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Who is Hooded Justice on Watchmen on HBO: Is Will Reeves the former masked vigilante?

Who is Hooded Justice on Watchmen on HBO
Hooded Justice on Watchmen. Pic credit: HBO

There is a documentary within the current season of Watchmen on HBO and it looks like it is playing the role of the Under the Hood comic book within the Watchmen comics.

To remind fans, Under the Hood was a pirate comic book (since superheroes were not popular after they really existed). The story in the comic paralleled the Watchmen story itself.

However, the documentary in Watchmen, titled American Hero Story: Minutemen, might play a much larger role than viewers think.

American Hero Story: Minutemen

For those who don’t know, the heroes in the Watchmen comics and the movie based on the comics were the Crimebusters. They were the second superhero team (only one man had superpowers — Doctor Manhattan).

There were two members of the Crimebusters that were also part of the first-ever superhero team — The Minutemen. Those two heroes were The Comedian and Hooded Justice.

Remember, The Comedian was killed to kickstart the story in the Watchmen comics and he was a very bad man.

The rest of the members returned years later for the Watchmen comics and movie but one was missing — Hooded Justice.

What happened to Hooded Justice? In the comics, it was shown that Hollis Mason (the original Night Owl) wrote a memoir that claimed that a strongman named Rolf Muller, was killed and dumped into the harbor and that it happened around the same time that Hooded Justice disappeared.

However, in the second episode of Watchmen on HBO, Hooded Justice is the narrator of American Hero Story: Minutemen (or, more accurately, a fictional actor telling his story) and he said that Muller was not Hooded Justice.

So, what happened to Hooded Justice?

Is Will Reeves Hooded Justice?

As fans learned in the second episode of Watchmen, the old man who claims he killed Chief Judd Crawford is named Will Reeves.

He is not only the young boy who escaped the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921, but also the grandfather of Angela, the police officer who appears to be the main hero in Watchmen on HBO.

Go back to the season premiere of Watchmen and notice that before young Will was sent running for his life during the massacre that he was watching a film about a heroic black deputy who saved a small Western town.

His father handed him a leaflet before he sent him running that was German propaganda from the war that warned him about not trusting those who tried to rule over him. It also called on him to be a protector.

In episode two of Watchmen on HBO, we finally saw the start of the documentary American Hero Story: Minutemen and saw Hooded Justice. Yes, the man under the mask was white in the fictional documentary, but remember, the world had not seen Hooded Justice in many years.

Hooded Justice on Watchmen
Hooded Justice on Watchmen. Pic credit: HBO

Notice two things in that image. His cloak is held on with a rope that looks like one used for lynching.

Second, look at the color.

Now, look at this photo of Will Reeves after Angela captured him, following him lynching Chief Crawford.

Will Reeves on Watchmen
Will Reeves on Watchmen. Pic credit: Mark Hill/HBO

Will Reeves was a young child, most likely around the age of 10 during the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. In the comic books, Hooded Justice was said to have started his career as a crimefighter in 1938 when he did a number of heroic things, including the grocery store robbery that was shown on Watchmen on HBO.

That would have made Reeves in his mid-20s at that time, a perfect age to finally lose his anger and take on the role of the costumed crimefighter, Hooded Justice.

Maybe the red jacket and the fact that Will has “friends in high places” is just a red herring. However, Silk Spectre (a second-generation hero from Watchmen) is returning in future episodes as a retired superhero turned FBO agent, Laurie Blake.

With Angela as the possible granddaughter of the original Hooded Justice and Blake the daughter of the original Silk Spectre and The Comedian (through rape), could the next generation of heroes be ready to band together to stop whatever it is that Ozymandias might be planning?

Watchmen airs on HBO on Sunday nights at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT.


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