacked by the Chairman and his minions. After dealing with the minions, Laurie confronted the Chairman. He nearly beat her until she kicked him in the neck, embedding her boot heel in his throat. Gasping for breath, the Chairman stumbled out of the house and into street where he was hit by a bus, killing him.

Unable to remain in San Francisco, Laurie returned home to her mother. Sally decided that it was time to leave California and moved herself and Laurie back to New York, just in time for Laurie to make her official debut as the youngest member of the ill-fated "Crimebusters". During the meeting, Sally waited outside in a limousine for Laurie to finish. During the meeting, young Laurie exchanged awkward smiles with the Nite Owl and long glances with the superhero Dr. Manhattan.

After the meeting broke up, Laurie met the Comedian outside, who commented and complimented her for being the spitting image of her mother, but their conversation was broken up quickly by an angry Sally. Laurie noted that the Comedian looked sad as he watched them drive away, and she felt sorry for him. The following car ride home was when Sally told her daughter select portions of her history with the Comedian, explaining that the Comedian had tried to rape her many years before Laurie was born. Disgusted and deeply saddened for her mother's pain, Laurie never forgave the Comedian for his actions, actively avoiding working with him or talking to him for the brief period the Crimebusters remained active.

During her time with the Crimebusters, Laurie met and became involved with Dr. Manhattan/Jon Osterman. Drawn to him from the moment she first saw him, Laurie worked with Manhattan as his patrol partner. When the close relationship between Laurie and Jon caused Janey Slater (Osterman's girlfriend) to become jealous and leave Jon, Laurie and Jon fell into an intimate relationship beginning just a month after Laurie's 18th birthday. Laurie lost interest in Jon soon though, but kept the relationship as her mother did not approve of it, likening Laurie's relationship with Manhattan to "sleeping with an H-bomb." Laurie even left New York to live with Jon in Gila Flats.

In 1970, Gila Flats closed down. Dr. Manhattan and Laurie moved to their own apartment in Washington, DC. In 1975, Adrian Veidt retired from crimefighting and Dr. Manhattan took her to his estate of Karnak where she met and played with Adrian's genetically-engineered lynx, Bubastis, surprised at the advanced technology Adrian and Manhattan had devised. In 1977 they were together to help suppress the riots during the police strike of 1977. As she was never exactly happy being a vigilante and not happy with the government taking advantage of her relationship with the superhuman Manhattan, Laurie was more than pleased to quit being a superhero when the Keene Act of 1977 forced all but government-sponsored superheroes to retire. However, she kept some contact with Nite Owl (Dan Dreiberg).

In 1981, Jon was transferred to Rockefeller Military Research Center and she went with him in order to keep him company in the "Special Talents Quarters". As the place was guarded, Laurie felt they were isolated but without the benefits of privacy, being observed but having nobody to talk to. During that time she tried twice to quit smoking but life there was so unbearable that she failed. As years passed, their relationship became strained, owing to Manhattan's growing disconnection with humanity. By 1987, Laurie was considering leaving Jon when Rorschach arrived to alert them about a 'mask-killer.'

Silk Spectre: 1987 - 1997

When Jon was informed that the Comedian was dead, Laurie was restless all morning. Soon after Rorschach came to warn them, but he made her feel uneasy and Jon teleported him away. That night she arranged a meeting with Dan Dreiberg at Rafael's where the two laughed and enjoyed each other's company.[1]

During the Comedian's funeral, Jon teleported Laurie across the country to Nepenthe Gardens to visit her mother. When discussing the Comedian, Laurie was critical of his past actions and Sally revealed that she had changed her opinion of him, coming to view him with a certain fondness that caught Laurie by surprise. She brushed it off as her mother simply wanting to goad her into an argument.

After the funeral, Laurie decided to leave Jon when she realized that he viewed their relationship as more of a chore interfering with his work, rather than a positive part of their lives. Not knowing anyone else in New York, Laurie went to Dan's house. In hopes of cheering her up, Dan asked Laurie to join him in a visit with Hollis Mason.[2] On their way to see Hollis Mason, they were both assaulted by Knot Tops. They both took some hits initially, but soon found their groove and turned the fight, forcing the Knot Tops to flee.

After visiting Hollis, the two recounted the fight over drinks in Dan's basement lair. The conversation and nostalgia stirred emotions in the two and eventually, this escalated into an intimate moment which was ultimately soured by Dan's performance anxieties. The two instead watched the Dr. Manhattan interview on television in which Jon lost his patience and teleported the audience and press to a parking garage while he fled off-world to the Moon. Laurie spent the night at Dan's.

Upon hearing of Rorschach's arrest the next morning and Adrian Veidt leaving the city to focus on his research at Karnak, Dan and Laurie officially became romantically involved. After their first failure, they decided to start from the beginning. The two continually talked about how good the adrenaline spike made them feel when fighting the Knot Tops and after Laurie nearly started a fire in the lair with Archie, they decide that since the world is likely to end anyway, it was time for Nite Owl and Silk Spectre to come out of retirement.

In the early morning hours of October 10th, 1987, the pair saved a number of civilians from a burning apartment building. After this exciting adventure, the two again discussed the end of the world, opened up to each other about their own insecurities, and decided to continue to fight crime. The two spent the rest of the pre-dawn hours on patrol, stopping muggings and lootings, among other things. At the conclusion of their adventure, the two took Archie into the clouds and likewise elevated their relationship to a new level.

After their passionate exercise, Laurie and Dan decided to mount a rescue mission with the intent of breaking Walter Kovacs, aka: Rorschach from Sing Sing. Just before Midnight on October 11th, 1987, the two did just that, not only aiding Rorschach's escape during a violent riot but also helping the guards contain the inmate rising. The trio then fled back to Dan's lair where they were met by Jon.

Jon then took Laurie to the Moon, where she attempted to convince him to save humanity from impending nuclear war. During their conversation, Laurie finally came to the realization that, to her horror, her father was really the Comedian. Moved by the sheer unlikelihood of two people as different as Sally Jupiter and the Comedian producing a child, and the child being Laurie, Dr. Manhattan realized the value of miracles and significance of human life, thus agreeing to help them save the planet.[3]

While Nite Owl and Rorschach looked into the conspiracy surrounding the "mask killer" and Pyramid Transnational, Manhattan and Silk Spectre attempted to calm the people of New York after civil unrest from the prison break and return of masked heroes had divided the city's people. Dan and Walter uncovered evidence that implicated Adrian in Pyramid, which they brought to Jon and Laurie. Dan, who had also just found out that Hollis Mason had been beaten to death during the riots, was not eager to risk losing another friend and convinced himself that Adrian was being set up to take the fall. He urged the others that they owed it to Adrian to at least give him the benefit of the doubt. Laurie proposed that she, Dan, and Walter would go to Karnak to investigate. Uncertain about Dan's feelings about Adrian, Laurie decided to take the gun that Dan kept hidden by his door. They tried to get Manhattan to come with them, but he said that the interference with his perceptions was getting stronger and felt he should remain in the city to protect it from imminent harm, but he did aid them by using his abilities to alter Archie's engine to allow faster travel to Antarctica.

As the three approached Karnak, Archie's new engines suffered an unexpected failure due to "intrinsic jamming" technology installed at Adrian's Antarctic retreat. When the three ventured into Adrian's lair, they found a number of scientists dead on the floor and Adrian dressed in his Ozymandias regalia. The three confronted Adrian who quickly confessed to his involvement, much to Dan's disbelief. A fight ensued and when it was clear that Ozymandias was more than a match for all three of them, Laurie attempted to shoot Veidt, putting his boast of being fast enough to catch bullets to the test. When Ozymandias caught the bullet, the three feared they were outmatched but rallied together, determined to stop Adrian and save millions, only then to be informed by Ozymandias that they were, in fact, too late.

Ozymandias then showed them evidence of this, including a forty-minute old broadcast of Manhattan urging the people of New York to be calm before the entire screen was enveloped in a blue wave of destruction. The trio was then assaulted with more visuals of the same massive wave of destruction sweeping over twenty-six other cities in rapid succession. For a moment, they were convinced Jon had been complicit in this until Manhattan himself crashed through the skylight and attacked Ozymandias, chastising his intelligence and reminding him that rebuilding himself was his first trick. Ozymandias then neutralized Manhattan by revealing the "pay-off" of his master plan, a number of world leaders declaring a global alliance to unify themselves against a common threat: Dr. Manhattan.

Though Manhattan and Rorschach were immediately convinced of the importance of keeping Ozymandias' secret for the sake of peace, Laurie and Dan found a private room in Veidt's stronghold to reflect on their decision. Uncertain, the two reluctantly agreed to keep this peace, but both confessed that they could not carry this burden alone and agreed that if they were to do it, they would need a reason to live in such a world: they would need each other.

Weeks after this devastation, Laurie was last seen when she and Dan visited her mother. The two reconciled after Laurie told her mother she had discovered her true father's identity and had accepted it. After this visit, Laurie and Dan seemingly disappeared into the ether, presumably taking on false identities. Though there are a number of times that Silk Spectre and Nite Owl pop up in the nineties, most significantly when apparently working with Rorschach to give Rorschach's journal to Perry White for publishing on the tenth anniversary of the so-called "Manhattaning."

Threat Assessment

Resources

  • Acrobatics: Through years of training, Laurie has conditioned her body to peak fitness and trained in all manner of acrobatic and gymnastic maneuvers.
  • Driving: Laurie is a talented operator of most road-based vehicles, including being trained in high-speed pursuit and defensive driving techniques.
  • Investigation: With training and her own instincts, Laurie is a remarkable investigator.
  • Linguistics: Laurie is fluent in English and Polish. She is capable of carrying on a light conversation or reading Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, German, and Russian.
  • Martial Arts: Having trained with some of the best mentors around since a young age, Laurie is one of the most skilled martial artists among the Crimebusters.

Weaknesses

  • Histrionic Personality Disorder: Laurie had an insecure youth in the shadow of her mother’s heroic success and being in proximity of many arguments between her mother and her father. Due to these events and other influences of her mother, Laurie became a volatile, emotional adult who would use social situation and her own attractive appearance to draw attention to herself.
  • Romance: Laurie's insecurities also would get her the romantic attention of both Dr. Manhattan and Nite Owl. When in relationships, Laurie became highly self-monitoring and would over-emphasize the importance of intimacy in her relationships.
  • History: Laurie's desire to learn her father's true identity haunted her for much of her life, giving her intense nightmares and causing her to become irrational when she felt she was close to discovering her father's identity. When she finally did learn the truth, it nearly destroyed her to learn the circumstances surrounding her conception and to know that she had avoided her father all those years and was now too late.

Trivia and Notes

Trivia

  • Before learning the true identity of her father, Laurie believed that Hooded Justice was her father.
  • Laurie preferred to use her full Polish surname and embraced her polish heritage over her mother's Americanized stage name. Laurie's younger brother preferred the opposite approach. For your information, her surname is pronounced "use-PETCH-ick."[4]

Notes

  • Laurie Juspeczyk is a character from the Watchmen comic.
  • Laurie running away with her boyfriend and her superhero costume are nods to Before Watchman: Silk Spectre.
  • The relationship between Laurie and Loren Jupiter is unique to Earth-27.

Links and References

  1. VOX Box: Dan Dreiberg 1
  2. VOX Box: Laurie Juspeczyk 1
  3. VOX Box: Jon Osterman 1
  4. Deluxe Oracle File: Laurie Juspeczyk
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