07 March 2010

An Engine's Life Story Underneath that Hood

From the comic book Watchmen, the autobiography Under the Hood describes the life of Hollis Mason and his progression to becoming a super hero and the Nite Owl. After recieving advice from an experienced writer named Denise, Mason starts off with a tragic story of his father's boss named Moe Vernon. He uses this story to gain the audience's sympathies on his side. He recalls a time working in an auto repair shope with his dad and Moe. Moe recieves a letter from his wife stating her affair with another man named Fred Motz, and her taking all the money from their account and leaving with Fred. That night Moe sent all the workers home early and locked himself in a car pumping the exaust into the cracked window, causing him to die from the fumes. Mason's grandfather had a big effect on his future because his grandfather instructed him with morals at a young age. This set a stepping stone for Mason as he became a police officer for New York City. After reading an issue of Superman, Mason then decides to become a masked vigilante and protect people from the regular everyday crime. This made him create and become the Nite Owl. After that came the group called the Minutemen, which consisted of himself, the Silhouette, Silk Spectre, Comedian, Captain Metropolis, Mothman, and Dollar Bill. After awhile the team began to split apart. Starting out with Comedian trying to rape Sally Jupiter, then with the deaths of Silhouette and Dollar Bill. By 1949 the Minutemen were done for. The whole group, the Comedian excluded was called in to testify before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and were forced to reveal their true identities. Mason notes that the Hooded Justice had vanished and rumors were around that he was a man named Rolf Muller. The rumors were because the two had disappeared around the same time and had similar builds. In all the group each revealed their identities and the charges were dropped.
Then came Dr. Manhatten "who would make the term masked hero and costumed adventurer as obsolete as the persons they described" (Mason 13). Dr. Manhatten was the start of the super hero. Mason describes how Dr. Manhatten was introduced to the world in 1960 and all the incredible powers and abilities he has. Everyone had a endless list of emotions and uncertainty about Dr. Manhatten. They were'nt sure what or who he was and if his intentions were meant for good or for evil. Mason along with others attend a Red Cross Charity Event. This event signifies the Nite Owl being replaced by a younger admirer who asks if he can take over the night owl name. Impressed by his technology he wants to use to fight crime and his intentions to follow Mason's footsteps, Mason cannot refuse and therefore retires.
I enjoyed this reading because it portreys that anyone can make a difference in the world. After reading this I can now correlate the movie and this reading together. I thought the beginning of the story was a little different but it did help get my attention and size up what kind of person Hollis Mason was. I also liked how the ending connected back with the start of the story with him returning to fixing cars with his dad down at Moe Vernon's car repair.


  1. nice summery. you gave all the information. i think your responce could have been a little more detailed.

  2. "nice summery"?! First of all, this is an AWESOME summary. Secondly, you need to proofread you comments, too, Maxx ;-) But you're right, Toni's response could have used more details.