This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Not-EVERY-Nite Owl, Perhaps...

I haven't seen Watchmen yet. But I've read a few reviews, and more related articles than I care to count.

Most of them make the same mistake: While listing all the ways the superheroes of Watchmen differ from the accepted, "good" stereotypes, they describe Dan "Nite Owl" Dreiberg with the word "impotent."

I first read the story as it unfolded issue by issue in comic book form, and the impression I got then, and have retained until now, was that Dan Dreiberg was less an impotent man than he was one who suffered from one single episode of performance anxiety. We -- the readers -- just happened to be there for that "one episode," as well as its successful follow-up.

We simply were not told enough about Dreiberg's sexual history to assume that he was impotent until the time aboard "Archie" (the Owlship, or whatever they called it).

As it stands -- no pun intended -- the first time he attempted to make love to Laurie, he couldn't perform. (In real life, it quite often happens that way during a first encounter, because the pressure's on, so to speak.) The second time, he could perform, mainly because "the costumes had something to do with it." Kinky little cuss, ain't he?

(I should mention that I am, at this point, assuming that the corresponding scenes in the movie are handled much as they were in the original comic. If not, of course, that could explain why so many of the writers who've talked about Nite Owl's "condition" have opinions which differ from my own.)

It reminds me of when I saw Superman II in the cinema, years ago. After Superman gives up his super powers for a roll in the hay with Lois Lane, the film shows the lovebirds under the covers in that goofy Reynold's Wrap Super-Bed. At this point, I was the only one in the theater who burst out laughing... and not just at said Super-Bed.

After the movie, my embarrassed date asked me, "Why did you laugh at that scene of Clark and Lois in bed?"

I explained that I couldn't help thinking how funny it would have been if, instead of showing the two cuddling in the afterglow of ecstasy, they'd shown Superman whining, "Lois, I'm sorry! I swear this has never happened to me before!"

Well, I thought it was funny. Maybe you did, too. Maybe you didn't. But I'll bet if Dan Dreiberg had thought of it, he wouldn't have laughed at all.

Thanks for your time.


  1. Interesting topic today, Foxy, to say the very least!Of course, all this watchmen stuff loses me.I haven't watched super heros since Batman and Superman on TV.And that was 40, 50 yrs. ago.I can't relly comment on the main thrust (and how's that for a pun) of your article without showing my lack of experiance.But "Reynolds Wrap Super Bed" almost makes me want to see that movie.

  2. Your comment to your date was funny.

    The Nite Owl's biggest downside is that he's a nice guy. can he compare to Dr. Manhattan?

  3. Maybe that's why I identified with Dan when I read Watchmen. The whole "nice guy" thing. (And I really can be a nice guy, although it seems I've been horribly misjudged once or twice lately!)


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