Everyone’s favorite abusive, sociopathic anti-hero is back in Before Watchmen: Comedian #1. In this issue though, the man known as the Comedian is anything but. It seems that writer, Brian Azzarello, has written the Comedian to be a normal human being in this first issue. He’s a charismatic man, a great friend to the Kennedys, and a guy that you would want to have a beer with at a bar. He isn’t without his dirty laundry. Eddie Blake respects the Kennedys a lot, and will do anything for them, including killing off Marilyn Monroe by the orders of Jackie Kennedy. As it would seem though, the backstory of the Comedian in Before Watchmen is about the downfall of the man he becomes in Watchmen. At the end of the issue, Comedian seems to be very affected by the assassination of JFK, something, which I think, will play heavily in the later issues.
What this issue fails to do though, is add anything to the character. You can see the start of the downfall of Eddie Blake, but any other characteristics already implanted from the original are non-existent. The death of John F. Kennedy just does not make a man abusive and sociopathic, no matter how good of a friend he is to him. It just seem as Eddie Blake is just a shell of himself, or in terms of Hollywood reboot terms, make a character and just slap the name of the Eddie Blake on him. All of this in the Comedian’s own book too. Something drastic must happen to him in the later issue for him to turn crazy; because there are no hints at all that he’s a crazy man. The Comedian is a great, complex character that is a key part of the Watchmen universe. So I hope in the later issues, he comes back into the anti-hero form that he was in Watchmen.