Nighthawk (Marvel Comics)
Nighthawk #1 (Sept. 1998), featuring Nighthawk in various costumes.
Cover art by Richard Case.
The Avengers #69 (October 1969)
The Last Defenders #1 (May 2008)
The Avengers #85 (March 1971)
Squadron Supreme: New World Order #1 (September 1998)
Kyle Richmond: |
Roy Thomas (writer)
Sal Buscema (artist)
- Kyle Richmond (616)|
- Joaquin Pennysworth (616)
Legion of the Unliving
Mild superhuman strength
Enhanced agility and durability from dusk till dawn
Jet-powered artificial wing system
Artificial claw tips
Use of lasers and projectile weapons
Highly trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agent
Wears special high tech suit
|Marvel Comics Alternate Universes|
|Marvel stories take place primarily in a mainstream continuity called the Marvel Universe. Some stories are set in various parallel, or alternate, realities, called the Marvel Multiverse.|
|The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe: Alternate Worlds 2005 designates the mainstream continuity as "Earth-616", and assigns other Earth numbers to each specific alternate reality.|
|In this article the following characters, or teams, and realities are referred to:|
Nighthawk is the name of several fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. There have been six versions of the character: a supervillain-turned-superhero from the mainstream Marvel Universe continuity, Kyle Richmond, who belonged to the team Squadron Sinister; and five from alternate universes, who belonged to various permutations of team Squadron Supreme.
Kyle Richmond, the original Nighthawk, debuted as a supervillain in the final panel of The Avengers #69 (Oct. 1969), a superhero team in the mainstream Marvel Comics continuity the company designates Earth-616. This story is the first chapter of a three-issue arc by writer Roy Thomas and penciller Sal Buscema. The story arc introduced the supervillain team the Squadron Sinister, whose four members were loosely based on heroes in DC Comics' Justice League of America, with Nighthawk based on Batman.
Following this arc, Nighthawk appeared in a solo adventure in the title Daredevil, before reappearing with the Squadron as antagonists in the superhero team title The Defenders #13-14 (May–July 1974). Nighthawk then reformed, and after adopting a new costume joined the team the following issue.
Nighthawk appeared on a regular basis in The Defenders and a number of other Marvel titles, including Giant-Size Defenders 2-5 (Oct. 1974 - July 1975); Marvel Team-Up #33-34 and 101 (May–June 1975, Jan. 1981); The Incredible Hulk #206-207 (Dec. 1976 - Jan. 1977); Marvel Two-In-One #34 (Dec. 1977); The Avengers #167 and 182 (Jan. 1978, April 1979); Doctor Strange vol. 2, #29 (June 1978); The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #15 (Dec. 1981); Captain America #268 (April 1982); and with other heroes in the graphic novel The Death of Captain Marvel (April 1982) and the humorous Fantastic Four Roast (April 1982).
Following a solo adventure in Tales To Astonish vol. 2, #13 (Dec. 1980), he apparently sacrifices his life in The Defenders #106 (April 1982). The supervillain Dead Ringer briefly impersonated him in Captain America #429 (July 1994), but is captured. In the three-issue miniseries Nighthawk (Sept.-Nov. 1998) Richmond was revealed to be alive, but in a coma and brain dead. Through supernatural means, he was revived and resumed his crime-fighting career, and co-starred in the 12-issue run of The Defenders vol. 2 (March 2001 - Feb. 2002) and the miniseries The Order #1-6 (April - Sept. 2002). Afterward, he appeared in the team comics New Thunderbolts #15-18 (Jan.-April 2006) and Thunderbolts #100-108 (May 2006 - Jan. 2007), and was among the many heroes featured in the miniseries Civil War #1-7 (July 2006 - Jan. 2007). He went on to appear sporadically in Avengers: The Initiative, beginning with issue #1 (June 2007). Nighthawk formed a short-lived version of the Defenders with the mutant Colossus, the Blazing Skull, and She-Hulk, as part of the Initiative, and depicted in the miniseries The Last Defenders #1-6 (May - Oct. 2008).
Fictional character biography
Kyle Richmond was born to two wealthy parents and was brought up by his governess while his dad is away. When Kyle's mother died in an accident, his father sent him to boarding school. Due to his family's money, Kyle got into Grayburn College where he became involved with Mindy Williams who helped him focus through his education. One night, Kyle was caught in a drunk-driving accident in which Mindy was killed, and he was kicked out of school and was unable to return. Kyle later became anti-social, and learned that Grayburn College was closed down due to a lack of funds. Kyle Richmond attempted to join the army, but was rejected due to a heart murmur. Afterwards, Kyle received word that his father died in a plane crash and that Kyle has inherited Richmond Enterprises. Kyle turned to finding a cure for his heart murmur and physically training himself.
While drunk, Kyle Richmond concocted an alchemy serum that he found in an alchemy volume. The alchemy serum enabled Kyle to gain enhanced strength at night. Kyle took on various sports activities to strengthen his natural abilities where he eventually became Nighthawk. Nighthawk and three other supervillains are brought together as the Squadron Sinister by the cosmic entity the Grandmaster to battle the superhero team the Avengers, which has been forced to act as the champions of the time-traveling conqueror Kang the Conqueror. Nighthawk battles the Avenger Captain America, who outfights the villain. The Avengers eventually defeat the Squadron.
Reunited by the alien Nebulon, the villains receive greater power in exchange for the planet Earth, and create a giant laser cannon in the Arctic with a plan to melt the polar ice caps and flood the entirety of the Earth's surface. Despite being asked to join the venture, Nighthawk asks for the aid of superhero team the Defenders, who prevent the scheme and defeat the villains and Nebulon.
The character suffers several setbacks as a superhero, including being charged with tax evasion and fraud by the United States government, and arrested by the FBI for operating as a hero while charges were pending. This stipulation was waived after he was forced to reveal his secret identity. Nighthawk's cumulative wounds from battle eventually leave him paralyzed. Recovering to the point that he can move at night, Nighthawk continues to aid the Defenders, until resigning from the team. He is advised he is to be cleared of all charges if a predetermined amount is repaid to the government.
After apparently sacrificing his life to stop an organization bent on attacking the Soviet Union, Richmond turns up alive but comatose. He has a vision of an angel that facilitates his healing and bestows on him a "second sight", which enables him to see criminal acts before they are committed. In return, he must punish the would-be criminals. Once healed, Richmond becomes Nighthawk once again and fights crime until forced into a confrontation with Daredevil, whom he kills. The "angel" then reveals itself to be the demon Mephisto, who transports Nighthawk and Daredevil's corpse to Hell, intending to claim Daredevil's soul. Nighthawk battles the demons of Hell and manages to revive Daredevil, and together they escape. A sorcerer later purges him of Mephisto's gift.
After an adventure with Fantastic Four member the Thing Nighthawk discovers his abilities are increasing, and learns that his former Squadron Sinister teammate Speed Demon has joined the superhero team the New Thunderbolts. After encountering teammate Hyperion, apparently resurrected after being thought dead, and a new Doctor Spectrum (Alice Nugent), Nighthawk briefly joins the New Thunderbolts, but upon discovering he is being used for his fortune, leaves and rejoins the Squadron Sinister. That team learns that the Grandmaster, using an interdimensional source of superhuman abilities, the Wellspring of Power, has been increasing the team-members' powers. After a battle between the Squadron and the New Thunderbolts, Nighthawk and the other members of the Squadron Sinister scatter and escape.
Nighthawk is initially opposed to the Superhuman Registration Act during the Civil War storyline. Following the death of superhero Black Goliath at the hands of the cyborg clone of Thor on the Pro-Registration Side, Nighthawk joins the Pro-Registration Side, but is defeated in a skirmish with Anti-Registration heroes Falcon and Storm.
He later joins the US government's Fifty State Initiative of registered heroes, and forms a short-lived Initiative version of the Defenders with the mutant Colossus, the Blazing Skull, and She-Hulk. With She-Hulk and Warlord Krang, Nighthawk battles the group the Sons of the Serpent, which culminates in a confrontation with his old Defenders foe Yandroth. Yandroth manipulates time and forces Nighthawk to battle a twisted version of his old team the Squadron Sinister before being rescued by a future incarnation of the Defenders. Noting that one of the future members is Joaquin Pennyworth, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the son of the one-time leader of the Sons of the Serpent, Richmond asks him to commence training to become the new Nighthawk.
During the Fear Itself storyline, Nighthawk joins Howard the Duck, She-Hulk and Frankenstein's Monster to form the Fearsome Four when Man-Thing is driven on a rampage. They later discover a plot by Psycho-Man to use Man-Thing's volatile empathy to create a weapon.
Powers and abilities
Nighthawk is a superb athlete who, courtesy of an alchemical potion, possesses mild super-strength and increased agility and durability from dusk till dawn. He has also used several costume aids, such as a jet-powered artificial wing system, artificial claw tips, lasers and projectile weapons.
Kyle Richmond (Earth-712)
Roy Thomas and penciller John Buscema created an alternate-universe team of heroes called the Squadron Supreme, who debut in The Avengers #85 (Feb. 1971). After an initial skirmish with four Avengers, the teams unite to stop a common threat. The characters (including Nighthawk) were identical in name and appearance to the Squadron Sinister, which caused confusion in Marvel's production department, as the covers of The Avengers #85 and #141 (Nov. 1975) "cover-blurbed" appearances by the Squadron Sinister, when in fact it was the Squadron Supreme that appeared in both issues.
The heroic Nighthawk and the Squadron Supreme have another series of skirmishes with the Avengers engineered by the group the Serpent Cartel, but eventually team together and prevent the use of the artifact the Serpent Crown. The character and his teammates briefly feature in the title Thor, when the evil version of Hyperion attacks the Earth-712 version and then Thunder God Thor.
Richmond later retires as Nighthawk, feeling that he can better serve the public good as a politician, eventually becoming President of the United States. However, President Richmond is mentally assaulted by the alien entity known as the Over-Mind, who nearly obliterates the real Richmond's mind and then embarks on a campaign of world domination via an artificial duplicate of the President. The real Richmond is rescued by a psychic entity from Earth-616 with ties to that world's Kyle Richmond, and reconstructs his mind to make him temporarily believe that he is the Nighthawk of Earth-616 (then presumed deceased by his teammates in the Defenders). When the other Squadron members, save for Hyperion, are mind-controlled by the Overmind (who itself is later revealed to be a pawn of another alien menace, Null the Living Darkness), Hyperion and Nighthawk recruit the Defenders to help free the Squadron and defeat the alien threat. When the Richmond working with the Overmind is revealed to be artificial, Nighthawk recalls his true identity and rejoins the Squadron Supreme.
The Squadron Supreme feature in a self-titled 12-issue miniseries (Sept. 1985 - Aug. 1986) by writer Mark Gruenwald. The series reveals each character's origin and explains why the Squadrons Sinister and Supreme are similar: the Grandmaster creates the Squadron Sinister modeled on the already-existing Squadron Supreme of the Earth-712 universe.
The Squadron's Earth lies in shambles after the Overmind's attempt to conquer the world. Led by Hyperion, the Squadron believe they have the knowledge and power to recreate the world and create a Utopia. Nighthawk resigns in protest, believing that the Squadron should serve and not rule; he also ponders assassinating Hyperion to try and halt the Squadron's plans before they begin. At a joint press conference, Richmond resigns as President of the United States and the Squadron announces its plans to the public; Richmond comes prepared for an assassination attempt, but cannot bring himself to kill his former teammate. The Squadron assumes overall control of the government of the United States and remake the nation into a virtual utopia. The team implement a series of sweeping changes, including revealing their secret identities; instituting a program of behavior modification in prisons; enforcing a strict gun control policy, and developing medical technology to resurrect the dead. Despite the economic and technological advances, there are setbacks.
Predicting a nightmarish outcome to the Squadron's so-called "Utopia Program", Nighthawk attempts in vain to solicit the aid of the Avengers in the title Captain America and is eventually forced to confront his old teammates with a new team dubbed the Redeemers, recruited from former Squadron foes and newly emerged superhumans. A brutal battle ensues in which several members of both teams are killed, including Nighthawk. A horrified Hyperion realizes Nighthawk was in fact right and ends the battle, and the Squadron disband and release control of the United States to the government.
The Earth-712 Nighthawk lacks powers but possesses extensive training and uses a variety of advanced weaponry.
Neil Richmond (Earth-712)
When the remnants of the Squadron Supreme returns to their home universe in the one-shot Squadron Supreme: New World Order, they encounter a new version of Nighthawk, who is the son of old Kyle Richmond foe The Huckster. Earth-712 is now dominated by corporations using the Squadron's own Utopia technologies, with the characters eventually reinstating democracy. For years prior to the return of the Squadron Supreme to his universe, Neil had organized and supervised his elite Nighthawks who battled the Blue Eagles enlisted by the corporate New World Order. Nighthawk later joins the Squadron, acting as the team's conscience. Nighthawk and the Squadron also come into conflict with a new government when interdimensional team the Exiles, traveling from the Earth-616 universe, reveal that the government had rigged the election with a worldwide vote fraud. The Squadron and the Exiles depose the new government, and attempt to allow society to progress without superhuman involvement. The Earth-712 versions lack powers but possess extensive training and use a variety of advanced weaponry.
Kyle Richmond (Earth-9997)
In the Earth X series and its spin-offs, created by Alex Ross, John Paul Leon, and Jim Krueger, Kyle Richmond is an elderly retired superhero. Kyle Richmond's eyes, given by a disguised Mephisto, allow him to see into the future. He dictates what he sees to his colleague, Isaac Christians, so that a record can be kept of what will become of history. The Earth-9997 version lacks powers but possess extensive training and use a variety of advanced weaponry.
Kyle Richmond (Earth-31916)
The mature-audience Marvel MAX imprint showcases the adventures of the Earth-31916 version of the Squadron Supreme. This version of Kyle Richmond, an African-American, first appears in the limited series Supreme Power, and utilizes his wealth to train and develop advanced weaponry and devices to aid in his campaign on crime as a vigilante. Although the character aids the loose formation of heroes that eventually become the Squadron Supreme, Nighthawk chooses to remain aloof and only interacts when necessary. The character also has a solo adventure, featuring in the six issue Supreme Power: Nighthawk. The character investigates an epidemic of drug addiction in the city of Chicago, and discovers it is the work of serial killer Whiteface, who has circulated a shipment of poisoned drugs. Nighthawk apprehends and then executes Whiteface, but not before the criminal causes the deaths of the Mayor and his family.
In 2016 Marvel published a monthly comic magazine titled Nighthawk. After Secret Wars, Richmond was transported to the regular Marvel Universe and worked on reforming Chicago with the aid of ex-supervillain Deadly Nightshade.
The Ultimate Marvel alternate universe title The Ultimates features a non-powered version of Nighthawk who is the leader of a version of the Defenders. Nighthawk's only attempt at heroics involves leaping from the shadows at a group of petty criminals - only to break his ankle and be severely beaten. In Ultimate Comics: New Ultimates, he and the Defenders are seen to have gained superhuman powers from a mysterious source.
Jack Norris (Earth-616)
Jackson "Jack" F. Norris and his wife worked with the original Nighthawk and the Defenders. He later became a S.H.I.E.L.D. file-clerk, and then agent often going by the codename Nighthawk. He then went on to be a TV reporter for Inside America. He helped psychiatrist Andrea Sterman uncover a conspiracy involving Roxxon Oil, the CSA, S.H.I.E.L.D., Nomad, and the Thunderbolts.
In other media
- Nighthawk appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Whom Continuity Would Destroy!", voiced by Adam West. He is shown as a member of the Squadron Supreme. Grandmaster and Thanos pit Nighthawk against Iron Man. During the fight, Nighthawk mentioned that he once owned a pet turtle.
- Nighthawk appears in Avengers Assemble, voiced by Anthony Ruivivar. He is seen in a flashback in the episode "Hyperion" where is shown as part of the Squadron Supreme on Hyperion's home world, but is stated to have died alongside the rest of the team. This is proven false when he appears in the episode "Nighthawk" when he first appears in the disguise of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Kyle Richmond. Using his position on S.H.I.E.L.D. as the Director of Interstellar Operations, Kyle secretly gets into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s database in order to obtain the contingency plan about the Avengers. The Avengers managed to get out of their traps and help Falcon to fight Nighthawk. While Hulk and Thor work to shut down the citadel, the others fought Nighthawk where they managed to defeat him and remand him to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Outside of Nighthawk's cell, Nick Fury mocks the idea of Nighthawk being one step ahead where Nighthawk states that he's always one step ahead. This is proven right when Hyperion arrives and frees Nighthawk in front of Nick Fury. Nighthawk and Hyperion then leave to get their group together. In the episode "Dark Avengers," Nighthawk obtains the Reality Infinity Gem and uses it to make the Squadron Supreme superheroes and the Avengers the bad guys. Upon seeing the differences, Iron Man rallies the Avengers into claiming the Reality Infinity Gem and causing the Squadron Supreme to retreat. In the episode "Terminal Velocity," Nighthawk sends Hyperion to fight the Avengers as part of a diversion for Speed Demon to get specific information from the Stark Tower computers. After Hyperion and Speed Demon get away from the Avengers, Hyperion and Speed Demon meet with Nighthawk at the Squadron Supreme's hideout where Speed Demon gives Nighthawk the information he obtained. In the episode "Spectrums," the Power Prism that possessed Doctor Spectrum made its way back to Nighthawk. Upon the Power Prism no longer needing a host, the Power Prism forms a new body that resembles Doctor Spectrum as Nighthawk welcomes it into the Squadron Supreme. In the episode "Midgard Crisis," Nighthawk learned from Zarda that her plans to sway an Avenger to their side didn't go well and that she was wrong. In the episode "Avengers' Last Stand," Nighthawk puts his plan into motion which ends with the restoration of Nuke and the apparent destruction of the Avengers. With a defeated Thor in the Squadron Supreme's custody, Nighthawk makes his demands on television stating that Earth is under the protection of the Squadron Supreme. In the episode "Avengers Underground," Nighthawk divides the Earth amongst the other Squadron Supreme members. After most of the Squadron Supreme are defeated, Nighthawk teleports Nuke and Hyperion to the tower where he has Hyperion absorb Nuke's powers with the intent on destroying Earth. As Nighthawk prepares to leave Earth, Iron Man defeats him and the rest of the team stops Hyperion from reaching the planet's core. Nighthawk and the rest of the Squadron Supreme are later mentioned to have been remanded to a special wing of the Vault.
- In 2009, Marvel planned to hire a team of writers to help come up with creative ways to launch its lesser-known properties, such as Black Panther, Cable, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Nighthawk, and Vision.
- The Jack Norris version of Nighthawk appears in Marvel's One Shot All Hail the King.
- In 2013 Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond) was released in wave 018 of the Marvel Universe toyline from Hasbro 3.75.
- Interview with Roy Thomas and Jerry Bails in The Justice League Companion (2003) pp. 72–73
- Defenders #32
- The Avengers #69-71 (Oct.-Dec. 1969)
- The Defenders #13-14 (May–July 1974)
- The Defenders #70 (April 1979)
- The Defenders #81 (March 1980)
- The Defenders #87 (Sept.1980)
- Marvel Team-Up #101 (Jan. 1981)
- The Defenders #93 (March 1981)
- The Defenders #95 (May 1981)
- The Defenders #98 (Aug. 1981)
- The Defenders #103 (Jan. 1982)
- Nighthawk #1-3 (miniseries; Sept.-Nov. 1998)
- The Thing vol. 2, #1-3 (Jan.-March 2006)
- New Thunderbolts #15-16 (Jan.- Feb. 2006)
- New Thunderbolts #17-18 (March–April 2006), Thunderbolts #100-101 (May–June 2006)
- Thunderbolts #102-108 (July 2006 - Jan. 2007)
- Civil War:Front Line #6 (Oct. 2006):Civil War: Front Line #1-11 (Aug. 2006 - Jan. 2007)
- Black Panther vol. 4, #25 (April 2007)
- Beginning in Avengers: The Initiative#1 (June 2007)
- The Last Defenders #1-6 (May-Oct. 2008)
- Fear Itself: Fearsome Four #1-4
- The Avengers #86 (March 1971)
- Avengers #141 - 144 (Nov. 1975 - Feb. 1976) & #147 - 149 (May - July 1976)
- Thor #280 (Feb. 1979)
- Defenders #112-114 (Oct.-Dec. 1982)
- Squadron Supreme #1-12 (Sept. 1985 - Aug. 1986)
- Squadron Supreme #8 (May 1986)
- Captain America #314 (Feb. 1986)
- Avengers #5-6 (June–July 1998) & Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual '98
- Squadron Supreme: New World Order (1998)
- Exiles vol. 2, #77-78 (April–May 2006)
- Marvel Encyclopedia Volume 6: Fantastic Four
- Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005
- Supreme Power #1-18 (Jan. 2003 - Oct. 2005)
- Supreme Power: Nighthawk #1-6 (Nov. 2005 - April 2006)
- Marston, George (May 23, 2016). "Marvel's Nighthawk: A 'Black Superhero in a Country Infected by the Disease of Racism'"". Newsarama. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Narcisse, Evan (May 31, 2016). "Marvel's Version of Batman Comes Back Angrier than Before". Gizmodo. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Jones, Wil (May 31, 2016). "Marvel's Nighthawk Is a Superhero Who Destroys Racists While Wearing Yeezys". Complex UK. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Johnson, Jim (May 26, 2016). "Nighthawk #1". CBR. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Betancourt, David (September 8, 2016). "What Marvel Canceling Nighthawk Means for Superheroes of Color". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Johnson, Victoria (August 30, 2016). "Marvel's Nighthawk Cancelled, Writer David Walker Speaks Out". Inquisitr. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
- Ultimates vol. 2, #6 (Aug. 2002)
- New Ultimates #1
- Thunderbolts (vol.1) #49
- "TV stars invade Marvel Super Hero Squad | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment". Robot6.comicbookresources.com. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
- Marc Graser (2009-03-26). "Marvel's hiring writers". Variety. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
- Revolving Door of Death 13 - The Peculiar Resurrection of Nighthawk
- Nighthawk III at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Nighthawk I at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- Nighthawk (Richmond) at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe