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Kyle Richmond was born and grew up in the city of Cosmopolis in the state of New Troy in the United States of Earth-712. Richmond's father, the billionaire head of a pharmaceutical manufacturing firm, died of a heart attack when Kyle was eighteen. Learning that the elder Richmond had made his fortune through highly unethical means, Kyle Richmond vowed to devote his life to battling the evil perpetrated in the world by men like his father. Hence, Richmond became the masked crimefighter known as Nighthawk.

Although Nighthawk had no superhuman powers, he defeated numerous criminal opponents, his most frequent nemeses being the costumed criminals known as the Mink, Pinball, and Remnant. Nighthawk and Hyperion, who worked as a team, were two of the founding members of the Squadron Supreme.

The cosmic gamesman called the Grandmaster once used the Squadron members as pawns in a tournament between himself and the Squadron's foe, the Scarlet Centurion. Later, the Grandmaster caused the counterpart of Kyle Richmond on our own "mainstream" Earth to launch his own career as Nighthawk.

Sometime later, the government of the United States of the Squadron's Earth came under its first covert assault. A huge industrial complex called the Serpent Cartel was actually the base of operations for various human agents of the extra-dimensional serpent-god Set, who manifested itself in the Serpent Crown, a mystical object of power. The Serpent Cartel placed the President and various other high-ranking politicians under the domination of the Crown. At the same time, on the Avengers' Earth, Hugh Jones, then president of the Roxxon Oil Company, was also made a slave of the Crown and was attempting to mastermind a similar secret government takeover. The Avengers intervened, and the U.S. President of "Other-Earth" dispatched several Squadron members to the Avengers' Earth to battle the Avengers. Traveling to "Other-Earth" themselves, the Avengers seized "Other Earth's" counterpart to the Serpent Crown and convinced the Squadron that they were being misled by their President. The Squadron forced the President to resign and saw to the dismantling of the serpent Cartel.

Kyle Richmond retired as Nighthawk in order to enter politics, hoping to help undo the harm perpetrated on the nation by the Serpent Cartel. Richmond was nominated for the presidency and won by a landslide.

While in office, President Richmond became mentally enthralled by the Overmind, a collective alien intelligence that was working in concert with Null the Living Darkness. The Overmind also took over the minds of the rest of the Squadron members, except for that of Hyperion, who fled to the Avengers' Earth for help. With the Squadron's help, the Overmind took over the mind of every major political, military, and industrial leader in the world. The Overmind began to force the Squadron to build a vast nuclear arsenal on the moon with which he hoped to wage war on other worlds in the Squadron's dimension. Fortunately, Hyperion returned with new allies, the superhuman champions of the Avengers' Earth known as the Defenders.

In the aftermath of this alien takeover, the world was in the midst of nearly total collapse. Hyperion proposed to the Squadron that they take it upon themselves to remake the world into a utopia, solving all of Earth's problems, such as poverty, economic instability, war, crime, and even disease and death. Richmond, attending the meeting as Nighthawk, protested that for the Squadron to implement its "Utopia Program," it would have to take total control of the world, and resigned once again from the Squadron.

Determined to stop the Squadron from taking over the United States, Richmond planned to assassinate its leader, Hyperion, with a bullet made of argonite, an isotope whose radiation was lethal to him. When the time came, however, he found himself unable to kill his friend.

In the following months the Squadron carried out their Utopia Program, and even made widespread use of a behavior modification device invented by Squadron member Tom Thumb, which brainwashed criminals into becoming unable to commit further crimes.

Nighthawk tried to organize a counter force powerful enough to oppose it. This aggregation of superhuman beings was informally called the Redeemers. Nighthawk was also aided by Professor Imam, Earth's Wizard Supreme, and by Hyperion's greatest foe, Master Menace. It was Menace who devised the means of undoing the effects of the behavior modification machine.

One year after the Squadron's takeover, Nighthawk's Redeemers entered Squadron City. Nighthawk demanded that the Squadron surrender all the authority they had usurped. The longtime Squadron members were alarmed to discover that their five newest members, Haywire, Inertia, Moonglow, Redstone, and Thermite, were double agents sent by Nighthawk, as were Lamprey, the Shape, and Foxfire. Ultimately, the Redeemers won the battle.

Nighthawk convinced the defeated Hyperion that the main problem with the Squadron's Utopia Program was that they had used basically ignoble means that violated human rights to achieve noble ends. Since the Squadron members were not immortal, they could not ensure that future generations would not be tyrannized by the utopian technologies that they had created.

One of the Redeemers, Foxfire, had fallen in love with Squadron member Doctor Spectrum, and wanted to help the Squadron win. She used her superhuman power to weaken the tissue of Nighthawk's heart muscles, giving him a massive heart attack. But another Redeemer, the Mink, avenged Nighthawk's death by killing Foxfire with her metal claws.

But although Nighthawk had died, he still had won the battle. The Squadron Supreme surrendered, and Hyperion proposed that the Squadron dismantle the Utopia Program.

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