Watchmen was the original story written in 1986 by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. It chronicles an alternate history Earth where superheroes are real, and what they do to the political climate of the Cold War. It was hailed as a landmark, and changed comic books forever.
Main article: Rorschach
Born Walter Joseph Kovacs, Rorschach had a traumatic childhood, which shaped his objectivist "never compromise" view of heroism. He is good friends with Dan Dreiberg, and uses a grappling gun developed specially for his use. Rorschach's preferred method of gathering information is to go to seedy bars and break fingers.
Though he appears to die at the end of Watchmen, it is revealed in the first part of WatchmeX that he reassembles himself into Dr. Roarhattan. He remains this way until he meets with Ozymandias.
Main article: Nite Owl II
Dan Dreiberg is a rich ornithologist who dreams of living out his childhood fantasies. He was greatly influenced by the first Nite Owl, and approached him after his retirement to see if he could use the name. With his great funding and technological skill, he created a number of gadgets and vehicles used by the rest of the Watchmen, including the Owl Ship, the Owl Bikes, and the Iron Owl armor, which, though seen briefly in one chapter, would not actually be used until the Blight-Owl arc.