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For other versions of Nite Owl, see Nite Owl (disambiguation) .

Hollis Mason was a former police officer and the first Nite Owl. He retired from vigilantism in 1962 and wrote an an autobiography, Under the Hood, that provided dramatic insights into the world of superheroes.


To be added.

Hollis as an author


Hollis Mason was an "old school crimefighter", a real "Boy Scout" in the eyes of Captain Metropolis. He was quite possibly the most decent and "normal" of the masked adventurers presented in Watchmen. While many of his colleagues have psychological issues with regards to society, race, gender, or just simple megalomania, Mason is apparently free of these traits, and judging by the excerpts from his book, is something of a voice of reason in the world of the costumed adventurers. By all accounts, he was just a police officer who felt he needed to go a bit beyond the normal line of duty in order to make a more significant impact on crime - though in Under the Hood he speculates that his strict moral upbringing and love of pulp comics may have been a factor, at least in his initial choice to become a policeman. Both in-person and in his book his words tend to be kind and temperate, with a slight tendency towards light-hearted self-deprecating humor.

Photograph of Nite Owl posing during the arrest of Spaceman.

Mason was a staunch conservative and was an avid reader of the New Frontiersman, which explains where Mason got the idea that Hooded Justice was a communist subversive named Rolf Muller who was conveniently found murdered shortly after HJ's disappeared. There is no proof to support this claim. Furthermore, Mason made it clear in subsequent interviews that he knew of Hooded Justice's same-sex relationship with Nelson Gardner, aka Captain Metropolis, a relationship Mason designated as deviant. Mason’s counterargument to anti-vigilante sentiment counted non-normative sexuality as a public image problem comparable to fascism.[1]

Despite this, he seemed to be well-liked by most of his teammates and got along well with most of them, despite sometimes being all too aware of their faults and flaws. His enmity seems to be saved for the Comedian, whom he never forgave for the attempted rape of Sally Jupiter, and whose brutal means of crimefighting proved too much for Mason to reconcile himself with.


Hollis Mason punches a Knot Top member with his right hook.

Expert Combatant: Mason was a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant. He fought with a boxing style, and could put a lot of power into his punches. He also mentions that he has a mean right hook, which he used to defeat the likes of Captain Axis and Spaceman. Even in his declining years, Mason was still able to hold his own against the Knot Tops for a while, though he was ultimately overwhelmed.

Skilled Investigator: As a police officer, Mason was a highly skilled detective and highly experienced crime investigator.


Initially, Mason experimented with a cape but eventually opted for a streamlined outfit with free arms and legs. He was protecting his chest and abdomen with a tough leather tunic while his leather over chainmail hood protected his head. His briefs were made of light chainmail. A domino mask concealed his identity, initially attached on his face with a string, but then stuck with resin.[2]


  • He is a modified version of the various Blue Beetle characters created for Fox Feature Syndicate and later sold to Charlton Comics.
  • In the very first part of the opening to the movie adaptation, Nite Owl is seen punching a masked criminal in the face in front of two well-dressed individuals outside the Gotham City Opera House. This caused speculative debate as to the identity of the individuals. Fan theories point them out as Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce Wayne's parents. This could possibly mean that the masked criminal is actually Joe Chill and that by prevented the death of Bruce Wayne's parents, Nite Owl also prevented the creation of Batman. However, the presence of Batman posters in the background indicates that Batman exists as a fictional character in this universe, making this interpretation unlikely to be true.

Behind the Scenes

  • While Alan Moore devised character notes for Dave Gibbons to work from, the artist provided a name and a costume design for Hollis Mason he had created when he was twelve.