Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen will be on our TVs soon, and we don’t know too much about the story other than it will be set after the events of the Watchmen graphic novel. So what do you need to know about the past before heading into the future? Here’s our look at the character Silk Spectre 2, Laurie Jupiter, who appears to play a part in the new series, under the new identity of Laurie Blake, as played by Jean Smart.
Who is Silk Spectre 2?
Laurel Jane Juspeczyk (pronounced: use-petch-ick), commonly known as Laurie, is the second Silk Spectre and the daughter of Sally Jupiter (the first Silk Spectre). Laurie was born in 1949 and was raised by her mother and her husband, Laurence Schexnayder. Problems in their marriage began soon after her birth.
Laurie and her mother had a strained relationship. Sally pushed Laurie into the “family business” of crime fighting even though Laurie herself wanted to work with animals. Despite her somewhat bratty attitude and mouthing back, she went along with her mother’s wishes despite never really having an interest in becoming her successor. With her mother out fighting (and keeping a regular supply of male suitors), Laurie’s childhood was largely spent alone working out at the gym, training to be a superhero.
While it may appear that Laurie’s skills are superhuman, her potent physical abilities likely come from unlocking a hidden human potential through a lifetime of strict training. She is an excellent martial artist, gymnast, and marksman.
Growing up, the dark-haired Laurie knew Laurence was not her birth father, and always suspected, incorrectly, that her birth father was Hooded Justice. Likely because he and her mother were supposedly dating during the ’40s. In actual fact, her real father was the Comedian (Edward Blake). After a photo shoot in 1940, the Comedian sexually assaulted and beat Sally Jupiter. As he forced himself on her, he was interrupted by Hooded Justice (the first superhero), who brutally beat him, but let him go. Laurence, who was also Sally’s publicist, insisted the assault was kept quiet to prevent a bad image for the Minutemen. The Comedian was banished from the group after this incident.
Around 1948, the Comedian had another encounter with Sally while she was married to Laurence. Sally became pregnant, and while never explicitly stated, the second sexual encounter between the Comedian and the first Silk Spectre is said to have been consensual.
By 1962, Laurie was living with her family in a Los Angeles villa where “Uncle Hollis” (the original Nite Owl) would visit them, like when he came to discuss the book he was writing (Under the Hood).
At age 16, feeling stifled by her mother’s rules and unsavoury legacy, she ran away to San Francisco with her boyfriend. The pair moved in with a group of artistic types, and Laurie began engaging in vigilante activities. While investigating a drug ring, her boyfriend was poisoned by a mind-controlling version of LSD while at a party. Laurie attacked the pusher, Gurustein, and threatened the boss, “Chairman,” to put an end to their business. Without her knowledge, her boyfriend was forced by the Comedian to join the Army. Laurie was left alone and the Chairman’s henchmen attacked her home. Laurie was always pretty fearless and she confronted the Chairman. They fought and he was almost too strong for her, but she kicked him, embedding her boot heel in his throat. He stumbled into the street and was hit by a bus, killing him. Unable to remain in San Francisco, she returned home to her mother.
Laurie and Sally moved to New York together, and this is where a whole new chapter of her life began.
Sally acted as an agent for her daughter and invited to become part of the “Crimebusters.” It was Sally that chose Laurie’s somewhat revealing costume—a black bra and thong, covered by a see-through yellow dress. During the initial Crimebusters meeting, the young Laurie exchanged glances with the superhero Dr. Manhattan, causing his partner Janey Slater to become angered.
After the meeting, Laurie met the Comedian outside, who commented and complimented her for being the image of her mother, but their conversation was broken up quickly by an angry Sally. Laurie noticed that the Comedian looked sad as he watched them drive away, and she felt sorry for him. It was at this point that Sally told Laurie about how he had sexually assaulted her. She did not, however, tell Laurie that he was her father. Laurie was horrified to learn what her mother had been through and never forgave the Comedian for his actions, despite Sally being able to. Their relationship was complicated, to say the least, and Sally was even willing to defend the Comedian from Laurie’s derogatory remarks about him after he was murdered.
That glance that Laurie and Dr. Manhattan/Jon Osterman shared lit a spark, and it wasn’t long after that first meeting that they began dating. Her mother did not approve of the relationship and likened it to being the equivalent of sleeping with an H-bomb.
Despite her mother’s protests, on Laurie’s 20th birthday, she and Manhattan moved to their own apartment in Washington. Laurie was with Manhattan from age 16 to 35.
The Keene Act of 1977
Never exactly happy being a vigilante and not happy with the government taking advantage of her relationship with the superhuman Manhattan, Laurie was more than pleased to quit being a superhero when the Keene Act of 1977 forced all but government-sponsored superheroes to retire. However, she did keep in contact with Nite Owl 2 (Dan Dreiberg).
In 1981, Manhattan was transferred by the government to the Rockefeller Military Research Center, and she went with him to keep him company in the “Special Talents Quarters.” The place was guarded, and Laurie felt they were isolated but without the benefits of privacy. They were being observed and had nobody to talk to. During that time, she tried twice to quit smoking but she failed as life was becoming intolerable for her. As the years passed by, their relationship became strained, with Manhattan becoming disconnected with humanity.
Watchmen (Graphic Novel)
Following the murder of the Comedian, Rorschach approached Laurie and Manhattan in an attempt to warn them of a potential mask killer, but she angrily demanded he leave, and Manhattan teleported him away. Angered by Manhattan’s aloofness, Laurie contacted and met up with Dan Dreiberg, the former Nite Owl. The pair reminisce about super-heroics, and later fight a gang that attacks them.
Laurie eventually left Manhattan, who then exiled himself to Mars, leaving Laurie unable to stay at the government compound. Dreiberg offered to let her stay with him, and after they don their costumes to rescue people from a burning building, they begin a sexual relationship, fueled by the passion and exhilaration of being superheroes again.
Together they broke the recently arrested Rorschach out of prison. Upon returning to Dreiberg’s house, Dr. Manhattan suddenly appeared and teleported her to Mars. There, she attempted to convince him to save humanity from impending nuclear war. During their conversation, Laurie finally came to the horrific realisation that her father was really the Comedian. Moved by the sheer unlikelihood that two people as different as Sally Jupiter and the Comedian produced a child as wonderful as Laurie, Dr. Manhattan realised the miracle and value of human life and agreed to save the planet. Manhattan returned them to Earth, where they discover that Ozymandias‘ creature has destroyed half of New York—killing millions of people in the process.
Manhattan then teleported her to Antarctica, where Dreiberg (Nite Owl 2) and Rorschach have a climactic confrontation with Ozymandias, who had been manipulating events to cause a catastrophe in order to save the world from itself. Laurie shot him, but he managed to catch the bullet and defeat her. Ozymandias was then able to convince her and the other assembled heroes (with the exception of Rorschach), that his plan should be allowed to go ahead.
In the aftermath of this massive destruction, Laurie and Dreiberg, presumed dead in an explosion in New York, took on new identities as a married couple—Sandra and Sam Hollis. Now sporting blonde hair, rather than her long brunette locks, she visited her mother to make peace, and she and Dreiberg leave to resume their masked adventures. But with more suitable and protective costumes this time.
“People’s lives take them strange places. They do strange things, and well, sometimes they can’t talk about them. I know how that is. I love you, mom. You never did anything wrong by me” — Laurie to her mother as they embrace at the end of Watchmen
So What’s Happened to Laurie Since the Events of Watchmen?
Well, that’s what we are going to find out. From the trailer, it seems that Laurie is no longer using the name Sandra Hollis, but is now going by Laurie Blake—using her father’s surname. That’s quite a turnaround. She’s even gained some of the Comedian’s cynicism it seems and tells a deadpan joke at a police officers funeral. She also announces herself to be an FBI officer, but is she still a masked vigilante underneath it all?
And is she still with Dan Dreiberg? The Owlship, Archie, can be spotted in the trailers, but it’s not necessarily the Nite Owl (2) piloting it. Did Laurie ever have children? She didn’t appear to have the inclination to be a mother when she was younger, but love changes everything.
Laurie was always wise beyond her years. She had to be, being brought up in such unusual circumstances. Ahead of her time, she was a feminist; a female superhero not there just for eye candy, but as a true warrior and leading role in saving humankind. She’s headstrong, freethinking, and independent. Laurie Juspeczyk can do it all, and she does it on her own terms. My kinda lady.
It appears that her ex-love Dr. Manhattan has been hiding out on Mars again. Will the two of them be reunited? How do they all feel about their choice to go along with Ozymandias’ plan back then and the part they played in the mass murder of millions of people? Ozymandias appears to have faked his own death but has big plans for the future of the Earth. The last time he was able to do what he wanted, it resulted in the death of Rorschach, but it looks like Rorschach’s legacy lives on in the form of many masked vigilantes looking for revenge.
The Doomsday Clock comic, a Watchmen sequel that has published 10 of 12 issues so far, began with a manhunt for Ozymandias after Rorschach’s journal helped expose the conspiracy enacted by the world’s smartest man. Over the years, an army of Rorschach followers have formed, and it is time for them to rise. It is a world where it’s hard to tell if the police are the good guys or the bad guys, and where everyone behind a mask has something to hide: Nothing ever ends.