%% ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.
'''Spoilers follow'''. Read at your own risk.


[[folder: Heroes Who Became Active During The 1930s]]

!!Captain Metropolis (Nelson Gardner)

--> ''"Please! Don't all '''leave'''...Somebody has to do it, don't you see? '''Somebody''' has to save the world..."''

A former Marine who applied his knowledge of military strategy to crime-fighting. A very insecure and nervous person. Remained active until 1974, when he was decapitated in a car crash.

* BadassGay: Ex-military who organized the team
* BatmanGambit: In one of the RPG modules (which had input from the original creators), he secretly arranged the kidnappings of the 1960s heroes' loved ones in order to force them to work together, in an effort to make them more amenable to the idea of teaming up as The Crimebusters. If considered canon (there's nothing in the comic that contradicts it), the plan obviously didn't work, but he wasn't exposed as the mastermind.
%%* BroughtToYouByTheLetterS
* TheCape: Of all the characters, both first generation and second, he is one of the least cynical. To the point of {{Deconstruction}}, actually, as he [[WideEyedIdealist naively believed]] that superheroes and teams could be a force for positive social change, when most people regarded them as fad celebrities at best. His idea of positive social change [[NobleBigotWithABadge is also a bit reactionary, to say the least.]]
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Check his quote.
* DemotedToExtra: In the movie, Ozymandias forms the team ([[IAmNotShazam re-named "The Watchmen"]]) and he becomes an unspeaking character who briefly appears in a flashback.
* HeroicBuild: In his day. Toward the end of his career, he went to seed.
* NobleBigotWithABadge: Racist and hidebound, but he means well enough.
* StraightGay: Had an affair with Hooded Justice.
* TheStrategist: Largely an InformedAbility due to lack of appearances.
* SuperheroPackingHeat: A .38 special, to be exact. [[AllThereInTheManual (According to the RPG.)]]
%%* SuperheroesWearCapes
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: [[spoiler:The line at the top of his entry here is what gave Ozymandias the first point in his plan.]]
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Captain Metropolis is a borderline male example, clinging to his heroic past and trying to organize a new team in the late 60s, despite the fact that where [[IWasQuiteALooker he was once dashing and handsome, he's become a neurotic, paunchy mess]] whose prejudices have come to the fore.

!!The Comedian (Edward Blake)
-->''"Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense."''

A veteran 'hero' who was vicious even when young, and has since become a full-blown hired gun on government payroll. Dies on the first page, though we only later find out why.

* AntiHero: At ''[[VillainProtagonist best]]'', he's a [[NominalHero hero only in name]]. That said, he does have a few redeeming qualities.
* ArtifactTitle: In-universe, Eddie Blake continues to operate under the ''nom de guerre'' "The Comedian" long after he discards the wisecracking jester gimmick that he used in the 1930s. The name takes on a different meaning later in his career, though, as it references his nihilistic worldview and his belief that higher ideals are a joke.
* AssholeVictim: Not many people were exactly sad upon hearing of the Comedian's death. [[spoiler:By the end though, some readers do feel some sympathy for him]]. But he was still an asshole. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] with Sally Jupiter, who actually felt sorry for him. This is probably [[spoiler:no surprise when it's later revealed that they reconciled]].
* BadassGrandpa: When he got old.
* BadassNormal: Along with every "masked vigilante" except Dr. Manhattan.
* BadassMustache \ PornStache: His most distinguished facial feature along with the scar.
* BecomingTheMask: At one point Rorschach theorizes that The Comedian took on his persona in order to become a satirical reflection of society's corruption. If this theory is true (Rorschach is hardly an unbiased observer), Blake appears to have gotten into the part a bit too much. Also, he [[DefiedTrope defies this trope]] when he discovers [[spoiler: Ozymandias’ plan]] and raves about it to Moloch: He discovers that even he cannot laugh this off as another joke:
--> [[EvenEvilHasStandards I mean, what’s funny? What’s so goddamned funny?]] I don’t get it. [[DontExplainTheJoke Somebody explain… Somebody explain it to me]].
* ByronicHero: This trope could very well be renamed to "The Edward Blake" because of how well he fits the guidelines. Intelligent, bitterly cynical, has a pronounced disdain for humanity and the world in general, carries strong personal convictions, and winds up getting [[spoiler: killed because of said convictions]]... it all fits.
* CaptainPatriotic: Subverted to hell and back. He begins crafting a persona like this late in his career, wearing flag-printed body armor as he helps quell riots in New York and eventually fights at the front lines of the Vietnam War. He looks like a patriotic superhero to the average citizen, but the whole gimmick is really just his way of mocking the high ideals that most superheroes claim to uphold. In reality, he's an amoral sadist who believes that ideals are a joke, and he only fights crime as a way of venting his violent urges.
%%* CarpetOfVirility
* CoolOldGuy: Remained a very effective solo agent right up until his death at sixty-one. "Cool" doesn't necessarily mean "nice".
* CombatPragmatist: Prefers Guns and a straight fighting style over the more stylised moves others use.
%%* DeadpanSnarker
* DisproportionateRetribution: His most brutal on-screen acts take place in response to attacks upon his person...which he provoked.
* DominoMask: The only thing he wears on his face.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Genuinely attempted to connect with Laurie on two separate occasions and notably didn't react [[BerserkButton the way he usually does]] after she publically lashed out at him and dashed him in the face with a drink. [[AllThereInTheManual According to the RPG]], he was also composing a letter to her before [[spoiler: Ozymandias]] killed him. He also seems to have had real feelings for Sally Jupiter.
* EveryoneHasStandards: He's also genuinely sickened by the idea of [[spoiler: incest with his child]], and he thinks Hooded Justice was a sick man. [[spoiler:Also, Ozymandias's plan to slaughter millions of innocent people was too much for even ''him'' to shrug off.]]
* {{Expy}}: Of Peacemaker. Comedian also looks a lot like Bucky in his Minuteman days who somehow grew into a wise-cracking, cigar smoking, woman beating version of CaptainAmerica, with a bit of Wildcat and a pinch of Nick Fury, and ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke'' Joker.
* {{Foil}}: To Rorschach. He is seen as a good guy simply because he works for America yet he is completely amoral. He also [[spoiler: discovers Veidt's ruthless plan to end the Cold War and gets killed because HeKnowsTooMuch]].
* GlasgowGrin: Half of one, courtesy of his upset [[AsianBabymama Vietnamese girlfriend]].
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: The Comedian smokes cigars in almost all of his appearances.
%%* TheGunslinger
* HaveANiceDaySmile: Wears a pin with that. That once hit with a splash of blood, becomes the series' IconicLogo.
* HeelRealization: He seems painfully aware of how cruel and amoral he is and desperately tries to change that before dying. Or rather... he was fully aware of it the entire time, it's just that before he died he started to feel bad about it.
* HeroesWantRedHeads: Sally Jupiter.
* HeroicBSOD: [[spoiler: He freaks out when he discovers Ozymandias' plan.]]
* HeroicBuild: Kept in excellent shape even in his sixties.
* JerkassFacade: A possibility come up with InUniverse by other characters.
* JerkassHasAPoint: His major trademark, Comedian is a complete asshole, however much of the things he says to antagonize others, villain and hero alike often have some truth to it. For example, he was one of the first to notice Dr. Manhattan's humanity beginning to falter when Manhattan didn't even try to stop him from [[spoiler: killing a woman pregnant with his child.]]
* KickTheDog: Killing a pregnant woman and attempting to rape a fellow superheroine, for examples. Some choose to see the first as a sign of him going off the deep end, especially how he blames Doctor Manhattan simply for not stopping him.
* TheLostLenore: He becomes this to [[spoiler: Sally]].
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler: It's eventually revealed that he's Laurie's father.]]
* NeverMyFault: Comedian kills the Vietnamese woman he impregnated yet blamed Dr. Manhattan for not stopping him.
* PosthumousCharacter: The book opens with his murder.
* PsychoForHire: To a certain extent, suggested to have merely become a masked vigilante for a reason to kill people. Despite most of his comrades recognizing this he appears to have impressed part of the mindset that led him to such actions onto every one of them, with varying reactions. He becomes a more classic example, or so it's implied, after the very government that claims vigilantes are dangerous hires him as a political assassin.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Of the first Silk Spectre.
-->'''The Comedian''': Only Once.
%%* RedemptionEqualsDeath
* SarcasmFailure: His HeroicBSOD to Moloch shows even he can't crack jokes at [[spoiler:Veidt's]] plan, begging someone to avert his own personal interpretation of DontExplainTheJoke.
-->'''Comedian''': Someone explain. Someone explain it to me.
* ScarsAreForever: He never loses the half-GlasgowGrin he got in Vietnam, just as the perpetrator intended.
* TheSociopath: Although, interestingly enough, he is ultimately capable of realizing that what he did was wrong - he admits to doing "bad things" during his VillainousBreakdown to Moloch.
* StrawNihilist: Frequently spews how [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409459/quotes?item=qt1028677 life is meaningless, particularly given how men have all they can to wipe out every living being on Earth.]]
* SuperheroPackingHeat: Two .45 caliber hand guns, according to the RPG. He's also made use of rifles and the like.
* TokenEvilTeammate: He even went as far as to try to rape one of the other members of the team. Whether or not the other members are any better than the criminals they go after is debatable (excepting both Nite Owls, whose biggest flaw in both cases is being largely ineffective), but The Comedian is definitely the worst of them and seems to thrive on torturing and killing people. He even kills a pregnant woman (carrying his own child!) back in Vietnam. He's also more or less the exact opposite of ComicBook/CaptainAmerica (consider his stars-and-stripes patriotic outfit), inverted on the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism.
* TookALevelInBadass: He was already badass when he started out, but over the years he started wearing body armor (after getting stabbed) and carrying guns.
* TragicVillain: Likes being mean for supposedly heroic sakes, but can cry at the atrocities he does.
* {{Troll}}: He eventually gets to a point where he says things ''just'' to try pissing people off, especially in the "Crimebusters" flashback.
%%* TheUnfettered
* UnusualEuphemism: Kept calling [[spoiler: Veidt's]] EvilPlan a "joke" and "gag".
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: For all his acts, he's a sanctioned, government-funded operative after the Keene Act.
* VillainProtagonist: As detailed in TokenEvilTeammate, he's the least heroic of the main characters.
* WhoShotJFK: [[spoiler:He's also implicated to be behind Woodward and Bernstein's deaths (which didn't happen in our timeline), although this is much more speculative. In the movie, the assassination is shown outright, and The Comedian also remarks while he's violently dealing with an angry mob: "I haven't had this much fun since Woodward and Bernstein!" However, ComicBook/BeforeWatchmen indicates that he ''didn't'' shoot JFK in the comics continuity at all, though he did kill MarilynMonroe.]]
* WouldHitAGirl: First time when he assaults Silk Spectre and the second time when he and Nite Owl are doing riot control. He also [[spoiler: ''killed'' a woman who was pregnant with his child!]]

!!Dollar Bill (Bill Brady)
A star college athlete from Kansas who was hired by a bank to be their in-house superhero. Died in 1947, when during an attempt to foil a bank robbery, his cape got caught in the door and he was shot.

%%* AllAmericanFace
* AlliterativeName: Bill Benjamin Brady.
* BornLucky: According to the [[AllThereInTheManual RPG]], his sporting and superhero career were studded with incredible strokes of good luck. Up until a certain day, that is...
* TheCape: Both the attitude implied by and the actual cape in his costume got him killed.
* CapeSnag: In the backstory, he was ordered by his sponsors to get a cape as a part of his outfit, in order to increase his marketability. However, one day, when he tried to stop a bank robbery, his cape got caught in a revolving door, allowing the bank robbers to shoot him to death. Nite Owl notes (somewhat bitterly) in his memoir that Dollar Bill would likely be alive today were he allowed to design the costume himself.
* CorporateSponsoredSuperhero: He had to wear a garish costume as one of the conditions of his sponsorship. Perhaps not so ironically, the cape was caught in a revolving door, tripping him up long enough for a crook to shoot him dead as he tried to stop a bank heist.
* ImpracticallyFancyOutfit: The bank who sponsored him insisted that he wore the cape that led to his untimely death.
* MeaningfulName: "Bill" is part of his superhero name as well as his real name. His middle name is Benjamin, another slang term for money.
* NiceGuy: At least, according to Hollis Mason in ''Under the Hood''.
* SuperheroesWearCapes: Deconstructed, as Alan Moore was showing how impractical wearing a cape is, and how wearing a cape lead to his death.

!!Hooded Justice (Possibly Rolf Muller)
--> ''"You sick little bastard, I'm going to break your neck..."''

Possibly the first costumed superhero. Little is known about him, save that he was extremely violent and brutal, and a supporter of TheKlan and Nazis. Disappeared in 1955, possibly at the hands of The Comedian.

* AntiHero: Vicious, cruel, and a Nazi supporter. Only the fact this his rage is directed at criminals keeps him on the "hero" side.
* ArmouredClosetGay: The comic only implies he's in a gay relationship with another Minute Man, but it's heavily implied in the movie that he's very sensitive about it.
--> '''The Comedian''': (Being beaten by Hooded Justice) Is this what you like, huh? Is this what gets you hot?
--> '''Hooded Justice''': WHAT?!
* BadassNormal: Along with every "masked vigilante" except Dr. Manhattan.
* BerserkButton: Seeing women hurt, possibly. His first appearance involved him stopping a rape (crippling one of the attackers in the process), he beat the Comedian severely following his attack on Sally Jupiter, and [[AllThereInTheManual according to the backstory presented in the RPG]] Rolf Muller's father abused his mother -- Until thirteen-year-old Rolf beat the crap out of him.
* TheBerserker: In his first ever case as a vigilante, HJ beat up a street thug so bad he lost the use of his legs for the rest of his life.
%%* BondageIsBad
* TheBrute: An anti-heroic version.
%%* TheCowl
* CultureEqualsCostume: Justice's costume references the circus (leotard and cape), TheKlan (face concealing hood, noose), and bondage (ropes on ankles, wrists, waist and neck) -- all things Muller/Justice is associated with.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Was a big supporter of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.
* DisproportionateRetribution: One theory of his death put forward by Ozymandias. When Hooded Justice disappeared, The Comedian was charged by the government to track him down, but failed to do so. Ozymandias suggests that the Comedian actually succeeded, but instead of bringing him in, killed him in cold blood and reported failure. All as payback for Hooded Justice stopping his attempted rape of Silk Spectre.
* HauledBeforeASenateSubcommittee: When super-heroes were required to appear before Congress during the McCarthy-era witch-hunts, Hooded Justice instead just vanished, apparently having chosen to end his super-hero career rather than go through the process. As ''Under The Hood'' points out, this lends credence to the idea that he might have actually been Rolf Muller, who was a German immigrant. Between that, his homosexuality, and the many statements he made supporting Nazi Germany, there would have been no way he'd get through the witch-hunts.
* InterplayOfSexAndViolence: It's implied a few times that he's into BDSM and when he's beating up The Comedian, he's mocked that the only reason he became a hero was because of the sexual thrill he gets out of beating the crap out of people. Would explain his tendency to be so violent.
* LightningBruiser: Fast enough to take on three armed men and win, strong enough to cripple and kill with his bare hands.
* ManlyGay: By implication
* MultipleChoicePast: ''Might have been'' a circus strongman. ''Might have been'' a Russian spy. ''Might have been'' a Nazi spy. ''Might have been'' both.
* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: His pro-Nazi views caught up to him and he had to disappear.
* ShroudedInMyth: He ''might'' have been a circus strongman by the name of Rolf Muller. The implication is strong, but still somewhat ambiguous. There are semi-canonical sources from Moore that imply that he ''was'' Rolf Muller, but that was just ''one of his many aliases''.
* TheSpook: His identity was never known and he promptly disappeared when people started asking questions, never to be seen again.
* StrawMisogynist: Saved Sally from rape, but still slut shamed her.
-->"For god's sake, cover yourself."
%%* SuperheroesWearCapes
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: If he's indeed Rolf Muller, according to ''Under the Hood'' he was assassinated by his Communist superiors.
* YourCheatingHeart: Cheated on Captain Metropolis with younger men.

!!Mothman (Byron Lewis)
-->''"My friends! My friends. What time is it?"''

A millionaire playboy who decided to become a superhero both out of a desire to add spice to his life and out of guilt over his privileged lifestyle. Ultimately, his alcoholism (and being hauled before the HUAC) turned him into a shell of his former self, and was eventually committed to a sanitarium.

* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: ''Animal Alias'' variety.
* TheAlcoholic: Eventually committed to a sanitarium due to his alcoholism.
* BerserkButton: Racism, which led to him attacking a fellow student in his youth and getting into a fight with Captain Metropolis at one point.
* BrokenBird: A male version of this trope.
* HauledBeforeASenateSubcommittee: Which didn't help his alcoholism one bit.
* {{Irony}}: As Sally pointed out, Mothman's in the bughouse now.
* MillionairePlayboy: And guilty about it, hence why he became Mothman.
* NotQuiteFlight: Thanks to the wings on his costume.
* WideEyedIdealist: [[AllThereInTheManual The RPG sourcebook reveals]] that, like Captain Metropolis, he believed that he could use his fame as a superhero to be a force for positive change in society (progressive change, in his case).

!!Nite Owl I (Hollis Mason)

-->''"This is the left hook that floored Captain Axis!"''

One of the first superheroes to fight crime, and a former police officer, Hollis Mason has since retired, revealed his identity and written an autobiography that provided dramatic insights into the world of superheroes. He has seen the rise and fall of superheroics in the world, and fears for the new generation of costumed crimefighters.

* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: ''Animal Alias'' variety.
* BadassGrandpa: He was more than capable of giving a fight guys at least half his age.
* TheCape: He was inspired by Superman, after all.
%%* CoolOldGuy
* DominoMask: He also points out [[InverseLawOfUtilityAndLethality the advantages]] of spirit gum adhesive versus a simple string or piece of elastic when wearing a DominoMask.
* {{Expy}}: Of the first ComicBook/BlueBeetle, Dan Garrett.
* GoodOldWays: Only knows how to fix cars that run on gas. Manhattan accidentally ruined him when he made mass produced electric cars possible.
%%* HeroicDog: Phantom.
* IronicEcho: His "left hook" quote advice. We hear it again during Dr. Manhattan's flashback but there we hear that that is all Mason knows to fight crime, compared to Manhattan and his godlike power.
* MistakenIdentity: [[spoiler: Killed for being thought to be the Nite Owl who broke Rorschach out of jail]].
* NiceGuy: Doubles as the OnlySaneMan. He's humble, friendly, and took up his career because he wanted to be a superhero. About the only thing he did in the story that could even count as ''mean'' was calling out a few people in his autobiography, and the only person who really got it was [[PsychoForHire The Comedian]].
* OnlySaneMan: In a far, far less comedic sense than the usual application of the trope.
* PassingTheTorch: Handed off the heroship to a fan of vigilantes and nocturnal fowl, and retires to be a mechanic and neighborhood old guy. [[spoiler: Until his head is bashed in by a mob of punks for being vaguely related to the controversial BadassNormal and WellIntentionedExtremist Rorschach, that is.]]
* RetiredBadass: Subverted - a reader accustomed to this trope might except him to fight off the street gang that breaks into his place with ease. This, to say the least, is not how it plays out. In the director's cut of [[Film/{{Watchmen}} the film version]], he does fight back, with the blows cutting to brief flashbacks of him landing punches on masked villains when he was in his prime, but in the end there's just too many thugs for him to take on at once. There's even a brief HopeSpot for him (and an OhCrap for the thug) right at the start, where he ''catches'' the first punch before laying out the thug.
* SacrificialLamb: [[spoiler:A nice old man victimised by mob violence]].
* SuperheroesWearCapes: Tried it, but after he discovered how hard it was to walk around ''his own house'' with the thing on without it catching on things, he decided to go without.
* TokenGoodTeammate: Like Nite Owl II, he comes the closest of the Minutemen to being a true hero.
* VigilanteExecution: [[spoiler:Inverted trope -- He is killed by a sadistic gang of top knot-wearing people who apparently think they are dealing out street justice.]]
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: Is surrounded by his own memorabilia and has nothing to do but tell Dreiberg stories of his past exploits.

!!The Silhouette (Ursula Zandt)

-->''"Perhaps the '''Poles''' thought so too, eh? You agree, Sally?"''

A bored Jewish aristocrat who fought crime for thrills. Was exposed as a lesbian and drummed out of the Minutemen in 1946, and killed by an old foe afterward.

* AdaptationPersonalityChange: While the original ''Watchmen'' portrays her as smug and unpleasant, the prequel comics shed more light on her personality, revealing a more noble character, suggesting the previous interpretation was due to lack of screen time and the memories of other characters.
* CivvieSpandex: In the comics, her costume is a simple black pantsuit with a red sash. TheMovie makes it look more super-heroic.
%%* DeathGlare
* {{Expy}}: Of Nightshade.
* FriendToAllChildren: Before becoming a Watchman, she exclusively saved children. [[spoiler: implied to be because of what happened to her sister when they were captured by the Nazis]]
* LipstickLesbian: Even allowed to grab the nurse from TheVJDayKiss in the movie.
* RichBitch: Her only line (seen above) is an insulting dig at Sally (who had changed her name to hide her Polish heritage), and she's mentioned as being a rather unpleasant person in general.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Being Jewish, she despised the Hooded Justice, who was openly supportive of the Nazi regime.

!!Silk Spectre I (Sally Juspeczyk/Jupiter)

-->"Laurie, I'm 65. Every day the future looks a little bit darker. But the past, even the ''grimy'' parts of it... well, it just keeps on getting brighter all the time."

A former model who started fighting crime for publicity and became a founding member of the Minutemen, but hasn't been doing much since, except training her daughter to follow in her footsteps.

* ActionMom: She continued her career for several years after having Laurie.
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Creator/CarlaGugino as Sally Jupiter is ''far'' prettier than how the character was drawn, but Sally is also supposed to have been a bombshell when she was younger, so she's arguably an improvement.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: [[spoiler: Even after Eddie Blake viciously assaulted her and attempted to rape her, she still ended up starting a romantic relationship with him and had his child. She explained to her husband that Eddie's demonstration of gentleness at the time for [[TheSociopath someone like himself]] was worth it as she managed to reach a part of him that was seemingly impossible to uncover or in her words: "That magical romance and bullshit that they promise you when you're a kid." Her husband thought [[YoureInsane otherwise]].]]
* TheBeard: For Hooded Justice.
* BeautyMark: One which her daughter inherited somehow.
%%* BrokenBird
* TheChick: A {{deconstruct|orFleet}}ion of both The Chick and MsFanService.
* CivvieSpandex: It's a showgirl costume.
%%* DeadpanSnarker
* {{Expy}}: Of both Dinah Drake Lance[=/=]the first Black Canary and the Phantom Lady.
%%* FieryRedhead
* GloryDays: See her quote.
* IWasQuiteALooker: To the point she decides to keep a [[ParallelPornTitles Tijuana bible of herself]] to remind of the good times.
* MsFanservice: The entire point of her career.
* MyBelovedSmother: Laurie feels her mother put a lot of pressure on her to follow in her footsteps.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Later in life, she would decry the expulsion of The Silhouette from the Minutemen as unjust.
* NeverASelfMadeWoman: Sally's career was aggressively built by her husband/manager.
%%* OfCorsetsSexy
* PassFail: Changed her name from Juspeczyk to cover up her Polish heritage.
* RapeAsDrama: Part of Sally's backstory.
%%* RedHeadedHero
* RuleThirtyFour: InUniverse. Sally has an unlicensed porno comic ''of herself'' among her memorabilia, making this trope Older Than The Internet.
* StageMom: Coached her daughter to [[LegacyCharacter take up her profession]].
* StockingFiller: In the [[Film/{{Watchmen}} movie]], although it's justified by the fact that pantyhose weren't yet common in the 1950s. She does wear stockings and suspenders in the comic.
* TookALevelInBadass: Although her first fights were staged, she had to learn how to fight properly as a member of the Minutemen.
* WhiteDwarfStarlet: By the time 1985 has rolled around. Subverted in that while she's lost her beauty and her following (and never got the actress career she wanted), she is happy in retirement, with no wish to take up adventuring again, only to reminisce about her glory days and live vicariously through her daughter (whom she raised and trained to be Silk Spectre II) a bit.


[[folder: Heroes Who Became Active During The 1960s]]
!!Dr. Manhattan (Jon Osterman)
->''"I no longer wish to look at dead things."''

The only truly superpowered character in the story, due to a FreakLabAccident, Jon Osterman gained godlike powers. He's used his powers to revolutionize the world, provide energy for electric cars and blimps, and continues to work on amazing new technology... but as time has passed he has turned more emotionally distant to the people around him and indifferent towards humankind in general, and just doesn't seem to care about anything any more, or do anything unless he's told to.

* AchillesInHisTent: Finally leaves Earth after getting tired of saving it over and over.
* AGodAmI: A deconstruction. Having godlike power and ([[SubvertedTrope seemingly but actually not quite]]) near total omnipotence has led to Jon casually forgetting what it was to be human, and just becoming generally apathetic about life in general. [[spoiler: Once he comes to believe that life itself ''does'', in fact, have some sort of intriguing, intrinsic value, he decides to ''become a god'' by creating life somewhere in the Andromeda Galaxy as a sort of experiment.]]
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: His skin turned blue after the accident.
* AmbiguouslyJewish: On the one hand, his father's speech patterns. On the other, his apparent foreskin, which he may have reconstructed when he regenerated his body.
** Before Watchmen confirms he's half-Jewish on his mother's side, while his father was Christian.
* TheAntiNihilist: Has become this at the end of the story. [[spoiler:While he believed that humanity was unimportant because life isn't important enough to give other planets a chance, he also believes that the sheer improbability of any relationship, especially one so horrid as Laurie's parents' (adoptive and biological), resulting in any one person makes that person's existence a miracle, since so many factors could have gone to either create no life at all, or a different life.]] Jon in fact becomes so ''anti-nihilist'' that he [[spoiler:decides to create human life somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy just to study it.]]
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: [[spoiler: Dr. Manhattan leaves the galaxy to create life somewhere else, effectively fitting the definition of God.]]
* {{Badass}}: He's one of the key reasons [[AlternateHistory America wins]] TheVietnamWar.
* BadassBookworm: Most of what he does with his powers, as well as what he did before he had them, was studying particle physics.
* BewareTheSuperman: The very existence and the enormous extent of his powers almost leads to a nuclear war. Although benevolent enough by himself, he is very weak-willed and kills uncounted Vietcong in the Vietnam War and a solid number of American criminals (petty and otherwise) only because somebody told him to. Throughout all of this, he becomes progressively [[LackOfEmpathy detached from humanity]], at one point watching a pregnant woman being killed without even trying to interfere.
* BlessedWithSuck: Manhattan's power. The accident erased him from existence, but he [[UnexplainedRecovery came back]] with godlike powers. Then again, he's gradually detaching from the rest of humanity...
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: Even after rediscovering the value of life, he sees life in terms of predictable/unpredictable, instead of good/evil.
* CameBackStrong: Although it's not solely his death that is the catalyst of his powers, but the way he died. That is being disintegrated at the sub-atomic level but remaining conscious and disembodied for months before figuring out how to make a new body.
* ClassicalAntiHero: With the flaws emerging from being increasingly detached from mankind.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Due to his intellect and power, Jon becomes very distant from everyone. For instance, he treats "[[WesternAnimation/BugsBunny What's up, Doc?]]" ''as if it's a logical question''.
--> '''Jon:''' "Up" is a relative concept. It has no intrinsic value.
* CompleteImmortality: The only thing that slows him down is the same thing that gave him his powers, and since he already overcame that problem to begin with, it's more of a minor hindrance than anything else.
* DeathActivatedSuperpower: Dr. Manhattan is created after his human self is blown apart atom by atom.
* DeathByOriginStory: Physicist Jon Osterman is atomized in a nuclear experiment, but returns as "Dr. Manhattan", an immortal indestructible [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence ascended godlike entity]]. Dr. Manhattan was an {{Expy}} of ComicBook/CaptainAtom, so it is not surprising that Cap's origin was the same in both the original Charlton version and post-Crisis DC version: his body atomized by a nuclear bomb, he returns with superpowers.
* DeusExitMachina: Laurie even called him that when he appeared at Daniel's apartment.
* DisposableSuperheroMaker: Dr. Manhattan's accident.
* DramaPreservingHandicap: Another deconstruction. He could have ''easily'' solved the main conflict of the story ''if he had cared enough to'', which in the end, he didn't. [[WhatTheHellHero Rorschach calls him out on this towards the end]] [[spoiler: [[YouAreTooLate when he and Nite Owl show up too late]] [[TheBadGuyWins to stop Adrian.]]]]
* {{Expy}}: Of ComicBook/CaptainAtom. There are also elements of Franchise/{{Superman}}, a fact even commented on by characters in the story. His origin as a simple meek scientist caught in a science experiment echoes that of ''ComicBook/TheIncredibleHulk'' and other Marvel origins, putting a quantum spin to their ILoveNuclearPower origin stories.
* ExtremeDoormat: He only became a nuclear physicist because his father ordered him to. Even after he became the most powerful man in the world, he still remained a doormat, following the orders of the government.
* FullFrontalAssault: An unusual case. He starts out in a black bodysuit. As he grows increasingly inhuman, he wears less and less — he's in a thong by the Vietnam War. The nudity symbolizes his detachment from the human race, as well as emphasizing his utter invulnerability: nothing can hurt him, so why bother covering up? The only times he bothers to get dressed are at the request of others.
* FreakLabAccident: How he got his powers.
* HumanoidAbomination: He shows signs of becoming this throughout the story due to his growing detachment from, well, everything. He ultimately embraces humanity, sort of, but not his own. At best you could say he recognizes the value of humanity. What he actually does is [[spoiler: to go off to a galaxy far, far away to play God.]]
* HumanWeapon: Treated as the ultimate nuclear deterrent and anti-nuclear weapon by the US government. He decides to go play god in another galaxy before things go that far.
* InsignificantLittleBluePlanet: Dr. Manhattan sees it this way. All life on Earth could end, "and the universe would not even notice."
* MeaningfulName: Jon Osterman: "Oester" is a pagan fertility festival that was replaced by [[{{Jesus}} Easter]].
* MonsterModesty: Inverted with Doc Manhattan, who becomes increasingly immodest as he gets further from his humanity.
* NighInvulnerability: Minus the "nigh". See CompleteImmortality.
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: Both himself (as he emerged from an uncommon incident) and most of what he does.
* NonLinearCharacter: Past, present, and future is going on at the same time and so he cannot do anything.
* NoNudityTaboo: His preference is being completely nude, and he'll only wear clothes when he needs to. After his accident, he was actually given a costume which he reluctantly wore. But as he slowly detached himself from humanity, he chose to not be associated with anything in relation to humankind, and clothes were one of the first to go.
* NotSoStoic: After the accident, he only shows genuine emotion during his interview and later [[spoiler: when Adrian attempts to destroy him]].
--> '''Doctor Manhattan''': Please if everyone would just go away and ''leave me alone''... I SAID! '''[[BullyingADragon LEAVE ME ALONE!]]'''
* TheOmniscient: In the first part of the story, while he's still a side character. Although while he can see the future, past and present simultaneously, his knowledge of events is limited solely to the point of view of himself at that point in his personal timeline. For instance, he reveals that he knew that [[spoiler: Laurie was sleeping with Dan, not because he saw it happening, but because she told him about a minute into the future]].
* PersonOfMassDestruction: One of the most blatant examples, having been turned from a career of watchmaking to study nuclear physics by his father and given [[AGodAmI God-like powers]] thanks to a nuclear accident.
* PhysicalGod: Explicitly stated by Milton Glass.
-->'''Milton Glass:''': God exists, and he's American.
* PowerGlows: Though once a television producer complains he's too bright, he turns it off temporarily.
* PrescienceIsPredictable: Dr. Manhattan describes himself as "a puppet who can see the strings." Since he views all time simultaneously, he can't change the future because, to him, it's already happening. This causes him to stop caring about what happens and just go with the flow. When [[spoiler: a tachyon storm disrupts his ability to tell the future]], he becomes ''excited'', saying he had forgotten the joy of uncertainty.
* ProHumanTranshuman: At the same time as his transformation to TheAntiNihilist, as he comes to champion humanity and eventually [[spoiler:create life in another part of the cosmos.]]
* RadiationImmuneMutants: Which is great for him, but not for his loved ones who got cancer from him leaking it. [[spoiler:That was all a lie by Veidt.]]
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Averted. His presence and abilities have definitely solved many of the world's problems. (Not as many as he ''could'' solve, though.) Lampshaded by Niteowl I. He states that he plans to run a car repair shop after he puts up the cape, saying that even Dr. Manhattan can't change cars. Manhattan then explains how he can do ''exactly that''.
* ReluctantMadScientist: Especially in the film version.
* SelfMadeMan: Both in the sense that he came from working class roots to become a nuclear physicist, and in ''the most literal sense possible'' when he reconstructed himself at the quantum level.
* StoryBreakerPower: [[spoiler:Ironically, it doesn't do much. Even when Dr. Manhattan is vaporized and comes back.]]
* SuperpowerLottery: It's not even fair--nobody else in the series has any powers at all, and he's a PhysicalGod!
* TheSpock: Once he becomes too unsensitive. Even referred to as "goddamn Mr. Spock there" by a minor character at a cocktail party.
* ThatManIsDead: Manhattan's above quote applies to Jon.
* TimeDissonance: He experiences time in a non-linear sense. It can make it difficult to have a conversation with him as he simultaneously hears what you're saying, what you've said, and what you're going to say. This gives him an extreme sense of fatalism.
* TinMan: Doesn't seem to have any emotions at all, anymore. He does.
* UnexplainedRecovery: It somewhat hints that his watchmaking skills and intelligence to physics and the human body helped put his atoms back in the right order. But where his mind was in the duration still goes unexplained.
* TheUnfettered: It helps his powers manage to keep him without many hurdles to do what he wants.
* WalkingWasteland: Dr. Manhattan's presence is said to give people cancer. [[spoiler:Subverted, as it's actually Veidt deliberately inducing cancer in Manhattan's past acquaintances.]]
* WalkOnWater: Near the end of the graphic novel, as he notes his interest in creating life, he's standing on water. The implication is obvious. In the movie, the walking on water scene is visible in a commercial but lacks the symbolism.
* YouCannotChangeTheFuture: Dr. Manhattan exists in a multidimensional quantum solid state, and quickly tires of listening to his friends talk about what "could have happened" or what "should happen", since he already sees his time-stream. For him, the only difference between past and future is directional causality. The effects of causality on Dr. Manhattan himself are slightly contradictory, as future events can affect him backwards by causing him to report them, but not in any other way; he's unable to use the knowledge to interfere, and sees himself as bound by one-directional causality much like normal people.
--> '''Dr. Manhattan:''' Miracles by definition are meaningless. Only what can happen does happen.
--> '''Dr. Manhattan:''' ([[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment repeating himself twice]]) Excuse me, Rorschach. I'm informing Laurie 90 seconds ago.
* YouCantFightFate: Gradually came to such a belief due to his immense powers. Despite being a PhysicalGod, he felt himself powerless before the forces governing the universe. Even though he could see key events before they occurred and could easily have shaped history to his liking, he felt that anything he did would be so insignificant in the long run, taking action was pointless. [[spoiler:His ability to see the future being disrupted is one of the reasons he stops being passive.]]
* YourCheatingHeart: How his relationship with Laurie started. After telling Janey Slater (paraphrased) [[BlatantLies he'll always want her]].

!!Nite Owl II (Dan Dreiberg)
-->Rorschach: Used to come here often, back when we were partners.
-->Dreiberg: Oh. Uh, yeah... yeah, those were great times, Rorschach. Great times. Whatever happened to them?
-->Rorschach: [exiting] You quit.

A former superhero fan, then full-fledged superhero, and now retired intellectual. A gadget-based hero who flies the night skies in his state-of-the-art airship, Archie, he sometimes questions his use of million-dollar technology to fight petty crime.

* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl II may not look just like in the graphic novel, but considering Dan was a male version of BeautifulAllAlong once Laurie pulled off his glasses in the original too, it's hard to see this as a problem.
* {{Adorkable}}: He's based on Ted Kord, and therefore also fits. It doesn't hurt that he and his LoveInterest Laurie Juspeczyk/Silk Spectre II are, despite the uber-[[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructive]] nature of the story, the only two heroes in it that would fit in in a "normal" comic just as well. Dan's got some baggage, but it's normal, sane baggage.
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: ''Animal Alias'' variety.
* AscendedFanboy: Deconstructed to some degree since Dan describes his crimefighting career as "Some schoolkid's fantasy that got out of hand".
* AmbiguouslyJewish: [[AllThereInTheManual Apparently]] a lapsed Calvinist of Dutch extraction.
* BadassNormal: Along with every main character except Dr. Manhattan.
* BadassBookworm: Although he isn't as tough or smart as [[GeniusBruiser Ozymandias]], he's still a caped crimefighter with enough technical wizardry to build his own crimefighting weapons. He doesn't look threatening, and is effectively a comic book geek living out a childhood fantasy.
* BashBrothers: With Rorschach.
* BattleCouple: With Laurie.
* BerserkButton: [[spoiler: Hurting those close to him, apparently. Upon finding out that Hollis Mason, his old hero, mentor, and the original Nite Owl was murdered in his home by hoodlums, [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness mild mannered Dan Dreiberg utterly flips the fuck out]] and shouts that he's going to kill whoever is responsible.]] ''Rorschach'' has to hold him back. '''Rorschach'''. ''Let that sink in for a while...''
* BigBeautifulMan: Once he stopped crimefighting, Dreiberg presumably stopped getting his usual exercise (read: thrashing bad guys) and put on some weight. Under that, though, he's still quite strong, and he has a pretty handsome face to go with it. [[{{Adorkable}} The glasses don't make it any worse]].
* BoringButPractical: His approach to crime fighting seems like this next to Rorschach, it doesn't seem very dramatic but its far more effective. Rorschach wants to pursue his EntertaininglyWrong assumption about a [[spoiler: a mask killer]] by beating up more suspects while Dan takes time apart and interrogates that very assumption in the first place, leading them to the trail of the real culprit behind the Comedian's murder, [[spoiler: Adrian Veidt]].
* ClassicalAntiHero: Needs his costume to overcome his shortcomings.
* CoolAirship: Archie.
* CoolCar: The Owlcar.
* CovertPervert: Gets a sexual thrill from heroics.
* CrazyPrepared: When Laurie frets that the cops have figured out Dan is Nite Owl, he nonchalantly mentions that he had set up back-up identities ''years'' ago, just in case. He also made one for ''her''. Dan is like the poster boy for the SilverAge. The amount of equipment he had built for himself is just plain silly. His ship, built for fighting urban crime, has a fog generator, a water cannon, flame thrower and air to freaking air missiles. He also had a different Nite Owl suit for every environ you could possibly imagine. He even has a Snow-Owl suit for crime fighting in extreme cold. [[ChekhovsGun Why would you need one of those?]]
* CrimefightingWithCash: A deconstruction of this trope, at one point [[LampshadeHanging openly admitting]] how spending millions on dollars on crimebusting equipment to fight purse-snatchers and prostitutes isn't exactly the most economically sound thing to do.
* DatingCatwoman: Implied to have had this going on with the Twilight Lady.
* DoggedNiceGuy: To Laurie.
* TheEveryman: Means well but is out of depth with the realities of being a hero.
* {{Expy}}: Of the second ComicBook/BlueBeetle, Ted Kord.
* GadgeteerGenius: Has an insane amount of gadgets devoted to fighting crime in his basement. Also, while we repeatedly see Airships are commonly used in 1985 as a viable form of transport due to Dr Manhattan being able to synthesise Helium; the fact that Archimedes on the other hand is able to ''hover'' with ''no visible jets'' seems to suggest that Dan invented some form of anti-gravity technology. That he has Archie in the first (and only) Crimebusters meeting, means that he had cracked this technology ''as early as 1965!''
** Not just Archie, during that timeframe Dan had created a working exoskeleton, a tiny handheld laser gun, and night vision goggles that at least were as good as the stuff we have available nowadays.
* GeekPhysiques: He's rather chubby, and very geeky.
* GogglesDoSomething: They have infra-red vision.
* HeroicBuild: Let himself go after retiring. Since his return to superheroism, he may work to get it back.
* ICallItVera: He calls his airship "Archie", short for [[Disney/TheSwordInTheStone Archimedes]].
* [[IJustWantToBeNormal I Just Want To Convince Myself That I'm Normal]]: Until he gets back into action.
* InHarmsWay: He probably could have gone on without it, but it's clear he missed his old hero days and was eager to go back.
* InterplayOfSexAndViolence: Gets turned on after committing heroics.
%%* TheLancer
* LegacyCharacter: He even wrote a letter to his predecessor for permission to use the Nite Owl name.
* NerdGlasses: In his secret identity.
* NiceGuy: What else can be said about a man who can make friends with ''Rorschach''?
* NightVisionGoggles: He's incorporating an owl, after all.
* OddFriendship: With Rorschach. No-one else seems to even like being in the same room as Rorschach.
* OnlyFriend: He's also the only person who Rorschach calls a friend and is willing to actually apologize to. Dreiberg himself admits how hard it is to deal with him.
* PassingTheTorch: The first Nite Owl handed off the hero-ship to him.
* PoweredArmor: Tried to make a set at one point, but the prototype broke his arm in three places and he gave up. (It's one of the only things he leaves behind when fleeing the police. Wonder if someone tried it out?)
* RedOniBlueOni: Blue Oni to Rorschach (Red Oni) though its briefly flipped when rioters push his BerserkButton and kill [[spoiler: Nite Owl I]] where Rorschach has to hold him back.
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: With the twist that as Dan Dreiberg, he doesn't fake idiocy but instead pretends to be a harmless intellectual. After he retires, it's not so much an ''act''...
* SecondLove: To Laurie.
* StylishProtectionGear: [[spoiler:The Snow-Owl suit.]] It's [[http://starsmedia.ign.com/stars/image/article/958/958359/the-many-looks-of-the-watchmen-20090302015820596-000.jpg ted protection gear]] all right, but it's [[{{Narm}} not very stylish]]. It's [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110530173526/watchmen/images/0/0b/3238552612_5fc3cc8361_z.jpg less silly]] in the film.
* SuperheroesWearCapes: As an analogue of Batman, a natural.
* SuperiorSuccessor: The original Nite Owl freely admits it. Daniel himself is less certain.
%%* TechnicalPacifist
* TokenGoodTeammate: Alan Moore says that of all the Watchmen, he is the most like a classic superhero.
* TragicBromance: With Rorschach, [[spoiler:and the movie even allows Dan to punch Veidt in revenge once he dies.]]
* UnstoppableRage: [[spoiler: When Hollis Mason (a kindly old man and Nite Owl I) is murdered in his home for the 'crime' of being tangentially associated with superheroes, [[{{Understatement}} Dan freaks out]].]] We'll say it again, he unnerves '''Rorschach''' with his fury.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Dan's plan to bust Rorschach out of jail [[spoiler: gets Hollis Mason killed]].
* WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys: He is a GadgeteerGenius[=/=]RichIdiotWithNoDayJob, and thus makes his own wonderful toys. He also made Rorschach's grappling gun, explaining how the vagabond had such a good gadget.
* WideEyedIdealist

!!Ozymandias (Adrian Veidt)

-->''It is as Rameses said: "Canaan is devastated, Ashkelon is fallen, Gezer is ruined, Venoam is reduced to nothing, Israel is desolate and her seed is no more, and Palestine has become a widow for Egypt... [[spoiler: ...All countries are unified and pacified.]]''

Probably the most successful and effective hero of the lot. Adrian has honed his body and mind to near-superhuman perfection, created a multibillion dollar corporate empire, and mastered the sciences to change the world.

* TheAce: At the peak of intellectual and athletic achievement.
* AffablyEvil: In addition to being a WellIntentionedExtremist, he's also gentlemanly, witty, and calm, even in hand-to-hand combat. He treats his underlings kindly (right until he [[spoiler: [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness drugs them and leaves them]] to die of exposure to [[HeKnowsTooMuch prevent his secrets from getting out]]]].) When his former crimefighting colleagues track him down and learn of his [[YouAreTooLate already-in-progress master plan]], he gives them the opportunity to keep silent, and when all of them ([[spoiler:except Rorschach]]) agree, he trusts them enough to not only let them live, but to offer them hospitality in his fortress and allow them to leave freely. Hardly seems fair to hold [[spoiler: the deaths of millions of innocent people]] against him.
* AmbiguouslyEvil: [[spoiler: Was his master plan tragic but necessary or just wrong? Or both?]]
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler:His ultimate goal is to prevent World War 3 by massacring millions to make the world powers assume it was an alien attack. A horrendous course of action, but done with the best intentions in mind. Also, the subsequent weight of this action torments his conscience.]]
* AmbiguouslyGay:
--> '''Rorschach's Journal:''' Possibly homosexual? Must remember to investigate further.
---> His computer has a file in it titled "Boys".
** Also, in the title sequence (in the ultimate cut at least) he's seen walking into [[NoFameNoWealthNoService Studio 54]] and warmly greeting one of the other guys there.
** AmbiguouslyBi: Before Watchmen shows him in an sexual and romantic relationship with a woman and implies another, which means he is either this or straight.
* AwesomeByAnalysis: One look at an opponent's fighting style and he already learns how to counter it. According to him, [[spoiler: The Comedian]] had a skillful feint and a devastating uppercut, but little else]].
* BadassGay: He can lay the smack down on [[spoiler: Rorschach, Nite Owl, and ''The Comedian'']] ''all by himself''.
* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler: While the ''bad guy'' part is left up in the air, [[GreyAndGrayMorality Adrian certainly isn't]] ''the good guy''.]]
* BigBadFriend: [[spoiler:[[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Possibly]] subverted at the end.]]
* BiTheWay: His male "acquaintance" in Tibet.
* BrokenAce: [[spoiler: He is a young, blond super genius who is insanely rich, has America in his hands and defeats Rorschach, Silk Spectre, Nite Owl and Dr Manhattan at the end. He is also the antagonist, who kills millions of people in order to save the world from nuclear war.]]
%%* BroughtToYouByTheLetterS
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: His feats are mostly believable through most of the story, but in the final act, he catches a bullet. (It tears up his hand, and he doesn't quite believe it himself.) There's an interview he has at the end of the second-to-last comic where he firmly believes any normal human can be just as built as he is, you just need the will to see it through.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Has a savior complex that can be seen from space.
* TheChessmaster: [[spoiler:Engineered the whole villainous plot.]]
* ContemplativeBoss: Does this while fighting two superheroes. When his RightHandCat joins the scene and the fight ends, he continues while walking his corridors.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Averted. Adrian really isn't motivated by greed or a lust for personal power. [[spoiler: He's a {{Knight Templar}} or {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}, but [[ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules not a sellout]].]]
* DangerouslyGenreSavvy: [[spoiler:"Do you seriously think I'd explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? I did it thirty-five minutes ago."]]
* DarkMessiah: He [[spoiler:causes the deaths of millions]] in order to unify the world and prevent the nuclear Armageddon he believes is otherwise inevitable. The comic itself refuses to either obviously support or condemn his actions.
* TheDreaded: Even Rorschach is wary of this man.
* EvilPlan: [[spoiler: He is motivated by the desire of a 'better, more loving world'. To this end he orchestrated Comedian's murder and the destruction of New York to avert a nuclear war.]]
* {{Expy}}: Of Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt. Though there's also a bit of Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne in him.
* FallenHero: He appears to have averted this given he managed to become a rich businessman instead of a nervous trainwreck once retired from superhero duties... [[spoiler: but then the ending reveals he truly went from hero to KnightTemplar.]]
* GenghisGambit: Plans to force America and Russia to put aside their differences and work together by [[spoiler:making it seem as if a massive AlienInvasion is imminent.]] Whether or not it works on the long run is left up to the reader.
* GeniusBruiser: Smartest man on Earth, still strong and fight-capable enough to take on two fellow heroes.
* GermanicDepressives: In the film, Veidt comes off as rather dour and bitter, with an aloof smirk the closest to a smile he seems to actually be capable of (in contrast to his much warmer, more genial comic book counterpart).
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: [[spoiler: He would save billions of people from dying by causing millions of people to die.]]
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: [[spoiler: Destroying half of New York City to save the world from nuclear armageddon]].
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: By his own admission.
* ItsPersonal: [[spoiler: While he kills the Comedian because HeKnowsTooMuch, it's strongly implied that this was simply an excuse to finally get some payback on the Comedian beating the ever-living snot out of him when they first crossed paths in the 60's.]]
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: He talks freely about his plan because [[spoiler: the heroes are too late to stop him]].
* KarmaHoudini: He [[spoiler:commits a massive act of unadulterated ''[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans mass murder]]'']] and not only gets away with it scot-free, but is actually aided in covering it up by the heroes - because to expose the scheme would endanger the world even more. Although it's left open to interpretation whether or not his plan will ultimately succeed: [[spoiler: before chasing Adrian, and with strong suspicions about his plan, Rorschach left his personal notes at the local newspaper. In the last page, after the HappyEnding, a guy in the newspaper reaches towards a stack of papers ("the crank file"). The diary is near the top. TheEndOrIsIt ]] In the film adaptation he at least gets a good beating from Dan and a lecture on why his actions were wrong. [[spoiler: He knows his actions are '''wrong,''' but inaction would have been catastrophic.]]
* KnightTemplar: [[spoiler: Sacrifices millions to save billions]].
* LackOfEmpathy: He's said himself he has trouble relating to others [[spoiler:which is why he executes his EvilPlan without regret. Ultimately subverted, however, since the weight of his actions severely troubles him afterwards.]]
* LonelyAtTheTop: Hidden under dense layers of ego and posing for the eyes of history. The reveal is his insecure last exchange with Dr Manhattan.
* ManlyTears: [[spoiler: When his monster attack causes the US and Russia to discuss peace]].
* MeaningfulName: Ozymandias, [[spoiler: which suggests the final fate of his "better, more loving world"]]. His last name, Veidt, comes from German actor Conrad Veidt, whose appearance in TheManWhoLaughs directly inspired the character design of The Joker.
* NotEvilJustMisunderstood: [[spoiler: Ozymandias is a misunderstood villain. He single-handedly kills off half of New York City in order to avert a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union that would destroy the world.]]
* OlderThanHeLooks: He is still quite good looking despite being in his forties. As the [[Script/{{Watchmen}} unproduced movie screenplay]] describes him:
---> ''Although he's DREIBERG's age, his face is serene and unlined by worry. Blond and pale, he looks thirty. When he's sixty he'll look forty.''
* OmniscientHero: He has everything so well figured out that the morality issue is reduced to whether or not the goals he achieved was worth all the lives he sacrificed. However, two of the last few scenes make the whole thing ambiguous, leaving it to the reader/viewer do decide if the trope is played straight or subverted.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: He was averting this ''long'' before [[spoiler:...well, it hardly needs to be said at this point.]]
* RightHandCat: Ozymandias's genetically-engineered lynx, Bubastis.
* SelfMadeMan: He inherited a fortune. He donated all of it and proceeded to make his own fortune from scratch; just to prove that it's possible.
* SuperheroesWearCapes: Along with Nite Owl, one of the few who decided to keep them.
* TechnicalPacifist: He prefers brains over brawn, but is not above punching enemies.
* ThisIsReality:
** After the heroes try to foil his plan, he explains how DangerouslyGenreSavvy he is.
---> [[spoiler:"I'm not a Republic serial villain."]]
** [[PragmaticAdaptation Even better in the movie]]:
---> [[spoiler:[[LeaningOnTheFourthWall "I'm not a comic book super villain."]]]]
* TotalitarianUtilitarian: His goal is [[spoiler:to end the Cold War]] and then use his abilities to control the Earth and make it a paradise on Earth. His problem is mainly a type 1, [[spoiler:killing half of New York in a GenghisGambit]], but the ending implies it may also be a type 2, [[spoiler:assuming naively that this is all that is required to defuse a 40+ year old nuclear standstill and failing to take into account Rorschach's diary.]]
* TragicVillain: [[spoiler:He is never punished for his actions; they do hurt him psychologically, though. But the real tragedy is that in trying to save humanity, Ozymandias loses his soul by becoming the very evil he wanted to destroy.]]
* TheUnfettered:
-->'''Nite Owl''': No. I just don't buy it. Any of it. You wouldn't kill [[spoiler:half New York.]] You couldn't...
-->'''Ozymandias''': I could. I did. If you like, I'll tell you how.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: He is a public hero and has his own product line, including action figures.
* VisionaryVillain: [[spoiler:Ozymandias slaughtered half of New York, killing millions, in an attempt to save the rest of the world from a nuclear apocalypse.]]
%%* WalkingSpoiler
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Possibly the most successful one in fiction. [[spoiler:He kills 3 million people to achieve world peace...and, as far as the reader can tell, ''it works,'' though the last panel opens up the possibility that it may have all been for nothing.]]
* YouAreTooLate: [[spoiler:Was originally the trope namer via "ThirtyFiveMinutesAgo", and has one of the most iconic uses of it.]]

!!Rorschach (Walter Kovacs)
-->''"The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicans will look up and shout 'save us'... and I'll look down and whisper 'no'."''

The only non-government superhero still active as of the beginning of the book, Rorschach is a ruthless, disturbed vigilante who believes the world to be falling apart around him. He speaks in fragments and lives like a bum, having devoted his life almost entirely to fighting crime--and it's his devotion that allows him to pick up the trail of a man's mysterious death...

* AbusiveParents: His mother was certainly a horrible parent. How bad was she? When informed of her death, Walter only had one thing to say: [[KickTheSonOfABitch "Good"]].
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Creator/JackieEarleHaley as Rorschach sans mask is just generally a lot less odd-looking than his graphic novel counterpart.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: Some bullies show this to Rorschach and he goes berserk on them.
* AmbiguousDisorder: He has NoSocialSkills, an [[HatesBeingTouched extreme dislike of physical contact]] and [[CreepyMonotone bizarre monotone syntax]].
* AmbiguouslyGay: The "holding a handshake too long" scene that demonstrates Nite Owl II's sexual tension for Silk Spectre II is mirrored later with confirmed bachelor Rorschach doing the exact same thing to Nite Owl II. Though it's left ambiguous, he may have only done this because he has NoSocialSkills and that he appreciates Dan being his OnlyFriend.
* AntiHero: Rorschach is one of ''the'' [[TropeCodifier best and most famous examples]] in comic books.
* TheAntiNihilist: Possible, since Rorschach believes that rules and principles are the most important in life ''because'' the world has no more meaning than the one we impose on it. Alternatively or overlaps with {{Ubermensch}}.
* {{Asexuality}}: Rorschach is asexual, or at minimum repulsed by normal sexuality due to his traumatic childhood. Throughout the whole comic, he frequently makes derogatory comments towards sex in general.
* AxCrazy: See what he did to the child abductor and his dogs.
* {{Badass}}: He is, among other things, more badass than the Antarctic itself, enduring the bitter cold and what had to be some severe wind chill on one of Nite Owl's hoverbikes with no superpowers and no more protective equipment than the same overcoat and hat that he wore around New York. Without even a shiver.
* BadassBoast: Rorschach's boast is the trope image.
--> "None of you seem to understand. ''I'm'' not locked in here with ''you''. ''You're'' locked in here with ''me.''"
* BadassLongcoat: More evocative of pulp heroes.
* BadassNormal: Along with every main character except Dr. Manhattan.
* BashBrothers: With Nite Owl.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: His quote above. He feels the complete opposite when [[spoiler: New York is destroyed]].
* BecomingTheMask: "NO! MY FACE! GIVE ME BACK MY FACE!" Averted see [[spoiler: DyingAsYourself.]]
* BerserkButton: The same as Batman's: [[spoiler:don't ever harm a child]]. Also Rorschach's one limit. He won't punish his landlady for (falsely) telling the news he slept with her, because her kids are with her. Also, perhaps, because he saw himself in her son. And unlike ''his'' mother, she was holding her kids like she loved them.
* BlackAndWhiteInsanity: How his actions looks to everyone else.
** Rorschach's devotion to his ethos is so strong that it is impossible for him to accept any form of compromise. The fault in his philosophy is shown early on, as his patriotism and admiration for the Comedian's persona and combat record make him accept the attempted rape of Sally Jupiter, [[MadonnaWhoreComplex who Rorschach considers to be a whore,]] as a moral lapse of an otherwise upstanding citizen, even though he is later shown to consider rape a perfectly good reason to kill someone.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Symbolically displayed through his mask, which is described as how he sees the world; through an extreme filter of black and white. Although to the other characters it's more like BlackAndGrayMorality.
* TheBlank: The whole idea behind his mask.
* BloodKnight: Rorschach is hinted to be this. Upon seeing a woman about to be mugged and raped, Rorschach had this to say about the assailant:
--> '''Rorschach''': The man turned...and there was something rewarding in his eyes. [[SociopathicHero Sometimes the night is generous to me]].
* BoldInflation: Aside from the ill-fated Crimebusters meeting (which took place long before the 1975 kidnapping case which completely redefined him), the only instances where he spoke like this are when he was unmasked by the police and when he [[spoiler: goads Dr. Manhattan into killing him]].
* BreakOutCharacter: He is easily the most popular and influential character in the comics, with some people viewing him as the protagonist. This is especially true for Creator/JackieEarleHaley.
* ButterFace: A RareMaleExample. Has a very muscular and athletic body but, from the neck up, he's rather unattractive. Plain-looking at best.
* ByronicHero: As [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity flawed]] as he is, Rorschach is a very [[JerkassWoobie sympathetic]] character. An outcast and loner even among his superhero "peers", intelligent, cynical due to his experiences, introspectively brooding, dark, strong personal beliefs, follows his own rules which [[spoiler:eventually lead to his death]], Rorschach is the exemplar of a Byronic hero in comic books.
* BystanderSyndrome: Inverted. He beats up thugs who have harmed people he's never met and idealizes people he doesn't know (Kitty Genovese, Harry Truman, etc.) but loathes virtually everyone he ''does'' know. Familiarity breeds contempt, indeed.
* CelibateHero: He's freaked out beyond all recognition about anything to do with sex, due to child abuse. He has a massive madonna-whore complex and mentions once that he was "offered Swedish love and French love but not American love [by prostitutes]," however you want to interpret that.
* CivvieSpandex: Being an {{Expy}} of The Question and Mr. A.
* CombatPragmatist: To an insane degree. Rorschach's solution to the "Gordian Knot problem". When faced with an impossible lock, Rorschach will simply ''kick the door down.''
* ConspiracyTheorist: He started as an {{Expy}} of The Question, who in the Franchise/{{DCAU}} was a saner {{Expy}} of Rorschach.
* CoatHatMask: He sports the basic outfit, but with a head-covering mask (as opposed to the standard domino) with a shifting black-and-white pattern that initially inspired his moniker.
* CoolMask: Made from a failed prototype for a designer dress. Contains black fluids in latex which move from heat and pressure but never mix into grey.
%%* CrazySurvivalist
* CreepyMonotone: In the comic book, and to an extent in the film.
* CynicismCatalyst: The kidnapping and death of Blair Roche (see DespairEventHorizon).
* DeadpanSnarker: Particularly with Big Figure (''"Small world"''). Also when a therapist attempts to evaluate him with a ''Rorschach test''.
* DeathSeeker: Creator/AlanMoore says he is. [[spoiler:He finds it.]]
* DespairEventHorizon: He crosses it [[spoiler: when his investigation into the little girl's kidnapping reveals the kidnapper had butchered her and fed her to the dogs. He kills the dogs and then traps the kidnapper in the building he sets on fire. It was Kovacs that went into that place, it was ''Rorschach'' that came out.]]
* {{Determinator}}: Even after he jumps out a window which is at ''least'' five stories up, he lies on the ground telling himself to get up while the police kick him unconscious. And then some. Even more impressive in the movie version as he ''does'' get up and proceeds to beat down several more cops before he's finally overwhelmed.
* DoesNotKnowHowToSayThanks: Nor how to apologize, as he tries to do so with a handshake.
* DoesNotLikeGuns: Nite Owl says that Rorschach didn't shoot Moloch because that way of killing someone is too ordinary. Presumably this is why Rorschach chose to improvise when he is cornered by the police instead of picking up the gun. The gun was also empty, and Rorschach only kills criminals; crazy as he is, he doesn't bear ill will against police officers, and only fights them at all in order to escape.
* DoesNotLikeWomen: From his poor experiences with his mother.
* DoNotCallMePaul: "You keep calling me Walter. I don't like you." His therapist eventually starts writing "Rorschach" in his notes, a sign that his patient is getting to him.
* TheDreaded: This was seen in the comic when Rorschach entered the bar and the bartender begged him not to kill anyone today. And in one scene he is Dreaded even more than Dr. Manhattan. Where the riot argued with Manhattan, the riot Rorschach dealt with dispersed with his mere presence.
* DyingAlone: We don't even know how Dreiberg reacted or if he even cared about his ex-partner.
* DyingAsYourself: [[spoiler: Rorschach takes his mask off just before Dr. Manhattan kills him.]] [[WordOfGod Confirmed]] by Creator/AlanMoore who believed that it "is not the mask talking, it's not Rorschach, it's the actual human being [Walter Kovacs] that is somewhere under there."
* EntertaininglyWrong: His investigation of The Comedian's murder is doomed from the start because of his very wrong assumption of [[spoiler: a mask killer, that is an old villain trying to kill superheroes and a conspiracy that will endanger his old gang. Veidt enables this assumption to throw him off his trail and send Rorschach to jail.]] It's only after he teams up with Dan Dreiberg who questions his assumptions that they make real headway.
* {{Expy}}: Of TheQuestion and MrA, whom Rorschach was specifically based on. Moore also puts in elements of {{Franchise/Batman}} noting that "he would be considered a nutjob in real life" and in another interview he clarified Rorschach as "Batman without [[JokerImmunity the]] [[ThouShaltNotKill excuses]]". There's more than a little of [[TaxiDriver Travis Bickle]] in his journal entries, too. (Also confirmed by Moore.) When Steve Ditko was asked about Rorschach's similarity to his own heroes he confirmed it as well, saying, he was "Like MrA, except insane."
* [[{{UsefulNotes/Existentialism}} Existentialist]]: Rorschach believes life has no meaning other than the ones we impose on it.
* ExpressiveMask: And how. It does more than cover his face; to Rorschach, [[BecomingTheMask it]] ''[[BecomingTheMask is]]'' [[BecomingTheMask his face]]. His actual face, in contrast, is like a mask; his expression almost never changes.The black and white splotches in his mask never mix, representing his morality. For him there is only black and white, never gray.
* ExtremeMeleeRevenge: Anything he does. A vengeful prisoner get his face burned, a masochistic "villain" is thrown down an elevator shaft...
* FamousLastWords: DO IT!
* FatalFlaw:
--> '''Rorschach''': No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.
* FriendToAllChildren: Well, ''friend'' is stretching it to breaking point, but it matters to him that children aren't hurt.
* FreudianExcuse: His bad childhood.
* GeniusBruiser: Holds his own in a fight, and is a class A detective.
* GrapplingHookPistol: One of Rorschach's signature tools, [[spoiler:until the police take it away after his arrest]]. It gets turned into an ImprovisedWeapon at one point. It was originally designed for him by Dan, back when they were partners.
* GutturalGrowler: In the film, at least. In the comic it's mentioned that he speaks in a 'creepy monotone', but growling or lack thereof isn't specified.
* HeroWithAnFInGood: Not only he's TheCynic, but his methods are violent to the point of shocking even other heroes.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Rorschach's chapter [[ShoutOut even closes with that quote]].
* HomelessHero: He lives in squalor and has poor personal hygiene.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Hypocrisy characterized. He looks up to Harry Truman as a "good man" for dropping the atomic bombs on Japan to prevent even more death, but is horrified when [[spoiler: Veidt does the same thing on a larger scale]]. He hates and kills rapists, but dismisses Edward Blake's AttemptedRape of Sally Jupiter because he is a war hero. He hates lawbreakers and murderers, but is both of those things because he's a vigilante. The list goes on.
** Bear in mind, there has been speculation that he believes that the Comedian's rape on Silk Spectre was exaggerated or false. And given his experience with women, he most likely thought that she may have lied about it. And also, when Truman dropped the bomb, he had diplomatic credentials to do so, and even gave the Japanese warning, whereas [[spoiler: Veidt]] had no credentials, no place in the government, and gave no warning.
* HypocriticalHumor:
-->'''Rorschach''': Why are so few of us left active, healthy, and without personality disorders?
** Then again, he might not necessarily include himself in that category...
* ILetGwenStacyDie: Went over the edge after failing to save little Blaire.
* ImprovisedWeapon: He is the master of this.
* ItIsPronouncedTropay: Logically "Rorschach" is pronounced with a German "ch", but the cops in-universe pronounce it "Rorschack" apparently.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: A possibly [[AxCrazy insane]], borderline [[SociopathicHero sociopathic]], [[AntiHero ruthless]] vigilante who nevertheless has good intentions, saves civilians, cares for children and genuinely appreciates his friendship with Daniel.
* KnightTemplar: A rare AntiHero example.
* LittleNo: What Rorschach fantasizes about doing when the world eventually destroys itself, as seen in the page quote. [[CharacterDevelopment He eventually changes his mind.]]
* MadonnaWhoreComplex: Part of his BlackAndWhiteMorality.
* MeaningfulName: Rorschach turned out to be one on a meta level, to Moore's chagrin, though plenty of fans do see him for the disturbed sociopath he is.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler: One way of interpretting his request that Dr. Manhattan kill him near the end.]]
* NiceHat: In the movie, he keeps picking it up even when [[spoiler: Ozymandias]] keeps kicking his butt. It's also the only part of his outfit that [[spoiler: doesn't get vaporized.]]
* NinetiesAntiHero: He and The Comedian are considered the prototypes for these type of anti-heroes, despite not strictly embodying this trope themselves.
* NoSell: His CombatPragmatist street-fighting approach is [[spoiler: no match for Adrian Veidt, who outclasses him while continuing his ExpoSpeak to him and Dreiberg without missing a breath.]]
* NoSocialSkills: He never bathes, he thinks it's socially acceptable to break into people's houses and steal their stuff and has the nerve to tell Laurie that her mother almost getting raped by the Comedian could have been a moral lapse. Even Dan has problems dealing with him to the point where he finally lashes out at Rorschach. This leads to a handshake that Rorschach finds very awkward. The only time Rorschach feels at ease with anyone is when he's breaking people's fingers. He at least has the decency to try to avoid doing that in front of children (probably because of his own past experiences with AbusiveParents). It's made clear to the reader that while Rorschach is ultimately a good person and genuinely wants to help others, his total lack of proper social skills and his abundance of disorders will probably end up destroying him. [[spoiler: They do in the end]].
* ObfuscatingInsanity: Granted, he ''is'' pretty crazy as it is, but [[spoiler:he typically adopts the identity of a loopy prophet of doom as a civilian disguise.]]
* OddFriendship: With Nite Owl, who used to be his partner in crime-fighting. Its telling that when he suspects a Mask Killer, Dan is the first one he warns.
* OminousWalk: Uses this to great effect
* OnlySaneMan:
** {{Subverted|Trope}}: He paints himself as one in a CrapsackWorld. However, he is also batshit insane...
** DoubleSubverted: ...but he was onto something with his "mask killer" theory; he was, initially, the only person to notice something odd. Though he was also EntertaininglyWrong and it's only after he teams up with Dan Dreiberg that he makes headway, the latter's BoringButPractical approach being more effective and useful.
*** However, keep in mind that [[spoiler: Adrian faked his attack opon hearing Rorschach's cape-killer theory to keep him off the trail; it's possible that had he didn't, Rorschach may have figured out what actually happened and even managing to stop him.]]
** [[spoiler: He's also the only one who ''refuses'' to become complicit in Adrian's twisted lie on which he plans to base his future utopia. Whether this makes him insane or the only one who's ''not'' is a major point in the story at large. [[AxeCrazy Crazy though he may be]], he's the only main superhero in the story who never truly betrays what he believes to be right, so is it he or Adrian who is the real hero of the story?]]
* PayEvilUntoEvil: His modus operandi.
* PetTheDog: Rorschach may be batshit insane, AxeCrazy and treat even his team-mates with suspicion and abuse, but he does make it very clear that he ''does'' value his friendship with Nite Owl and apologizes when Nite Owl calls him out on his behaviour.
** When Dan is upset to the point of tears over [[spoiler: Hollis Mason's death]], Rorschach actually attempts to comfort him. It doesn't come out in the traditional way, being Rorschach, but Dan appreciates the effort.
* PintsizedPowerhouse: The guy's 5'6". He wore elevated heels as a part of his outfit.
* PowerOfFriendship: ThePowerOfFriendship is apparently the only thing that can counter his KnightTemplar attitude about everything. The only time we see him display a more-or-less human reaction (outside of flashbacks) is when Daniel bursts out and spells it out for him just how difficult exactly "being his friend" is.
* PragmaticHero: Initially, Rorschach was this during the early days of his career. He was in better health mentally, being a vigilante was still legal, and he would leave criminals to be arrested by the police, instead of murdering them. But the Keene Act and mentally snapping after the brutal murder of a girl [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope had driven him nearer to the edge]].
* PrinciplesZealot: Most people easily see him as this. There is however ''one'' time where he could be viewed as straying from his principles. A former criminal, Edgar Jacobi, previously known as Moloch the Mystic, had cancer and in his desperation to save his life he took illegal drugs that probably wouldn't save him anyway. Rorschach let this offense slide, for Edgar. He did however take the name of the company that sold the drug down, so in this case he might be viewing Edgar as a scam victim instead of a criminal.
* ProperlyParanoid: After an attempt is made on Ozymandias's life, it seems he was right to suspect that the Comedian's murder was the beginning of a plot to kill off superheroes. [[spoiler:Or not. Ozymandias himself had killed the Comedian then faked his own assassination attempt so Rorschach would believe his own theory and thus miss the ''real'' plot]].
* TheProtagonist: While the series doesn't exactly have a main character, if there had to be one, then it is Rorschach. He is described by many as the one who drives the story's plot forward.
* RedHeadedHero: Although he's more of an AntiHero.
* RedHeadedStepchild: Right from childhood, though [[SonOfAWhore his mother]] has as much influence in the mockery as the hair color.
* [[RedOniBlueOni Red Oni]]: To Nite Owl (Blue Oni)
* RunningGag: He keeps breaking into Dan's house throughout the novel, forcing Dan to call the locksmith. Even more ironic when you notice the locksmith is the [[MeaningfulName "Gordian Knot Lock Company"]].
* SerialKillerKiller: It could be argued that he fits in this trope, though he is more commonly placed as HeWhoFightsMonsters.
* SnowMeansDeath: Dies alone in Antarctica.
* SociopathicHero: He is one of the better-known examples of this, being more than willing to torture and kill if he believes good will come of it. He also shows a LackOfEmpathy towards the criminals he kills, even hinting that he [[BloodKnight enjoys killing them]].
* SonOfAWhore: He developed a number of sexual hangups thanks to growing up around his mother's work. Well, that and being beaten and verbally abused by his mother, and bullied by other kids for being a SonOfAWhore.
* TheSouthpaw: He's left-handed in the comic only.
* TerseTalker: He's always like this when talking, but his journal and internal monologue switches between this and [[PurpleProse outbreaks of fluency]]. Still skips articles and pronouns in journal.
--> "Stood in firelight sweltering. Blood spreading on chest like map of violent new continent."
* ThatManIsDead: After failing to save Blair Roche, he no longer responds to the name "Walter Kovacs". In his mind, Walter Kovacs entered that house. It was ''[[BecomingTheMask Rorschach]]'' that left it.
* TragicBromance: With Nite Owl. [[spoiler:Dan yells in frustration once Rorschach dies.]]
* TragicHero: A man who grew up in a hellish childhood and tried so hard to uphold some lofty standard of conduct guided by a twisted perception of integrity, and ultimately destroyed by it.
* TranquilFury:
** Unlike the other characters, who express fury through violent outbursts (The Comedian particularly), Rorschach is almost always calm and quiet in his violence. Even when pushed to his very limit in 1975, he didn't yell or lash out, he retained his quiet demeanor. He is emotionally withdrawn and during his adulthood he only makes a facial expression twice in the book (Panel 8 of Page 7 of Chapter 6, when he remembers a childhood incident, and when he [[spoiler:orders Manhattan to kill him]]. For the rest of the story his face is either covered by his mask or a blank stare.
** This is changed in the movie, however. His blank stare is replaced by a ClintSquint, and he is prone to fits of eye-twitchery. In 1975, when pushed to his limitations, instead of breaking down into the calm psycho he breaks up into an aggressive animal.
* {{Ubermensch}}: In addition to creating his own meaning and morality, Rorschach's view of life is largely misanthropic. That said, he does follow his own rules to try to make the world a better place.
* UncleanlinessIsNextToUngodliness: Or in Rorschach's case, uncleanliness is next to a ''severely'' warped mind.
* UnscrupulousHero: What he currently is and what he is well-known for. Rorschach is far from an ideal hero. He is absolutely ruthless towards criminals, killing them when he could easily beat them and leave them for the police. That said, most of the criminals Rorschach encounters are either killers or rapists so killing them might seem a [[PayEvilUntoEvil proper punishment]]. However, he does have genuinely good intentions and sincerely wants to make the world a safer place. To this end, he still saves civilians and actually cares a lot for kids.
* TheUnfettered: [[Quotes/TheUnfettered He even provides one of the quotes.]]
* VerbalTic: 'Hurm' and 'Ennk'.
* VigilanteMan: A deconstruction of this trope, as well as the AntiHero in general. He is not presented as a good person and the police disdain him — in fact, they hate him almost as much as the criminals do.
%%* WalkingDisasterArea
* WellIntentionedExtremist: His violent and murderous behavior towards criminals is fueled by his own twisted desires to protect the world and defend the good. However, due to mental trauma, he tends to view almost everything and everyone as bad and needing punishment, making him come off as a SociopathicHero.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: Only Nite Owl and the other heroes know he can be somewhat caring.
* WrongGenreSavvy: [[UpToEleven His fundamental issue.]] His views on [[BlackAndWhiteMorality morality]] would be better suited to the kind of stories Watchmen sets out to [[DeconstructorFleet deconstruct]]: InUniverse, they come across as unrealistic at best, and [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity outright insane at worst,]] which is often. Likewise, [[SubvertedTrope while he is]] [[TheCuckoolanderwasRight proven right]] [[ConspiracyTheorist in there being a conspiracy involving Blake's murder,]] [[spoiler: [[DoubleSubverted he completely misses]] [[HeKnowsTooMuch the true reason for his death,]] and more pertinently, [[RightForTheWrongReasons the true nature of the conspiracy.]]]]

!!Silk Spectre II (Laurie Juspeczyk)
-->''"I don't know anybody! I don't know anyone except goddamned superheroes!''"

Stage-mothered almost from birth into continuing her mother's legacy, Laurie has become very bitter and disillusioned since the Keene Act and starts out in the story as Dr Manhattan's girlfriend.

* ActionGirl: More than a match for any man [[spoiler: except Veidt]].
%%* AntiHero: Type I.
* BadassNormal: Along with every main character except Dr. Manhattan.
* BattleCouple: With Dan.
* BeautyMark: Has the same mole as her mother.
%%* DeadpanSnarker
* {{Expy}}: Of both Dinah Laurel Lance[=/=]the second Black Canary and the Phantom Lady.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: Laurie is all but a chain smoker. [[spoiler:Like her father.]]
* HimeCut: Along with a headband in the comic.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Initially.
* LegacyCharacter: The "original" Silk Spectre retired early in this world's history and started training and stage-mothering her daughter to succeed her.
* MamasBabyPapasMaybe: She's aware that her mother's husband is not her father, but doesn't find out the actual identity until later.
* MoralityPet: For Dr Manhattan.
* MsFanservice: Though hated her costume.
* MysteriousParent: At first, she thought that her real father was the Hooded Justice. Then [[spoiler:it turns out to be the Comedian.]]
* NeverASelfMadeWoman: Laurie [[LegacyCharacter inherited her mother's identity]], and spends the graphic novel dependent on her love interests. [[spoiler: Ultimately subverted with Laurie in the end, who expresses that she doesn't want to settle down with a family, but take up crime fighting again. But then again, she seems to be following in her recently revealed father's footsteps in that regard as well based on her description of improvements to her costume...]]
* NomDeMom: Granted, she never knew her father, so going by Sally Jupiter's pre-Americanization surname is a given.
* ObliviousToLove: To Dan at first.
* OnlySaneWoman: The most level-headed of the "Watchmen", given she's not as depressed as Dan.
* PassingTheTorch: More like having the torch shoved into her hand against her will, gratefully throwing it away, and then deciding it wasn't so bad after all.
* PrettyFreeloader: She was this for Doctor Manhattan and became this to Dan (he insisted). Can't blame her since she has no job skills aside from fighting crime.
* SatelliteLoveInterest: She was employed by the US government essentially to be one of these for Dr. Manhattan after she quit her old job in the {{Superhero}} business. Deconstructed in that she actually ''does'' have a personality, and it winds up conflicting to some extent with her mission of keeping Manhattan focused/sane/''human'', because the fact that he's too much the first of those and not enough the third upsets her, which in turn upsets ''him''.
%%* ShesGotLegs
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: She eventually realizes that Jon really loves her. Although his detachment from humanity caused him to be used as a walking murder weapon during the Vietnam war, she's attracted to his omniscience, his virility and his power over her. She also realizes that, as a god, he's unable to care for her the way a normal guy could. [[spoiler: So she ends up with the nerdy, mild-mannered, fat, balding, initially impotent Dan Dreiberg, and they live happily ever after]].
* SmurfettePrinciple: She was the only female "Crime Buster." But being ''Watchmen'', this is a DeconstructedTrope. Most Token Female characters in the SilverAgeOfComicBooks were presented as the most emotional and/or empathic, and usually as the less physically powerful of their respective teams. Laurie is definitively the most emotionally-driven of the main characters, being almost exclusively motivated by her relationships (with Jon, with her mother, with Dan and [[spoiler: with her real father]]). The empathy part is quite arguable as Laurie acts with indifference ''at best'' and great sceptism to the value of the superheroes or the ideals other characters fight for. And as for the "less physically powerful", she ironically is the one that comes the closest to [[spoiler: defeating the arguable BigBad Veidt by engaging WhyDontYouJustShootHim on sight.]]
* {{Stripperific}}: Her superhero outfit. She doesn't like it (and neither does Rorschach).
* StrongFamilyResemblance: The Comedian notes that Laurie looks just like Sally except for the brown hair... [[spoiler: something she inherited from him]].
* SuperheroPackingHeat: [[spoiler: What Laurie decides to be in the end]].
* SuperiorSuccessor: Her mother had her train practically her whole life to be this.
* TeleportationSickness: It always makes her ill.
* TheHeart: Of the main characters Laurie is by far the most selfish and the one the least concerned with ideals, but the moment she sees the aftermath of [[spoiler: Adrian's plan]] she's completely horrified, to the point of trying to [[spoiler: kill Adrian on sight]].
* {{Tykebomb}}: Trained from a young age for the sole purpose of being a superheroine.
* WomenAreWiser: To the rest of the team, especially [[PhysicalGod Doctor Manhattan]].

[[folder:Other Characters]]

!!Laurence Schexnayder

Sally Jupiter's ex-husband and manager.
* AbusiveParents: Implied to Laurie, since he knows she isn't his daughter.
* TheHeart: Managed to keep six (briefly seven) people together as an effective crime-fighting team, in spite of their neuroses and occasional hatred for each other. Perhaps a subversion in that he didn't actually ''care'' about any of the individual members (except for Sally) and dumped the team when he saw that they weren't going to be profitable for much longer.
* MayDecemberRomance: With Sally. He seems to have hooked up with her when she was about seventeen or eighteen.
* OnlyInItForTheMoney: The reason he kept the Minutemen together the best he could.

!!Moloch (Edgar Jacobi)

A former supervillain.
* AntagonistInMourning: He leaves roses at the Comedian's grave.
* ConvenientTerminalIllness: Turns out to have terminal cancer, seemingly caused by Dr. Manhattan.
* DiabolicalMastermind: Retired.
%%* DiesWideOpen
%%* HeKnowsTooMuch
* JokerImmunity: Averted. He went to prison in the 1960's.
* MasterOfIllusion: Moloch's gimmick as a "super"-villain was to use parlor tricks to mislead and frustrate police. His closest real life analog might be [[SpiderMan Mysterio]].
* {{Motifs}}: In his day, he favored demonic/occult motifs, to the point of [[RedRightHand having his ears tapered]].
* PointyEars
* PrettyLittleHeadshots: [[spoiler:Either by Veidt or on his orders.]]
* PunchClockVillain: Maybe not originally, but after prison he has no desire to return to villainy.
* ReformedButRejected: Mostly averted. After spending years in prison, only [[ConspiracyTheorist Rorschach]] is still suspicious of him.
* RetiredBadass: Old, ill, and long retired, he's still ready to shoot what he thinks is a burglar.
* RetiredMonster: Was once considered a heavy-hitter in the mob world, though it's hinted that Moloch is pretty mild by today's standards.
* StageMagician
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler: Of Ozymandias]].
* WellThisIsNotThatTrope: "You know the kind of cancer you ultimately get better from? ... [[ConvenientTerminalIllness That ain't the kind I got]]."

!! The Sea Captain

A fictional character that stars in the StoryWithinAStory ''Marooned'' that runs throughout Watchmen. The story retells of the man's journey to try to reach his hometown before the infamous Black Freighter gets there first to destroy it. What follows is a story about complete loss of humanity that's not too far from another character in Watchmen...

* {{Expy}}: At first, the comic just seems to simply be paralleling certain scenes in Watchmen, but otherwise comes off as pointless to the narrative, [[spoiler: Until you realize that the Sea Captain is in fact supposed to represent Ozymandias and his own supposed fate after his horrible actions intended for good...]]
* IAmAMonster: [[spoiler: ''"I was a horror: Amongst Horrors Must I Dwell."'']]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: His reaction when [[spoiler: he discovered he killed his own wife in front of his daughter.]]

!!Dr. Malcolm Long

-->''"No problem is out of the reach of a good psychoanalyst."''

Rorschach's court appointed shrink at Sing-Sing. [[spoiler: Killed by Veidt's monster]]
* TheAntiNihilist: Becomes this by the end. He has lost all optimism and happiness of his life, but [[spoiler:is still determined to help people where he can.]]
* BreakTheHaughty: His whole chapter tells the breakdown of his naivety.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Underestimated Rorschach's insanity.
* TokenMinority: The only black POV character.
* WideEyedIdealist: That would soon change.

!!Blaire Roche

-->''"Was she tied up and gagged?"''
-->''"No. She was six. Her kidnapper butchered her and fed her to his German Shepherds."''

The daughter of a bus driver. Rorschach's failure to save her sent him over the edge.
* DistressedDamsel: Played brutally straight.
* TheGhost: We never know what she looked like.
* MistakenIdentity: Was thought to be part of a rich family also named Roche.
* NeverFoundTheBody: Because she was fed to dogs.
* PosthumousCharacter: She was long dead by the time Rorschach found where she was being kept.