I vaguely remembered Nightwatch from back in the 90s. He wasn’t an overly impressive character, and then he disappeared. I vaguely recall Jimmy Impossible not liking him very much. I could be wrong. But hey, here we are.
And then I read his Wikipedia entry. Man, there’s a reason we don’t really see him anymore.
Nightwatch was Dr. Kevin Trench. One day, he saw a man in a strange costume being killed by terrorists. He rushed out and found the dead man under the mask was an older version of himself.
I hate when that happens.
Taking the costume for himself, he became Nightwatch. As it was, all the power came from the costume. The suit, infused with nanites, took adrenaline from Trench to boost his strength. The suit could repair itself, and the cape even allowed him to fly. He first appeared in a Spider-Man book, hung out there for a while, and even had his own mini-series. For a brief period, he was all over Spidey’s book as one of those anti-heroes Spidey always disapproves of but keeps teaming up with anyway.
Now me, I never much cared for the guy. He was dull. Plus, he looked an awful lot like another popular character from that era. Which one?
Was it intentional? I didn’t care then, and I don’t care now. He looked like a Spawn rip-off. His powers were generic. Even the whole “got his costume from a timelost older self” didn’t interest me. This was probably going to be a short entry.
Then I read his Wikipedia entry and learned about the retcon.
Yes, it seems there was more to Nightwatch than previously thought. During a She-Hulk arc, someone sued him. He got the She-Hulk for his legal representation and then things got weird.
Yeah, it seems Nightwatch wasn’t what we’d been told he was. Why was he being sued? Well, the plantiff was originally from a town in North Dakota. And she was the lone survivor of a nasty attack that wiped out her town. What happened? A villain named Nighteater decided the best way to hide was to become a hero. Oh, not through actually reforming. He hired some other villains to cast a magic spell to erase his old history and replace it with a new one. Yeah, that was Nightwatch. The spell killed most of the town, and even some superheroes on hand didn’t remember what really happened. Just this one woman, and thanks to her, Nighteater/Nightwatch was finally punished for his crimes.
So, there’s a really good reason he hasn’t been around helping other heroes lately.