Kyle Richmond is a playboy and President of Richmond Enterprises whom became bored and was offered an opportunity by the Grandmaster for a life of excitement. At first a villain and a member of the Squadron Sinister, created by the Grandmaster to battle the Avengers. then after a brief stint as a solo villain trying to be a hero, but was thwarted by Daredevil.
Nighthawk was created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema in 1969 and first appeared in The Avengers # 69.
Mayor Story Arcs
Starting a Villain
Nighthawk first appeared alongside the Squadron Sinister, Grandmaster's Champions in a battle against the Avengers. The Squadron were defeated by the Avengers, and Nighthawk subsequently went on to attempt to defeat Daredevil by himself to no avail.
Joining the Defenders
He later recruited the Defenders to stop his former teammates and went on to become a core member, finance the team, and then eventually lead them. While in the Defenders he had his brain removed by Doctor Nagan and the Headmen, his then girlfriend Trish Star lost her arm in a car bomb set by her uncle Egghead, and another former girlfriend, Mindy Williams, turned out to be a psychic near-comatose victim of a government experiment. He was also under constant investigation for tax fraud. Eventually, he was seemingly killed, although he was really just in a coma. Mephisto brought him back to waking life in a convoluted attempt to get Matt Murdock's soul. Mephisto's plan was eventually thwarted.
With the Thing
Kyle attended a party hosted by Irma Roberts, everybody who was everybody attended the party. Including the Thing, Tony Stark, and the Constrictor. All the guest were kidnapped by Brynocki and Arcade to Murder Island, used to be known as Mordillo Island. All three heroes and the villain Constrictor worked together to get everyone off the island. Constrictor and Kyle would become good friends, and Kyle even talked the Constrictor to try being a hero.
When the Squadron Sinister returned, Nighthawk again opposed them this time joining forces with the Thunderbolts. Nighthawk was welcomed onto the team and offered them the former base the Defenders used for an HQ. Unbeknownst to him, the Thunderbolts were only using him for his wealth. Upon discovering the truth, Nighthawk abandoned the team and instead went to ally with Grandmaster and the Squadron Sinister in their conflict against the Thunderbolts. Nighthawk abandoned the Squadron when he realized their true motives.
During the Superhero Registration Act, he joined Captain America's resistance movement, but switched sides after Bill Foster was killed by Ragnarok.
After the Civil War was over, Richmond joined the Initiative as an instructor, before being asked to lead a new team of Defenders as New Jersey's team. Recently he has been forced to retire by Tony Stark, he passed the Nighthawk mantle to Joaquin Pennysworth. Who is the son of the late J.C. Pennysworth. J.C. was a good friend that ran Richmond Enterprises, whom also financed the third incarnation of the Sons of Serpent.
Powers & Abilities
Nighthawk is a near-Olympic level athlete, has low-level super-strength and increased agility and stamina at night. He also has a bunch of gadgets, such as lasers, a jet pack, and projectile weapons. He has used technology that lets him see in infrared and with telescopic vision. His suit has incorporated some kind of danger warning technology and radar. It is also capable of flying him back home if he is hurt. He is very rich.
This Nighthawk was a member of the Squadron Supreme, as well as the president of the United States. At one point, Null the Living Darkness and the Overmind ended up in the Squadron's universe. They took over Kyle, and used him to take over the rest of the world. The 616 Defenders arrived and managed to stop the plan after a long effort. The psychic form of Mindy Williams, along with five other 616 telepaths, were also there and helped the Defenders. At first, they believed that the Squadron's Nighthawk was really the 616 Nighthawk, who they had thought was dead. But later it turned out that he was really the native 712 Nighthawk, and Mindy Williams had just inadvertantly altered his memories so that he thought he was the 616 Nighthawk. It was confusing for all involved, especially since Mindy (and the other 5 telepaths) ended up taking over the body of the Overmind. The 712 Nghthawk was angry at everyone, and ultimately the Defenders and Mindy/Overmind returned to the 616 Earth.
Later, when the Squadron Supreme attempted to launch their Utopia program, Nighthawk opposed this, as he believed that the Squadron Supreme should serve the public, not rule it. Nighthawk left the Squadron Supreme in disgust, and secretly formed a plan to take down the Squadron Supreme before they could do any damage. Forming a team of villains and undiscovered superhumans, Nighthawk's team eventually battled the Squadron Supreme after several of its members joined the Squadron Supreme as double agents.
During the fight, Nighthawk's team member Foxfire, who was in love with Doctor Spectrum, used her powers on Nighthawk to give him a heart attack and kill him, betraying the team. Nighthawk's death allowed the rest of the Squadron Supreme to realise what a mistake the Utopia program was.
The Nighthawk from the Ultimate universe. This Nighthawk was a member of the Defenders.
The Nighthawk joined Quentin Quire's Exiles.
Mephisto gave Nighthawk the eyes that enabled him to see the future. He was driven insane by the visions of Earth's coming destruction. He began wearing a hood, purposely blinding himself. Now he sits in a room that overlooks Manhattan. He lives in seclusion with Isaac Christians, also known as Gargoyle. He speaks to him self more than to Christians. He keeps saying that he would be better off dead. He also known as the 4-D Man.
Nighthawk's parents were killed in a drive-by shooting in front of his eyes, for no reason other than they were were black. His father had been describing how a nighthawk hunts, and thus Kyle adopted the Nighthawk persona to fight crime, though nearly all crimes he prevents are targeted at African-Americans. The only other member of the Squadron Supreme he even remotely listens to is Stanley, AKA, The Blur (who is also African-American).
Kyle has helped the Squadron Supreme in a number of their battles, and is by far the most reluctant member. On his own, he also faced off with "Whiteface," a sick villain who used his chemical genius for pointless and reviling mass murder.
In Other Media
Nighthawk (alongside the Squadron Supreme) appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Whom Continuty Would Destroy!", voiced by Adam West.