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"Absent Friends": Laurie Juspeczyk visit, or had to the Nepenthe Gardens retirement home to see her mother, Sally, the original Silk Spectre. She only came because she been forced to visit, transported by Jon since she hadn't wanted to attend the funeral of Eddie Blake. Sally shows a large sense
Appearing in "Absent Friends"
- Crimebusters (Flashback only)
- Minutemen (Flashback only)
- Edgar Jacobi (Flashback and main story)
- Vietnam(Flashback only)
- Owlship (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Absent Friends"
Laurie Juspeczyk visit, or had to the Nepenthe Gardens retirement home to see her mother, Sally, the original Silk Spectre. She only came because she been forced to visit, transported by Jon since she hadn't wanted to attend the funeral of Eddie Blake. Sally shows a large sense of sympathy for Blake.
During her conversation with Laurie, Sally remembers her the night that the Minutemen were taking their group photo in 1940. The group discussed about the war in Europe, until the original Nite Owl stopped the discussion and they all headed down to the Owl's Nest, except for Sally who stays behind to change. The Comedian stepped into the room and interrupts her, attempting to sexually assault her to which Sally clawed his face. Blake brutally attacked her, intending to rape her, before Hooded Justice walked in. He viciously attacked Eddie, but lets him go when Eddie says to him "This is what you like, huh? This is what gets you hot..."
At Eddie's funeral, Adrian Veidt recalls the first meeting of the Crimebusters, held by Nelson Gardner, Captain Metropolis, in April, 1966. Nelson attempt to recreate another team of masked adventurers since the Minutemen's breakup in 1949. However, The Comedian deride Nelson's plan as "bullshit" and accuses Nelson of trying to seek personal glory as akin to "playin' cowboys and Indians." Nite Owl II (Dan Dreiberg) defends Nelson's Crimebusters idea by saying that he and Rorschach had made some success together fighting criminal gangs. Though Rorschach agrees with his partner, but he sees the group as more of a "publicity exercise" and too unyielding. Ozymandias speaks in that the group only need the right person coordinating them. The Comedian continues to mock the group's intentions, especially Veidt's, and arguing the Crimebusters would not make a difference in a world heading towards nuclear apocalypse. He then burns Metropolis' presentation board and leaves the room with nearly everyone following. Nelson, in vain, begs them not to leave, telling them that someone had to "save the world."
Doctor Manhattan recalls "V.V.N. Night" - the celebration of America's victory in the Vietnam War due to Manhattan's intervention - in Saigon with Blake and discussing his strange attitude toward life and war, how he sees it all as a joke, although admittedly not a "good joke." He mentions how anxious he is to leave the country. A Vietnamese woman approaches Blake and telling him that she is pregnant with his child. She also asserts that Blake has a responsibility to the child. Blake doesn't seem to care, saying how he will forget them and their entire country. The woman angrily breaks a glass bottle and slashes Blake's face. Blake impulsively shoots her, while Manhattan stands watching. Blake then accuses Manhattan's inaction because he doesn't care about human life. He then walks away to look for someone to heal his face as he laments over Manhattan's loss of touch with humanity.
Dan Dreiberg recalls how he and The Comedian worked riot control during the 1970's Police Strike in New York. The streets are crowded with angry rioters, but The Comedian and Dreiberg (as the Nite Owl) clear the streets after The Comedian throws a gas bomb into the angry mob. Looking at the devastation, Dreiberg asks Blake, "What's happened to the American dream?" Blake replies while starting into the foggy streets filled with riot gas, "It came true. You're lookin' at it."
As the funeral ends, Dan drops The Comedian's smiley face badge into the grave. A man in a trench-coat leaves flowers on Blake's grave and walks to his apartment. The man is suddenly ambush by Rorschach, who leaped out of the man's refrigerator. Rorschach identifies him as Edgar Jacobi, a former villain known as Moloch the Mystic. He questions him about Eddie Blake, and Jacobi explains that he attended Blake's funeral out of compulsion because Blake broke into his home one night while he was in bed, babbling about how it's all a joke that he doesn't get it. Blake mentioned an island with writers, scientists and artists, and he says that he did bad things before leaving. Rorschach doesn't consider the retired villain as Blake's murderer. He then informs Jacobi that he found him using Laetril, a faked cancer cure medicine that is widely illegal. Jacobi defend himself that he is diagnosed with cancer and was desperate. Rorschach leaves Jacobi alone but will be seeing him again.
Rorschach goes to the cemetery at night to pay his respects to Eddie Blake. Finishing with his journal entry, he leaves the cemetery with a red rose
Appearing in "Under the Hood"
Synopsis for "Under the Hood"
Hollis Mason becomes deeply interested in the Hooded Justice's actions and decided upon himself to become a super-hero, known as the 'Nite-Owl'. The name was based on his habit to work out as much as possible. Although his first exploits were largely unspectacular, it has aroused a lot of media interests simply because at the time dressing up in a costume and protecting a neighborhood had becoming something of a fad.
Within several months since the appearance of the Hooded Justice, several other costumed vigilantes began to appear: Silhouette, Mothman, the Comedian, Captain Metropolis, Silk Spectre (Sally Jupiter), and Dollar Bill. Hollis reflect on each of their background and how people thought of them. Regardless of the heroes' reasons and their faults, Hollis believed them to be "doing something because [they] believed in it."
On the suggestion of Captain Metropolis, Sally Jupiter and her agent Laurence Schexnayder, the heroes band together to form the Minutemen in 1939. However, the Minutemen did not last long. The Comedian's attempted rape of Sally Jupiter resulted in his departure from the Minutemen and Sally's decision not to press charges against him, as persuaded by Schexnayder for the group's image. The Comedian soon changed his flimsy costume for leather armor following an unconnected stabbing incident, and became a war hero in the Pacific Theatre during World War Two. Hollis personally hoped that America have a better class of hero than the Comedian.
Problems for the Minutemen further deteriorated. In 1946, a newspaper exposed Silhouette's lesbian relationship with a woman and the group was forced to expel her on Schexnayder's persuasion. Six weeks later, Silhouette was murdered along with her lover by one of her former enemies. In the same year Dollar Bill was shot dead by bank robbers. In 1947, Sally quit crime-fighting and married Schexnayder, and gave birth to her daughter Laurie in 1949. By then the villains that the group fought were less interesting to fight. Their enemies were either imprisoned or moved to less glamorous activities. Among those is Moloch, who began as a stage magician at the age of seventeen and became an flamboyant criminal mastermind before moving into impersonal crimes such as drugs, financial fraud and vice clubs. Hollis concluded that the Minutemen was finished, but it didn't matter. The damage had already been done.
- The title of the issue is taken from Elvis Costello's "The Comedians." A passage from "The Comedians" appears at the end of the issue: "And I'm up while the down is breaking, even though my heart is aching. I should be drinking a toast to absent friends instead of these comedians."
- When Edgar Jacobi returns to his home, there is a newspaper bearing the headline "Soviets Will Not Tolerate U.S. Adventurism in Afghanistan." This is previously foreshadowed in issue #1 and ultimately becomes prominent in issue #3.
- In Doctor Manhattan's flashback to Vietnam, Richard Nixon is seen giving two "V for victory" gestures. This mannerism commonly associated with him in real life.
- The phrase "Who Watches the Watchmen?" is seen spray-painted by rioters during the Police Strike in Daniel Dreiberg's flashback.
- The drug Laetril used by Jacobi is a real-world drug, marketed as a cancer cure but ultimately found to be fraudulent as explained by Rorschach.
- When Rorschach walked pass the peep show, the theatre showcase a sign reading "Enola Gay and the Little Boys." This is a reference to the first atomic bomb used in World War II and the plane that dropped it. This ties in with Ozymandias' theories in issue #10 about increased warlike imagery in times of international tension.
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