The Comedian in "Watchmen": A Psychological Analysis

07 April 2023
The Comedian, also known as Edward Blake, is a complex character in the graphic novel "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. His actions and beliefs are often controversial and at times even despicable. However, understanding the psychology of The Comedian is essential to fully comprehend the themes and motifs presented in "Watchmen."

The Comedian's character is based on the idea of nihilism, the belief that life has no inherent meaning or purpose. This worldview is evident in his cynical and pessimistic attitude towards life. He sees the world as a joke, and humanity as a bunch of fools who do not understand their own insignificance in the grand scheme of things.

Throughout the graphic novel via non linear means, The Comedian's past is revealed through a series of flashbacks, which provide insights into his psychology. The most notable example is his involvement in the Vietnam War. The Comedian is shown committing heinous acts of violence against the Vietnamese, including the rape of a woman named Phuong. 

edward blake comedian themes

When confronted about his actions, The Comedian states that he was simply following orders, and that his actions were necessary to protect American interests. This is an example of his belief in the idea that nothing matters, and that morality is simply a construct created by society.

Another example of The Comedian's nihilistic worldview is his interaction with fellow vigilante Rorschach. When Rorschach confronts him about the morality of their actions, The Comedian responds with the infamous line: 

"It's all a joke. Everything anybody ever valued or struggled's all a monstrous, demented gag."

This line encapsulates The Comedian's belief that life is meaningless, and that human actions have no real consequence in the grand scheme of things.

Furthermore, The Comedian's psychology is also shaped by his traumatic childhood experiences. In a flashback, it is revealed that he was born out of wedlock, and that his mother tried to abort him with a coat hanger. This experience left him with a deep sense of abandonment and emotional detachment, which is evident in his relationships with other characters throughout the novel.

The troubling relationship with Silk Spectre

the comedian relationship with silk spectre

The Comedian's relationship with Silk Spectre, also known as Laurie Juspeczyk, is a complicated and problematic aspect of "Watchmen." Their relationship is fraught with tension and violence, and it raises questions about the nature of consent and the dynamics of power in relationships. 

In the graphic novel, it is revealed that The Comedian attempted to rape Silk Spectre's mother, Sally Jupiter, in the past. This revelation understandably causes Silk Spectre to feel a deep sense of betrayal and disgust towards The Comedian. 

However, despite this history of violence and abuse, Silk Spectre continues to maintain a relationship with him. There are a few factors that contribute to this complicated relationship. Firstly, it is clear that Silk Spectre has a certain degree of emotional attachment to The Comedian. This is evident in the scene where she visits him in his apartment, and they share a tender moment where they dance to a slow song. 

It is suggested that Silk Spectre sees The Comedian as a father figure, and she is able to forgive him for his past transgressions to a certain extent. Another factor that contributes to the maintenance of their relationship is the nature of the world in which they live. "Watchmen" is set in an alternate history where superheroes are a real phenomenon, and the world is on the brink of nuclear war.

 In this context, it is suggested that relationships and morality are more fluid and complex than in the real world. The Comedian himself embodies this idea, as he is a deeply flawed and complex character who is nevertheless able to function as a hero in this world. Finally, it is worth noting that the power dynamics in their relationship are deeply problematic. 

The Comedian is a powerful and violent man who has a history of abusing women, and Silk Spectre is a young and vulnerable woman who is still trying to figure out her place in the world. This power imbalance is evident in the scene where The Comedian attempts to kiss Silk Spectre, and she responds by hitting him in the face. This scene highlights the tension and violence that exists in their relationship, and it raises important questions about the nature of consent and agency in relationships.

 In conclusion, The Comedian's relationship with Silk Spectre is a complicated and problematic aspect of "Watchmen." Despite his past transgressions, Silk Spectre is able to maintain a relationship with him due to a combination of emotional attachment, the nature of their world, and power dynamics. However, this relationship raises important questions about consent and agency, and it highlights the complex and sometimes violent nature of human relationships.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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