Two agents, Art and Jerry, question Hooded Justice and express their admiration to sit with him. They note that the Minutemen put away dozens of super-villains, and Hooded Justice was the first. The agents tell him to take his hood off so they can take a photo of his face. Hooded Justice refuses, and the agents note that Captain Metropolis has a roll of film with sex stuff on it, and Metropolis is blackmailing Hoover. Jerry tells Hooded Justice that he's going to bring them the film, and they'll tear up the photo of Hooded Justice they're going to take. Hooded Justice finally removes his mask, and Jerry starts to take a photo of him. The vigilante attacks and kills them both.
As American Hero Story plays in the station house, Laurie comes in and tells the cops to turn it off. An officer tells Laurie that Angela needs treatment before she goes into a coma. Undeterred, Laurie confronts Angela in her cell and asks where Will is. Angela says nothing, and Laurie explains how Nostalgia makers harvest memories and put them into pills. People got hooked on it so the government outlawed it, and Trieu owns the company that owns it. Angela fades in and out of consciousness, and Laurie warns her that the pills are bad. She tells Angela to sign a release so they can get her stomach pumped, and Angela sees memories of a police officer playing a drum. More memories flood her mind and she collapses.
Angela finds herself in Will's body in 1938 as he graduates the police academy. The chief gives a speech and then pins a badge on each graduate's jacket... except Will's. The black officer, Lt. Battle, does it instead, and tells Will to beware of the Cyclops and shakes Will's hand.
Later, Will has drinks with a reporter, June. He admits that the police in the city kill our people and the department just hired him for the publicity. June says that he's an angry man, and most of them are. Will wonders what he should be angry about, and June tells him that his parents were murdered in front of him. He says that he doesn't want to live in the past, and June tells him that's why he's angry.
Will's mother plays the piano in his memories as he goes on foot patrol. He sees a white man, Fred, throwing a Molotov into a Jewish delicatessen. The man walks away and Will goes after him. 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 and the vendor show him a copy of Action Comics #1. Fred bumps past Will and smiles when Will calls him out. 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 goes home and two officers pull up and offer him a ride home and then invite him for a beer. When Will refuses, they drive off dragging two bodies behind them. The officers drive back, cutting Will off as he walks through an alley and then beat him.
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 eyeholes in 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 wants to do it, 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.
Laurie examines the unconscious Angela and tells her that she swallowed a lethal dose of Nostalgia and they gave her a shot of adrenaline to wake her up. Angela's eyes are open but she's not moving, and Laurie has Cal read something to Angela to get her out. Cal reads Angela's history and says that he's her husband, and reminds her that it's 2019. He asks her to wake up and come home, but Angela slips back into the memories.
Will and June are eating at home when Nelson Gardner arrives and introduces himself. June refuses to leave them alone, and Nelson tells Will that he's there on behalf of costumed adventurer Captain Metropolis. Metropolis would like to form a team of patriots and heroes, the Minutemen. When Will wonders what it has to do with him, Nelson says that the team needs Hooded Justice. Metropolis has concluded a cop is feeding Hooded Justice information on criminals, and believes Will is the cop. June immediately works out that Nelson is Metropolis, and Will asks him what "Cyclops" means to him. He says that the KKK is Cyclops, and Nelson figures it's a job for the Minutemen. June says that Hooded Justice shouldn't join the Minutemen, and Nelson tells Will that Hooded Justice can have true companionship among fellow humans. Nelson gives Will his card and leaves. Once they're alone, June tells Will no, and Will says yes.
Later, Nelson and Will end up in bed. Nelson admits that he realized Will was Hooded Justice when they met, and says that the Minutemen will be thrilled to have Hooded Justice. He warns that the others can't know Will's secret, and suggests that they wear their masks the next time they have sex. Nelson admires Will's beauty and says that it's a shame the others can't see it.
Later, Will and June lie in bed. Will admits that he needs a team to take down Cyclops, and he talks about how he found June in the grass after he escaped Tulsa. June tells him to never make him start crying again, and when he agrees she says that she's pregnant.
Will puts on his 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 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 Muloch. Will goes back to his room and removes his hood and makeup.
June raises their son Marcus, who watches Will put on his makeup. Will reads stories about Negro lynchings. As an officer, he gets summoned to a movie theater. They send him in and bring out black patrons, and talks to a woman, Lorna. Lorna says that there was a flicker when the picture started. Later they told her that she hurt people, but Lorna doesn't remember. Will figures that it involves Cyclops and the book on mesmerism that he found, goes out, and sees men loading projection equipment into a truck going to a warehouse.
Later outside the warehouse, Will calls Nelson and tells him what happened. Nelson dismisses it as nothing and doesn't believe the Klan is using mind control. He invites Will to come over and talk about it, and refuses to bring the Minutemen to help. Will hangs up and then smashes the receiver into the phone. Fred is outside watching, and says that Will doesn't walk a beat there. He offers Will free stakes, and Will realizes that Fred owns the warehouse. When Fred casually insults Will, Will shoots him dead. Will then puts on his hood, goes into the warehouse, and finds the Klansmen and the police working on the projection equipment. He shoots them dead, looks at the projector plans, and goes into the next room where the officer from the station is preparing a subliminal film about how blacks should only attack each other and never harm whites. Will's gun is empty so he strangles the officer with the microphone cord. Will then gathers the body, pours gasoline on them, and burns them. He takes one projector, goes outside, and watches the warehouse burn down.
Will returns home with the projector and sees Marcus putting on his white makeup and wearing a noose around his neck. The boy says that he's like Will, and Will says no. When June comes out, she tells him that he can't ever take it off because he can't stand to see himself. She thought it would help him get rid of his anger, but being Hooded Justice fed his anger. June says that they should go back to Tulsa, but Will refuses and June tells him to stay away from them before leaving with Marcus.
Decades later, a now-elderly Will holds the noose in his hand and sits by the side of the road. When Judd's car hits Will's tire ripper, Judd gets out and Will shines a flickering projector in his face. He mind-controls Will to push him to the tree, turns off the light, and says that he's justice. Judd insists that he's trying to help them and they don't know what's really happening, and Will points out that Judd has a Klan robe in his closet. The police chief says that it belongs to his grandfather, and says that Will doesn't know him. Will says that he does and motions a single eye on his forehead, then shines the light in Judd's face and tells him to hang himself. Unable to resist, Judd does so.
Angela wakes up gasping, a tube hooked up to her arm. Trieu is there and welcomes Angela back.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 25, 2019