Nite Owl inhabits the world of "Watchmen," a story written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons which reflects contemporary anxieties and offers a critique on the superhero genre. Nite Owl is the resident technological genius of this alternate reality. Imagine Batman with low self esteem.
Regarding the arsenal and costumes in his basement: "I don't know why I hang onto this stuff. I mean, I know the romance is over... I guess I just don't have the heart to throw out all the engagement presents."
While he is ostensibly based on the Blue Beetle, Nite Owl also bears a fair resemblance to Batman in terms of his modus operandi. All three are high-tech heroes with underground lairs. Nite Owl is the only one with a beer gut (not counting the Giffen/Dematteis Bwa-ha-ha era of the JLA which featured a rather robust Blue Beetle -- perhaps inspired by Nite Owl?) Nite Owl and Rorschach teamed together successfully in the 1970s, until the Keene Act forced Dan into retirement. Having been out of the hero business for some time, Dan has become soft, chubby and directionless. He remains close friends with his mentor, Hollis Mason and the two quite often get together to toss back a few beers and reminisce about old times. It isn't until he begins to take stock in Rorschach's "mask killer theory" that Dan finds purpose once again and resumes the mantle of Nite Owl.
Inspired by Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl of the 1940s, Dan Dreiberg turned his love of ornithology and his technical savvy into a costumed identity, and fights crime using a variety of owl-themed gadgets including a hover-bike and night vision goggles.
Nite Owl possesses no superhuman powers, but has a genius level intellect which has enabled him to create a variety of high-tech weaponry and modes of transportation, all of which bear an owl theme.
The characters of "Watchmen" are all based on characters previously featured in books published by the now-defunct Charlton Comics Company. Nite Owl was based on the second Blue Beetle, also a powerless technological wizard.
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