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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:51 am 
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Real Life Rorschach wrote:
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!

What an incisive dissertation. This has radically altered and crystallized my perception of the character.

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:02 am 
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here is a question that just pop in my head, we know Rorschach is right wing, but is The Comedian right wing?

I would say no because of the way he is, but what do you guys think?


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:49 pm 
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EmPiiRe x wrote:
Real Life Rorschach wrote:
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!

What an incisive dissertation. This has radically altered and crystallized my perception of the character.

I agree. This opens up new perspectives of thought I had never realized were there.


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:08 am 
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SmilingSymmetry wrote:
EmPiiRe x wrote:
Real Life Rorschach wrote:

What an incisive dissertation. This has radically altered and crystallized my perception of the character.

I agree. This opens up new perspectives of thought I had never realized were there.

You can continue in this vein, but RLR won't be able to read what you post, much less reply. Better to move on, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:59 am 
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TheDude311 wrote:
here is a question that just pop in my head, we know Rorschach is right wing, but is The Comedian right wing?

I would say no because of the way he is, but what do you guys think?


Well, I doubt he has the faith in humanity to be a liberal, but I could quite easily see him as a conservative poster boy, and not quite as extremist as Rorschach.


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:28 am 
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Although I know that the Comedian is based on the Peacemaker Charlton Comics character, I have always seen him as a kind of flip-side to Captain America. They are both effectively government sponsored non-superpowered super heroes that were sent to fight in wars for the US government, WWII in Cap's case, Vietnam in Blake's.

Blake is what Cap could have become had he remained political, and sided with the CIA and more right-wing elements of US government, instead of becoming an independant iconic image of American patriotism and nationalism.

Blake is the dark side of the American dream. By force of will and personality, he has risen from a dock-side vigilante beating up crooks around the waterfront, to rise in status and important until eventually he is rubbing shoulders with Nixon and Kissinger and working directly for the government doing the dirty work and jobs that are alluded to in the GN.

There is little doubt that Blake was a great soldier, and little doubt that in the morally ambiguous setting of Veitnam, his methods and and brutatlity were perfectly suited to the environment. His success there, along with Dr Manhattan's translated into political influence, and from then on he was government-sponsored. His protection of the existing president, assassinating JFK, killing Woodward and Bernstein etc are all a dark interpretation of a path Capt America could have taken if written by Alan Moore instead of Stan Lee.

On the one hand Cap stands for "Truth, Justice and The American Way" and is the embodiment of that rather naive view, in Watchmen, Blake himself refers to the American dream and him being the incarnation of that...."The American dream? You're lookin' at it!"

If you follow this line of reasoning, then in some senses The Comedian is the anti-Capt American, the anti-hero of Watchmen. Whilst Rorschach, Dan and Laurie are the heroes, albeit flawed and extreme versions, Jon is so far beyond conventional morality that those kinds of consideration no longer apply, and Adrian is in a special class all of his own (debateable as to what class I know, and this isn't the purpose of this thread), Blake is truly the anti-hero.

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:32 am 
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Sorry to bump a month-old thread, but it seemed better than creating a whole new thread on Blake covering a similar subject. After some of the recent discussion on Blake over in the Rorschach thread, I just thought it would be worth bringing the talk over here.

Darkweaver wrote:
If you follow this line of reasoning, then in some senses The Comedian is the anti-Capt American, the anti-hero of Watchmen.


I wonder, actually, if Blake holds more characteristics of the Tragic Hero, rather than the Anti-Hero? Superficially, Blake is an amoral monster, who uses his position as a government agent to act out his violent impulses. But could we interpret those violent impulses as his tragic flaw?

If we take those away, then we're not left with a black hole - we're left with the goals of someone who would be considered more heroic than the other Masks. While the Minutemen and the would-be Crimebusters are fretting over the tiny threats posed to New York, the Comedian worries about the bigger picture: World War Two, the Cold War - threats to the World. Didn't he take the government jobs more so he could get onto the front line of these fights, try to make his own contribution to staving off armageddon, in the only way he knew how? He goes into the front line, risking his own life to protect the society he loves. He, Rorschach and the first Nite Owl are the only Masks to be motivated by an actual concern for the human race, rather than to act out teenage fantasies (Dan), please their mother (Laurie), please the government (Jon), pander to their ego (Adrian and Nelly), indulge their taste for sexualised violence (Hooded Justice) or enhance their celebrity status (Sally). Granted, we never learn of Mothman or Silhouette's motivations, but next to this lot Blake is the most sincere about being a mask, and the most honest about his motives. So Blake's goals, it seems, are heroic, rather than anti-heroic.

Blake's tragedy, then, is his inherent violence, and the way this translates into his methods. He's grown up in a world where violence was the way to success: being tougher than the other guys on the Waterfront, not as a survival mechanism, but as a way of "cleaning [it] up". He doesn't set out to be the toughest or the meanest - he sets out to make the Waterfront a better place, and the toughest and meanest is what he has to become to do that. That's the attitude he takes into War, into his work for the government. He doesn't read deep meanings into life: he understands it as a brutal struggle for survival where someone has to get their hands dirty to keep the world safe. Is that what he perceives as the big joke? That everyone else can afford to sit and have qualms about his methods precisely because he's out there on the front line doing the dirty work that protects them?

So, Blake's violence is effective in achieving his goals, but completely exiles him from the society he's nominally fighting to protect: he's too brutalized to function on civvy street, and he has been from an early age. He understands the dark side of human nature, but is left unable to appreciate the bright side. He can't control his temper, which completely messes up any attempt at forming relationships - and makes him positively dangerous to those around him.

He's obviously capable of being tender to Sally, as she attests, but he can't really relate to her, can't understand why his attempted rape so upsets her. To him, perhaps, it's just a loss of temper: these things happen, and sometimes people get hurt and get killed but as he sees it, hey - that's life. He is evidently upset at not being closer to Laurie, but his ham-fisted attempts at paternal affection come across as if he were coming onto her - something which enrages Sally in 1966, and Laurie herself in 1973. You almost feel sorry for him - he doesn't want to be the Comedian. He just can't stop, any more than the others can: even at sixty, he can't retire from service, because what else would he do?

So, I put it to you that Blake is a hero, in that his motives are laudible, but that he is damned by a tragic flaw: a violent temper which makes him dangerous to those he most wants to be close to.

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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:45 pm 
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Blake understood that human beings are savage and savagery will always be a part of society, at the same time society must decry the savagery in order to go on. Our nature as humans has violent, aggressive and sometimes cruel tendencies and yet we condemn these traits and like to pretend that we don’t have them. We call murders and rapists monsters, separate them form ourselves and like to think that they’re not human, but they are. Hitler loved his dog’s and, as Rorschach reminds us, was even a vegetarian. The Comedian is a man who was capable of good deeds and evil. He understood this and instead of hiding from it he embraced both sides. He’s not a monster nor is he a clear hero. He’s both and neither, which is really what vigilantism is, and he knew it.

I think Moore tends not to show us a clear hero or villain at any time, villains have sympathetic traits and heros often make the wrong choice or have less than great intentions. Look at the other Minutemen, Captain Metropolis was a racist, Hooded Justice supported the Nazis, Silhouette openly hated the Polish. None of them are the clean perfect hero’s of early comics which was Moore’s whole point.

As easy as it would be to just hate Blake Moore makes us spend time learning that he spent his life loving the woman he brutalized and his daughter from afar. He died alone and impotent to stop the destruction he knew was coming.

I think he failed to try to stop Adrian because he felt that he most likely would not be successful and I’m not sure he wanted to be successful. I think Blake saw that humanity’s violent nature would destroy itself sooner or latter and he was pretty sure it would be sooner. This had been on his mind at least since the Crimebuster’s meeting. Blake believed that society would never be able to choose peace over violence, he knew people like himself wouldn’t be able to avoid the temptation. I think he felt Adrian’s plan would work, and although it was abhorrent to him he agreed with it too. (All societies are built on some past violence/curtly/injustice.) He also knew that once Adrian knew he knew he would kill him. He fought hard but in the end I think he let it happen because he saw it as the only solution just as Adrian did.


And as a side note, I don’t think that Blake was amoral- he cared about right and wrong. I think he chose crime fighting as way to act on his naturally violent and aggressive tendencies in a way that was socially acceptable. After all he expresses some remorse in his rambling to Moloch, he cries out for his mother’s forgiveness, shows remorse for some of the kids he killed “in Nam” and the “bad things to women” he has done.


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 Post subject: Re: The Comedian a hero?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:17 pm 
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Blue_Meanie, Twilightlady, just want to say those were very interesting takes on the Comedian and I enjoyed reading them.


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