Woody (Hawk-Owl sidekick) (Ultimate Marvel Comics)


(Hank Kipple)


*This* Woody is the sidekick of Hawk-Owl, a Batman expy  in the Marvel Ultimate Comics universe. Which logically makes him a Robin expy – one on the Jason Todd end of things.

He appeared in 2002/2003 story arcs. But with the Ultimate universe destroyed, it’s possible he and his mentor will never be seen again.


  • Real Name: Hank Kipple.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Jack Danner (adoptive father).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Chicago.
  • Height: 4’11’‘ Weight: 110 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Sandy blond


Powers and Abilities

Woody is very agile, and an excellent climber and acrobat. He is knowledgeable about electronics and skilled at lock picking. He has an uncanny rapport with Ralph, one of the many owls who congregate around the Owl’s Nest.

After receiving training from Hawk-Owl, Woody patrols around Chicago using a grappling line. For a kid he packs a surprisingly strong punch.


Orphaned at birth, Hank Kipple was raised in St. Frederick’s orphanage in Chicago by Father Joe. Bright, but cynical, Hank eventually concluded he had become too old to be adopted and covered his pain with biting sarcasm.

Woody (Hank Kipple) barges in

One night, when liquor store robbers decided to use the orphanage as a hideout, and took the children hostage, Hank helped the vigilante Hawk-Owl subdue the criminals. The next day, much to his surprise and suspicion, millionaire Jack Danner adopted Hank, and the boy moved into Danner Manor.

Hank missed St. Frederick’s and initially treated Jack and his associates with contempt. He was unwilling to risk being hurt by letting someone into his life after being alone for so long.

He started classes at Hayman Street High School, run by Principal Morgan Jones, an old friend of Danner’s; despite his protests. Hank was dropped off by limousine the first day, inevitably attracting bullying.

I shall become… a hawk-owl

Hank soon discovered Danner’s hidden “Owl’s Nest” base. Thus, he learned that Danner was Hawk-Owl. Hank demanded to be returned to the orphanage, threatening to reveal Jack’s secret if he was not, but was stunned when Danner revealed he wanted Hank to become his sidekick, “Woody”.


The next day, at school, Jack saw Hank lash out at a bully and accidentally knock out Principal Jones. The educator, whose private life had been disintegrating, seemed to snap. As a result, he was taken away in an ambulance ranting like a maniac. On the way home, Danner explained he truly wanted to be Hank’s father, and offered to quit as Hawk-Owl to prove he was serious.

Convinced Danner’s offer was genuine, Hank finally began to accept Jack.


The Ultimates sought to draft Hawk-Owl into their group. Captain America impressed Hank as a “real super hero”. But Jack disliked the group’s arrogance and seemed jealous of Hank’s hero worship of Captain America. Hawk-Owl started a fight with him, which Thor soon ended. Captain America then threatened to arrest Hawk-Owl, killing Hank’s hero worship.


Now insane, Principal Jones soon killed his wife and her lover, and Hank felt responsible. When the Principal and his equally insane sidekick, Ms. Willow, invaded class the next day, Hank slipped out. He tried to don the Woody costume prepared by Danner. But Jack stopped him, feeling Hank was not ready, and went alone. Hawk-Owl was captured, tortured and left comatose.

Tolliver, Danner’s butler, a man whom Hank had come to respect, sought revenge and went missing. Three days later, Hank located the Principal. He too set out to rescue Tolliver as Woody. Confronting the Principal and his cohorts, Woody was overpowered, but saved by arrival of an awakened Hawk-Owl.

With the Principal defeated, and after much debate, Hawk-Owl began to train Woody. Thus, Hank soon patrolled the streets of Chicago with him.


Woody wears a brown woodpecker eye-mask with lenses, a brown boots, gloves and kneepads and padded body armor in brown and metal. He also wears an utility belt, which among other things, contains his swing-line. On his chest is an owl symbol.


Hank Kipple is a disillusioned youth. He wants to belong to something and he wants to be left alone. He was raised an orphan and retained no larger goals in life. Whenever he was sulking, he would sit on the roof.

Woody (Hank Kipple) followed by Hawk-Owl

However, when he met Jack Danner, a truly free spirit, he despised the same sense of freedom that he himself was longing for. Initially, he constantly clashed with Jack, but, eventually, he realized that his adoptive father and he were more than a little alike.

He fights crime to put back some order in the world, order that has been denied him most of his life, and for the grand adventures it offers. He started to enjoy the thrill of the hunt in the night, to truly feel alive for the first time in his life, and finally enjoyed some happiness. Fighting crime as the partner of Hawk-Owl is liberating.

Hank is willful and clever. He possesses a caustic wit and has no respect at all for authority. His somewhat bitter view of life is evident in almost every one of Hank’s replies, which are sarcastic comments. Of course, he is brash and assertive, almost to the point of obnoxiousness.

His angry young man routine works in most situations, but when faced with the strong personalities in the Danner household he had finally met equals.


“Your opinion. Everybody’s got one. Like buttcracks.”

“Yeah, I think ol‘ God was feeling pretty damn lazy when he came up with my lousy, stinkin’, crummy life.”

“Terrific. Because as orphans living in a dilapidated, two hundred year old church in the ghetto, you can imagine we just get allll the breaks.”

(Discovering the Owl’s Nest) “So this is that weirdo super hero’s crash, huh ? It’s actually kinda interesting.”

“Excuse me — just curious – exactly how screwed up and immature are you people ? I just wanna make sure that every drop of patriotism, idealism, and conception of the word ‘hero’ is totally crushed before you guys leave.”

“Name’s Woody. But just think of me as a student with a huge attitude problem.”

DC Universe History

Naturally, Hawk-Owl and Woody are copies of Batman and Robin. In a DCU setting one might as well use the originals, unless Hawk-Owl and Woody instead are active in another time era. They could be relatively unknown predecessors of the DCU team, either in Gotham City or in Chicago (like in the Ultimate Universe).

This is very possible since in the final scene the duo is seen trying to stop the robbing and murder of two parents with a kid going home from the ’Mask of Zorro’ movie.

But it might be better to have Hawk-Owl be a son, or grandson of Dick Grayson, the original Robin, and so being active at a future date. Perhaps right before a third world war, setting up a back-story for the world of Hex or Kamandi.

In that case, Woody would be an orphan in that time as well. The Batman of 2050 found The Owl’s Nest, not the Batcave.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 05 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 04 Occupation: Vigilante
Inf: 06 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 019 HP: 035

Acrobatics: 06, Animal Handling (Owls): 05, Gadgetry (Identify Gadget): 04, Martial Arts: 04, Thief (Locks and safes, Stealth): 05

Pet (Ralph the Owl), Rich Friend (Hawk-Owl).

Hawk-Owl (High).

Secret Identity.

Grappling hook & line with extra long rope [BODY 07 STR 04, AV 04, Snare: 04, R#2, Note: Used for most swing-lining].

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen.

Source of Character: Ultimate Adventures #1-6, Marvel 2002.

Helper(s): OHOTMU Ultimate Spider-Man & Fantastic Four 2005 (History).