Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Nighthawk (Marvel Comics)
Mainstream Marvel Universe
Nighthawk's main superhuman ability is superhuman strength, with the uncommon limitation that this strength remains only from sundown to sunup; he has the strength of a normal man who exercises regularly in the daytime. His strength derives from a potion he discovered in a book on alchemy; the potion was meant to cure his weak heart, the super strength being only an unintended albeit very welcome side effect. He flies with the use of a jetpack concealed under artificial wings, and usually used some kind of projectile weapon under them as well.
As Kyle Richmond, he was an egotistical and wealthy playboy who, unlike comics' archetypical playboy Batman, actually drank and womanized too much. Indeed, his father had to pay hush money to protect Richmond's name after a drunk-driving accident that injured a woman.
Despite his unusual powers and his leadership role in that group, Nighthawk never really took off into mass popularity. He did get his own self-titled series in 1998, but it didn't last very long.
In his Squadron Supreme incarnation, Nighthawk is much the same as his mainstream counterpart, and a closer analogue of his original inspiration, Batman. He did not, however, lose his parents to crime; they died of natural causes. Nevertheless, Richmond vows to use his money and skills to fight evil, and becomes friends with his earth's champion, Hyperion.
In Supreme Power, J. Michael Straczynski's update and revamp of the old Squadron Supreme characters in Marvel's mature line, MAX, Nighthawk (still Kyle Richmond) is an African American entrepreneur. Having lost both his parents in a hate crime at a young age, he takes revenge on criminals --- at least for the beginning of the series, however, solely on those criminals who prey on black victims. Like his inspiration, Batman, Nighthawk uses a combination of high-tech weaponry, stealth and fighting prowess to overcome his foes. Also like Batman (as depicted by most writers since Frank Miller's seminal The Dark Knight Returns), Nighthawk keeps his distance from and feels some disdain for his version of Superman, Hyperion.
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