Hollis Mason is a costumed vigilante from the Minutemen era of the graphic novel Watchmen and later reappeared in the sequel WatchmeX. Hollis was killed in the end of Watchmen but was revived in WatchmeX as a strapping young man. Over the course of his time as a vigilante he took on two names: The original Nite Owl and in WatchmeX the KnightOwl.
As Nite OwlEdit
Starting out as a New York City policeman in 1938, he was inspired by Action Comics' Superman and the heroism of Hooded Justice to take up the life of a vigilante. He was nicknamed "Nite Owl" for spending his evenings working out in the Police Gymnasiums as much as possible and going to bed at 9:00pm to rise for a 5:00am work out before donning his badge and uniform.
By the 1940s Nite Owl had become a formidable costumed hero and member of the Minutemen. He retired in May, 1962 to open an auto business and write his memoir of his crime-fighting exploits, Under the Hood. Soon after retirement Hollis met [[Nite Owl II|Daniel Dreiberg]], a man seeking to use his Nite Owl name for his own costumed avenging. Daniel's impressive technology coerced Hollis into agreeing letting him use his name.
After Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II break Rorschach out of prison on Halloween night, the Knot Tops, led by Derf, hear of the news. Angered by it, the entire group follows the suggestion of a gang member who mistakenly believes that Mason is the same Nite Owl that had participated in the prison break. Mistaking the group for trick-or-treaters, Mason opens his door to them. They attack en masse. Mason gets in a few solid hits but is beaten down. Ignoring the protests of some of the Knot Tops, Derf kills Mason with the very statue that was given to him as an acknowledgment and reward for his service as a costumed adventurer.
Rebirth and becoming KnightOwlEdit
His rebirth came about when President Veidt set out a secret project for a perfect Iron Owl armor with no weaknesses. He decided that the perfect pilot for such an armor was none other than the late Hollis Mason, and the perfect test subject: Eclipse Owl and Twilight Wing. Through Veidt's impressive genetic capabilties he was able to regenerate Hollis's body into a physically fit young man. Around the same time the perfect Iron Owl armor was completed dubbed Wing Owl - 01. But as it turns out the revived Hollis could not be controlled so easily and he stole Wing Owl - 01 and dubbed it the KnightOwl armor due to its similarities to a medieval knight.
In the story arc "Knight Reign" we saw the appearance of a new armored hero calling himself the KnightOwl. At first his identity and goals were unknown except for he was taking down all crime in his path and anything related to Adrian Veidt and his empire. He showed no allegiance to any side and even went as far as attacking (and defeating) the Watchman. Later it was revealed that the KnightOwl was indeed Hollis Mason revived as a young man in his 20s.
This new rejuvinated Hollis was much different from his previous self. His own murder by the civilians he protected caused Hollis to become more Cynical and looked down upon humanity as apes lower than him and not people. While as KnightOwl he did fight crime and do good deeds, he was far from heroic and showed no mercy or tolerance.
As it so happens KnightOwl only met Daniel much later when Daniel went back to being Nite Owl.