Real Name: Richard Hamilton
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: School boy
Affiliations: Nelson Lee, Stanley Waldo, Hooded Protectors
Enemies: Professor Zingrave
Known Relatives: None known
Aliases: The Phantom Protector; The Hooded Unknown
Base of Operations: St.Frank's College
First Appearance: "A Dead Man's Secret" The Halfpenny Marvel #46 (19th September 1894)
History: Richard Hamilton, better known as "Nipper", was the assistant of detective Nelson Lee. He was a street urchin whose "features, like his hands, were perfectly modeled" under his filth. Nipper was an acrobat who had memorized from somewhere the output of large numbers of poets, Latin, German and other; Nipper was bright and eager and a good person despite his desperate background. Lee had rescued Nipper from a life of crime on the streets of London, and Nipper repaid Lee by becoming his assistant and friend forever after. (There is another version of Nipper's background, one which shows Nipper as a "semi-millionaire" school boy at St. Ninian's, a public school, and that it was at St. Ninian's that Lee met Nipper.)
Nipper accompanied Lee on a large variety of outrageous adventures, including trips to underground worlds beneath the Antarctic and facing dinosaurs in Brazil - often they took friends of Nipper's from his school, St. Franks, with them on these expeditions (thus helping to establish a long tradition of child endangerment in comics). What qualifies Nipper and not his senior partner Nelson Lee for this list however was his adoption of a costumed identity in 1925.
Feeling the need to operate anonymously in his school, he donned a hood and became the Phantom Protector, also known as the Hooded Unknown. He employed the costume to terrorise the villains and instill confidence in his fellow pupils. This worked sufficiently well that a few years later, in 1931, Nipper repeated the idea, this time with other juniors of the school, as the Hooded Protectors.
Comments: Nipper was created by "Maxwell Scott," the pseudonym of Dr. John Staniforth. Nipper became the Hooded Unknown in Nelson Lee Library #507, 21st February 1925.
Thanks to Stephen Montgomery for providing me with information regarding this character.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
any other Hooded characters
any other Protectors or Phantoms
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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