A Marvel hero had the key to stopping Mephisto and threw him away
Today I’m talking about the Marvel superhero who gained the ability to see through any Mephisto disguise, but then gave up the power.
In each episode of Abandoned Love, we’ll be looking at comic book stories, plots, and ideas that were dropped by a later writer without actively contradicting an earlier story (hence the more passive definition of retcons as anything that is added retroactively. to continuity, even if there is no specific conflict with a past story). Please feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.
Kyle Richmond, Nighthawk of Defenders has had one of the strangest superhero journeys. He was invented as a villain only as a Batman riff for a near-crossover between the Avengers and the Justice League, but then he went straight and joined the Defenders. Along with Hellcat and Valkyrie, they were sort of the regular members of the team, which was best known for being a kind of NON-team, as there was no clear membership outside of these three heroes. Kyle was wealthy, so his biggest help was funding the team. When the Supreme Squadron was introduced, Nighthawk wasn’t even the most memorable hero named Kyle Richmond, also known as the Nighthawk! In the years that followed another Kyle Richmond Nighthawk from a different alternate reality was introduced and THIS Kyle was ALSO more interesting than this one!
Therefore, it wasn’t too much of a surprise when Nighthawk was indescribably killed during a crossbreed between the Defenders and Captain America (JM DeMatteis was writing both books at the time). Nighthawk, unlike every other superhero, actually had a stuck death. He was dead for almost two decades before Jim Krueger brought him back in a big Nightjar miniseries by Krueger and artists Richard Case and Bob Wiacek.
I’ve written about the Resurrection in the past, but thought I would discuss an interesting angle on the Nighthawk powers that were introduced into this story before being abandoned by other writers.
LOTS OF VIEW
Nighthawk believes he is brought back from the dead by an angel to do the angel’s work on Earth. Part of his second chance is that he gets to see crimes BEFORE they happen. So, while flying on patrol, Nighthawk discovers a man about to sexually assault a woman and Nighthawk can see the event in all its gory detail …
He attacks the man, but the man, of course, has nothing DDNE really …
It’s a smart riff on the concept of Second civil war, really, because Krueger postulates that attacking people on the basis of what they were going to do isn’t just bad, but it’s basically BAD, because it’s all an “angel” plot that brought Nighthawk back to serve him. As you might have guessed from the title of this article, it wasn’t an angel, it was Mephisto, baby!
NIGHTHAWK WAS BLIND, BUT NOW HE CAN SEE
Nighthawk’s gullibility leads to Daredevil’s death, as there is an extended streak in Hell (with Krueger making a number of callbacks to the classic Ann Nocenti Daredevil in Hell storyline), but in the end, Daredevil talks to Nighthawk. through things, and allows it so that Nighthawk can finally see the angel for who he really is and Nighthawk forces Mephisto to allow him and Daredevil to return to the land of the living. That, however, sets up a really nice touch for possible future stories with Nighthawk and Mephisto.
You see, throughout the miniseries we see Mephisto fucking with people on Earth while wearing different flesh disguises (he seems to really like playing with gamers and innocent little kids)…
Now that Nighthawk has officially seen through Mephisto’s disguise, he now maintains that ability, so he can see through ALL of Mephisto’s disguises. He shows up at the end of the issue and saves some children from Mephisto and Mephisto notes how annoying this setup is and threatens to “take his eyes off”, so to speak. Nighthawk takes the threat in stride because, after all, he can see Mephisto coming now…
It’s a great setup for Nighthawk, isn’t it?
However, this is a particularly interesting setup for Nighthawk as an INDIVIDUAL hero, it’s probably not as valuable if Nighthawk is just part of a team. As a result, the new power was short-lived.
NIGHTHAWK LANDES HIS DEMONIC POWERS
In the years 2001 Defenders # 2 (by Kurt Busiek, Erik Larsen and Klaus Janson), Nighthawk and Hellcat attempt to reform the Defenders and in the process, Nighthawk reveals to Hellcat that he has lost his demonic powers …
However, in a beautiful case of nepotistic continuity, Krueger later regained his abilities in Nighthawk to Universe X and Paradise X (by Krueger, Alex Ross, Dougie Braithwaite and Bill Reinhold). Kyle is almost the kind of narrator of the Paradise X series …
And in the recent previous series, Wonders X (by Krueger, Ross and artist Well-Be), we see that the solution to the “curse” fades over time …
Another funny coincidence is that the recent storyline of Heroes Reborn in Jason Aaron’s Avengers series involves yet ANOTHER Kyle Richmond / Nighthawk, only this time this Nighthawk is literally a creation of Mephisto himself, and therefore the Krueger idea. of Nighthawk being able to see through Mephisto the disguises would seem like the perfect thing to tie into this new storyline, especially as the other Nighthawk is determined to bring back the altered reality of Heroes Reborn, so the two Nighthawks come into conflict. on Mephisto sound good as it would make for a rewarding story, right?
If anyone has a suggestion for a future edition of Abandoned Love, drop me a line at [email protected]!
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