Contributed by Ronald Byrd
Operating in New York City, Hooded Justice was the first costumed crimefighter to appear publicly on the alternate Earth that is the home of the Watchmen, debuting in the fall of 1938. Nothing is known about the tall, muscular Justice’s origin. Known for his violent demeanor in combat, he was among the founders of the Minutemen in 1939, and in 1940 he prevented the Comedian from raping their teammate, the Silk Spectre.
The Comedian responded to the beating with the remark: “This is what you like, huh? This is what gets you hot… ” The implication is that Hooded Justice’s crimefighting activities serve as a release for more than one kind of aggression; the Comedian also implied that he would one day seen vengeance on Hooded Justice for the beating. Unknown to the general public, Hooded Justice had a gay relationship with one of his teammates, Captain Metropolis, who alone among the Minutemen may have known Justice’s true identity. Although the Silk Spectre often pretended to be his girlfriend in public, he also had frequent rough sex sessions with young men, perhaps supporting the Comedian’s speculation.
In 1955, six years after the Minutemen disbanded and following demands that he testify before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, Hooded Justice vanished from sight and was never heard from again. A corpse tentatively identified as that of circus strongman Rolf Muller was found not long afterward, leading some to speculate that the two men were one and the same. However, while some right-wing sources speculated Muller, of East German descent, had been a communist agent, it is known that, before the bombing of Pearl Harbor brought the US into World War II, Hooded Justice expressed approval for the activities of the Third Reich, hardly something one would expect from a communist of that era (Actually, it seems unlikely that a gay man would support either the Soviets or the Nazis.). Then again, the Comedian, who may or may not have retained his grudge against his former teammate, was himself an active anti-communist government agent who conceivably could have played a role in these events; the full story of Hooded Justice’s life and presumed death remains unknown.
Hooded Justice had no superhuman powers but possessed an unusual level of strength, stamina, and brutality. His secret identity may be Rolf Muller. Read the Captain Metropolis profile.
Alan Moore revealed the character is gay in Watchmen #9.
The Watchmen created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Art by Dave Gibbons.
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