By Marc Strom
Welcome to another installment of Secret Invasion Illumination, True Believer, your inside source to the various key players from the mega-event spinning through the SECRET INVASION limited series itself as well as MIGHTY AVENGERS, NEW AVENGERS and many more of Marvel's top titles!
Before the Skrulls' invasion hit Earth, Parker Robbins-aka the villainous Hood-began uniting the super villain community, organizing them into a highly efficient crime syndicate. With an alien armada at his doorstep, however, Parker has formed a makeshift alliance with his enemies in order to safeguard the future of his criminal empire and fend off the shape-shifting invaders.
In honor of the Hood's special spotlight story in NEW AVENGERS #46, coming October 22 from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Billy Tan, we've got a complete rundown on everything you need to know
about Marvel's newest power player, along with teases from Executive Editor Tom Brevoort on what Parker's future holds in store for him!
From Rags to Villainous Riches
Parker Robbins started out as your typical, down-on-his-luck kid just trying to scrape by and support his pregnant girlfriend. So when he took a job guarding a warehouse, he never expected to find himself stumbling across the path of a mysterious demon, the Nisanti.
After apparently killing the demon, Parker quickly discovered that the boots and cloak he stole off the unearthly creature granted him powers of levitation and invisibility. Beginning his career as a low-ranking criminal, the Hood soon saw an opportunity for advancement.
Sensing a power vacuum in the super villain community following the Kingpin's forced flight from the U.S. courtesy of Daredevil, the Hood surreptitiously set out to unite his fellow rogues without raising the heroes' suspicions.
When the New Avengers finally learned of his machinations and tried to put the Hood's crew away, he only proved the effectiveness of his organization by freeing his associates and launching an attack on the renegade heroes' hideout in Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, establishing himself as one of the team's most menacing new rivals.
A New Kind of Super Villain
Few villains have managed to strike at the Avengers without suffering extreme consequences, but the Hood's crafty wit has allowed him and his companions to always stay a few steps ahead of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
After attacking Tigra in her home and the New Avengers in their headquarters, Parker sent the message loud and clear that the good guys shouldn't trifle with him. But when the invasion hit, instead of sitting on the sidelines as the Skrulls and heroes wiped each other out, he proved smart enough to realize a world ruled by shifty extraterrestrials wouldn't present much opportunity for his criminal endeavors.
Concerned more with business than vendettas, the Hood has ushered a new kind of super villain into the Marvel Universe, more deadly by virtue of the fact that he allows nothing to get in between him and his end goals: wealth and the power to do whatever he so chooses.
Alien Invasions: Bad for Business
According to NEW AVENGERS editor Tom Brevoort, the opportunity to turn on his temporary allies won't prove too tempting to Parker.
"The Hood is always looking for ways to further his own ends, but this is principally about the Skrull invasion being bad for business," Brevoort notes.
And that business has boomed in recent months, with more cash flowing into the super villains' pockets as the Hood's schemes continue to pay off, which, Brevoort says, only validates Parker's reasons for bringing them together in the first place.
"The sort of individual, independent operations the super villain underworld had mostly been running hadn't been very effective," the editor rationalizes. "And especially with the Kingpin gone, there was a power vacuum that needed to be filled."
The decision to make the Hood a major player in the Marvel Universe came from Brevoort's love of the character since his initial creation.
"Like the Sentry and Marvel Boy, the Hood was a great addition to the Marvel Universe-which always thrives when you add new blood to it-who'd fallen by the
THE HOOD trade
wayside largely because every creator respected that the Hood had been created by Brian Vaughan, and didn't want to step on [his] toes," Brevoort explains.
That role will only continue to grow in the coming months, as the Secret Invasion editor-supreme promises much more of the Hood after the current storyline comes to an explosive conclusion:
"You'll be seeing a lot of him in NEW AVENGERS particularly over the coming year."
Follow the Hood into NEW AVENGERS #46 on October 22 and check out his ascent on Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!