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 Post subject: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:19 pm 
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Blake was a crazy scumbag but even a man who loved war and death didnt lift a finger to stop veits plan. Did he beleive the plan would work and if so, was he willing to go through with the beating he new had coming to him.
Does it give him any honor or any trace of nobleness in him.


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 Post subject: Re: THE COMEDIAN A HERO?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:02 am 
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Mothman wrote:
Blake was a crazy scumbag but even a man who loved war and death didnt lift a finger to stop veits plan. Did he beleive the plan would work and if so, was he willing to go through with the beating he new had coming to him.
Does it give him any honor or any trace of nobleness in him.


I don't think Blake was ever a hero. He was always the anti-hero and I think that's how he was when he died. I don't think Blake didn't do anything because he thought it was right, I think he didn't do anything, because he COULDN'T do anything. When he visits Moloch he is just venting, telling some one what he knows, because I always got the feeling, and I may be way off, that if Veidt hadn't killed Blake, I think blake was close to killing himself just to spare himself the horror of the "plan" coming to fruition. Yes, I think at times Blake had traces of honor, and sometimes he could be considered more on the hero side than balancing the line between hero and madman (I don't think he was ever close to being a villian) but as a hollistic interpretation of Blake, I don't think he was a hero, just a guy who knew he couldn't do anything, just a comedian who, when he heard the punchline, realized the joke wasn't that funny.

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:42 am 
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He tried to rape a female colleague when he was a boy and committed war crimes in Vietnam.


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:21 am 
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I think the Comedian is technically considered a "hero" because of all the work he's done on America's behalf. Before that, he was probably leaving criminals in varying states of injury by the docks. Anyway, I believe that Moore was using the Comedian (and in a particular scene, Dr. Manhattan) to show the hypocrisy in killing human beings and calling it "heroism."

He worked outside the system to act on his own philosophies and deliver his own brand of justice. Even when he was working for the government, he worked to carry out their mission in his own way. To that end, he wasn't a hero. He was a vigilante.

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:13 pm 
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Curiosity Inc. wrote:
I think the Comedian is technically considered a "hero" because of all the work he's done on America's behalf. Before that, he was probably leaving criminals in varying states of injury by the docks. Anyway, I believe that Moore was using the Comedian (and in a particular scene, Dr. Manhattan) to show the hypocrisy in killing human beings and calling it "heroism."

He worked outside the system to act on his own philosophies and deliver his own brand of justice. Even when he was working for the government, he worked to carry out their mission in his own way. To that end, he wasn't a hero. He was a vigilante.


I think Curiosity's on the right track here. Personally, I think that in the real world, one man's hero is very often another man's villain. Edward Blake did some horrible, unforgivable things, but because he was fighting for "American" interests (whatever those may mean), the American public considered him a hero. If we were to ask the family of the woman he impregnated and shot in Vietnam, they would most likely consider him a villain. Heroism and villainy depends very much on cultural context and who's doing what to who.

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:48 pm 
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Those 'American' interests that Eddie was killing and maiming for would really mean Nixon's interests, but I can see where Moore is coming from in regards to protagonists subjectively depicted as heroes being objectively evil (like in the Bible and Greek mythology).

And Dr. Manhattan may have saved Vietmese lives through forcing the VC and NVA to capitulate early, not prompting the US Military to level the miles of jungles and paddy fields, directly killing millions, when it was losing the fighting on the ground.


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:53 am 
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Big Orange wrote:
Those 'American' interests that Eddie was killing and maiming for would really mean Nixon's interests...


No, I think he's bigger than that. Blake first started to "make a name for himself as a war hero in the Pacific," getting showcased in patriotic newsreel footage -- and Blake was still "right up there on the front pages, still making the occasional headline" during "the height of the McCarthy era" when "it often seemed that he was being groomed into some sort of patriotic symbol" -- sure as Blake was the '50s-era government operative tasked with "unearthing Hooded Justice".

I think both Veidt and Rorschach called it right: "I see him as an amoral mercenary allying himself to whichever political faction seems likely to grant him the greatest political license ... He saw the cracks in society, saw the little men in masks trying to hold it together. He saw the true face of the twentieth century and chose to become a reflection, a parody of it."

"...once you figure out what a joke everything is, being the Comedian's the only thing that makes sense ... I never said it was a good joke! I'm just playing along with the gag..."


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:52 am 
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There's always the complication of importance of motivation.

I doubt many people would try to make the point that Blake was a bad soldier. Assuming he's a good a soldier as Rorschach is a vigilante, he'd be damn good. Out of all the characters he seems the most comfortable with a gun. His popularity has to deal, with some extent, to his efficiency. I'd wager that he's a damn fine soldier. I'd wager he killed a lot enemies, and consequently saved a lot of good guys.

In this regard to slight Blake would be to slight any soldier. Motivation aside for a moment, he was essentially a glorified soldier. He followed orders. He killed. He fought for his country. He put his life on the line for his country.

As for his motivation? There's little doubt in my mind that Blake enjoyed the hunt, as well as the kill. He's not one that places much value on life, and more importantly, the experience of life. In Blake's mind the finality of life and the inevitability of death justify ethical egoism, as well as "amorality" (more correctly, moral nihilism).

To rephrase, since he believes the nukes are gonna kill everyone soon enough, he has free reign to act however he wants. Comprehending the incomparable vastness between his acts, and the acts of planned or spontaneous unions, he realized (or believed) the actions of an individual were beyond morality.

To make a present day analogy. If you were to change every light bulb in North America to an energy efficient one, the energy saved would be negated in 2 weeks by the expansion of coal factories in China. Or as Blake saw it, if he were to murder everyone he shook hands with for the rest of his life, the nukes would still kill more.

Just like Veidt, Blake is a consequenalist. However, Blake is also imbued with the aforementioned understanding, and instead his consequentialism drives him to nihilism. Deep down he can sense some right and wrong, but what use is the individual's right and wrong, when the unions (nations, cultures, societies) act amorally?

And his whole view is shattered when he discovers the island.

Blake now has a choice, and his choice can "save" the world. The choice of the individual, Blake, can control that of a union. He was driven to his moral nihilism because this wasn't true. Having found a case where this is true, he doesn't know what to do.

It breaks him as a person because it brings up questions about how he's act his entire life. On top of that, he's shown that Ozymandias is doing the one thing he thought impossible (individual control, and imposition of individual morality and will, upon the whole).

I would say the word "hero" doesn't apply to the Comedian. A line from Tales of the Black Freighter springs to mind. "There came an understanding so large it left no room for sanity." The spirit of that line holds true, but the details don't. Blake was very much sane. However, Blake understood the futility of morality.

Blake is essentially Rorschach without the deontological morality.

So then, the question arises if you think Rorschach is a hero. If you think Rorschach is a hero and you don't think the Comedian is a hero, then you have faith in deontological morality.

Although I said I don't think the word "hero" applies to the Comedian (and I don't), if pressed I would say he is a hero. If a hero is defined as someone doing the right thing, I would say Blake did the right thing. To judge him by morals would be absurd, as he himself forsook morality. So, you have to judge him by reason and logic. I think Blake was a "good" person, even if he had some blemishes.

P.S. Sorry this seemed to turn into an essay. Once I start, it's hard to shut up.

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:53 pm 
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I think a lot of the point of the Comedian's philosophy is getting missed in this discussion. Dr. Manhattan makes the observation that Blake is "amoral", which means that all this talk of "good guys" and "bad guys" is irrelevant to a conversation about Blake. To him they're just guys: guys in his way, guys not in his way. Guys trying to kill him, guys not.
He realized early in his life that there really wasn't any morality, just the morality of the strongest. Might = right, according to young Blake. My friend's borrowing my copy of Watchmen right now, but he mentions at some point, maybe when he was talking to Moloch, about how when he was younger, it was just about being tougher than the other guys. That's basically the Thrasymacus argument of Justice from Plato's Republic: Whoever is in control makes the laws, whoever is stronger says what is right.
Also, post WWII public perception of morality changed to a much more Nietzschean, postmodern, a-morality nihilistic...thing. Basically during Korea and Vietnam, the public started asking the question of who were the good guys, and were there even good guys. Vietnam was especially indicitative of this muddled morality. America was always the "good guy" before this, but then suddenly a lot of the public was angry at our boys and the horrors they were committing. And yet, Communism wasn't good either, was it? There were no good guys or bad guys, just guys.
In light of this whole climate, the Comedian can't be called a hero, because there are no heroes anymore. Just look at the way all of the "heroes" are portrayed throughout Watchmen. All their flaws and pettiness are exposed, and ultimately the "worst" of them does society the most good, maybe. See how it's all muddled, how there really isn't "good" or evil"? (insert "beyond good and evil" reference here.)
In fact, Nietzsche is DIRECTLY QUOTED as one of the chapter titles, now that I think about it! It was the abyss quote, wasn't it? I believe that quote is FROM "Beyond good and evil", if I recall my Nietzsche correctly. For those who don't know, "Beyond Good and Evil" is the book where Nietzsche discusses the lack of a true morality, the lack of the ability to quantify things as "good" or "evil", and how humanity must look beyond conventional morality, beyond good and evil.
All this having been said, we shouldn't even ask the question if the Comedian is a hero. No one is meant to be a hero in these books. There are characters you agree with, and characters you don't. Characters you like, and characters you dislike. Personally, the Comedian is my favorite character, not because he is a "hero", and not because he isn't. He's my favorite because he looks into the "abyss", sees all the horrors that life has to offer, and recognizes that the only thing to do, in the face of it all, is laugh.
ACTUALLY! Oh my gosh! Just thought of this: after morality is torn down, in Nietzsche's philosophy, the final stage humanity must enter is that of the "laughing child". The "laughing child" is the "ubermensch", the overman or superman, depending on your translation. This laughing child is the ultimate incarnation of Nietzsche's philosophy, because it is free of a moral code, and therefore is free to live life and create and stuff.
Whoa. I'm gonna have to go talk to some of my professors about this...
tl;dr: it's all nietzsche! neat!


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 11:01 pm 
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Big Orange wrote:
He tried to rape a female colleague when he was a boy and committed war crimes in Vietnam.


what war crimes? thought he was considered a war hero when he got back, im not saying that he didnt do anything amoral in vietnam but it was a war and im pretty sure he was never tried for war crimes. unless you class being in a pointless war a war crime i think he was just a soldier but being the gleefully amoral twat that he is he was an effective soldier

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:08 pm 
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cactusman_hattan wrote:
Big Orange wrote:
He tried to rape a female colleague when he was a boy and committed war crimes in Vietnam.


what war crimes? thought he was considered a war hero when he got back, im not saying that he didnt do anything amoral in vietnam but it was a war and im pretty sure he was never tried for war crimes. unless you class being in a pointless war a war crime i think he was just a soldier but being the gleefully amoral twat that he is he was an effective soldier



warlll ... so are we to assume that you can only be a war criminal when you´re tried and convicted? as far as we know ("the pointless butchery"), he committed plenty of acts that are to be considered as criminal acts during war times. the fact that he was white-washed by the government (in exchange for his services, and services like killing the would-be watergate journalists!) doesn´t change this ...


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 Post subject: The Comedian
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:53 am 
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I thought I'd start a topic about the Comedian and Jeffery Dean Morgan's playing him.

[NOTE: The topic has since been merged here. --"Curiosity Inc."]

Jeffery Dean Morgan said in an interview that in his "heart of hearts," Eddie Blake really did love Sally Jupiter *and* Laurie. But he knows he screwed up and paid the price for it, becoming a sad, angry old man. It made the Comedian less than a total monster to Morgan, though still a pretty nasty character.

You can see that interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wb_l3vJVhg
Morgan also mentions almost catching on fire during the Vietnam scenes.

In rereading the attempted rape scene from Chapter 2, I noticed two things. One, it seems rather short if it's supposed to be three minutes in the movie (according to Morgan). Two: Blake only loses it when Sally scratches him on the face, similar to how he loses it when he's cut with a bottle in Vietnam.

There doesn't seem to be much in WATCHMEN that says why Edward Blake decided to start fighting crime in the first place. After he started working for the government, it seemed to be a chance to act out all his violent impulses on America's enemies. But what made him start out? He wanted to "clean up the docks," but why, and why do it in a yellow boiler suit?


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:55 am 
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it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 12:09 pm 
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The Comedian does do some of the worst things when he loses his temper. He lost his temper with Sally and, in a rage, attacked her. When his Vietnamese mistress attacked him, he lost his temper again and shot her (and the child). does he regret these? Yes.

This is a great interview! Love his reaction to the filming of attempted rape scene. That would disturb anyone. I LOL'd at the bit with him catching on fire! Even if the B camera wasn't filming, will it be on the blooper reel?

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 Post subject: Re: THE COMEDIAN A HERO?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:40 pm 
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Dr. Brooklyn wrote:
Mothman wrote:
Blake was a crazy scumbag but even a man who loved war and death didnt lift a finger to stop veits plan. Did he beleive the plan would work and if so, was he willing to go through with the beating he new had coming to him.
Does it give him any honor or any trace of nobleness in him.


I don't think Blake was ever a hero. He was always the anti-hero and I think that's how he was when he died. I don't think Blake didn't do anything because he thought it was right, I think he didn't do anything, because he COULDN'T do anything. When he visits Moloch he is just venting, telling some one what he knows, because I always got the feeling, and I may be way off, that if Veidt hadn't killed Blake, I think blake was close to killing himself just to spare himself the horror of the "plan" coming to fruition. Yes, I think at times Blake had traces of honor, and sometimes he could be considered more on the hero side than balancing the line between hero and madman (I don't think he was ever close to being a villian) but as a hollistic interpretation of Blake, I don't think he was a hero, just a guy who knew he couldn't do anything, just a comedian who, when he heard the punchline, realized the joke wasn't that funny.


You've just given me an idea :shock: I now see a small flaw in the film. When Blake is sitting on the couch before the fight, he's smiling and sort of happy. But as you say, and in the comic, he doesn't look very happy. He would probably be in a sort of permanent depression.


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 Post subject: Re: THE COMEDIAN A HERO?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:03 pm 
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SmilingSymmetry wrote:
You've just given me an idea :shock: I now see a small flaw in the film. When Blake is sitting on the couch before the fight, he's smiling and sort of happy. But as you say, and in the comic, he doesn't look very happy. He would probably be in a sort of permanent depression.


I think it's significant that he's happy once an add for Nostalgia comes on. That sort of reliving-the-glory-days thing, when he was in love with Sally (I think he was definitely in love, he just screwed it up royally and knew it), doing what he loved (forgetting about how shitty some things were) and before he knew about the Squid. Jonergy. Thing. He's nostalgic for when the world was a joke (if a shitty one) and not the sad and deadly serious thing he now knows it to be.

(parentheses ftw!)

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:21 pm 
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It is possible that e was considered a hero to the general public who did not know much about him and his crimes. I am unsure about his character, because he sounds like he understands the world clearly but has a very cynical view of it, but if he didn't care for it then why did he fight crime?

I think he did not try to stop Vedit's plan because he either understood what Vedit was trying to achieve, or realized it was too late. As with a lot of the characters in Watchmen, it is impossible to define him as a hero or a villain, as none of this is clear within the comic anyway.

On the other hand he is almost a running commentary on America, as he works for the government, is obviously in some way mentally damaged by his experiences in Vietnam, and as a result has violence and anger issues. Although he had all these issues as a member of the Minutemen, I think thee were amplified in Vietnam. Maybe he thought that he could focus his anger in Vietnam, but the war made him more angry and so he was able to commit horrific crimes as he was almost devoid of emotion, being consumed by anger he becomes depressed. He realizes that killing for the government, although sometimes wrong, is a way to let out his aggression, but by the time he finds out about Vedit's plot, he is depressed and angry, and doesn't feel that he has the power to stop it, or that there is any point in stopping it. This attitude is also why he did not turn away from the government, is that he was already so damaged, that he realized that whether he stayed with the government or not the would continue to do wrong, his mind had become so locked down that he blocked it out, and therefore felt he had no reason to fight Vedit, as he knew it was war or the squid.

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:46 pm 
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yeah but did Eddie Blake like the violence his was doing, for example when he was using the flamethrower on some Viet Congs, He was smiling and drooling. I mean to me, it seemed like the best times he had.

but most of you guys make some strong points, I guess, Blake was a hero to most and a villian to some.


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:41 pm 
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The Comedian is interesting. I give him props for fighting for his country and I dont really care they he ripped the VC apart with a flamethrower, good for him. I also am supportive of him offing third world dictators and promoting American interests.
Now heres the crux of the matter. He cant be a hero simply because he murdered a pregnant woman and is a rapist. Either of those crimes doesnt qualify you for the hero category in my book. Its also odd that he didnt tell anybody about the squid plot. Im sure he had some high level government connections and it definetly troubled him. A real hero would have told the president.
The Comedian was just a guy who used American interests to fuel his own desire for violence, they just happened to sometimes be in the best interests of everyone...hey ya love what you do!

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:19 am 
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An interesting aspect about Eddie is how observant he is. He can figure things out very quickly. He's not really a detective like Rorschach, he's just able to jump to conclusions that turn out to be correct.

First example: Figuring out Hooded Justice is a sexual sadist. Confirmed by a letter in Sally's scrapbook in Chapter 8. Larry writes a letter to Sally that also confirms HJ and Nelson "Captain Metropolis" Gardner are in a relationship. (Is that the first time Nelson Gardner is mentioned as gay in WATCHMEN?)

Second example: Noticing Dr. Manhattan is getting "out of touch" with humanity, even though he has a wicked cut on his face.

Third example: That Laurie is his daughter. Well, that's more an example of how Eddie can check the date of Laurie's birth and read a calendar. My question is if Adrian knew as well.

Fourth example: Briefly telling Dan in Chapter 2 "Rorschach has been crazy since that kidnapping case three years ago." I wonder how Eddie was able to figure *that* out, unless he kept tabs on all the "Crime-Busters."

Fifth example: Figuring out Adrian's plan. The amazing part of that is before Eddie, Adrian was the only one who knew the plan. Everyone else only knew bit and pieces. Everyone who worked on the giant squid thought it was just a fancy movie prop. There must have been enough on the island that Eddie was able to piece together Adrian's "Fake alien invasion and kill half of New York to stop nuclear war."

Any other example of the detective skills of Eddie Blake?


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