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Orphaned at birth, Hank Kipple was raised in St. Frederick's orphanage in Chicago by Father Joe. Bright but cynical, Hank eventually concluded he had become too old to be adopted and covered his pain with biting sarcasm. One night, when liquor store robbers decided to use the orphanage as a hideout, and took the children hostage, Hank helped the vigilante Hawk-Owl subdue the criminals. The next day, much to his surprise and suspicion, millionaire Jack Danner adopted Hank, and the boy moved into Danner Manor. Hank missed St. Frederick's and initially treated Jack and his associates with contempt, unwilling to risk being hurt by letting someone into his life after being alone for so long. He started classes at Hayman Street High School, run by Principal Morgan Jones, an old friend of Danner's; despite his protests, Hank was dropped off by limousine the first day, inevitably attracting bullying.

Hank soon discovered Danner's hidden "Owl's Nest" base and learned that Danner was Hawk-Owl. Hank demanded to be returned to the orphanage, threatening to reveal Jack's secret if he was not, but was stunned when Danner revealed he wanted Hank to become his sidekick, "Woody". The next day, at school, Jack saw Hank lash out at a bully and accidentally knock out Principal Jones; the educator, whose private life had been disintegrating, seemed to snap, and he was taken away in an ambulance ranting like a maniac. On the way home, Danner explained he truly wanted to be Hank's father, and offered to quit as Hawk-Owl to prove he was serious. Convinced Danner's offer was genuine, Hank finally began to accept Jack.

The Ultimates sought to draft Hawk-Owl into their group. Captain America impressed Hank as a "real super hero", but Jack disliked the group's arrogance and seemed jealous of Hank's hero worship of Captain America. Hawk-Owl started a fight with him, which Thor soon ended; Captain America then threatened to arrest Hawk-Owl, killing Hank's hero worship.

Now insane, Principal Jones soon killed his wife and her lover, and Hank felt responsible. When the Principal and his equally insane sidekick, Ms. Willow, invaded class the next day, Hank slipped out. He tried to don the Woody costume prepared by Danner; but Jack stopped him, feeling Hank was not ready, and went alone, only to be captured, tortured, and left comatose. Tolliver, Danner's butler, a man whom Hank had come to respect, sought revenge and went missing. Three days later, Hank located the Principal and set out to rescue Tolliver as Woody. Confronting the Principal and his cohorts, Woody was overpowered, but saved by the arrival of an awakened Hawk-Owl. With the Principal defeated, and after much debate, Hawk-Owl began to train Woody and soon patrolled the streets of Chicago with him.

Powers

No superhuman powers.

Abilities

Hank is extremely agile, an excellent climber and acrobat, knowledgeable about electronics, and skilled at lockpicking. He has an uncanny rapport with Ralph, one of the many owls who congregate around the Owl's Nest.

Strength level

Woody possesses the normal human strength of a 4'11" 110-pound boy, who engages in intense physical exercise.

Weaknesses

Hank Kipple is a normal human being with all the frailties of one.


Equipment

Woody carries a grappling line.

Transportation

Hawk-Owl Car: Hovercraft capable of short-distance travel.

Woody is a pastiche of DC Comics' Robin.

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