The Death of a Comedian
The story of the Watchmen begins on Friday October 12, 1985 in New York City. Retired American diplomat Edward Blake was murdered, thrown through the window of his high-rise apartment onto the pavement down below. The police marvel at Blake's imposing size, and the sort of intruder it would take to beat and murder such a man. This particular murder has also caught the eye of a trench coat-clad masked vigilante Rorschach. After the police leave, Rorschach begins his own investigation. He finds a blood-splattered smiley-face button where Blake had died, and breaks into Blakes' apartment to investigate further. There he notices that one of Blake's closets is a bit shallower than it should be. Locating a button inside the closet, Rorschach finds the old costume and paraphernalia of Blake's super-hero alter ego The Comedian.
Rorschach then heads to the apartment of Dan Dreiberg. Now retired, Dreiberg was formerly the super-hero known as Nite Owl. Dreiberg arrives at home shortly after, having just come from visiting the home of the original Nite Owl, Hollis Mason. He discovers his former partner sitting at his kitchen table eating from a can of cold beans. Rorschach tosses Dreiberg the smiley-face badge he had picked up earlier that night. He explains to Dreiberg that Blake was the Comedian, and that he was recently murdered. Afraid of someone seeing them together, Dreiberg takes Rorschach into his dilapidated Nite Owl workshop to further discuss matters. There Rorschach warns Dreiberg that someone may be targeting and killing retired masked heroes right before leaving. Deciding to "exercise", Rorschach visit's Happy Harry's bar and grill. He probes the terrified bartender for information about Blake's death, when someone behind him unknowingly makes an off-hand comment. Rorschach proceeds to break two of the man's fingers in order to intimidate the bar patrons into talking. It was obvious that no one knew anything, and Rorschach took off again.
Next Rorschach visits the office of wealthy capitalist, Adrian Veidt , to give him the same warning. As with Dreiberg earlier Rorschach warns Veidt about the possibility
of a mask killer. Once labeled the "smartest man in the world" as the hero Ozymandias, Veidt had given up being a vigilante right before the Keene Act made outlaws of their kind. He had since made a fortune and built an empire selling action figures and other memorabilia, publicly capitalizing on his former identity. As with Dreiberg, Veidt wonders if Blake's death was a politically motivated kill rather than being motivated by his former life. Rorschach downplays this possibility, saying that America's enemies wouldn't dare strike out against them, with the power of Dr. Manhattan on their side. Having an obvious disdain for Veidt's "prostitution", Rorschach did not remain long and left to warn the next person on his list.
Reaching his next former associate would require sneaking past armed guards to break into the Rockefeller Military Research Center. There he found Dr. Manhattan, Laurie Juspeczyk, formerly the Silk Spectre and daughter of the original Silk Specture Sally Jupiter. Rorschach muses at telling the "indestructible man that someone plans to murder him". He finds Dr. Manhattan, several stories tall and working on some research equipment, and Laurie with him. He explains to the two that Blake was dead, a fact that Manhattan was already aware of due to his work with the government. Manhattan is not concerned, indifferent about the difference between life and death. Juspeczyk seemed glad to hear the news as Blake had once attempted to rape her mother when they were on the same team. Laurie was getting upset at Rorschach's uninvited presence, and Dr. Manhattan teleported Rorschach outside the facility grounds before he was able to finish explaining his cape-killer theory. Reminiscing about the past, Laurie wanted to visit Dan Dreiberg to catch up. Dr. Manhattan remained at the facility, determined to locate a gluino to validate a physics theory. As Rorschach stalks the rainy city he dwells on the Comedian's death, wondering if everyone else is correct in not caring, and reaffirming his resolve.
Laurie and Dan get together for dinner to reminisce about old times, before the Keene Act. Dreiberg seemed depressed having had his glory days ,drugged up earlier that day. With the Comedian dead they both felt like they were able to relax and laugh again as they hadn't done in a long time.
The Minutemen were the first group of superheroes in the 1930's-40's. It consisted of :
Silhouette (Deceased; killed by Liquidator/old enemy)
Mothman (Alive; in Mental Institute)
Dollar Bill (Deceased; cape tangled on revolving doors then shot)
Nite Owl (Deceased; killed by gang members)
Captain Metropolis (Deceased; suicidal car crash/decapitation)
The Comedian (Deceased; killed by Ozymandias)
Sally Jupiter (Alive; lives in apartment/hotel)
Hooded Justice.(Unknown; rumored to be dead)
The group Crimebusters was founded in 1966 by Nelson Gardener as a successor to the Minutemen.
Watchmen was another group of vigilantes, active mainly in the 70's-80's. It consisted of :
Rorschach (Deceased; killed by Dr.Manhattan)
Nite Owl II (Alive; married to Silk Spectre II)
Silk Spectre II (Alive; married to Nite Owl II)
Dr.Manhattan (Alive; presumably created another galaxy/life)
Ozymandias (Alive; plotting schemes to keep tricking mankind into peace)
On March 6, 2009 the Watchmen film hit theaters. Unlike other super hero movies that had come out during this time, Watchmen followed the plot of the comic book almost completely and only a few small changes where made (i.e. The first Nite-Owl did not die at any time during the movie, however in the directors cut there is a Hollis Mason death scene and Ozymandias' plan had Dr. Manhattan directly blamed for the horror not any type of false alien).