Watchmen

Watchmen

by

Alan Moore

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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 murder, which is later revealed to have been carried out by Adrian Veidt because Blake learned of his secret plot. Through other characters’ flashbacks, the Comedian is revealed to be an amoral, violent man but also a firm patriot. He murders several people, hints that he killed the journalists who would have exposed the Watergate scandal, jokes that he assassinated John F. Kennedy, and tries to rape Sally Jupiter (the original Silk Spectre). Even so, the Comedian’s costume has a star on one shoulder and a stripe on the other, making him the embodiment of American patriotism—and thus criticizing American patriotism as loyalty to a war-mongering and corrupt government. Because he tried to rape her mother (Sally Jupiter), Laurie Juspeczyk hates the Comedian for most of her life. However, she eventually discovers that her mother fell in love with Blake in later years, despite what he did to her, and Blake is actually Laurie’s own father.

Edward Blake (The Comedian) Quotes in Watchmen

The Watchmen quotes below are all either spoken by Edward Blake (The Comedian) or refer to Edward Blake (The Comedian) . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the DC Comics edition of Watchmen published in 1986.
Chapter 1: At Midnight, All the Agents… Quotes

This city is dying of rabies. Is the best I can do to wipe random flecks of foam from its lips? Never despair. Never surrender. I leave the human cockroaches to discuss their heroin and child pornography. I have business elsewhere with a better class of person.

Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2: Absent Friends Quotes

Osterman: You sound bitter. You’re a strange man, Blake. You have a strange attitude to life and war.

Blake: Strange? Listen… Once you figure out what a joke everything is, being a comedian is the only thing makes sense.

Osterman: The charred villages, the boys with necklaces of human ears… these are part of the joke?

Blake: Hey… I never said it was a good joke. I’m just playin’ along with the gag…

Related Characters: Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan) (speaker), Edward Blake (The Comedian) (speaker)
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

Dreiberg: […] The country’s disintegrating. What’s happened to the American dream?

Blake: It came true. You’re lookin’ at it.

Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4: Watchmaker Quotes

As I come to understand Vietnam and what it implies about the human condition, I also realizes that few humans will permit themselves such an understanding.

Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6: The Abyss Gazes Also Quotes

[The Comedian] understood man’s capacity for horrors and never quit. Saw the world’s black underbelly and never surrendered. Once a man has seen, he can never turn his back on it. Never pretend it doesn’t exist. No matter who orders him to look the other way. We do not do this thing because it is permitted. We do it because we are compelled.

Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:

This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us.

Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Watchmen LitChart as a printable PDF.
Watchmen PDF

Edward Blake (The Comedian) Character Timeline in Watchmen

The timeline below shows where the character Edward Blake (The Comedian) appears in Watchmen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: At Midnight, All the Agents…
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
Two detectives look through Edward Blake’s apartment, a man who was recently murdered when an intruder threw him through the window... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...with black shapeless blots appears—Rorschach. He shoots a grappling hook from the street up into Blake’s shattered window and climbs up the side of the building. He looks through Blake’s apartment,... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
Daniel seems shocked and nervous to find Rorschach there. Rorschach tosses him Blake’s blood-smeared smiley-face badge and tells him it belonged to the Comedian; someone threw him out... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...someone is killing “costumed heroes.” He mentions that Hollis said some critical things about the Comedian in his book, but Daniel says he’s wrong to think Hollis could be involved. Having... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
...how much he hates the filthy people in this city. Rorschach wants information on the Comedian’s death, so he goes to a bar called Happy Harry’s. The bartender is terrified to... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...speaks with Adrian Veidt in Veidt’s penthouse apartment. Veidt is surprised to hear of the Comedian’s death but wonders if it could have been a political assassination. Rorschach thinks this unlikely,... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...see Rorschach and mentions that he’s wanted by the police. Rorschach tells them of Edward Blake’s murder, but Dr. Manhattan—shrinking down to human size—tells him that since he and the Comedian... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
...the New York City streets, reflecting on how no one seems to care that the Comedian was murdered. Rorschach thinks war is coming and millions will die soon, and wonders if... (full context)
Chapter 2: Absent Friends
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
While Jon attends Edward Blake’s funeral, Laurie visits her mother in a retirement home in California. Laurie and her mother,... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
...the Minutemen, decades before. After the group leaves, Sally stays behind to change clothes. Edward Blake, dressed as the Comedian, appears and tells her that, in her skimpy costume, she’s practically... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
Adrian Veidt stands at Edward Blake’s funeral. He flashes back to decades before, when Captain Metropolis holds a meeting to try... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
Jon stands at Blake’s funeral and recalls the day that he and Blake were waiting to leave Vietnam, having... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
Daniel Dreiberg stands at Blake’s funeral. He recalls a day when he and Blake, in their vigilante costumes, tried to... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
...Moloch claims he served his time and retired; he only went to the funeral because Blake visited him shortly before he died, drunk and terrified. Blake rambled about an island full... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
...what Moloch told him and wonders if Dr. Manhattan is in danger somehow. Returning to Blake’s grave, Rorschach pays his respects alone, reflecting that heroes never die peacefully in bed. Either... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...the heroes’ “extreme personalities,” problems are inevitable. Hollis thinks the worst of them is the Comedian, who tries to rape Sally in 1940. Schexnayder convinces her not press charges for the... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Judge of All the Earth
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...government forces the majority of them to stand before a court and reveal themselves. The Comedian, with his government contacts, is the only one who thrives, becoming a sort of “patriotic... (full context)
Chapter 4: Watchmaker
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...Nixon asks Jon to fight in the Vietnam War. Two months later, Jon meets the Comedian in Saigon. Blake seems entirely “amoral,” perfect for the “the madness, the pointless butchery” of... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...Act passes as an emergency bill, outlawing all vigilantes except for Dr. Manhattan and the Comedian, since they work directly for the government. Rorschach refuses to quit, but everyone else retires.... (full context)
Chapter 5: Fearful Symmetry
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
...having an unlicensed handgun. Rorschach says that it’s suspicious that both Dr. Manhattan and the Comedian, Moloch’s old enemies, have recently disappeared, especially since Moloch was on the list of people... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
...is only a pawn in someone else’s plan to discredit Dr. Manhattan and kill the Comedian. Down the street, two detectives investigate a murder-suicide. A father, convinced nuclear war is upon... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Abyss Gazes Also
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
...before 1975. He works with Nite Owl in 1965, until Nite Owl eventually quits. The Comedian is the only one who stays active as a vigilante, who sees all of the... (full context)
Chapter 7: A Brother to Dragons
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
...“rich” and “bored” and it all felt exciting. But after a while, he realized the Comedian was right: the costumes and the antics are just “flash and thunder” and don’t really... (full context)
Chapter 8: Old Ghosts
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
...insists that they have to do it. Laurie obviously didn’t get cancer from Jon, the Comedian was murdered, and it seems Rorschach was framed; it all feels like a massive conspiracy,... (full context)
Chapter 9: The Darkness of Mere Being
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
...16 years old at the Crimebusters meeting. After Jon leaves the meeting, she meets the Comedian and vaguely flirts with him. Soon, Sally storms up and takes Laurie away, though Laurie... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
Laurie recalls a banquet in 1973 with various heads of state. Everyone shakes Edward Blake’s hand. He jokes about some murdered reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, and casually implies that he... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
...the truth. Laurie realizes the connections between all the scenes she’s recalled with Jon: Edward Blake is her father. Laurie screams “no.” A globe-shaped perfume bottle appears in her hand and... (full context)
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...a “viable partnership proposition.” An interview transcript reveals that Sally doesn’t hold hard feelings against Blake, and that she believes Laurie will someday thank her for pushing her into the hero... (full context)
Chapter 11: Look on My Works, Ye Mighty…
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
...that not all injustice is perpetrated by villains. In the 1950s, he discovers that the Comedian is hunting for Hooded Justice on behalf of the government and suspects that the Comedian... (full context)
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Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
...them cancer. Veidt buys an island and begins working on teleportation and genetic research. The Comedian discovers the island by accident and figures out his plot, so Veidt breaks into his... (full context)
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Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
With Jon and the Comedian neutralized, Veidt needed Rorschach taken care of as well to stop him from meddling. He... (full context)
Chapter 12: A Stronger Loving World
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
...Linda Hollis. They briefly exchange gifts and Laurie tells her mother that she knows the Comedian was her father. Sally breaks down and apologizes, but Laurie forgives her and tells her... (full context)