Real Name: Neal Richmond (last name is conjecture – he was adopted and raised by Kyle Richmond of Earth-712 and identifies with Richmond as his father, but his last name has not officially been given)
Identity/Class: Citizen of Earth-712 with a criminal record (wanted for opposing the actions of the Global Directorate)
Occupation: Resistance Fighter/Superhero
Group Membership: Squadron Supreme; leader of the Nighthawks
Affiliations: See above
Enemies: Blue Eagles, Global Directorate
Known Relatives: Huckster (biological father, real name unknown), Kyle Richmond (adopted father)
Base of Operations: The Aerie, located beneath the city of Cosmopolis;
Utopia Isle (home to the Squadron Supreme post New World Order)
First Appearance: Squadron Supreme: New World Order#1 (September, 1998)
Powers: None, though Neal is presumably a superb athlete, having been trained by his adopted father.
(Squadron Supreme: New World Order#1 (fb) - BTS) - Neal Richmond is the son of the criminal Huckster, the arch-foe of Nighthawk. When the Huckster was slain in one of his many battles with Nighthawk, Kyle Richmond discovered that his old enemy had left behind an orphaned son. Kyle took Neal into his own home and raised him as his son, teaching him about honor, decency and justice. Well aware that his enemies might strike at the boy, Kyle kept Neal out of the public eye, including during his time as America’s president. After Kyle’s death following the Squadron Supreme’s aborted Utopia Project, Neal watched as the world around him began to splinter. The Squadron themselves were lost in a galactic crisis and the population of the world chose order over personal freedom, electing to power a group known as the Global Directorate, who began to police every facet of human existence.
Neal adopted the mantle of Nighthawk, believing that his father would have opposed the loss of human freedom. He recruited others to his cause, draping them in black uniforms and calling them his Nighthawks. From his hidden lair beneath Cosmopolis (the Aerie) he directed various raids against the Directorate and their armed enforcers, the Blue Eagles.
(Squadron Supreme: New World Order#1) - When the Squadron Supreme returned from a prolonged stint on Earth-616, Neal took Madeline and Tina Stewart into protective custody, aware that the Blue Eagles had targeted them as hostages that could be used against the Whizzer. Shortly thereafter, Hyperion tracked Nighthawk down and confronted him. Hyperion asked Neal why he was not wearing the wings of his father, to which Neal replied that he had not earned them.
When the Squadron Supreme re-committed themselves to fighting for the ideals of honor and freedom, Neal joined them on Utopia Isle.
Comments: Created by Len Kaminski and Anthony Williams.
The story that introduced Neal Richmond was one that returned the Squadron Supreme to their rightful world, after a series of guest-appearances in Avengers. Kaminski’s main purpose seemed to be to bring the Squadron into line with what DC was doing at the time with the JLA, their universal analogues: mainly, to return to the ‘Big Seven’ lineup. Over the course of the New World Order oneshot, the non-founding members of the Squadron were removed via one manner or another, and the remaining members tracked down the other founders – Skymax and Amphibian. By the end of the story, the Squadron Supreme was once more an analogue of the classic Justice League of America:
Interestingly, when the Big 7 of the JLA was brought back together by Grant Morrison, they had two ‘replacements’ on the team – Kyle Rayner standing in for Hal Jordan and Wally West doing the same for Barry Allen. On the Squadron, Neal became the ‘legacy hero’ of the group, replacing Kyle Richmond. I’m surprised they didn’t find an excuse to pass the Power Prism on to another Doctor Spectrum to keep it all in line.
This character may have been named "Neal" in homage to artist Neal Adams, who is considered by many to be one of the definitive Batman artists of the 1970s.
Profile by Barry Reese
Nighthawk should not be confused with:
Squadron Supreme: New World Order#1
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 01/17/05
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