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William "Will" Reeves is a main character in HBO's Watchmen. He is commonly referred to as the "Old Man". Later, it is revealed that he was in fact the costumed vigilante and Minutemen member Hooded Justice.

BiographyEdit

Born Will Williams in 1914, he was the son of Obie Williams and Ruth Robeson and lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1921, Will Reeves was a child when the Tulsa Race Massacre began. Many white citizens and the KKK led a massive attack on black citizens and "Black Wall Street", an area also known as Greenwood where many African-Americans who had built up a prominent middle class resided. Will and his parents hid inside of a movie theater during the attack where Will's mother Ruth played the piano as he watched his favorite silent film about his favorite hero, lawman of the Old West Bass Reeves.

After watching the film, Will was smuggled out of Tulsa by Ruth and Obie (who gave Will a flyer he received from the Germans in the First World War) and was taken away in a wagon while several planes bombed the area. The Wagon itself was struck and everyone sans Will and a small baby were killed. Will woke up miles out of town and took the child with him. Sometime later he took on the surname Reeves, presumably after his childhood hero Bass Reeves.

Years later in the 1930s, Will Reeves and the child, June, would relocate to New York City and live in the prominent African-American neighborhood of Harlem. Inspired by his hero, Bass Reeves, Will would join law enforcement and become an official Officer of the New York City Police department. During the graduation ceremony from the Police Academy, Will would be ignored by the Chief of Police and it would be Lieutenant Battle, a fellow African American police officer, who would bestow Will his badge. He would also whisper to Will "Beware the Cyclops" before leaving.

After the ceremony, Will and June would share a drink together in a nightclub. He admits to June that the police in New York City discriminately kill black people and that the police department just hired him for the good publicity it would bring them. June says that he's an angry man as most African-Americans are due to the racial trauma experienced. Will wonders what he should be angry about, and June reminds him of the murder of his parents at the hands of White supremacists and White civilians. He says that he doesn't want to live in the past, and June tells him that's why he's angry.

While on his regular patrol, Will Reeves would catch a man named Fred throw a molotov cocktail at a Jewish delicatessen. Fred walks away and Will pursues him and questions why he did that. Fred suggests that a rat chewed through a wire, setting the place on fire. Will arrests him and takes him to the station, and Fred denies starting the fire. The desk sergeant says it was a case of mistaken identity, and Fred asks the other officers who they're going to believe. One officer takes offense when Fred calls Will a "spook" and tells Fred to apologize. Once Fred does, the officer leads Fred away.

Will goes to a newspaper stand sometime following this incident whereupon he speaks to a German newspaper vendor. The vendor shows him a copy of Action Comics #1, the first issue of comic books which depicts the superhero Superman. Will seems to identify with Superman because like him, his parents shipped him away from the destruction of their home, to hopefully give him a better life. While looking the comic over, Fred bumps past Will and smiles when Will calls him out for it. Will goes back to the station and asks the desk sergeant if he let Fred go. The desk sergeant tells Will to let it be, warning him that they'll kill him if he doesn't drop it. Will is on his way home, when three officers pull up and offer him a ride home and then invite him for a beer. When Will refuses, they drive off and Will pictures them dragging two bodies behind them on the police car. Just like during the Tulsa riots all those years back. The officers drive back, cutting Will off as he walks through an alley and then beat him up.

Later, the officers drag Will to a tree and string him up. They cut him down at the last moment and tell him to keep his black nose out of white folks' business or the next time they won't cut him down. Once they leave, Will looks at the hood they put over his head before they strung him up. He walks home, the noose still around his neck, and hears a woman scream. Tearing eye holes into the hood, Will puts it on and attacks the men attacking the woman and her husband. He viciously beats the robbers unconscious, and the couple thank him before running off.

Later, Will returns home and tells June that he's angry. She hugs him, crying. The next afternoon, June tends to Will's injuries. She says that the newspapers are calling the masked Will a hero. June asks why Will put the hood back on, and asks what the name of the movie was that he watched as a boy. Will remembers that it was Trust In The Law!, and says that it ends with Bass Reeves in a hood lassoing a crooked sheriff. He says that eventually the theater was burned down in the Tulsa race riots, and June tells him that he'll get justice by wearing the hood and letting people believe he's a white man. She puts white makeup around his eyes and asks if he really wants to do this, and Will says that he's sure.

That night, the new Hooded Justice figures that Fred is involved with the Cyclops. He watches as Fred and his friends go into the back of a grocery store, and then breaks in and takes out the KKK men inside. Once Hooded Justice has taken them down, he finds a book on Mesmerism. A man attacks him and they burst into the grocery store that Fred owns. Fred fires a shotgun at Hooded Justice, who dives out the window.

According to the Ances-Tree, Will would later become a police officer in New York City. But his life after leaving Tulsa to 2019 remains mostly a mystery and is not shown in any records. What is known however is that he fathered a child who would later become the father of Angela Abar in Vietnam. For unknown reasons, Angela's parents told her nothing of Will, and Angela grew up believing she had no grandparents.

In 2019, Will resurfaced as a wheel-chair bound senior citizen who would sit outside of Angela's bakery "Milk & Hanoi". He would ask Angela if her bakery would ever open and cryptically asked her if he could lift 200 pounds.

Later, Angela would receive a call from Will stating that he knew her true identity as a Police Officer and to come find him and not wear a mask. After going after Will, Angela found to her shock Chief Judd Crawford hung from a tree. After bringing Will back to Milk & Hanoi, Angela (as Sister Night) interrogates Will on his true identity. Will claims responsibility for killing the Chief which Angela doesn't believe. He at first tries to convince her he is Doctor Manhattan and has superpowers which Angela doesn't buy and Will admits is a lie. Will then tells Angela that Judd Crawford was involved in a vast and insidious conspiracy in Tulsa but that he had to give it to Angela in pieces. Angela leaves after learning the Police found Judd's body but not before taking Will's mug of hot Coffee she gave him, which has his DNA on it.

Angela takes Will's DNA to the Greenwood Center for Cultural Heritage to test it outside of the Police. Later on, Angela finds Will still at the bakery but seemingly having been able to escape his handcuffs to go buy eggs and come back. The Greenwood Center then calls the bakery and reveals to Angela that Will is in fact her grandfather and Will asks Angela if her parents ever mentioned him before. Angela then decides to arrest Will and finally bring him back to Tulsa P.D. However after getting Will inside of her car, a mysterious ship attaches a cable to it and takes Will away. He drops the WWI German flyer back down for Angela.

When Angela (as Sister Night) and FBI Agent Laurie Blake visit Lady Trieu for information on the ship that stole Angela's car, Lady Trieu tells Angela (in Vietnamese) that Will would like his pills back. Angela responds back that he could come get them himself. Later on, Will is shown in person with Lady Trieu and it is revealed the both of them are in on the conspiracy in Tulsa which involves a great plan. Will admits that he came into Angela's life and turned it upside over, but that he is committed to the greater plan. He is shown standing for the first time revealing his feebleness to be an act.

Will is a former cop who is still an imposing figure despite his age.[1]

As Hooded JusticeEdit

After witnessing an act of arson on a Jewish delicatessen, the white officers drag Will to a tree and string him up. They cut him down at the last moment and tell him to keep his black nose out of white folks' business or the next time they won't cut him down. Once they leave, Will looks at the hood they put over his head before they strung him up. He walks home, the noose still around his neck, and hears a woman scream. Tearing eye holes into the hood, Will puts it on and attacks the men attacking the woman and her husband. He viciously beats the robbers unconscious, and the couple thank him before running off.

Later, Will returns home and tells June that he's angry. She hugs him, crying. The next afternoon, June tends to Will's injuries. She says that the newspapers are calling the masked Will a hero. June asks why Will put the hood back on, and asks what the name of the movie was that he watched as a boy. Will remembers that it was called Trust in the Law, and says that it ends with Bass Reeves in a hood lassoing a crooked white sheriff. He says that eventually the theater was burned down in the Tulsa race riots, and June tells him that he'll get justice by wearing the hood and letting people believe he's a white man. She puts white makeup around his eyes and asks if he really wants to do this, and Will says that he's sure.

That night, the new Hooded Justice figures that Fred is involved with the Cyclops. He watches as Fred and his friends go into the back of a grocery store, and then breaks in and takes out the KKK men inside. Once Hooded Justice has taken them down, he finds a book on Mesmerism. A man attacks him and they burst into the grocery store that Fred owns. Fred fires a shotgun at Hooded Justice, who dives out the window.

Some time later, June and Will are eating dinner, when there's a knock on the door. Nelson Gardner arrives and introduces himself. June refuses to leave them alone. Nelson tells Will that he's there on behalf of a costumed adventurer named Captain Metropolis. Metropolis would like to form a team of patriots and heroes, with the name being The New Minutemen. When Will wonders what any of this has to do with him, Nelson says that the team needs Hooded Justice. Captain Metropolis has concluded that a cop is feeding Hooded Justice information on criminals, and believes Will is that cop.

Will puts on his white makeup and looks at clippings of Nazis in the U.S. and his own exploits. He then joins the other Minutemen and Metropolis presents him to talk with the press. Hooded Justice says that he has evidence of a secret conspiracy, and Metropolis intervenes and says that a crime wave is being planned by Moloch. Will goes back to his room and removes his hood and makeup dejected.

Powers and abilities Edit

Will remains shrouded in mystery. He is over one hundred years of age and yet is capable of casual conversation. Although he admits his memory is fading and that his special pills help him in his old age. He appears to be wheelchair bound and feeble but later is shown capable of being able to stand up and it may all be an act.

Physical AppearanceEdit

In his younger years, while in bed with Nelson Gardner the latter calls him beautiful. [2]

PersonalityEdit

His wife June Reeves mentions how angry he is. This anger is a rage against racial injustice and historical trauma stretching back to the Tulsa Massacre in 1921 but even further back to the his father's experience with racism in WWI. His sense of justice is informed by his experience of acts of racism throughout his life.

Killed Victims Edit

AppearancesEdit

TV seriesEdit

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • On September 26, 2019, he was confirmed to appear in the first season.[3]
  • Given his parent's surnames, Williams and Robeson respectively, Will may have adopted the surname "Reeves" as a nod to Bass Reeves, the real life American lawman in the Old West whom the younger Will admired. It is also possible, given Bass Reeves having lived and operated in Tulsa, that Will may be a descendant of Bass.

References

NavigationEdit

ve Watchmen characters
Costumed adventurers
Minutemen Captain MetropolisHooded JusticeNite Owl IThe ComedianSilk Spectre IDollar BillMothmanSilhouette
Crimebusters Captain MetropolisDoctor ManhattanRorschachThe ComedianOzymandiasNite Owl IISilk Spectre II
Tulsa PD masks Sister NightLooking GlassPandaPirate JennyRed Scare
Other vigilantes Reggie Long
Criminals & villains
Costumed villains Captain AxisCaptain CarnageClaude BokeMoloch the MysticErika MansonJimmy the GimmickKing MobKing of SkinLiquidatorMarco MaezScreaming SkullSpacemanTwilight Lady
Knot Tops AlineLawrenceRoxi
Seventh Kalvary CarmichaelThe Suspect
Criminals Big FigureDerfGeorge PatersonGerald Anthony GriceHarvey Charles FurnissMichaelOtisRolf MüllerRoy Victor ChessUnderboss
Government & law enforcement
Politicians Alexander HaigJane CrawfordJoe KeeneJohn David Keene
New York PD CapaldiFrancis GiancarloGreavesHollis MasonJoe BourquinSamuel J. BattleShawSteven FineWillis
Tulsa PD Charlie SuttonJudd Crawford
FBI Dale PeteyKaufaxLaurie JuspeczykLuxem
Military ForbesGregHoldenJ. SandersonPetermanPiercePitch
Other Anthony RandolphMulhearneyWilliam Parker
Partners & family of masked adventurers

Adrian Veidt: Ingrid Renata Veidt
Angela Abar: Calvin AbarEmma AbarTopher AbarMarcus AbarRuth RobesonObie Williams
Eddie Blake: Vietnamese woman
Hollis Mason: Hollis Wordsworth MasonLiantha Mason
Jon Osterman: Inge Osterman
Laurie Juspeczyk/Sally Jupiter: BellaLaurence Schexnayder
Nelson Gardner: Norbert Veldon
Reggie Long: Gloria LongMalcolm Long
Ursula Zandt: BlancheGretchen
Walter Kovacs: Peter Joseph KovacsSylvia Kovacs

Civilians
Notable others BernardBernieLady TrieuWill ReevesBianMs. CrookshanksMr. Phillips
Journalists Alan MorganAlain GuillonAlan MorganDoug RothHector GodfreyJim WeissMike GreenvilleSeymour DavidTed KoppelTed PhilipsTina PriceWilliam F. Buckley Jr.Zelda
Scientists Ed CoreyWhittaker FurnesseJaney SlaterJon OstermanMilton GlassTungrenWally Weaver
Artists Hira ManishJoe OrlandoLinette PaleyMax SheaNorman LeithVargaWalt Feinberg
Writers DeniseHal EisnerJames Trafford March
Celebrities Edmund TaylorIrwinJanet SmithJeremy MillerRed D'Eath
Others Abie, Howe, Cheatem and DeweyAngela NeubergBellaBlair RocheCarol-AnneChuckDavidDexter RedbackDolores ShairpFantasticoGordian Knot manHappy HarryJacobJimmyJoeyLeo WinstonMarieMarlaMoe VernonMrs. HirschMrs. MusanteMusanteOscar HuberRandyRichardsonRobert DeschainesRosaSheilaSteveTinoTino Musante Jr.Watch seller
Based on real world persons
Politicians Dwight D. EisenhowerRobert RedfordFranklin D. RooseveltGerald R. FordHarry S. TrumanHenry KissingerJ. Edgar HooverJohn F. KennedyLyndon B. JohnsonRichard M. NixonRobert F. Kennedy
Others Eleanor CliftG. Gordon LiddyJackie KennedyKitty GenoveseSam GiancanaLee IacoccaPat BuchananRamses II
Celebrities Cassius ClayJohn McLaughlin
Animals & creatures
Alien MonsterBubastisFred and BarneyPhantom
DC Rebirth crossover characters
BatmanJohnny ThunderSuperman
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