There are a few surprises in Gary Frank and Geoff Johns’ Doomsday Clock #1 for the curious reader. The most notable of these is Rorschach’s return, but Doomsday Clock also introduces two whole new characters to the Watchmen universe. However, they are not really new.
The heroes in Watchmen were entirely the creation of Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore, despite the fact that they were meant to parody certain superhero clichés and heroes from Charlton Comics, a publisher that the venerable DC had just acquired. The Marionette and Mime, created by Frank and Johns for the Doomsday Clock, share a common ancestor.
Mime and Marionette seem to have altered a key aspect of the Watchmen reality in Doomsday Clock #3. The two antagonists were asked by Adrian Veidt, better known as the brave Ozymandias, to join him in a plot to prevent nuclear war by locating the missing Dr. Manhattan, as was shown in Doomsday Clock part 1 to be a part of the same universe as the Watchmen plot.
Both Mime and Marionette were purportedly developed as spoofs of Punch and Jewelee, two well-known villains from Charlton Comics. Punch and Jewelee were previously small-time criminals and Coney Island puppeteers who just so happened to come across a box full of alien technology and decided to use it in their criminal schemes.
Exploring the twisted origins of Mime and Marionette
In the Watchmen prequel and sequel Doomsday Clock by DC Comics, Mime and Marionette, also known as Marcos Maez and Erika Manson, were two major foes. They are a husband-and-wife team of supervillains who team up with Ozymandias and Rorschach II to track down Doctor Manhattan and their son, who inexplicably vanished, as well as other missing people.
Erika’s father operated a store that produced marionette dolls, and Erika and Marcos were born to two shop owners who shared a neighborhood. The two grew close, and their relationship was strengthened when Marcos stood up for Erika against a group of bullies. Corrupt police finally pushed Erika’s father to commit himself while attempting to extort money from him, and Marcos’ parents also perished as a result of the police’s behavior.
Erika, enraged, attacked the cops with Marcos’ assistance. They never left one another’s side since then, assuming the identities of Mime and Marionette to commit crimes when they both became adults, with Marcos later also getting access to an armory of invisible weapons and gadgets.
At some time during their nefarious careers, the two villains, or at least Marionette, confronted the vigilante named Rorschach, who swore to hurl her into an elevator chute if he encountered her ever again. During their most recent crime, the two locked up a bank that was a little distance from Empire State Plaza, while putting on a performance for the cameras.
Mime then watched a teller, who was named Julia, call the cops, and Marionette used a photo of her kid on the desk to compel her into exposing the guy who could enter the bank vault, Mr. Mangold. Mangold tries to deceive Julia by claiming that the bank vault is on a time lock, but Marionette intimidates Julia once more and calls his bluff. In retaliation, Mangold begins verbally harassing Julia and her kid, and Marionette, infuriated, uses one of her wires to cut his finger off. Mangold then disclosed that the vault, ironically, has a hand scanner, prompting Marionette to question whether anyone saw where the finger went.
Doctor Manhattan came just in time to thwart the heist, his quick appearance taking Marionette by surprise. Mime leveled his rifle at Manhattan, who prepared to murder him, just for Marionette to come forward and declare that Manhattan must also kill her. Manhattan then saw a separate heartbeat coming from inside Marionette’s chest, suggesting that she was possibly pregnant, and retreated as the cops approached them both. It was eventually revealed that at least 37 individuals were slaughtered because of Mime and Marionette’s murderous spree.
Marionette, whose real name was Erika, was then imprisoned for robbery and mass killings until Rorschach II set her free. She hesitated to go, first because she was afraid of Rorschach and later because she couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her husband. Rorschach II grudgingly released Mime before transporting the pair to New York City in order to meet up with Ozymandias, who enlisted them to assist him in his search for Doctor Manhattan.
Maez and Mason reapply their outfits while Ozymandias tells Rorschach that he thinks Marionette may be utilized to give a reminder to Doctor Manhattan of who he once was, and persuade him to come home. They board the Owlship, together with Ozymandias and Rorschach, and leave just before New York City is obliterated by a nuclear detonation. Mime and Marionette are cuffed after an emergency landing in Gotham City by Rorschach and Veidt, who believe they are too dangerous to be free. He urges them to be patient until they find Doctor Manhattan, after which they will let the couple come with them once more. While Ozymandias and Rorschach investigate where they have arrived, the criminals escape and depart.
They subsequently come upon the Joker’s henchmen and, following a scuffle, demand to meet the criminal in person. They fight more of the Joker’s goons and see protestors destroying the Bat-Signal.
Erika later gave birth to her baby months after this event, while Marco is still imprisoned in Sing-Sing. She was shouting that she wanted Marco to be there so that they could jointly see their kid. The baby is taken away before Erika can look at it even once, and she is subsequently relocated to Sing-Sing along with her husband.
Years before the incidents of Watchmen, Marcos worked at his family’s company, Maez Glass, which was just across the street from Erika Manson’s dad’s puppet shop. Marco was noticeably unhappy while his parents argued as he gazed out the window. He was about to walk away when he noticed Erika controlling a puppet and waving at him. Marco then entered the store, stunned, and Erika escorted him around. Erika and Marco became good friends; however, Marco’s stepfather considered her to be a harmful influence. Erika was afterward beaten up by three youngsters who were making fun of her and also calling her father a pedophile.
Marco smashed many glass bottles at the two boys’ heads before they could torture her any further, while Erika rushed after the young girl who had taken her puppet. Officers MacDonald and White would eventually assassinate Marco’s mother after she declined to pay them a bribe and fund their wicked ways. They shoved her into the fire escape while pretending it was a mistake. Erika’s father planned to turn Marco into a puppet, but before Marco could make a decision, the cops arrived, and Marco fled in panic.
When Erika discovered what the police were planning to do, she attempted to persuade Marco to assist her in supporting her father, but he was hesitant. Erika then walks inside her father’s shop and discovers his lifeless body hanging on a rope. The cops arrive, demanding for their payments to be made as she is clutching her father’s body, but are taken aback by what they witness.
Erika becomes enraged and takes a pair of scissors, stabbing one of the police officers with them. Before the second cop can kill her, Marco charges toward him and chews his hand, forcing him to drop his gun. Erika leaps on top of him and suffocates him to death using a wire before he can cause any harm.
Marco Maez was actually a Mime performer sometime before 1985. When Rorschach crushed him and his wife, their careers as costumed villains came to an end. Mime was also serving a jail sentence in Sing-Sing by 1992.
Exploring the twisted origins of Mime and Marionette
Rorschach unlocks Door 31 in the very first issue of Doomsday Clock and sees Erika Manson, The Marionette, within. She’s surprised to find out that Rorschach is still alive, so he demonstrates to her that he is actually another Rorschach by removing one of his gloves and revealing his black skin. Nonetheless, he refuses to be labeled an imposter, repeatedly saying, “I AM Rorschach.”
Rorschach gets down to business, handing Manson her “compensation” for a task he wants her to complete. The envelope includes a photograph of her kid, and she will be informed where he is after she has located God, also known as Dr. Manhattan, and thereby save the world. Erika becomes enraged but eventually agrees on one condition: her evil husband, Marcos Maez, also well known as The Mime, must accompany her.
In some other room, a few convicts plot to sexually attack a guard, but Maez is the only one who refuses to participate, simply watching the spectacle with disgust and saying nothing. A fellow convict grabs Maez and mercilessly punches him. Rorschach and Erika appear unexpectedly, and she invites him to join them on their quest. Erika claims to be aware that he is in the midst of a performance, as Maez is playing the underdog and subsequently the champion, saying “Ba-ba-bum!” and turning unexpectedly, but he must hurry.
The Mime murders all of his assaulters and joins Erika and Rorschach right away, with a giant smile on his face and deranged eyes. With fewer than 3 hours left to go, Rorschach pushes the pair to leave, but there is another problem: Maez can’t just leave sans his “special” weaponry, which seems to be two invisible, or perhaps fictitious, rifles.
While New York City is under forced evacuation, Rorschach and the wicked couple descend via the sewers to meet with the evil Rorschach’s unknown partner. Rorschach can’t recall if they should turn right or left at a crossroads.
The Mime aims his weapons at him, and Erika informs him what will go down next: he’ll bring them to his accomplice and give the whereabouts of their child, or they’ll have their tongues torn out of their throats, as The Mime has done to his own self, which is the reason he doesn’t speak. Rorschach does not respond to the danger, just concluding that the correct way to go is… right. The group enters a massive, steel door that leads inside Nite Owl’s lair. Despite Erika’s suspicions that his companion is Nite Owl, Ozymandias emerges from the shadows, clutching a small Bubastis.
Erika instantly threatens to murder him if he does not tell her the whereabouts of her kid, noting that the price on his head must now be worth millions. Ozymandias responds calmly, saying he’ll give her not one but two HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS if she does her job and tell her all she wants to know, as long as she stops threatening him. Ozymandias provides Marionette and Mime with their original clothes, complete with Marionette’s favorite scent, at Nite Owl’s lair.
Ozymandias then reveals that Marionette symbolizes a time in Manhattan’s history and that she hopes to persuade him that humankind is worth rescuing and that he should return and save Earth. Both Rorschach and Ozymandias recognize that Russia and the United States have launched nuclear missiles and that they are now very short on time. All 4 of them board the Owlship, with Ozymandias stating that they will follow Manhattan’s line of leaking electrons in order to find him. Just before the first bomb detonates in New York, Ozymandias latches on to Manhattan and transports all of them there.
The Owlship crash-lands in an abandoned theme park after passing through the famous Batsignal in Gotham. To Marionette’s chagrin, Ozymandias wakes Rorschach up, and the two decide to examine the site, while tying Mime and Marionette securely to the ship until they both are required. When Marionette laments about the situation, Mime recalls that he brought his invisible lockpick with him, smiling. Mime and Marionette release themselves from their shackles at the abandoned theme park in which the Owlship crashed, and they are now free to explore this intriguing new world.
Mime and Marionette walk into a pub full of Joker’s thugs. The thugs become enraged when the girl, Marionette, inquires who the Joker is, and one of the thugs threatens to cut a big “smile” on her skin with a knife. Mime instantly places his imaginary gun on the man’s head, making fun of him until he suddenly pulls the trigger, blasting the thug’s head off. Mime and Marionette effortlessly defeat all of their opponents and ultimately decide to confront the infamous Joker. Mime and Marionette proceed to assassinate those associated with the Joker after learning that he will be present in a conference on top of the Headquarters of the GCPD later that day.
Meanwhile, The Comedian stumbles onto the pub where the couple massacred the Joker’s men and terrifies two police officers as he searches for the murderers. The Joker greets Mime and Marionette as they arrive atop the GCPD roof, but is abruptly stopped by one of his minions, presenting him with Batman’s broken body. After the ambush on the GCPD Headquarters, the Joker and his minions escort Marionette and Mime inside the Gotham City sewers.
Marionette recalls her history and her first meeting with Mime as they walk: Erika Manson grew up with her dad, who had migrated to America to run a doll-making shop. Across the street was “Maez Glass,” a Hispanic-owned shop. Marcos Maez, the son, was silent and verbally harassed by his stepfather every day. One day, Marcos walks into the Manson store and is escorted around by Erika. Meanwhile, in the sewers, when Joker tries to coax Mime and Marionette into becoming a part of his ranks, they reject his offer and attack his troops, resulting in the Joker mistakenly killing one of his own. The Joker chuckles, and the group moves on to the meeting.
Back inside Marionette’s memories, Erika was walking with her Marionette doll when a bunch of bullies attacked her. Erika’s father was insulted by the bullies, who accused him of being a “child predator” and stole Erika’s doll. Erika fought the ringleader, but the bully’s goons pulled her down and were about to chop her hair. Marcos then halted the bullies and struck them using glass bottles.
Erika took on the leader and eagerly requested additional bottles from Marcos. Erika’s dad offered to build Marcos a doll of his choice after showing him around his business. Two police officers, however, approach the store and express their “concern” for Marcos’ mom. Erika’s father offers the authorities a puppet shaped like a Leprechaun for the officer’s “daughter” as Marcos runs out of the store.
A scuffle breaks out at the conference that the Joker brings them to, so Mime distracts a villain named Blake, enabling both him and Marionette to flee as another villain named the Comedian shoots up the place.
Meanwhile, we continue to witness glimpses of Erika’s past. Later that day, the cops return, curious which puppet Erika’s dad “used” this time. When he tries to resist the cops, they assault him, claiming that their “boss” got him to this nation, and so he owns him. These dishonest officers had been taking in immigrants and permitting them to create businesses in order to employ them to distribute narcotics.
The cops are suggested to have murdered Marcos’ mother and threaten to murder Erika, if her father does not comply. He gives in, exposing the drug shipment to be contained within a Nite-Owl puppet. Erika returns to the store after the incident, only to discover that her dad has killed himself, believing that she would be safer without him. Erika stabs one of the police officers in the throat using a pair of scissors, as they arrive on the scene. The other attempts to shoot her; however, Marcos stops him, enabling Erika to choke him with a wire.
The two flee to the streets, ultimately adopting the personas of the Mime and Marionette. Erika gave birth to their son after their experience with Doctor Manhattan, while Marcos remains imprisoned. Their child was abducted and would never be seen again. The Comedian apprehends Mime and Marionette as they set out to find their kid. Blake feels that he only requires one of them to survive in order to discover Ozymandias; however, he is electrocuted by the evil Joker, who joins the two of them in their mission to find Manhattan.
Later on in the series, Marionette and Mime prepare for the birth of their second child. Jonathan Kent recounts not murdering Marionette and Mime throughout the past because their unborn kid would bring immense delight to his former sweetheart, Laurie Jupiter. He suddenly realizes that he is actually the one who has to take the young child away from them. As Manhattan goes on to raise the child, he understands that he will never be the superhero that his planet requires, because he lacks what Superman has. Fate does not exist without a guiding force. Jon bestows the remainder of his abilities on the Earth as well as the kid.
The kid is dropped off at the Hollis household, where he presents himself to their young girl as an acquaintance of her parents. She introduces herself as Sally as she welcomes him inside for pancakes, and the kid introduces himself as Clark.
What makes them such twisted villains?
Erika Manson, also known as Marionette, is very powerful and has a host of special abilities that she uses to cause immense pain to her adversaries. She is talented in acrobatics, characterizing her ability to achieve feats of balance, agility, and coordination. Acrobatic applications include performing arts such as ballet and circus. She is very skilled at intimidation and persuasion, and she may compel respect or dominate via terror. Her capacity to “instill enormous dread” is greatly valued. She is also highly proficient at stealing or thievery.
Her methods of theft may include robbery, embezzlement, fraud, looting, kidnapping, or shoplifting. This category also includes criminal masterminds who plan bank robberies. She is also a skilled martial artist, adept in a wide range of Martial Art skills and combat styles.
She is also a great seducer, enticing everybody she desires to engage in certain types of behavior, which could be sexual in nature. Her sensuality also includes charisma application, as she employs her feminine wit and charm to confuse male opponents and get them to drop their guard. This is not to say she will participate in sexual actions on the spur of the moment, but for assignments that require her to work secretly, she is not beyond utilizing the art of seduction to accomplish her aims.
She is also skilled in advanced techniques of hand-to-hand combat and gymnastics, which is a phrase used to define her ability to undertake exercises that involve a significant level of physical strength, agility, and control. It varies from acrobatics in the sense that it is more of a coordinated sport than a freewheeling theatrical act. Her preferred weapon is a Slicing String, which she employs to harm her opponents seriously.
Mime is also an expert in various forms of combat. He is unique in the sense that he uses acting as an attacking skill, using it to get things done his way and also using it to defeat his opponents. Just like his wife, he is also an expert at thievery and robbing. He also has extensive knowledge and proficiency in the usage of numerous weapons.
This comprises automatic pistols, semi-automatic rifles, handguns, shotguns, carbines, railguns, and exotic off-world armaments, and he also excels in hand-to-hand combat. He is also a specialist in Marksmanship, which is his ability to hurl objects or weapons like knives, boomerangs, or shuriken. His weapons are very unique as they are invisible, and he uses an invisible handgun and knife to defeat his opponents.
Mime might not be able to talk, but his presence speaks volumes. It’s not simple to produce a mute figure as captivating and intimidating as Frank and Johns do. Marionette, on the other hand, is all talk, yet she also has a vicious sting to accompany her bark. Her frivolity swiftly turns to malice, and she is made all the more noticeable by it. As the boundary between evil and good begins to blur, we’re taught that things are no longer black and white – and this is very much the scenario with both Mime and Marionette.
We’ve already seen that these characters are aggressive and vicious, but they also have a surprising amount of complexity. They’re both broken, but they’re loyal to each other, and they’re both driven by the desire to be together with their kid. All of these characteristics help to humanize the two intriguing characters, who could have easily been two-dimensional if less inventive hands had written their stories. It only takes two issues to show that Mime and Marionette possibly are two of DC Comics’ most fantastic additions in recent times.
They’ve only become two characters we would like to see a lot more of in a field that isn’t often open to fresh characters. They may be clothed in white and black, but there is nothing black and white about them. Gray is now the new norm in the DC Universe, as it was in the universe of Watchmen. And now it appears that the 2 characters are about to be unleashed on Gotham City, which means that all kinds of lunacy will undoubtedly ensue.