Ripclaw is a Native American descended from the ancient Iriqouis Nation of North Eastern North America named Robert Berresford. Despite his ethnic heritage, Robert grew up with very pale skin and in his adolescence began to see signs of a mutation in his hands.It was during a martial arts class when, sparring with another student the issue came to a head and provoked him to confront his father about his unusual traits. He left home, seeking answers, and ended up on an Apache reservation.
Initially he fell into trouble and was even hurt seriously when stumbling into a fight.The local Shaman took him in and taught him about his ancestors. What followed was a ceremony where Robert experienced a joining and conversing with the spirits of his ancestors and the spirits of the land, who told him that he was Robert Bearclaw, and not Robert Berresford. These same spirits foretold his destiny to be that he was to be their warrior and that he was to lead the Indian People back to their true spirit and glory. When he finished the ceremony, which included tribal flesh hooks and war paint, the shaman marked him with his blood, marking his skin, reminding him always of the pain and truth of his spiritual destiny. He was raised primarily by the shaman after that, but also spent time with the Cheyenne, Navajo and Lakota Sioux tribes who taught him how to use his special talents.
Robert developed an ability to assume certain animalistic attributes, such as the teeth and claws of a bear. This physical transformation defies any kind of scientific analysis, but seems to involve some sort of manipulation of unstable molecules. Ripclaw is also able to enter the plane of the spirit world. This communion with his ancestors seems to involve some sort of heightened sensitivity which allows him to sense things just beyond the physical boundaries of conventional defined reality, as well as psychic impressions from inanimate objects.
Although at this point his story becomes clouded, his next chapter lead him to Cyberdata as a S.H.O.C. After being brought into a local sheriff’s office for attacking a man who had raped an Indian girl on the reservation, Robert’s mutations were noticed and he was brought to the Attention of Cyberdata. They removed his hands and replaced them with cybernetic replacements. This had to be done under heavy anesthesia, as Robert possesses a superhuman healing factor. The bionic replacements Ripclaw received from Cyberdata became so much a part of him that they too could assume the appearance of claws just like his real hands had done.
Ripclaw has exhibited the ability to manipulate his claws into normal human shape, and then back into claws. Robert was romantically linked with Misery. with whom he fathered a child, though the child died in the womb when Warblade killed Misery. Following her betrayal of their Cyberdata S.H.O.C.s team, he joined Cyberforce after Dr. Corben removed his brainbox. Beyond Cyberforce, Ripclaw has been associated with The Darkness as he was affianced to Jackie Estacado's former love interest, Jenny Romano. and he trained Jackie's sister Capris Castiglione. He has also teamed up with forces such as Warblade, Wild C.A.T.S., the Justice League of America, as well as Wolverine and Psylocke of the X-Men.