The Tulsa and federal law enforcement forces, and the government's politicians.
Detective Angela Abar / Sister Night
Played by: Regina King
The main Protagonist. A Tulsa police officer who begins donning a mask after being targeted by the Seventh Kalvary.
- Action Girl: As a police officer, she regularly beats up terrorists.
- Alliterative Name: Angela Abar.
- Ambiguous Situation: The final scene ends before it becomes clear whether or not she gains some version of her husband's powers.
- Ascended Fangirl: She based her persona on a Blaxploitation movie she really wanted to see as a child.
- Badass Longcoat: She wears one, complete with hood, as Sister Night.
- Blackface: A notable (but unremarked) part of her "Sister Night" costume is the fact she applies this to the part that is exposed of her face, which means that when she takes off the lower part she looks like she's wearing a Domino Mask.
- Crazy-Prepared: Angela keeps a shotgun stashed behind the headboard of her bed, as well as a pistol for Cal to use in self-defence. Justified in that she was attacked and nearly killed in her own home by a racist terrorist group only three years ago.
- Creepy Catholicism: Her police persona of Sister Night is some sort of warrior nun complete with rosary. Episode 7 reveals that Angela adopted this directly from the titular heroine of an In-Universe Blaxploitation film she idolized as a kid.
- Cool Car: She drives a souped-up black Buick Grand National as part of her costumed persona.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Angela watched her parents get blown up in front of her by a suicide bomber, then wound up in an orphanage in Vietnam doing sweatshop work until the grandmother she never knew she had arrives to take her back to the continental US, only to herself suddenly die that same day. Plus her aforementioned near death experience during White Night.
- Dark Is Not Evil: In spite of her codename and evil nun persona she is one of the main protagonists.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Angela clearly does not take Wade's betrayal well.
- Everyone Has Standards: While no stranger to Police Brutality herself, she considers Red Scare's planned assault on Nixonville excessive.
- Fatal Flaw: Her inability to trust anyone and her tendency to take matters into her own hands comes back to bite her big-time when she finds Will Reeves under Judd's corpse. The typical thing to do would have been to just report it, crazy as it was, and avoid the whole pointless "raiding Nixonville" thing the police did as retaliation. Instead she conducts her own private investigation and covers up anything to do with Will Reeves which results in Laurie busting her (and Laurie, as it turns out, is a good enough detective that all the cover-ups barely work anyway).
- Foil: To Rorschach. She also thinks in "black and white", but it is not Black-and-White Insanity, she is brutal in a fight but has moments she thinks applying said brutality in the quest to uphold law can go too far, and overall is more heroic. When she discovers the Klan outfit in Judd's closet, she takes it away and performs a secret investigation about it, starting with asking Reeves if he is framing Judd. Kovacs wouldn't have done that.
- Generation Xerox: Angela turns out to be one of her grandfather Will Reeves AKA Hooded Justice. Both are police officers who were victims of an unforgivable hate crime at the hands of The Klan and have taken up a costumed identity in order to combat them in their respective communities. They also do this at the cost of causing a strain on their relationship with their significant other.
- Godzilla Threshold: After finally learning what Joe Keene and the Seventh Kalvary plan to do in order to overthrow the egalitarian society born of Adrian Veidt's 11/2 attack, Angela has no choice but to awaken her husband Cal's true identity as Doctor Manhattan to help her stop them.
- Heroic Lineage: Turns out that her grandfather is Hooded Justice, a vigilante just like herself.
- Horrible Judge of Character: She states to her friend Judd that she has an accurate "nose for white supremacy", unaware that Judd was involved in the Seventh Kavalry/Cyclops.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Considering that she has adopted three kids and is implied to be unable to have children, it's obvious that she really wanted to be a mother. Given that it's revealed her husband was actually Dr. Manhattan, it's likely it was impossible for him to give her children (at least normal ones) too.
- MayflyDecember Romance: Cal is revealed in episode 7 to be the ageless Dr. Manhattan.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Angela asks Jon to ask Will ten years in the past how he knew Judd was a Cyclops member who had a Klan robe hidden in his closet. When Will replies that he doesn't know who Judd is, Angela realizes that she has retroactively set off the chain of events that end in Judd's murder and everything that followed.
- No-Sell: Laurie (Silk Spectre II) gave her a Breaking Speech after an entire episode of running over people as well as tearing apart their worldview. Angela's reaction?"Ooooooo."
- Nun Too Holy: Her superhero identity is an evil nun. However she is (ostensibly) good.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Angela's parents were both casualties of a suicide bombing while they were living in Vietnam, leading to her being raised in an Orphanage of Fear. To make matters worse, when Angela's grandmother found out about her existence and opted to be her new guardian, the poor woman died of a heart attack before they could even leave the country.
- Police Brutality: Our first look at her on the job is violently bringing a man in for questioning on zero evidence besides her gut, then literally beating the blood and piss out of him to get information on the Seventh Kavalry. Rorschach would be proud.
- Rabid Cop: She's enough of one that Judd holds off on informing her of the traffic stop shooting until the next day. Later she drives into a white shantytown, breaks into a random trailer without a warrant, and throws the occupant into her trunk with no mention being made of whether she read him his Miranda Rights. Then, after Looking Glass's interrogation, she beats the suspect until he discloses where the Seventh Kavalry's hideout is. And even if she thinks the police arresting everybody in Nixontown is excessive, the moment a rioter tries to hit her she beats the everliving crap out of the guy (although that was definitely the stresses of the past couple of days making her careless).
- Screw Destiny: Even with Jon's insistence that she cannot change the future and save his life, Angela gears up to fight the heavily armed Kavalry in his defense anyway. Unfortunately Jon is eventually proven right, but her very willingness to try is why Jon is in love with her.
- Secret-Keeper: She was apparently the only one who knew Cal was really Dr. Manhattan the entire time.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Laurie's Badass Boast about how she takes down good guys and masks results in Angela shrugging it off, much to Laurie's surprise.
- Trauma Conga Line: Angela probably didn't need Laurie to tell her that costumed vigilantes use their masks to hide the pain, seeing as she:
- Saw her parents blown up by a bomb as a little girl.
- Watched her grandmother die of a heart attack, having only known her a day at most.
- Was attacked by masked white supremacists as an adult, losing some of her friends on the force in the process.
- Found the man she considered a father hanging from a tree, apparently at the hands of her own long-lost grandfather.
- And then after all that, she learns that said father figure was a closet racist and is forced to watch her husband die a painful death.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Little Angela in Vietnam wanted to at least listen to the execution of the guy who helped blow up her parents. Yikes.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Will was the person who killed Judd Crawford, but Angela was the person who gave Will the idea via Doctor Manhattan.
Wade Tillman / Looking Glass
Played by: Tim Blake Nelson, Philip Labes (younger)
A Tulsa police officer who wears a reflective silvery cowl.
- Ambiguous Situation: A couple of scenes featuring Glass leave a bit of room for interpretation.
- As he interrogates Sister Night in episode 2, she calls him "a cold motherfucker". He replies "Then why am I crying under here?" As he's still wearing his mask, it's hard to see if he really is. Was that simple sarcasm, or was he actually moved by Judd's death?
- At the beginning of episode 5, he is shown working at his cover job as a market researcher. After a commercial is shown inviting people to post-squid New York and receives glowing scores from the test audience, he claims the viewers were actually still full of fear and not at all willing to come to the city. Was he being observant as usual, or was he just projecting his own paranoia onto them?
- Ambiguously Bi: He has been married to Cynthia and shown attraction to women, but also watches with interest during the part of a Minutemen episode that shows Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis having sex.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Deconstructed. Glass is incredibly observant, perceptive to even the most minute details, like a suspect's expressions and involuntary reactions. He is also very distrustful of nearly everyone and everything, to the point of being a borderline Conspiracy Theorist (or at the very least, he's easily perceived as such). These qualities make him a highly effective interrogator, to the point where some viewers even suspect he might be psychic; but they also cause the failure of his marriage, and ultimately bring about his downfall when he is lured into the Seventh Kavalry's HQ and blackmailed into turning in Sister Night.
- Broken Pedestal: Finding out about Judd's Klan robes doesn't faze him. Recognizing Senator Keene's voice behind a Kavalry mask barely surprises him. What destroys him? Finding out the squid attack that horribly traumatized him was staged by Ozymandias years ago. He can barely even bring himself to wear his foil-coated hat after that.
- Creepy Good: LG is a valued member of the police force, but he still has a steely, ambiguous personality (not helped by him almost always wearing his reflective mask) that can be unnerving, with Angela calling him a "cold motherfucker".
- Crazy-Prepared: Emphasis on "crazy," as he is over-prepared even by prepper standards. He tests his alarm system so often it breaks down from overuse. This is probably the real reason he sits around home eating food with his mask on, because it (theoretically) would stop a psychic attack and he's not going to go through that ever again.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Wade just happened to be in the New York area during 11/2 (Adrian Veidt's squid attack) and was within the psychic shock zone. Because of this, he spends the next thirty years consumed by fear of the next major squidfall. To make matters worse, it happened directly after a deeply humiliating sexual incident.
- A Day in the Limelight: Except for the Veidt segment, "Little Fear of Lightning" is told entirely from Wade's perspective.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Implied in episode 7, after Agent Pete finds five dead Kavalry members at his home, with one of them missing a mask and confirmed in episode 8 when he talks to Laurie.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Wade helps Laurie subdue and arrest Veidt, the man whose plot left him a traumatized mess for over 30 yearsand what's more, with the video disc given to Wade by Senator Keene, there are good odds of bringing Veidt to justice.
- Expy: He carries a lot of Rorschach's mannerisms and personality traits, with his cowl even being referred to as his "face". He also shares Rorschach's hangups about sex, albeit where Kovacs was disgusted by the act (associating it with his abusive prostitute mother), Word of God states that Wade feels ashamed by the act (associating it with being put in a humiliating position by a girl right before the squid dropped). While Looking Glass differs from Rorschach in role, Lindelof certainly drew a lot from Rorschach when writing the character. He also eats a can of beans the same way Rorschach did, with the lower half of his mask lifted.
- Foil: Reflectatine aside, like Rorschach, he has a full-face cowl that is referred to as his "face", and in certain scenes dark splotches reflecting off the mask resemble the shifting inkblots of Rorschach's cowl. He also seems to be Married to the Job, to the point where he still wears his mask at home. Unlike Rorschach, he's no conspiracy theorist and swallowed the accepted truth about the New York incident. He also actually works with law enforcement rather than acting on his own as a vigilante. His interrogation methods are also the direct opposite of Rorschach's, as he just uses light psychological pressure as opposed to Rorschach's "break fingers until someone talks" method.
- Genius Bruiser: While he's primarily valued for his observational and analytical skills, he's tough enough to kill five armed Seventh Kavalry members by himself after they ambush him in his apartment.
- Guttural Growler: He speaks in a raspy, low baritone that provides him with an aura of subtle menace.
- Horrible Judge of Character: When it comes to dating women. His ex-wife notes that he always picks the ones that are going to "kick [him] in the balls." Sure enough, the woman he dates in the same episode turns out to be a spy who is leading him into a trap.
- In-Series Nickname: "LG" or "Glass". Laurie also refers to him as "Mirrorguy/man" to piss him off.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He can be cold and blunt, but he does show concern for the safety of Angela's family. And in his spare time, he runs a support group for traumatized victims of the squid attack in New York. Even if he doesn't quite believe it, he tells his group that there's light at the end of the tunnel, and that things will get better.
- Living Lie Detector: Not quite infallible, but LG is an expert in detecting involuntary lying signs. This ability gets disarmed if he warms up to a lady emotionally, sadly.
- Loafing in Full Costume: He's shown at home still wearing his mask and only pulling it up halfway when about to eat dinner.
- Mundane Utility: In the first episode Judd uses his reflective mask as a mirror to adjust his tie. In the third episode, Agent Blake checks her teeth in his mask. His Living Lie Detector ability is put to use in his civilian identity as a market research consultant, helping clients figure out if customers actually enjoy the commercials they are being shown (they don't, he reckons, with regards to a desperate New York tourism ad).
- Mythology Gag: Visually, his costume most closely resembles Rorschach's, and some of the late vigilante's mannerisms are reflected in the character.
- Not So Stoic:
- His low, emotionless voice and tendency to constantly wear a featureless reflective mask means it's easy to mistake him as cold and scary, but in actuality he's a man with a host of emotional issues who's just barely holding it together and is grappling with long-lasting trauma.
- When accused of being heartless by Angela when Judd's corpse is retrieved by the police, he claims he's crying. However, given that he's wearing a mask it's impossible to say if he was being genuine or sarcastic.
- He's also clearly flustered when Angela asks him to call in a favor from his ex-wife who he once claimed was on good terms with. This turns out to be mostly true but it doesn't make things any less painful for him.
- Laurie is very good at getting under his skin, and he can barely contain his irritation when she makes fun of his mask and name.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When five armed Seventh Kavalry members attacked him at night, he managed to kill all of them and subsequently escape.
- The Profiler: Besides being the Tulsa Police's top interrogator, he is also a behavioral scientist.
- Secret-Keeper: Despite their abrasive banter with one another, Angela trusts him enough to hide Judd's Klan Robe from Agent Blake and to keep quiet about the potential implications it might have. Angela's trust in Wade tragically backfires after he's forced by Keene to make a Sadistic Choice between selling her out to Agent Blake or letting the Kavalry target her family again.
- Spock Speak: LG has a habit of lapsing into thick police/scientific jargon.
- The Stoic: He has a laconic, half-bored demeanor that comes through even when he's conducting a very intense interrogation.
- Southern-Fried Genius: Speaks with the thickest accent out of all the main characters and is the most cerebral.
- Survivalist Stash: Keeps loads of supplies in an underground backyard bunker that doubles as a photographic dark room.
- Tinfoil Hat: Both his mask and the inner lining of his baseball cap are made of "reflectatine", which ties into his anxieties about squids. Since being in a hall of mirrors apparently did save him from the psychic attack, it has some basis.
- Torture Technician: He's the designated interrogator for the Tulsa Police Department, having a pod where suspects are bombarded with imagery to make them expose lies by involuntary reactions, though it generally seems like he only deploys mild psychological pressure on the perps, never laying a finger on them. Noticeably when things get physical it's always either Sister Night or Red Scare that does this.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Happens to him twice after Doctor Manhattan teleports him — first to Greenwood, then to Karnak.
- Wham Line: When he's confronted by the Kavalry.Looking Glass: Are you even trying to disguise your voice, Senator?Keene: Shit, am I still wearing my mask?
- You Are in Command Now: Even though Red Scare argues with him about whether he really is in charge, he basically becomes the unofficial de facto leader of the Tulsa Police following Judds death. This lasts until Agent Blake takes over.
Played by: Andrew Howard
A Tulsa police officer who wears a red ski cowl.
- The Big Guy: He's the most physically brawny and most heavily armed of the main cop characters.
- Big Eater: He's frequently shown eating. He says he's got a fast metabolism.
- Chummy Commies: Played With. He is chummy only because he is in the side of the police and even then is not above committing Police Brutality or being a standard dick for no reason.
- Dirty Communist: Inverted; a paparazzi calls him a Nazi for roughing him up, but Scare proudly replies that he's a Communist.
- In-Series Nickname: "Scare".
- Jerkass: He spends most of his time being a callous, resolute asshole.
- Rabid Cop: He leads the rest of the Tulsa police into rounding up all of the residents of Nixontown and interrogate them all to see who is responsible for Judd Crawford's murder. He also very visibly brings an assault rifle to the climactic raid of the first episode when Sister Night only brings a pistol.
- Red Scare: His name and entire persona.
- Those Two Guys: With Pirate Jenny.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Has an undefined Slavic accent.
Played by: Jessica Camacho
A Tulsa police officer who wears a beaded mask.
- Disposable Pilot: Subverted. She is the designated pilot of the Archie airship owned by the Tulsa police that crashes in the very first episode in pursuit of a 7th Kavalry airplane but she survives mostly unscathed.
- The Generic Guy: While neither she nor Red Scare are particularly prominent, Red Scare at least has several salient character traits (namely that he's a violent and abrasive Communist). Pirate Jenny thus far doesn't even have that going for her.
- Mythology Gag: In the comics, comic books began to focus on pirates rather than costumed heroes as part of the Alternate History with "Jenny" possibly gaining inspiration from there.
- Those Two Guys: With Red Scare.
Chief Judd Crawford
Played by: Don Johnson
The chief of the Tulsa Police and the boss to Angela, Looking Glass, and Red Scare.
- Affably Evil: Part of what makes the discovery of his dark side so heartbreaking is because Judd was so likable; a charming man who was a loving husband, an Honorary Uncle to Angela's children and A Father to His Men who led from the front. It's little wonder that Angela is so conflicted upon discovering the KKK robe.
- All There in the Manual: There are several details of his backstory not mentioned in the show proper, only in files that appear on the show's website. In his youth, he served in the Marines in Vietnam (under Robert Mueller no less) and got a Bachelor's degree in criminology from the University of Oklahoma. He worked as a professional rodeo rider for a couple of years before joining the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department in 1980. In 2004, he moved back to Tulsa and joined the Tulsa Police Department as a senior detective.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Will tells Angela that he killed Judd because he was a participant in a conspiracy and that he had "skeletons in his closet." This turns out to literally be the case when Angela discovers a Ku Klux Klan robe hidden in a secret compartment in Judd's closet. Worse, Keene reveals that the only reason Judd and his wife befriended Angela's family was so that they could get close to Cal, a.k.a. Doctor Manhattan, with the ultimate aim of killing him.
- Broken Pedestal: To Angela, when she finds Judd's secret Klan robe.
- Casting Gag: According to Damon Lindelof, Johnson was cast based on his iconic Miami Vice role as the charismatic and heroic cop protagonist. This association is then subverted when he turns out to be a member of the KKK.
- Condescending Compassion: Before he dies, he tells Will Reeves that he joined the Seventh Kavalry in order to protect "you people" from them — which is probably the least encouraging thing to say to a person of color.
- Da Chief: For the Tulsa PD, complete with a cowboy hat.
- Decoy Protagonist: The amount of screen time he receives in the pilot, along with his status as a Reasonable Authority Figure, leads one to believe that he's one of the main characters. He's not, dying at the end of the first episode.
- Expy: As a main character who dies at the start of the story and has the past of an Asshole Victim, Judd is one for the Comedian.
- False Friend: He deliberately inserted himself into Angela's life during her recovery to get close to her husband. Judd was working with the Seventh Kavalry to kill Cal/Doctor Manhattan and take his power.
- He Knows Too Much: His actions against the Kavalry terror cell in Episode 1 are revealed to be this, as revealed by Damon Lindelof. Both the traffic stop shooting and the confession Angela beat out of the Kavalry suspect jeopardized the Kavalry's construction of the lithium-lined cage needed to contain Doctor Manhattan. Judd greenlit the police operation at the ranch and shot down the escaping Kavalry plane so that anyone who could blab about the Kavalry's plan would be eliminated.
- Hidden Depths: He's surprisingly a pretty good singer. He's also conservative, judging by the radio show that he listens to while on a drive. Unfortunately, he turns out to be a member of the Seventh Kavalry, and his grandfather was in the KKK.
- Honorary Uncle: He's one to Angelas children.
- Karmic Death: Being forced to hang himself by a black man who survived white supremacist violence in his youth is a fitting end for a white supremacist, especially using one of Cyclops's own methods.
- Mole in Charge: A secret member of the Seventh Kavalry; while playing the role of leading the Tulsa Police Departments charge against them.
- Oh, Crap!: Lets out a "Shit!" once he sees that his tires were popped by a spike strip and realizes he's about to be ambushed.
- Poisonous Friend: The only reason Judd and his wife befriended the Abars for three years was so they could get close to Cal/Doctor Manhattan while the Kavalry was busy building the lithium cage needed to contain him.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He was a member, perhaps even a leader, of the Seventh Kavalry/Cyclops. Senator Keene later claims that Judd was in the Kavalry not because he was a racist at heart, but to "keep the peace" in Tulsa; Looking Glass doesn't buy that particular line of nonsense. However, the Klan robe seen in Judd's closet is revealed to have belonged to his grandfather, which he defends as his "legacy".
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: It's revealed that Reeves used a strobe light to force Crawford to kill himself.
- Stable Time Loop: His death is ultimately revealed to be a result of this, as Angela asked Dr. Manhattan to ask the Will of ten years ago about how he knew about the robe in Judd's closet and his ties to the Seventh Kalvary — revealing to past Will the existence of these things in the first place.
- Villain with Good Publicity: A well regarded police chief who was secretly aligned with the Seventh Kavalry.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Murdered at the end of the first episode.
- The Vietnam Vet: It's not brought up in the show proper, but supplementary materials on the show's website mention that he served in the Marines in the Vietnam War.
- Walking Spoiler: Its hard to talk about him from the end of the first episode and onwards without spoilers as he gets killed off and then the revelation that he was involved with the Kavalry.
Played by: Jacob Ming-Trent
A Tulsa police officer who wears a panda mask.
- Animal Motif: Pandas are fat and fluffy, sure, but they are also highly ornery and unfriendly creatures. In other words, fat bastards.
- Fat Bastard: He definitely is seen as a "bastard" by the rest of the Tulsa police, and is obese enough to make his nickname meaningful.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: He is openly disliked by the rest of the Tulsa police force for being an Obstructive Bureaucrat.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: He's apparently infamous in the Tulsa PD for being a stickler for the rules, particularly about authorizing cops to draw their weapons. In the opening scene of the show, an officer in need of his weapon winces when he hears that Panda is on shift. Indeed Panda insists on going through each and every step of the process. Afterwards, he shows no remorse about the fact that this got the officer shot and simply quotes from the rulebook when all other officers agree that they must perform a Cop Killer Manhunt.
- Rules Lawyer: Very obsessed with making sure the letter of the law is followed, regardless of whether the spirit is.
- See here.
Agent Dale Petey
Played by: Dustin Ingram
An agent on the FBI's Anti-Vigilante Task Force and Laurie Blake's partner in the Tulsa investigation.
- Ascended Fanboy: A fan of masked vigilantes and their culture; he works with a retired one as his superior officer and gets to learn that Angelas grandfather was Hooded Justice, the first masked Superhero of the trend. It is heavily implied that he became "Lube Man".
- Break the Haughty: In his final Peteypedia memo, he states that his experience in Tulsa has forced him to rethink his blinkered assumptions about costumed heroes and the culture surrounding them.
- Fanboy: He is a college history PhD specializing in the costumed adventurers of years past, and as such cautiously probes Laurie with questions about her past career on the flight to Tulsa. He also includes an excerpt from Rorschach's journal in the FBI briefing to the annoyance of his superior. It gets him terminated from the FBI when his superiors had enough of his fanboying interfering with his job.
- Heroic Wannabe: His obsession with costumed vigilantes seems to stem from a desire to become one himself. The final Peteypedia entry heavily implies that he was "Lube Man".
- Ignored Expert: Despite having studied the history of masked vigilantes, and even writing a dissertation on the police strike of '77, he's largely undervalued by the Bureau despite being part of an Anti-Vigilante Task Force. This is best exemplified in how he added an excerpt from Rorschach's journal in a presentation about the Seventh Kavalry only to be reprimanded.
- MayDecember Romance: He has a one night stand with Laurie.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He's completely absent from the final two episodes. Peteypedia implies that this is because he went off to pursue a superhero career as "Lube Man", as he'd been kicked out of the FBI after going missing.
The Redford Administration
Played by: Robert Redford
The 39th, and longest-serving, President of the United States.
- Everyone Has Standards: Robert Redford was made fully aware of what Adrian Veidt has done, and is complicit in keeping the truth suppressed. However, an article covering Veidt's alleged death notes that there was a split between them following Redford being sworn into office, suggesting that he was horrified upon learning the truth.
- The Ghost: His picture is seen on occasion and his actions factor into the story, but he never makes an actual appearance like Nixon had in the comics.
- 100% Adoration Rating: You would think so, considering that he's served seven consecutive terms and is in the process of serving the eighth. However, given that the series is set in a very conservative part of Oklahoma, his views are considered deeply controversial in that part of the United States. Adrian Veidt set the stage for his election, though Redford seemed to have gotten reelected without him. When Veidt goes to Tulsa, he is amazed to learn that Redford is still President.
- Unwitting Pawn: Veidt set up his presidency, which he doesnt learn until he was elected.
- The Voice: His only physical appearance is confined to a picture of him in an exhibit of "notable presidents" in the first episode.
Treasury Secretary Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Played by: Henry Louis Gates Jr.
A former academic who took a job in the Redford Administration to help him pass his reparations plan.
Senator Joe Keene, Jr.
Played by: James Wolk
A conservative U.S. Senator who is campaigning to succeed President Redford.
- Asshole Victim: He gets a truly horrific death, entirely of his own doing, and one he fully deserved.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He is the leader of the Seventh Kavalry and masterminded the White Night as a plot to become President. It then became a plot to become a being like Doctor Manhattan. However, he's really a puppet for Lady Trieu and her own plans to become the next Dr. Manhattan.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Getting reduced to a puddle of gore by the powers that you try to acquire is a really nasty way to go out, deserving as it was.
- Death by Irony: Keene is the leader of the Seventh Kavalry who incorporated Rorschach's mask as their calling card. Like Rorschach, Keene dies by being reduced into mush by the powers of Doctor Manhattan.
- Engineered Heroics: Senator Keene is taken hostage by a Kavalryman during Judd's funeral and afterwards vows to a group of reporters that he will go to war with the Kavalry. Since it's revealed that Keene is a leader of the Kavalry, the funeral incident was most likely staged.
- Evil Reactionary: He claims he wants to turn America back to its "founding values" and "restore balance", clearly implying he means the times of Jim Crow.
- Faux Affably Evil: He can be quite charismatic and almost has a polite tone and a grin on his face but he's still an absolute monster.
- Godhood Seeker: He originally wanted to use the White Night incident to get elected President, but eventually decided to turn himself into Doctor Manhattan instead.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: As Trieu herself explained afterward: His plan to steal Dr. Manhattan's power was a good idea. Taking all that atomic energy at once without some kind of filter? Not so much.
- I'm Melting!: His attempt to steal Dr. Manhattan's powers result in him turning himself into a bunch of black goo instead.
- Insistent Terminology: The two times he's been called a racist or white supremacist for being involved with the Seventh Kavalry, he's insisted he's not racist. But he still claims that its hard to be a white man, and when he gets annoyed by Angela interrupting his apotheosis, his insults in the heat of the moment are indisputably racist.
- Karmic Death: His attempts to steal Dr Manhattan's power just end up melting him into a pile of goo.
- Laser-Guided Karma: His attempt to steal Dr. Manhattan's powers results in his own death by becoming liquefied.
- Mr. Fanservice: Spends a good portion of the last episode in nothing but a pair of underwear, although the tone makes it more off-putting than enticing.
- Near-Villain Victory: His plan ultimately succeeds and he gets close to taking Dr. Manhattan's power for himself but he gets done in by his own poor planning by not having radiation shields for the process.
- No Party Given: Averted. Judd's newspaper obituary mentions Keene and identifies him as a Republican.
- Playing Both Sides Keene denounces the Seventh Kavalry in public while secretly being their leader, orchestrating the White Night so that he could get his bill to ostensibly protect cops by making them wear masks get passed and secure his political future.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Zig-Zagged. Keene is in command of a white supremacist terrorist group, but he is quick to mock the "idiots" and "racist Okies" under him and states that he is using the Kavalry for a loftier goal. But during his confrontation with Agent Blake, he admits that his main motivation for becoming a Physical God is to tip the scales back in the white man's favor.Keene: It is extremely difficult to be a white man in America right now. So I'm thinking... I might try being a blue one.
- President Evil: Subverted. Keene's initial plan was to use the masked cop law to get himself elected President, until he decided to destroy Doctor Manhattan and become a hydrogen-powered god instead.
- Sadistic Choice: After revealing himself as a leader of the Seventh Kavalry, Senator Keene gives Wade an ultimatum: either sell out Angela to Laurie in order to get her out of the way of whatever the Kavalry is planning, or the Kavalry will gun for her family again. Wade reluctantly betrays Angela in the hopes of saving them.
- Self-Disposing Villain: He's undone entirely by his own hubris and poor planning.
- Smug Snake: He absolutely loves the sound of his own voice and reveling in the power he has over those the Seventh Kavalry captures. Laurie even points out that hes itching to monologue his plan to her.
- Smug Smiler: He always has a grin of clear self-satisfaction on his face.
- Too Clever by Half: He's a skilled planner and manipulator but not nearly as much as he thinks as exemplified by his failing to provide a shield for the radiation he planned to absorb.
- Villain with Good Publicity: A well-regarded Senator and a popular candidate to become the next US President. He is actually the leader of the Seventh Kavalry.
- Would Hurt a Child: Keene threatens to send the Kavalry to murder Angela and her entire family if Wade doesn't betray her, and states that it makes no difference to him whether it comes to that or not.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Keene sends a group of armed Kavalry to Wade's house, having used him to sell out Angela to Agent Blake.