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For the other versions of Gardner, see Captain Metropolis (disambiguation).

Nelson Gardner, known publicly as Captain Metropolis, was the organizer, founder, and leader of the Minutemen. As a retired Marine, Gardner used his tactical knowledge to organize the team against enemies that had to be fought with numbers, almost always proving successful. He acted as the lover of Hooded Justice, a relationship that was hidden from the public eye. He was decapitated in a car crash.


A former lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, Nelson Gardner brought military organization and strategic thinking to the battle against crime as he believed in stamping out what he perceived to be the ills of society. Gardner wrote a letter to Sally Jupiter and suggested that they form a "battalion" of costumed heroes, what eventually became known as the Minutemen.

During his run with the Minutemen, Gardner was in a tumultuous romantic relationship with Hooded Justice throughout the 1940s.

After being given a passing grade by the House Committee of Un-American Activities, Gardner continued as an active costumed adventurer into the 1960s. He was decapitated in a car crash in 1974.[1][2]


Owing to his military background he had a strategic approach for crime-fighting as he was the brain behind the Minutemen.

Although a gay man, Gardner had conservative and racist views and during his time in the Minutemen he made racist comments regarding the blacks and the Hispanics that surprised even his contemporaries in pre-Civil Rights Movement America.[2]

Behind the Scenes

  • Captain Metropolis only appears in flashbacks in the Zack Snyder's Watchmen. He has only one line in the film and is not present in the 1966 meeting. Ozymandias attempts to lead the 1966 meeting, calling the proposed team "Watchmen".
  • The David Hayter draft eliminated Gardner entirely from the plot, and Dan Dreiberg was used as a replacement for the meeting scene, so as to make him more of a leader.