"Since the Keene Act was passed in '77, only the government-sponsored weirdos are active."


Superhuman Registration Act ID
Public DomainSuperhuman Registration Act ID Card

Controversial government legal bills aimed at controlling the actions of super-heroes are not a new concept to comic book story lines. In the Marvel Universe, the Superhuman Registration Act required super-heroes to be registered with the government and to have an official ID which legally granted them the power to enforce the law. Watchmen is slightly different in that none of the costumed crusaders, apart from Dr Manhatten and to some degree Captain Metropolis, actually had any super powers. They were just vigilantes who dressed up and got together in order to return law and order to the streets of New York. Their existence led to Police strikes and a huge riot on the streets. So the Keene Act was introduced to outlaw vigilantism the only exception being two government sponsored individuals, Dr Manhatten and The Comedian.