This week we'll be profiling the key characters in Zack Snyder's upcoming big screen adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's classic graphic novel "Watchmen." And with a nod to another comic publication that debuted in the same era, "The Official Handbook" of that other comic book company, we proudly continue with the member whose death kicks off the film... Eddie Blake, better known as...

THE COMEDIAN

Real Name:  Edward Morgan Blake

Born: 1924

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation:  paramilitary freelancer

Group Membership:  Minutemen (disbanded), Crimebusters (disbanded)

Enemies: Unknown

Known Relatives: none

Aliases: none

Base of Operations:  New York City.

Powers/Abilities:  Put simply, Blake's greatest power is his own total lack of moral compass.  He is absolutely willing to do anything that serves his own ends, especially in a fight, and the only reason he's historically considered a "hero" instead of a "villain" is because he managed to end up with the right support at the right times.  He was skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and kept himself in superb physical condition right up to his death at the age of 61.  He had no formal fight training, opting instead for a dirty, aggressive street style.  He was trained in military tactics and weapon handling, and during this black-ops work in the '60s and '70s, he was trained in covert op tactics and guerilla warfare.

History:  Edward Blake's early life is shrouded in mystery, and in 1939, he first appeared as The Comedian.  He gained a reputation quickly as a brutal, efficient vigilante.  That same year, he was invited to join the original Minutemen.  For a time, he was a valued member of the group, until he sexually assaulted Sally Jupiter (the original Silk Spectre) after a photo session.  He was stopped by Hooded Justice, but no charges were ever filed, and Blake continued to operate on his own.  He enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor and fought in WWII.  After the war, he was rumored to have encountered Jupiter again, this time consensually, and there is some speculation that he may actually have fathered Sally's daughter, who later became Silk Spectre II.

Even as public opinion on masked vigilantes turned, The Comedian continued to operate with the full sanction of the government.  By the time Vietnam heated up, he was sent in to help clean up the mess along with Dr. Manhattan.  That's where he received the scar on his face that was so prominent in later years.  He's been tied to any number of infamous incidents, including the asassination of JFK and the murders of Woodward and Bernstein, but nothing has ever been officially proven in either case.  Even after the Keene Act was passed, Blake remained active as The Comedian, right up till the time of his death at the hands of a still-unknown attacker.

Let's check out The Comedian in action:

"Attention Citizens"

As people riot in the streets in the days before the Keene Act is passed, the Comedian and Nite Owl attempt to keep the peace:

 

 

"Save The World"

The first meeting of the proposed crimefighting group The Crimebusters goes terribly wrong:

 

 

[The Comedian is played in the film version of "Watchmen" by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, a character actor who has been working since the early '90s, recently starting to appear in higher-profile roles on TV, where he was Denny on "Gray's Anatomy," John Winchester on "Supernatural," and Mary Louise Parker's dead husband on "Weeds."  He also appeared in "P.S. I Love You" opposite Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler, and he'll be seen this year in new films from Ang Lee, Mikael Halfstrom, and Andrew Jarecki.]

Look for more "Watchmen" profiles all this week on HitFix:

Saturday: Silk Spectre II
Sunday:  Ozymandias
Monday: Nite Owl II
Wednesday: Rorschach
Thursday: Dr. Manhattan

Read Drew McWeeny's Motion/Captured review of "Watchmen" here.

Find out more about the DVD "Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter."
Find out more about the DVD "Watchmen: Motion Comics."
Find out more about the "Watchmen" Movie Soundtrack.

Enter for a chance to win 3 Exclusive "Watchmen" Books here.

"Watchmen" opens nationwide and on IMAX on March 6.

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