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Characters: Watchmen
Spoilers follow. Read at your own risk.

    open/close all folders 

     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.

The Comedian (Edward Blake)

"Blake is interesting. I have never met anyone so deliberately amoral. (...) As I come to understand Vietnam and what it implies about the human condition, I also realize that few humans will permit themselves such an understanding. Blake's different. He understands perfectly — and he doesn't care."
Dr. Manhattan

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.

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.

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 The Klan and Nazis. Disappeared in 1955, possibly at the hands of The Comedian.

  • Anti-Hero
  • Armoured Closet Gay: 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?!
  • Badass Normal: Along with every "masked vigilante" except Dr. Manhattan.
  • Berserk Button: 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 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.
  • The Berserker
  • Bigot with a Cape: More of the "bigoted", less of the "noble".
  • Bondage Is for Anti-Heroes
  • The Brute: An anti-heroic version.
  • The Cowl
  • Culture Equals Costume: Justice's costume references the circus (leotard and cape), The Klan (face concealing hood), and bondage (ropes on ankles, wrists, waist and neck) — all things Muller/Justice is associated with.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Was a big supporter of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich
  • Manly Gay
  • Lightning Bruiser: Fast enough to take on three armed men and win, strong enough to cripple and kill with his bare hands.
  • Shrouded in Myth: 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.
  • The Spook: His identity was never known and he promptly disappeared when people started asking questions, never to be seen again.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: If he's indeed Rolf Muller, according to Under the Hood he was assassinated by his Communist superiors.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Cheated on Captain Metropolis with younger men.

Mothman (Byron Lewis)

"Me, I hope we keep out of it. Just thinking about war, it scares me..."

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.

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.

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.

  • Civvie Spandex: In the comics, her costume is a simple black pantsuit with a red sash. The Movie makes it look more super-heroic.
  • Death Glare
  • Expy: Of Nightshade.
  • Lipstick Lesbian
  • Rich Bitch: Her only line is an insulting dig at Sally for being Polish, and she's mentioned as being a rather unpleasant person.
    • Although since Sally steadfast denied being Polish and tried to cover up her European roots, she likely took this as a personal insult against her own proud Austrian heritage.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: 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.

     Heroes Who Became Active During The 1960s 

Dr. Manhattan (Jon Osterman)

Comedian: "Yeah. Yeah, that's right. Pregnant woman. Gunned her down. Bang. And y'know what? You watched me. You coulda changed the gun into steam or the bullets into mercury or the bottle into snowflakes! You coulda teleported either of us to Goddamn Australia... but you didn't lift a finger!"

The only truly superpowered character in the story, due to a Freak Lab Accident, 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 emotional 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.

  • Achilles in His Tent
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: His skin turned blue after the accident.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: On the one hand, his father's speech patterns. On the other, his apparent foreskin.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: Has become this at the end of the story. While he believed that humanity was unimportant due to the fact that 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.
    • Pro-Human Transhuman: At the same time.
    • Jon in fact becomes so anti-nihilist that he decides to create human life somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy just to study it.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Dr. Manhattan leaves the galaxy to create life somewhere else, effectively fitting the definition of God.
  • Badass: He's one of the key reasons America wins The Vietnam War.
    • Badass Bookworm: Most of what he does with his powers, as well as what he did before he had them, was studying particle physics.
  • Beware the Superman
  • Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome: Manhattan's power. The accident erased him from existence, but he came back with godlike powers. Then again, he's gradually detaching from the rest of humanity...
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Even after rediscovering the value of life, he sees life in terms of predictable/unpredictable, instead of good/evil.
  • Came Back Strong
  • Classical Anti-Hero
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Due to his intellect and power, Jon becomes very distant from everyone.
    Jon: "Up" is a relative concept. It has no intrinsic value.
  • Complete Immortality: 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.
  • Death Activated Superpower: Dr. Manhattan is created after his human self is blown apart atom by atom.
  • Death by Origin Story: Physicist Jon Osterman is atomized in a nuclear experiment, but returns as "Dr. Manhattan", an immortal indestructible ascended godlike entity.
    • Dr. Manhattan was an Expy of Captain Atom, so it is of course not surprising that Cap's origin was basically the same in both the original Charlton version and post-Crisis DC version: his body atomized by a nuclear bomb, he returns with superpowers.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Laurie even called him that when he appeared at Daniel's apartment.
  • Expy: Of Captain Atom.
    • There are also elements of 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 The Incredible Hulk and other Marvel origins, putting a quantum spin to their I Love Nuclear Power origin stories.
  • Disposable Superhero Maker: Dr. Manhattan's accident.
  • Extreme Doormat: 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.
  • Full-Frontal Assault
  • Freak Lab Accident
  • Humanoid Abomination
  • Human Weapon
  • Insignificant Little Blue Planet: Dr. Manhattan sees it this way. All life on Earth could end, "and the universe would not even notice."
  • Meaningful Name: Jon Osterman: "Oester" is a pagan fertility festival that was replaced by Easter.
  • Monster Modesty: Inverted with Doc Manhattan, who becomes increasingly immodest as he gets further from his humanity.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Minus the "nigh". See Complete Immortality.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup
  • Non-Linear Character
  • No Nudity Taboo: 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.
  • Not So Stoic: After the accident, he only shows genuine emotion during his interview and later when Adrian attempts to destroy him.
    Doctor Manhattan: Please if everyone would just go away and leave me alone... I SAID! LEAVE ME ALONE!
  • The Omniscient: 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 Laurie was sleeping with Dan, not because he saw it happening, but because she told him about a minute into the future.
  • Person of Mass Destruction
  • Physical God: Explicitly stated by Milton Glass.
    Milton Glass:: God exists, and he's American.
  • Power Glows
  • Prescience Is Predictable: Dr. Manhattan describes himself as "a puppet who can see the strings." Since he literally 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 a tachyon storm disrupts his ability to tell the future, he becomes excited, saying he had forgotten the joy of uncertainty.
  • Radiation Immune Mutants: Which is great for him, but not for his loved ones who got cancer from him leaking it. Of course, that was all a lie by Veidt.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: 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.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist
  • Story Breaker Power: Ironically, it doesn't do much. Even when Dr. Manhattan is vaporized and comes back.
  • Superpower Lottery: It's not even fair—nobody else in the series has any powers at all, and he's a Physical God!
  • The Spock
  • Time Dissonance
  • Tin Man
  • Unexplained Recovery: 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.
  • The Unfettered
  • Walking Wasteland: Dr. Manhattan's presence is said to give people cancer. Subverted, as it's actually Veidt deliberately inducing cancer in Manhattan's past acquaintances.
  • Walk on Water
  • You Cannot Change The Future: 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 entire 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: (repeating himself twice) Excuse me, Rorschach. I'm informing Laurie 90 seconds ago.
  • You Can't Fight Fate

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.

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... ...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.

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...

  • Abusive Parents: His mother was certainly a horrible parent. How bad was she? When informed of her death, Walter only had one thing to say: "Good".
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach sans mask is just generally a lot less odd-looking than his graphic novel counterpart.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Some bullies show this to Rorschach and he goes berserk on them.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He has No Social Skills, an extreme dislike of physical contact and bizarre monotone syntax.
  • Ambiguously Evil: While he certainly has good intentions, Rorschach is deliberately left morally ambiguous to let the readers decide whether his extreme methods of fighting evil were necessary or not. Or whether exposing Ozymandias's plan was the right thing to do or not.
  • Anti-Hero: Rorschach is one of the best and most famous examples in comic books.
    • Pragmatic Hero: 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 had driven him nearer to the edge.
    • Unscrupulous Hero: 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 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.
  • 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.
    • Ambiguously Gay: 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 due to the fact that he has No Social Skills and that he appreciates Dan being his Only Friend.
  • Ax-Crazy: See what he did to the child abductor and his dogs.
  • Badass
    "None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked in here with me."
  • Bash Brothers: With Nite Owl.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: His quote above. He feels the complete opposite when New York is destroyed.
  • Becoming the Mask: "NO! MY FACE! GIVE ME BACK MY FACE!"
  • Berserk Button: The same as Batman's: 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.
  • Black and White Insanity: How his actions looks to everyone else.
  • Black and White Morality: How he sees himself, although to the other characters it's more like Black and Gray Morality.
  • The Blank: The whole idea behind his mask.
  • Blood Knight: 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. Sometimes the night is generous to me.
  • Bold Inflation: 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 goads Dr. Manhattan into killing him.
  • Butter Face: A Rare Male Example. Has a very muscular and athletic body but, from the neck up, he's rather unattractive. Plain-looking at best.
  • Byronic Hero: As flawed as he is, Rorschach is a very 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 eventually lead to his death, Rorschach is pretty much the exemplar of a Byronic hero in comic books.
  • Bystander Syndrome: 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.
  • Celibate Hero: 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.
  • Civvie Spandex
  • Combat Pragmatist: 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.
  • Conspiracy Theorist
  • Coat, Hat, Mask
  • Cool Mask: 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.
  • Crazy Survivalist
  • Creepy Monotone: In the comic book, and to an extent in the film.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Particularly with Big Figure ("Small world"). Also when a therapist attempts to evaluate him with a Rorschach test.
  • Death Seeker
  • Despair Event Horizon: He crosses it 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 them some.
  • Does Not Know How To Say Thanks: Nor how to apologize, as he tries to do so with a handshake.
  • Does Not Like Guns
  • Does Not Like Women: Rorschach, from his poor experiences with his mother.
  • Do Not Call Me Walter
  • The Dreaded: 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.
  • Dying as Yourself: Rorschach takes his mask off just before Dr. Manhattan kills him.
    • Confirmed by Alan Moore 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."
  • Entertainingly Wrong: His investigation of The Comedian's murder is doomed from the start because of his very wrong assumption of 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 The Question and Mr. A, whom Rorschach was specifically based on.
    • Moore also puts in elements of Batman noting that "he would be considered a nutjob in real life" and in another interview he clarified Rorschach as "Batman without the excuses".
    • There's more than a little of Travis Bickle in his journal entries, too. (Also confirmed by Moore.)
  • Existentialist: Rorschach believes life has no meaning other than the ones we impose on it.
    • Anti Nihilist: 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...
    • ‹bermensch: 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.
  • Expressive Mask: And how. It does more than cover his face; to Rorschach, it is his face. His actual face, in contrast, is like a mask; his expression almost never changes.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge
  • Famous Last Words: DO IT!
  • Fatal Flaw:
    Rorschach: No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.
  • Friend to All Children: Well, friend is stretching it to breaking point, but it matters to him that children aren't hurt.
  • Freudian Excuse: His bad childhood.
  • Genius Bruiser
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: One of Rorschach's signature tools, until the police take it away after his arrest. It gets turned into an Improvised Weapon at one point. It was originally designed for him by Dan, back when they were partners.
  • Guttural Growler: 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.
  • Hero with an F in Good
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Rorschach's chapter even closes with that quote.
  • Homeless Hero
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    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...
  • Improvised Weapon: He is the master of this.
  • Indy Ploy
  • Jackie Earle Haley: Plays him in the movie.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A possibly insane, borderline sociopathic, ruthless vigilante who nevertheless has good intentions, saves civilians, cares for children and genuinely appreciates his friendship with Daniel.
  • Knight Templar: A rare Anti-Hero example.
  • Little "No": What Rorschach fantasizes about doing when the world eventually destroys itself, as seen in the page quote. He eventually changes his mind.
  • Meaningful Name: 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.
  • Mercy Kill: One way of interpretting his request that Dr. Manhattan kill him near the end.
  • Nice Hat: In the movie, he keeps picking it up even when Ozymandias keeps kicking his butt.
    • It's also the only part of his outfit that doesn't get vaporized.
  • Nineties Anti-Hero: He and The Comedian are considered the prototypes for these type of anti-heroes, despite not strictly embodying this trope themselves.
  • No Sell: His Combat Pragmatist street-fighting approach is no match for Adrian Veidt, who outclasses him while continuing his Expo Speak to him and Dreiberg without missing a breath.
  • No Social Skills
  • Odd Friendship: 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.
  • Ominous Walk
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Subverted: He paints himself as one in a Crapsack World. However, he is also batshit insane...
    • Double Subverted: ...but he was onto something with his "mask killer" theory; he was, initially, the only person to notice something odd. Though he was also Entertainingly Wrong and its only after he teams up with Dan Dreiberg that he makes headway, the latter's Boring, but Practical approach being more effective and useful.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: His modus operandi.
  • Pet the Dog: Rorschach may be batshit insane, Axe Crazy 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 even apologizes when Nite Owl calls him out on his behaviour.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: The guy's 5'6". He wore elevated heels as a part of his outfit.
  • Power of Friendship: The Power of Friendship is apparently the only thing that can counter his Knight Templar 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.
  • Principles Zealot: 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.
  • Properly Paranoid: 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. 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.
  • The Protagonist: 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.
  • Red-Headed Hero
  • Red-Headed Stepchild
  • Red Oni: To Nite Owl (Blue Oni)
  • Running Gag: He keeps breaking into Dan's house throughout the novel, forcing Dan to call the locksmith.
  • Serial-Killer Killer
  • Sociopathic Hero: Rorschach 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 Lack of Empathy towards the criminals he kills, even hinting that he enjoys killing them.
  • Son of a Whore
  • The Southpaw: He's left-handed in the comic only.
  • That Man Is Dead: 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 Rorschach that left it.
  • Tragic Hero: 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.
  • Tranquil Fury
  • Terse Talker
  • Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness: Or in Rorschach's case, uncleanliness is next to a severely warped mind.
  • The Unfettered
  • Verbal Tic: 'Hurm' and 'Ennk'.
  • Vigilante Man
  • Walking Disaster Area
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist

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.

    Other Characters 

Laurence Schexnayder

  • Abusive Parents: Implied to Laurie, since he knows she isn't his daughter.
  • The Heart: 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.
  • May-December Romance: With Sally. He seems to have hooked up with her when she was about seventeen or eighteen.
  • Only in It for the Money: The reason he kept the Minutemen together the best he could.

Moloch (Edward Jacobi)


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