Hooded Justice was the first person to become a masked vigilante. Never appearing without his mask on, his identity was a mystery to even his fellow Minutemen, and his lover, Captain Metropolis. He was killed by Nite-Owl when he was framed for Rolf Müller's child murders.
At some point, a German-American man decided to become a violent, crime fighting vigilante, donning a hood and cloak to hide his identity. He first made his public appearance in the autumn of 1938 when he violently stopped a gang from assaulting a young couple. A week later, he intervened in an armed robbery at a supermarket. It was his second appearance in which the public gave him his name, Hooded Justice.
In 1939, Hooded Justice joined the Minutemen. He was secretly homosexual and in love with Nelson Gardner aka Captain Metropolis. But in order to hide it from the general public, he pretended to be in a relationship with Silk Spectre. He later rescued the Silk Spectre from the Comedian's sexual assault, which led to the Comedian's expulsion from the team.
Hooded Justice was a brutal vigilante who would beat criminals to a bloody pulp, this was suggested by the Comedian to be a part of his sexual fetishes. His controversial talent for brutal treatment made him infamous in local newspapers.
His true identity remained unknown to his fellow Minutemen. Even his lover Nelson Gardner did not know his real name. Whoever Hooded Justice was, he seemed to suffer from some kind of trauma, possibly child molestation. It is established that he was of German descent.
Death of a Legend
After he was kicked off the team, the Comedian continued the Silhouette's investigation of a series of child murders. In 1955, he found out that the killer was Rolf Müller, who was also a former Nazi henchman. Müller was a much older man than Hooded Justice could be. The Comedian had killed Müller and then decided to frame Hooded Justice for the child killings, so he'd be arrested and unmasked by his former teammates. Nite Owl and Mothman fell for the Comedian's ruse and went after Hooded Justice, who was hiding in the Minutemen's former headquarters. Nite Owl eventually went further than the Comedian had hoped for and killed Hooded Justice by breaking his neck. Nelson Gardner then arrived on the scene and disposed of his lover's body by setting the HQ on fire.
Soon, people noticed Justice's mysterious disappearence. In his book Under the Hood, Hollis Mason reasoned that when the House of Un-American Activities Committee began to demand the unmasking of all costumed adventurers Hooded Justice did not wish to and he vanished from the public. Mason noted the similarities of Hooded Justice's history with that of a circus strongman named Rolf Müller, suspecting that they were in fact the same person. Müller had a similar build and he had disappeared at the same time as Hooded Justice.
A year after Hooded Justice's disappearance, Müller was found dead in which his badly decomposed body washed up the coast of Boston with a bullet lodged in the back of his head. An article from The New Frontiersman suggested that Müller, whose family were East German, had been on the run for fear of being uncovered during the Communist witch hunts, and implied that Müller was executed by his Communist superiors. Whatever happened, Hooded Justice's identity remain a mystery to the world, and his disappearance to all but a select few.
Ozymandias investigated Hooded Justice's disappearance when he was researching his masked predecessors. His investigation discovered that The Comedian, a government operative, had tried to unearth Hooded Justice but reported failure to his government superiors. Ozymandias suspected that The Comedian had found and murdered Hooded Justice, but he could not prove this.
After retiring from crimefighting, Hollis Mason considered telling the whole story in his autobiography. The Comedian sneaked into Mason's home and told him the truth, revealing to the former Nite Owl that he had killed an innocent man.
- He is the first masked vigilante in his universe.
- While establishing that Hooded Justice and Rolf Müller were not the same man, Before Watchmen: Minutemen hints that they may have been linked somehow. An old photograph portrays Müller with a boy named Jacob, although their relationship and the identity of Jacob is open to interpretation. He also had in his possession a copy of A Child's Garden Verses dedicated to Jacob. It is implied that Hooded Justice could have been one of Müller's victims when both men lived in Europe, if not Jacob himself.
- 15 Appearances of Hooded Justice (Watchmen)
- 5 Images featuring Hooded Justice (Watchmen)
- 1 Quotations by or about Hooded Justice (Watchmen)
- Character Gallery: Hooded Justice (Watchmen)
- Hooded Justice at the Watchmen Wiki.