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Watchmen Character Analysis

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Zachary Wolfe

on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Watchmen Character Analysis

A Character Analysis As we consider the heroes in Watchmen, there are a few things we must keep in mind. Like any hero, characters in Watchmen
have flaws and challenges. They have motivations... Flaws... Heroic traits... And their own idea of what a hero really is. So let's dive in... Shall we? Here we have Dr. Manhattan Rorschach And Ozymandias Nite Owl and Silk Spectre II and... The Comedian. Let's start with Silk Spectre II Dr. Manhattan But enough of her... A Physicist who in 1959 was disintegrated in an Intrinsic Field Subtractor, returns as the most powerful being on Earth. Daughter of the first Silk Spectre, she was forced into a life of crime fighting. Able to manipulate matter to his will, Dr. Manhattan is virtually unstoppable. Along with the Comedian he joined the American military and fought alongside troops in Vietnam. Silk Spectre II inherited her identity from her mother who now acts as her agent. Her mother designed her costume and brought her to the first Crimebusters' meeting. She has very liberal values and a strong sense of feminism, likely due to her forced career choice and the rape of her mother. While searching for a proper role model she found herself in a relationship with Dr. Manhattan although she never felt as equals with him (ch3:p9). She later developed a strong relationship with Nite Owl While Laurie is one of the more sane characters in Watchmen, this doesn't mean she is flawless. She has trouble dealing with personal problems and is closed minded, specifically when she walks out on Dr. Manhattan (ch3:p3-5)
She also has a hard time seeing the bigger picture and focuses on smaller issues. This also causes tensions between others. *Also known as Laurie Juspeczyk Despite her own flaws she wants to live a normal life, but maintains a sense of altruism and strives for the best:

Along with Nite Owl and Rorscarch she attempts to stop Ozymandias' evil plot, but has to compromise for the greater good (ch12:p15-20)
Regardless of whatever insecurities she may have she is always willing to jump into action when lives are at stake. Rorschach Striving for justice is all he does. He just does it... weird. Also known as Walter Kovacs, Rorschach can be defined as an anti-hero with traditional heroic elements attached

As a child his mother rejected him, giving him a negative view of women for the rest of his life.
Because of the gruesome murder of a young girl, he becomes a brutal and violent anti-hero
This results in him using Rorschach as his main identity and throwing away everything that was Walter Kovacs Although Rorschach strives for justice, his methods are flawed. "Never Compromise. Even in the face of Armageddon" Rorschach treats everything around him as very black and white. This creates an issue of being closed minded in certain situations as with Dr. Manhattan's agreeing with Ozymandias' plan to reunite the world (ch12:p23-24)
Rorschach's brutality towards criminals is often characteristic of a psychopath Though Rorschach is often unnecessarily violent, he possesses a few very heroic qualities.

It is clear that he cares deeply about his friends, seen in the way he talks of the Comedian in his journal, and his friendship with Nite Owl.
His greatest quality is his unprecedented desire for truth, which unfortunately lead to his death. Rorschach lived as an anti-hero, but died a hero. Ozymandias Even the smartest man alive can't be perfect Not only is Ozymandias incredibly smart, matched and surpassed only by Dr. Manhattan,
he is also at the physical peak of human perfection... Also known as Adrian Veidt "The smartest man alive" During the cold war, the East is torn from the West, and Adrian believes he can reunite the two to obtain global peace.

Through his methods though he creates a villain out of himself Ozymandias believes that the only way to build something new, is to destroy the old. While there is some merit to the theory, in his case the expense of millions of humans is extremely difficult to justify. He is able to catch bullets and anticipate actions before they happen giving him a distinct advantage in combat (ch12:p15-16) Nite Owl After being left a large amount of money by his deceased father, Daniel Dreiberg finally had the resources to follow in his hero's footsteps and carry on the name... After being a costumed superhero was banned, Dan became very depressed, finding little interest in his life.

Although Daniel doesn't have any psychological problems like many of his colleagues he does wrestle with depression. Though when the Nite Owl is called upon, Daniel is not afraid to risk his life for others. The Nite Owl As seen in chapter 7, both Nite Owl and Silk Spectre go out in the middle of the night to help trapped citizens out of a burning building, putting off selfish desires for later on. And finally... Ironically, the Comedian is the saddest character in Watchmen.

He believes humans are savage in nature, that civilization is nothing more than an idea. This is how he justifies his choice to become a mockery of society; fighting and killing without thought. The Comedian is a maniacal, nihilistic man. But that doesn't mean he is ALL bad.

He accepts that the path he's chosen is of his own doing and accepts the consequences. The Comedian is driven by justice and the american dream, but he is constantly blinded by his own arrogance, from mortality and social norms. Not only is he insensitive to society, but also his fellow superheroes After discovering Ozymandias' evil plot, he broke down crying in front of his arch nemesis shows he is inherently good and even regrets the awful things he's done.
(ch2:21-23) The characters in Watchmen all think they are doing what's best for humanity; all trying to make the world they live in a better place. Are they superheroes? Or just super? What do you think a hero is? Is it a hero a person who selflessly puts others before themselves? Or is it a person who protects a certain ideal? Perhaps it's someone who does something noble or brave out of moral obligation, rather than for a reward. Or maybe a hero is a person who is willing to fight for another, whether they're scared or not? But couldn't it also be anyone who disregards rules or beliefs for the greater good? Can't it be all of them? Everyone thinks a hero should be something different. And that's what makes the characters in Watchmen so Real. Instead of involving himself in human relationships, Dr. Manhattan takes an interest in science and technology. Many of the scientific breakthroughs in the book can be attributed to his works. Dr. Manhattan in the only character is Watchmen with actual superpowers. Among his powers the most impressive is his ability to perceive time. But because he can see his past, present and future simultaneously, this distances him from other character in the book. Dr. Manhattan's powers include:

Control over matter
Superhuman strength
Perception of time
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