Neal was born the son of the Huckster, an enemy of Kyle Richmond, the original Nighthawk. When the Huckster died as a result of one of his plans backfiring, Kyle Richmond adopted Neal as his own son. Feeling a sense of guilt because the Huckster died while fighting him, Kyle Richmond gave Neal his name and taught Neal about decency, honor, and justice. When Kyle died during battle with the Squadron Supreme, Neal proceeded to follow his mentors example. When the Squadron disappeared and the Global Directorate took over the world, Neal became the new Nighthawk leading a resistance against the Directorate which became known as the Nighthawks. Once the Squadron returned, Neal was recruited by Hyperion into joining the Squadron. Although he resisted at first, Nighthawk quickly joined the Squadron in battle against the Blue Eagles (soldiers of the Global Directorate), and became their newest member.
Recently the Blue Eagle soldiers invaded the Squadron's base on Utopis Isle and were close to capturing them when a reality traversing Proteus joined the fray and helped the Squadron defeat the Eagles. Proteus tricked the squadron into attacking the Exiles who appeared shortly after the Blue Eagles retreated. The Squadron attacked and captured the Exiles putting them on trial for causing havoc in the multiverse. Nighthawk acted a judge during the trial. Once Heather Hudson used the Tallus and the Timebroker interface to show the Squadron the history of the Exiles, she also showed them the truth about the global directorate. Nighthawk and the Squadron confronted the Directorate at their headquarters and stayed behind to help rebuild the government while Power Princess left with the Exiles to pursue Proteus.