Hooded Justice was the first masked vigilante. 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 a armed robbery at a supermarket. It was his second appearance in which the public gave him his name.
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.
In 1955, he mysteriously disappeared. 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 built 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. Whether Müller is Hooded Justice or not, his identity and disappearance remains a mystery.
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.
In Before Watchmen: Minutemen it is revealed that the Comedian had been continuing Silhouette's investigation of a series of child murders. He had found out that the killer was 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.
After retiring from crimefighting, Hollis Mason aka the first Nite Owl 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.
- 19 Appearances of Hooded Justice (Watchmen)
- 4 Images featuring Hooded Justice (Watchmen)
- Quotations by or about Hooded Justice (Watchmen)
- Character Gallery: Hooded Justice (Watchmen)