As a young boy, Parker Robbins witnessed a battle between Daredevil and Electro. Fascinated by the event, Robbins grew up to become a petty thief, often working with his cousin, John King. After his father died, Robbins took care of his mentally ill mother, ultimately placing her in the Bridgeside Psychiatric Care Center. Robbins needed money to support not only his mother, but his pregnant girlfriend Sara as well. When King told him about a burglary job he was going to perform at a warehouse, Robbins joined in. However, when they arrived, they found the warehouse empty, except for some mystical markings and candles surrounding them. They were attacked by a demonic creature called the Nisanti, but Robbins shot it in the head. Believing the cloak and boots the creature wore to be expensive, Robbins absconded with them, and left the believed-dead Nisanti behind. Later that night, Robbins encountered a group of thugs and tried to outrun them. To his astonishment, the Nisanti’s boots caused him to run onto thin air, and he escaped his assailants.
He went to his cousin’s apartment shortly thereafter and learned he could also become invisible while wearing the cloak. He initially used this new ability to pursue more petty thefts, but King convinced him to steal a black-market diamond shipment, unaware it belonged to crimelord Dennis Golembuski, a.k.a. the Golem. Robbins easily stole the jewels despite Golembuski’s agents — Constrictor, Shocker, and Jack O'Lantern — but was surprised by two police officers and accidentally shot and fatally wounded one. Identified as the Hood, Robbins found himself wanted by both Golumbuski and the FBI. He also found his supernatural garments at times caused him to lose control over his new powers.
As the Hood, Robbins confronted the Golem, and offered him a deal in return for the diamonds. Golumbuski agreed, planning to double-cross the Hood. He sent his agents, including Madam Rapier, to meet with the Hood, but Robbins had brought along a cloak resembling his own. After defeating Rapier, he forced her to put on the second cloak, and the police — believing her to be the Hood — shot her dead. Robbins confronted the Golem’s remaining henchmen and gave them the diamonds before demanding that Golumbuski leave him alone. Despite being reported as dead, the Hood made various enemies, including White Fang (the widow of the slain policeman) and the Nisanti, which had reawakened some time after Robbins’ encounter with it. Shaken by his experiences, Robbins visited his institutionalized mother and promised her that he would use his new abilities to help others.