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In General

  • Badass Normal: With the exception of Manhattan, they were all normal humans.
  • Been There, Shaped History: Mostly Manhattan and the Comedian, but they were very involved in historical events before the Manhattaning.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: Many died or went their separate ways, only briefly reuniting during the 'Manhattaning' incident.
  • Precursor Hero: For nearly all the super heroes that debuted later.

     Doctor Manhattan (Jon Osterman) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dr_manhattan_1.jpg
Click for Civilian Look 
  • Achilles in His Tent: Finally leaves Earth after getting tired of saving it over and over.
  • A God I Am Not: Despite being nearly omnipotent, he states that he doesn't think there is a god, "and if there is, I'm not him".
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: His skin turned blue after the accident.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Dr. Manhattan leaves the galaxy to create life somewhere else, effectively fitting the definition of God.
  • Asexual: Lost all sexual desire ever since he became Manhattan.
  • Badass Bookworm: Most of what he does with his powers, as well as what he did before he had them, was studying particle physics. It goes even further, it is implied that the reason he was able to return was both because of his knowledge of particle physics and the fact that as a child his father would make him dismantle and reassemble complex clocks. This meant he had both the knowledge and thought process to accomplish this. In other words, he brought himself back as a Physical God under his own ability.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: His casual clothes.
  • Beware the Superman: 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 detached from humanity, at one point watching a pregnant woman being killed without even trying to interfere.
  • Blessed with Suck: 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...
  • Combat Clairvoyance: A product of his chronokinesis, Jon can see his own future in a "theoretical sense"; however, this power can be blocked by tachyons. While Jon often considers this ability to be infalliable, it is worth noting he has been wrong before. He has, on rare occasion, referred to this as studying a tapestry.
  • Death-Activated Superpower: Dr. Manhattan is created after his human self is blown apart atom by atom.
  • Dimension Traveller: Jonathan is able to travel to other planes of existence
  • Disposable Superhero Maker: Dr. Manhattan's accident.
  • The Dreaded: Considering Mxyzptlk, a veritable Reality Warper, is afraid of him, you can tell he would be this if he ever decided to become a villain.
  • EMP: Although it was not seen in practice, Dr. Manhattan surmised that an EM pulse would cause such "static" that it could obscure the future, hinting at another possible weakness.
  • Freak Lab Accident: How he got his powers.
  • Humanoid Abomination: While a rather neutral figure, is hard not to see him as one.
  • Human Weapon: 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.
  • Immortality: Never seeming to age, Jon never appears any older both physically and mentally after his accident. He stated that the world grew older around him.
  • Intangibility: Bullets and blows travel through Jon; as such, he can allow all objects to pass through him without so much as a reaction. He can extend this ability to other people and objects.
  • That Man Is Dead: Manhattan's above quote applies to Jon.
  • The Needless: Jon doesn't require food or sleep.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Jon possesses incredible durability and is practically invulnerable to any physical harm. His durability has allowed him to walk across the sun unharmed.
  • The Omniscient: His chronokinesis is limited only to his perception of time, Jon can clearly see his past and perfectly relive moments in time in an instant. Likewise, he can grant others the ability to instantly "relive" specific moments of their past, doing such allows Jon to experience these moments from their perspective as well.
  • Power Glows: Though once a television producer complains he's too bright, he turns it off temporarily.
  • Radiation-Immune Mutants: Which is great for him, but not for his loved ones who got cancer from him leaking it. That was all a lie by Veidt
  • Shameless Fanservice Guy: 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 things to go.
  • Size Shifter: Able to grow or shrink incredibly fast without a seeming limit. He displayed great abilities and focus while at these sizes without a loss of control in any fashion.
  • Tin Man: Doesn't seem to have any emotions at all, anymore. He does
  • Token Super: The only truly super powered individual in the group.
  • 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.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: He didn't kill the pregnant Marionette. Played with, as it wasn't THAT child of Marionette's he wouldn't hurt, but one that hadn't even been conceived yet and wouldn't be for years.
  • Your Cheating Heart: After telling Janey Slater he'd always want her, he started cheating on her with Laurie.

     Nite-Owl (Daniel Dreiberg) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nite_owl_earth27.jpg
Click for Civilian Look 
  • Adorkable: Dan was known for being somewhat insecure and awkward. He often lacked confidence in himself. When filled with such self-doubt, Dan would often be prone to analysis paralysis and inaction.
  • Alliterative Name: Daniel Dreiberg.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Animal Alias variety.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Deconstructed to some degree since Dan describes his crimefighting career as "Some schoolkid's fantasy that got out of hand".
  • Badass Bookworm: Although he isn't as tough or smart as Ozymandias, he's still a caped crimefighter with enough technical wizardry to build his own crimefighting weapons.
  • Badass on Paper: He's an incredibly skilled martial artist (good enough to take out entire gangs even while out of practice) who invented a physics-defying airship and a ton of crazy gadgets. But in a time where the only thing to use this stuff on is gangs and drug-pushers, he's just some rich fool playing hero because it's the only way he can get it up.
  • Bash Brothers: With Rorschach.
  • Battle Couple: With Laurie.
  • Boring, but Practical: His approach to crimefighting seems like this next to Rorschach. It doesn't seem very dramatic, but it's far more effective. Rorschach wants to pursue his Entertainingly Wrong assumption about a mask killer by beating up more suspects, while Dan takes the time to question that very assumption, leading them to the trail of the real culprit behind the Comedian's murder: Adrian Veidt.
  • Cool Airship: The Archie (Achimedes), A vaguely ovoid craft capable of both aerial and underwater operation. Dan named the aircraft after Merlin's pet owl in the "The Sword in the Stone".
  • Cultured Badass: Dreiberg appears to have old-fashioned tastes in music, preferring 1930s-1940s jazz (Billie Holiday, Nellie Lutcher, Louis Jordan) to more contemporary pop music.
  • The Everyman: Means well but is out of depth with the realities of being a hero.
  • Happily Married: To Laurie Juspeczyk.
  • I Call It "Vera": He calls his airship "Archie", short for Archimedes
  • Legacy Character: He took the role after Hollis Mason retired.
  • Morality Pet: Whenever his friends, family, or acquaintances would quarrel, Dan would often be unable to pick sides or take action which would cause any problems. He avoided such drama whenever possible, often leaving the rooms during arguments.
  • Nerd Glasses: In his secret identity.
  • Nice Guy: What else can be said about a man who can make friends with Rorschach?
  • Odd Friendship: With Rorschach. No-one else seems to even like being in the same room as Rorschach.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Rorschach's Red.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Rorschach's Manly Man
  • Technical Pacifist: He was the least bloodthirsty of the group.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Dan's plan to bust Rorschach out of jail gets Hollis Mason killed.
  • Unstoppable Rage: 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, Dan freaks out. He unnerves Rorschach with his fury.
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     Ozymandias (Adrian Veidt) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ozymandias_earth_27.jpg
Click for Civilian Look 
  • The Ace: At the peak of intellectual and athletic achievement.
  • Anti-Villain: 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.
  • Badass Bisexual: Possibly Bi, and he can lay the smack down on Rorschach, Nite Owl, and The Comedian all by himself.
  • Bi the Way: He swing both ways and had a male "acquaintance" in Tibet.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Veidt is at the peak of physical ability in strength, speed, agility, reflexes and durability. His abilities are such that even Rorschach is wary of facing him in combat.
  • The Chessmaster: Engineered the whole villainous plot.
  • Child Prodigy: He was exceedingly intelligently since early childhood, and had to hide his intelligence for a time on orders from his parents due to his genius intellect having the strong possibility of ostracizing him or causing unwanted attention.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Has a savior complex that can be seen from space.
  • Dark Messiah: He causes the deaths of millions in order to unify the world and prevent the nuclear Armageddon he believes is otherwise inevitable.
  • The Dreaded: Even Rorschach is wary of this man to the point he left behind his notes before confronting Veidt because he knew he likely wouldn't survive the confrontation.
  • Evil Plan: 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 and other cities to avert a nuclear war
  • Frame-Up: Framed Manhattan for the destruction of several cities in what's remembered as "the Manhattaning".
  • Genius Bruiser: Veidt is referred to as the smartest man alive. His mental performance allows his mind to operate in the most efficient and rapid manner possible. One manifestation of this is his tactical genius; the ability to quickly process multiple information streams and rapidly respond to changing tactical situations. Veidt is able to view a wall filled floor-to-ceiling with television screens, each showing a different image he is able to pay attention to each one simultaneously.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: He would save billions of people from dying by causing millions of people to die.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Adrian really isn't motivated by greed or a lust for personal power. He obtained his vast wealth by skillful understanding of the stock market and legitimate business ventures. He's a Knight Templar or Well-Intentioned Extremist, but not a sellout.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Destroying half of New York and other countries to save the world from nuclear armageddon.
  • Knight Templar: Sacrifices millions to save billions.
  • Omniglot: Veidt is fluent in English, Turkish, German, Russian and various other languages.
  • Photographic Memory: Veidt also possesses an eidetic memory, meaning that he never forgets anything and has perfect recall.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Ozymandias's genetically-engineered lynx, Bubastis.
  • Self-Made Man: He inherited a fortune. He then donated all of it and proceeded to make his own fortune from scratch just to prove that it's possible.
  • Technical Pacifist: He prefers brains over brawn, but is not above punching enemies.
  • Tragic Villain: 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. His vast intelligence even grants him the ability to not only fully comprehend his terrible actions but also "feel every life" he has taken
  • Unperson: After Perry White exposed him as the true culprit of "the Manhattaning" and the murderer of Edward Blake, Veidt went into hiding from the globe by the FBI and other authorities worldwide from hunting him and his company's assets ends up being sold to LuthorCorp.
  • Visionary Villain: Ozymandias not just slaughtered half of New York but also killed half million of other cities like London, Moscow, Paris, Tokyo, Washington, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Boston, Beijing, Cairo, Mexico City, etc. in an attempt to save the rest of the world from a nuclear apocalypse.

     Rorschach (Walter Kovacs) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rorschach_e_27.jpg
Click for Civilian Look 

  • 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".
  • Anti-Hero: Rorschach is one of the best and most famous examples in comic books.
  • Asexuality: Finds any acts of sex disgusting.
  • Ax-Crazy: See what he did to the child abductor and his dogs.
  • Becoming the Mask: "NO! MY FACE! GIVE ME BACK MY FACE!"
  • The Blank: The whole idea behind his mask.
  • 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.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: 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.
  • 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
  • Does Not Like Women: From his poor experiences with his mother.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: A rare Anti-Hero version. Rorschach's identity was mostly a secret until it is revealed he was that guy who carried a "THE END IS NIGH" sign.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": "You keep calling me Walter. I don't like you."
  • The Dreaded: Rorschach's mental instability is well known; even without his costume or any of his friends about, he is an intimidating man and has made many people flee in his presence.
  • 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.The black and white splotches in his mask never mix, representing his morality. For him there is only black and white, never gray.
  • Face Death with Dignity: How he goes out. He does not beg and refuses to compromise.
  • Famous Last Words: DO IT!
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Before crimefighting was outlawed he seemed to get along relatively well with his costumed peers, albeit with some criticism of his methods, though Nite Owl was always his closest ally.
  • Friend to All Children: One thing he won't stand for is someone else hurting a child, even if he isn't necessarily nice to them himself. The murder of Blair Roche pushed him over the edge, driving him to commit his first killing
  • Genius Bruiser: Holds his own in a fight, and has decent, albeit not exceptional, detective skills. Dan Dreiberg is the overall better detective, and is the one who actually figures out that Adrian Veidt is behind The Conspiracy
  • 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.
  • Heroic Willpower: After the events which made him take on the personality of Rorschach, in every aspect of his life, he developed a desire to make sure that all crime is punished. Even after masked adventurers became detested and banned, he continued his vigilante activities. He has also defied odds against a large number of armed police officers that surrounded him at Moloch's home. Veidt described Rorschach as having the "tenacity of a true sociopath." Rorschach also had demonstrated a high tolerance for pain as he was thrown into marble walls and crashed into TV sets with great force yet he remained conscious despite having no armor. In Antarctica, he was able to withstand incredibly cold temperatures while wearing only his trademark suit and trench coat.
  • Homeless Hero: He lives in squalor and has poor personal hygiene. Since he is entirely devoted to his work as a superhero and doesn't really have ties to civilian life in terms of friends and family, he doesn't really care about being poor.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Went over the edge after failing to save little Blair.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Rorschach kept a journal chronicling the events in his life as well as that of his fellow Crimebusters. Rorschach continued writing in the journal as late as October of 1987 when he began investigating the murder of former colleague Edward Blake, aka, the Comedian. Rorschach kept his journal in short-hand, which oddly enough, also reflected the way that he spoke to other people. Rorschach's final entry in the journal was in late October and took place just prior to his ill-fated mission to Antarctica to confront his former colleague, Adrian Veidt. Before leaving, he trusted the journal to an unknown associate. The journal would eventually be given to Perry White.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Some call Rorschach a sociopath, driven to his nature by the horrid nature of mankind. Whatever the case or cause might be, Rorschach is not a stable individual in modern public society and is only suited for his special brand of justice.
  • Mercy Kill: One way of interpreting his request that Dr. Manhattan kill him near the Manhattaning.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Granted, he is pretty crazy as it is, but he typically adopts the identity of a loopy prophet of doom as a civilian disguise.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: His modus operandi.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: The guy's 5'6". He wore elevated heels as a part of his outfit.
  • Posthumous Character: Killed shortly after the "Manhattaning".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Nite-Owl's Blue.
  • Snow Means Death: Dies alone in Antarctica.
  • Terror Hero: Rorschach's well-earned reputation for brutality means even civilians are terrified to be around him.
  • Tragic Hero: A man who grew up in a hellish childhood and tried so hard to uphold some a strong set of moral standards guided by a twisted perception of integrity and driven by a growing list of tragedies and failures before ultimately being destroyed by it.
  • Übermensch: 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.
  • Unreliable Narrator: He claims to have met Kitty Genovese before her murder, but despite his certainty his own recollections seem shaky, casting doubt on his entire backstory.

     Silk Spectre (Laurie Juspeczyk/Jupiter) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/silk_spectre_ii.jpg
Click for Civilian Look 
  • Action Girl: More than a match for any man except Veidt.
  • Badass Driver: Laurie is a talented operator of most road-based vehicles, including being trained in high-speed pursuit and defensive driving techniques.
  • Beauty Mark: Below her right eye, which is the exact same spot as her mother.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Her outfit comes with a mini-skirt, and she's undoubtedly dangerous to her enemies.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Especially with her mother.
  • Happily Married: To Dan Dreiberg.
  • Legacy Character: Kind of forced to take the mantle of her mother Sally Jupiter.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Laurie's desire to learn her father's true identity haunted her for much of her life, giving her intense nightmares and causing her to become irrational when she felt she was close to discovering her father's identity. When she finally did learn the truth, it nearly destroyed her to learn the circumstances surrounding her conception and to know that she had avoided her father all those years and was now too late.
  • Morality Pet: Laurie's insecurities also would get her the romantic attention of both Dr. Manhattan and Nite-Owl. When in relationships, Laurie became highly self-monitoring and would over-emphasize the importance of intimacy in her relationships.
  • Mysterious Parent: Before learning the true identity of her father, Laurie believed that "Hooded Justice" was her father.
  • Nom de Mom: Granted, she never knew her father, so going by Sally Jupiter's pre-Americanization surname is a given. Laurie preferred to use her full Polish surname and embraced her polish heritage over her mother's Americanized stage name. Laurie's younger brother Loren preferred the opposite approach.
  • Omniglot: Laurie is fluent in English and Polish. She is capable of carrying on a light conversation or reading Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, German, and Russian.
  • Only Sane Woman: The most level-headed of the Crimebusters, given she's not as depressed as Dan.
  • Passing the Torch: 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.
  • Pretty Freeloader: 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.
  • Related in the Adaptation: She's the paternal niece of Zinda Blake/Lady Blackhawk as she's the twin sister of her biological father Edward Blake.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The only female member of the Crimebusters.
  • Tyke Bomb: Trained from a young age for the sole purpose of being a superheroine.

     The Comedian (Edward "Eddie" Blake) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_comedian__earth_27__commission_by_phil_cho_dd262aw_pre.jpg
Click for Civilian Look 
  • Anti-Hero: At best, he's a hero only in name. That said, he does have a few redeeming qualities.
  • Back from the Dead: Doctor Manhattan teleported him to Coldsville in the middle of his fatal fall, allowing him to survive.
  • Badass Mustache: He does have a good-looking mustache.
  • Carpet of Virility: When he was with the new generation, his uniform let his chest hair open.
  • Cigar Chomper: As seen on the picture, he's always smoking a cigar.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Prefers guns and a straight fighting style over the more stylized moves others use.
  • Eagleland: A solid type II. He's a self-righteous jingoist and who happily gets his hands dirty on the behalf of the Nixon administration whether he's overthrowing foreign governments or assassinating political enemies.
  • Deadpan Snarker: it's his whole shtick.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Rorschach stresses that the Comedian is essentially a nihilist, just like him. Unlike Rorschach’s anti-authoritarian belief in justice, however, the Comedian is fundamentally amoral, driven only by a desire to be uglier than the world (hence his breakdown once he realizes that Ozymandias’s nihilism exceeds his own).
  • Determinator: Blake was regarded as having an immense willpower. He can resist torture and interrogation, push himself through pain and injury.
  • Glasgow Grin: Half of one, courtesy of his upset Vietnamese girlfriend.
  • The Gunslinger: He's the only one of the adventurers who regularly uses plain old firearms, keeping with his military them, and showing that he's quite a bit darker of an antihero than the others.
  • "Have a Nice Day" Smile: Wears a pin with that. That once hit with a splash of blood.
  • He Knows Too Much: Comedian found out Veidt's plan to end the Cold War. He was very much aware that this meant Veidt would come for him sooner or later.
  • Heroic BSoD: He freaks out when he discovers Ozymandias' plan.
  • Heroic Build: Kept in excellent shape even in his sixties.
  • Kick the Dog: 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. He may have even done it just to see whether, for all his talk, Doctor Manhattan would even bother to save her and to confront him with his loss of humanity.
  • Lack of Empathy: Doctor Manhattan says that Blake sees the stupidity and pain but just doesn't care.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: It's eventually revealed that he's Laurie's father.
  • Never My Fault: Comedian kills the Vietnamese woman he impregnated yet blamed Dr. Manhattan for not stopping him.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: He and his sister Zinda grew up to be polar opposites, with him turning increasingly cynical while she remained idealistic after she resurfaced long after he was killed.
  • Posthumous Character: The story open about his murder.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: His murder was what began the unraveling of the conspiracy behind the "Manhattaning".
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Of the first Silk Spectre.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Here he's the twin brother of Zinda Blake/Lady Blackhawk.
  • Scars Are Forever: He never loses the half-Glasgow Grin he got in Vietnam, just as the perpetrator intended.
  • The Unfettered: It's all a part of his persona: he regards all of society's conventions as a joke, so he laughs at them. With his fists. And occasionally his gun
  • Villain with Good Publicity: For all his acts, he's a sanctioned, government-funded operative after the Keene Act.
  • Would Hit a Girl: First time when he assaults Silk Spectre I and the second time when he and Nite-Owl are doing riot control. He also killed a woman who was pregnant with his child!

     Bubastis 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bubastis_earth_27.jpg

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     Captain Metropolis (Nelson Gardner) 

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