By Ronald Byrd
Captain Metropolis (Nelson Gardner) was one of several costumed crimefighters who debuted in New York City, and it was he who organized the team known as the Minutemen in the fall of 1939 Nothing is known about his origin save that he was once a lieutenant in the US Marines and applied his knowledge of military technique and strategy to eradicating organized crime in inner urban areas. Unknown to the general public, Captain Metropolis had a gay relationship with one of his teammates, Hooded Justice, a relationship that may cast some light on his unexplained departure from the Marines; how he dealt with Hooded Justice’s disappearance and presumed death in 1955 is unrecorded. The Minutemen disbanded in 1949, but Captain Metropolis continued his activities, even attempting unsuccessfully to form a second team, the Crimebusters, in 1966; his tendency toward making racist statements about African-Americans and Hispanic Americans may have contributed to the declining popularity of costumed heroes during this era. Captain Metropolis was allegedly decapitated in an automobile accident in 1974.
Captain Metropolis had no superhuman powers but was an excellent military strategist, a skill he adapted to crimefighting; presumably, he was also a formidable opponent in hand-to-hand combat.
Captain Metropolis’s sexuality is brought up in Watchmen #9. Read the Hooded Justice bio here.
The Watchmen created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Art by Dave Gibbons.
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