WATCHMEN Video Journal #10 focuses on the Minute Men of the 1940's and the origins and motivations of the retro-heroes. Two more VJs to go before the movies' premiere (hopefully) in March 2009! ~ Watch it via glorious Quicktime or HD @ www.apple.com/trailers/wb/watchmen/. Screengrabs below feature character-description of the Minute Men (*WARNING: Story Spoilers Contained Within descriptions*):
HOODED JUSTICE: An extremely large, imposing figure, Hooded Justice, whose real identity is not revealed in Watchmen but who some claim is ex-circus strongman Rolf Müller, was the first of the costumed vigilantes. His brutality towards criminals rivaled that of Rorschach. It is implied that he was in fact a homosexual, and that he got sexual gratification from violence. Hooded Justice interferes with The Comedian’s attempt to rape Silk Spectre I, breaking his nose in the process. Sally Jupiter, or Silk Spectre I, posed as his girlfriend, but this was a sham relationship set up to conceal Hooded Justice's homosexuality and interest in violent sexual encounters with teen boys.
Hooded Justice vanished at the time that The Minutemen were questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee, and was never seen again.
(Editor: It has been implied in the comics that Hooded Justice was in fact killed by The Comedian later on, for revenge)
DOLLAR BILL: a member of the Minutemen who died during a bank robbery in the 1940s.
CAPTAIN METROPOLIS: Nelson Gardner, an ex-Marine Lieutenant, was one of the more active proponents of The Minutemen group; he suggested that a collaboration of forces would be the most effective way to fight crime. "Social ills" motivate him to fight crime. However, what he defines as a "social ill", for example anti-war demonstrations, promiscuity, and "Black Unrest" show that his motivations for changing the world are shaped by unexamined assumptions of social norms, rather than pro bono publico, although he insists that this isn't true. In 1974, he is decapitated in a car accident according to Rorschach's diary. Hollis Mason's book acknowledges that Gardner had made several racial slurs about Black Americans and Hispanics during his years on the Minutemen.
He was also involved in a homosexual relationship with Hooded Justice, thus necessitating a need for Sally Jupiter (Silk Spectre I) and Hooded Justice's very public (but sham) relationship as a cover story to avoid any public suspicion of a relationship which would surely damage the image of The Minutemen.
NITE OWL (aka Hollis Mason): Hollis Mason was a policeman who became a "masked adventurer" after being inspired by the New York Gazette's article on Hooded Justice. After years of serving in The Minutemen, he wrote a book called Under the Hood, which exposed much about the Minutemen, most notably the attempted rape of Sally Jupiter (Silk Spectre I) by The Comedian.
After the dissolution of The Minutemen and the rise of Doctor Manhattan, he elected to retire and work on old cars, passing his mantle on to a fan, Dan Dreiberg, who would become Nite Owl II. Later, on Halloween, 1985, during a riot that breaks out after Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II free Rorschach from prison, a violent street gang under the influence of stimulants, believing Mason to be the Nite Owl who had freed Rorschach, attacks Mason in his home and beat him to death. The character of Nite Owl (Hollis Mason) is largely inspired by Blue Beetle. In the movie, he is portrayed by Stephen McHattie.
MOTHMAN: a former member of the Minutes who suffered from alcoholism and mental illness later in life.
SILHOUETTE: a former member of the Minutemen who retired after her status as a lesbian became public knowledge. Was murdered by one of her enemies.
SILK SPECTRE (aka Sally Juspeczyk): Sally Juspeczyk was a waitress and burlesque dancer before becoming a crimefighter on the advice of her agent, and future husband, Laurence Schexnayder. Silk Spectre I was sexually assaulted by The Comedian, but the attack was ended by Hooded Justice's intervention. A (while) later, emotionally turbulent consensual encounter with the Comedian resulted in the conception of her daughter, Laurie, who would become Silk Spectre II.
Silk Spectre I was involved in a tumultuous marriage with Schexnayder, which subsequently ended in divorce. The character of Silk Spectre (Sally) is inspired largely by Black Canary and Phantom Lady, as opposed to the Charlton character Nightshade. In the movie, she is portrayed by Carla Gugino.
THE COMEDIAN is Edward Blake, who began his vigilante career in the 1940s as a young man. Over the years, he became a patriotic hero for the United States. The Comedian was based on the Charlton Comics character Peacemaker, with elements of the Marvel Comics spy character Nick Fury added. Moore and Gibbons saw The Comedian as "a kind of Gordon Liddy character, only a much bigger, tougher guy".
Already deceased when the story begins, his murder is what sets the plot in motion. The character appears throughout the story in flashbacks and aspects of his personality are revealed by other characters. Richard Reynolds described The Comedian as "ruthless, cynical, and nihilistic, and yet capable of deeper insights than the others into the role of the costumed hero". Along with Dr. Manhattan, he is the only government-sanctioned superhero after the Keene Act banning superheroes is passed. Although he attempted to rape the first Silk Spectre in the 1940s, issue eight reveals that years later he fathered her daughter Laurie.
In the 2009 feature film, he will be portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Source: All character text-descriptions are lifted directly from wikipedia and is yet to be authenticated (by me).