Walter Kovacs (Rorschach) / The Doomsayer
Walter Kovacs, also known as Rorschach, is a costumed vigilante and one of the main characters in the story. Rorschach wears a white mask with shifting black shapes on it, resembling moving Rorschach blot tests… read analysis of Walter Kovacs (Rorschach) / The Doomsayer
Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias)
Adrian Veidt, a brilliant businessman, operates as the vigilante hero Ozymandias for several years before announcing his retirement and publicly revealing his identity. As a young man, Veidt idolizes Alexander the Great but mourns the… read analysis of Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias)
Edward Blake (The Comedian)
The Comedian, also known as Edward Blake, is a masked vigilante and a member of the original Minutemen who later works for the American government as a paramilitary operative. The story begins with Blake’s mysterious… read analysis of Edward Blake (The Comedian)
Daniel Dreiberg (the second Nite Owl)
Daniel Dreiberg is an inventor and the second Nite Owl, taking up the heroic identity after Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl, retires. Although Daniel retires when the Keene Act of 1977 passes, outlawing… read analysis of Daniel Dreiberg (the second Nite Owl)
Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan)
Jon Osterman is a blue-skinned superhuman and the only person in the story who possesses actual superpowers. After Jon, a Harvard scientist, accidentally locks himself in a radiation test chamber, he dies and is reborn… read analysis of Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan)
Hollis Mason (the original Nite Owl)
Hollis Mason is the original Nite Owl and one of the Minutemen. Hollis becomes a masked avenger while he is a police officer, after he finds himself enamored by children’s comic books and reads… read analysis of Hollis Mason (the original Nite Owl)
Sally Jupiter (the original Silk Spectre)
Sally Jupiter is Laurie’s mother and one of the Minutemen. Sally grooms Laurie to succeed her as a costumed hero from a young age, and Laurie resents her for it as an adult… read analysis of Sally Jupiter (the original Silk Spectre)
Nelson Gardner (Captain Metropolis)
Captain Metropolis is a first-generation vigilante hero who establishes the Minutemen with the help of Sally Jupiter. After the Minutemen disband in 1949, an aging Captain Metropolis tries to form the Crimebusters in 1966… read analysis of Nelson Gardner (Captain Metropolis)
Hooded Justice is a masked vigilante and one of the Minutemen. Although Hooded Justice’s true identity is unknown, rumors persist that he is actually a foreign-born Communist named Muller. Adrian Veidt believes that Edward… read analysis of Hooded Justice
Edgar Jacobi (Moloch)
Moloch is a former costumed villain who opposes the Minutemen and Dr. Manhattan in his youth. Despite being labeled a villain, Moloch only exists in the story as Edgar Jacobi, a retired old man who… read analysis of Edgar Jacobi (Moloch)
Laurence is Sally Jupiter’s publicist, who briefly runs publicity for all of the Minutemen, helping them reach their greatest level of fame in the 1940s. When Edward Blake tries to rape Sally, Laurence… read analysis of Laurence Schexnayder
Dr. Malcolm Long
Malcolm Long is a psychiatrist who interviews Rorschach several times while he is in prison. Long is initially determined to psychoanalyze and cure Rorschach, since such a success would make him famous. However, rather than… read analysis of Dr. Malcolm Long
Kitty Genovese is a woman who orders the dress that Rorschach ultimately makes his mask out of. When Rorschach is 18, Kitty is tortured, raped, and murdered in plain sight in front of her apartment… read analysis of Kitty Genovese
The survivor is the nameless narrator of the pirate comic, which is read by an unnamed character throughout the novel. After the survivor’s ship and crew are destroyed by pirates, the survivor becomes convinced… read analysis of The Survivor
Janey is Jon’s first partner listed in the story. Jon falls in love with her and they live together for several years, including the period in which Jon is reborn as Dr. Manhattan. However… read analysis of Janey Slater
President Richard Nixon is the President of the United States. In the novel’s fictionalized version of history, after Edward Blake kills the reporters who would have uncovered Watergate, Nixon amends the constitution to allow himself… read analysis of President Nixon
Silhouette is the only other woman in the Minutemen besides Sally Jupiter. Little is said of her except that the public discovers she is in a lesbian relationship, which causes such a furor that Laurence Schexnayder convinces the Minutemen to force her out to preserve their public image.
Bernard (the News Vendor)
The news vendor, who eventually reveals his name is Bernard, stands on the street corner, selling newspapers, chatting with passersby, and commenting on the headlines. The news vendor represents the average citizen in the story, since most of the characters are vigilante heroes.
Gloria Long is Malcolm’s wife, who resents the fact that her husband’s work takes his attention away from her. Gloria wants Malcolm to choose between helping the world and being with her.
Big Figure is a crime boss who tries to get revenge on Rorschach while Rorschach is in prison. However, Rorschach kills Big Figure’s goons and presumably him as well.
Rorschach’s landlady prostitutes herself, but falsely claims to reporters that Rorschach sexually propositioned her after he is thrown in jail and his identity is revealed. When Rorschach escapes, he considers punishing her for the lie until he sees her frightened children and takes pity on them.
Bubastis is Adrian Veidt’s giant, genetically altered pet lynx.
Byron Lewis (Mothman)
Byron Lewis is one of the first-generation vigilantes. He loses his faculties in his old age due to dementia and alcoholism.
Steven Fine is a detective who appears occasionally throughout the story, first at Edward Blake’s apartment, though he does not reveal his name until he investigates Daniel Dreiberg on suspicions of resumed vigilante work.
Max Shea is the author of the pirate comic, whom Adrian Veidt hires to help him design his “alien.” Max Shea dies when the ocean liner is blown up.
Hira Manish is an artist whom Adrian Veidt hires to help him design his “alien.” Hira Manish dies when the ocean liner is blown up.
Milton Glass is one of Jon Osterman’s research associates.
Hector Godfrey is the editor of the “right-wing” newspaper New Frontiersman. Godfrey is a firm patriot and a vigilante supporter, and he accuses his liberal opponents of being Communists.
Seymour works for Hector Godfrey on New Frontiersman. In the last scene of the story, Seymour considers looking through Rorschach’s journal, which the vigilante mailed to the newspaper, suggesting that Veidt’s plot may or may not be revealed to the world.
Doug Roth is the editor of the “left-wing” newspaper Nova Express. Roth opposes most vigilantes—though he likes Adrian Veidt—and starts the rumor that Dr. Manhattan gives people cancer.
Sylvia is Walter Kovacs’s abusive mother. Someone murders her when Kovacs is a teenager, to which he responds, “Good.”
Jon Osterman’s Father
Jon’s father is a watchmaker until the atomic bomb convinces him that the modern world needs physicists, not watchmakers.
Joey is a woman who visits the news vendor. She is Aline’s girlfriend.
Aline is Joey’s girlfriend.