Real Name: None
Identity/Class: Robot (see comments)
Group Membership: Corporation
Affiliations: Corruptor, Ricadonna, original master unknown
Enemies: Captain America, Falcon, Heroes for Hire (Black Cat, Humbug, Misty Knight, Orka, Shang-Chi, Colleen Wing), Hulk, Rick Jones, Betty Ross, SHIELD (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law Division), Teen Brigade (Candy Barr, Ben "Wheels" Cassidy, Bill "Specs" Mantle, Sally Rider)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Flying Man", Perfect Man
Base of Operations: Currently unknown; formerly the Corruptor's Southern California mansion base
First Appearance: Captain America I#213 (September, 1977)
Powers/Abilities: The Night Flyer wore a suit of armor that granted him superhuman strength (enhanced human) and durability. He could release bursts of energy from his gauntlets. His source of power was in his hang glider. If the glider was destroyed, he was powerless (and usually dead--he had some symbiotic connection to it). Using the rocket-powered glider, he could fly at great speeds, track other objects and beings, and fire missiles and other projectiles. He carried a handgun, as well.
In addition, he was utterly obsessed with perfection. If he could not be perfect, he wouldn't even want to live. Each time he was seen going into a mission, he got himself all psyched-up by ranting how he lived, acted, and worshipped perfection.
History: The origins of the Night Flyer are unknown. His creator remains unnamed.
(Captain America I#213-214) - The Night Flyer was commissioned by the Corporation to assassinate a defector within SHIELD. After contacting his unknown master and getting his "perfection" pep-talk, he infiltrated the base and pumped the defector full of holes, despite the efforts of SHIELD agents and the Falcon. However, SHIELD was prepared for the attack, and had moved the defector and replaced him with a mannikin.
The Night Flyer was surrounded by SHIELD, but released a powerful energy burst and escaped in the ensuing chaos. The Falcon tried to stop him, but ended up being captured instead. The Flyer met with his contact, the Corporation agent known only as "Benedict Arnold," but was then tracked down by Captain America. The Flyer was holding Cap off with a flame thrower, but SHIELD agents located the Flyer's glider, and correctly thinking it as the source of his power, blasted it out of the sky. The Night Flyer crumpled to the ground, apparently electrocuted by the energy backlash.
(Incredible Hulk II#264 (fb) - BTS) - The ashen remains of the Night Flyer were taken by the Corruptor, who somehow reactivated him.
(Incredible Hulk II#263-264) - The Corruptor gave the Night Flyer his perfection pep-talk and sent him out to engage the Hulk. The Night Flyer's mission was actually to bring the Hulk to the Corruptor, and then drive him into a state of frenzy, making him more susceptible to the Corruptor's mind-controlling "evil touch." The Flyer attacked Bruce Banner, Rick Jones, Betty Ross, and the newest members of the Teen Brigade, herding them towards the Corruptor's mansion. This he did successfully, and pushed Banner to Hulk-out. The Night Flyer kept his distance and held his own with the Hulk, until the Hulk jumped on top of the Flyer's glider and knocked them both to the ground. Injured by the damage to his glider, the Night Flyer realized he was courting his own destruction by continuing to anger the Hulk. However, he realized that to fail in his mission would be less than perfection, so he kept at it. The Flyer, while trying to hold back the Hulk, struck Betty Ross with one of his missiles. Infuriated, the Hulk lashed out and smashed the glider, which once again terminated the Night Flyer. But, his mission was a success as the Hulk was really P.O.'ed, and the Corruptor successfully took control of him.
(Captain America I#426 (fb) - BTS) - At some point Lou Dexter (Dead Ringer) happened upon the cremains (ashes from cremation) of Night Flyer at a flea market.
(Captain America I#426 - BTS) - Dead Ringer took the form of Night Flyer and joined Super-Patriot (posing as Captain America) in assaulting an armored car, beating up the guards, and stealing the money contained within. As they flew off, however, they were spotted and attacked by the Resistants (Crucible, Meteorite, Occult), who mistook Super-Patriot for the real Cap. Crucible incinerated Night Flyer's glider, and they landed, only retaining a couple bags of loot.
(Heroes for Hire II#5) - Several Night Flyers (without glider) attacked the Heroes for Hire at the Corporation's HQ on Hart Island . Orka took them all apart.
Comments: Created by Jack "King" Kirby.
The way the Night Flyer folded (and died) each time his glider was destroyed might make you think he was an android or robot or something, and that the glider was his own source of power. I don't think this is ever discussed. I'd vote he was an android or robot created by the Machinesmith as the most likely origin.
In Heroes for Hire II#5 the above assumption was revealed to be true for most of the Night Fliers when Orka took apart a few Night Fliers. If the original was a robot too is still questionable because Dead Ringer was able to transform into him after finding his ashes (but who knows how Dead Ringer's powers worked).
Clarifications: There's a bunch of Night-somethings, but the Night Flyer is only seen in these 4 issues. All others are...others.
Heroes for Hire II#5, p3, pan3 (Night Flyers)
Captain America I#213-214 (September-October, 1977) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Dan Green (#213) & Mike Royer (#214) (inks)
Incredible Hulk II#263-264 (September-October, 1981) - Sal Buscema & Bill Mantlo (writers), Sal Buscema (artist), Al Milgrom (editor)
Captain America I#426 (April, 1994) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Dave Hoover (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#5 (February, 2006) - Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti (writes), Francis Portela (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Last updated: 06/23/13
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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