Who Is Captain Metropolis In The 'Watchmen' Comics? He Loves The Spotlight

Mark Hill/HBO

Warning: this post contains spoilers from Episode 6 of Watchmen. Sunday, Nov. 24's Watchmen episode, titled "This Extraordinary Being," may have centered mostly around Will Reeves' journey to becoming Hooded Justice, but it also introduced a brand new character, Captain Metropolis, who exists in the Watchmen comics as a rather important figure. Portrayed by Greek star Jake McDorman, Captain Metropolis (also referred to as Nelson Gardner), is a founding member of the superhero group known as Minutemen that existed throughout the 1940s.

Despite the superhero title, however, Captain Metropolis didn't make the greatest first impression on fans of the show, particularly after he refused to help Hooded Justice take down the KKK. (Yikes!) But considering that he could always pop up again throughout the season, it's worth getting to know a little more about the guy and what the source material could tell us about his storyline.

So far, the TV character seems to accurately parallel his comic-book counterpart. As indicated in the episode, Captain Metropolis and Hooded Justice have a sexual relationship in the comics as well. So while they may not be able to see eye-to-eye on various superhero responsibilities, their physical connection cannot be denied. However, there's a few other important details about this comic book figure that's worth knowing.

FilmMagic/FilmMagic, Inc/Getty Images

In the comics, Nelson is described as a wealthy man who decided to start using his skills in the military to fight crime, as reported by Den of Geek. He later became inspired by Hooded Justice to become a vigilante, and it was his military past that inspired his notion that superheroes would be much more efficient working as a unit rather than apart, which is how he came to create the Minutemen organization. (Just think of him as Nick Fury 2.0 — you know, if Nick Fury had a major ego complex.) As seen in the show, the Minutemen operated from 1939 to 1949.

In fact, Nelson came to love the vigilante life so much (or rather the fame and publicity that came with it) that he came out of retirement during his later years and attempted to put together a new crime-fight group once more in the 1960s, as reported by Decider. He called the new regime the Crimebusters, which was made up of Ozymandias, Rorschach, Laurie Blake, the Comedian, the second Nite Owl, Dan Dreiberg, the second Silk Spectre, and Doctor Manhattan. Ultimately, though, that didn't end up working out the way he had envisioned and the group disbanded.

As a whole, Captain Metropolis wasn't in a huge portion of the original Watchmen comics, so it's difficult to say how big of a part he'll play in the overall plot of the show. Furthermore, supplemental materials provided on Peteypedia, HBO's wiki-like Watchmen site, shows that its version of Nelson died in 1974, meaning he won't be popping up alive and well in the modern day timeline. That said, the flashbacks about him and Hooded Justice offer viewers some great insight into Will Reeves' early years and the people he interacted with back then. That makes the Captain's appearance all the more important — even if it was fairly brief.