Photos from the set of Marvel's upcoming Disney+ series Ironheart reveal that Anthony Ramos will bring Parker Robbins, a.k.a. The Hood to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Hood doesn't have the pop culture profile of such iconic Marvel Comics villains as Doctor Doom, Magneto, or even Kang the Conqueror. However, for a time in the early 2000s, he was one of the Avengers' greatest foes and a unique enemy among Earth's Mightiest Heroes' gallery of rogues. If you're wondering why Marvel fans are abuzz about The Hood's debut in Ironheart, let us walk you through the history of Parker Robbins.
Brain K. Vaughan (co-creator of Runaways), Kyle Hotz, and Eric Powell created The Hood for Marvel Comics. Parker Robbins first appeared in The Hood miniseries, published under Marvel's MAX Comics adults-only imprint in 2002. The series sought to present Parker as a much grayer, more conflicted villain than the typical Marvel villain and look at what happens when a common criminal such as this gains some of the superpowers that are common in the Marvel Universe.
Parker's father worked with the Kingpin and witnessed a superhero vs. supervillain battle as a child left a mark on his psyche. As he grew older, he became a mix of virtue and vice. He'd commit crimes to care for and support his hospitalized mother and pregnant girlfriend, but lie about where the money came from and continue to solicit sex workers in secret.
Parker's fate changes when he encounters a demon (later retconned to be Doctor Strange's nemesis Dormammu in disguise) during one of his jobs. He kills it and steals a magic cloak and boots. The cloak lets him turn invisible while the boots allow him to walk on air. The authorities dub the unidentified criminal "The Hood," and Parker uses his new abilities to double-cross allies, commit crimes, and evade capture.
After the original miniseries, The Hood languished in obscurity for years, appearing only in the 2006 miniseries Beyond!, which attempted to push Parker in the direction of becoming an antihero. It didn't stick.
Brian Michael Bendis, the writer who ran Marvel's Avengers franchise for years after giving it a soft reboot with Avengers: Disassembled and New Avengers, saw the potential in The Hood. Bendis reintroduced The Hood in his Avengers comics. With the heroes distracted fighting each other during Civil War, and Wilson Fisk out of the picture at the time, The Hood buillt himself a criminal empire, uniting various underworld factions, and becoming the new Kingpin of Crime. His profile would continue to rise until he eventually became part of The Cabal, the Illuminati's villainous counterparts, during Norman Osborn's "Dark Reign."
This would prove to be the apex of Parker's villainous rise. Since Norman's fall and the end of the "Dark Reign" era in Siege, The Hood has made plays for the Infinity Stones and formed a new, villainous Illuminati. However, he's mostly been competing for prominence in the underworld, unable to rebuild the criminal empire he once controlled after Kingpin's return, and been a villain for street-level heroes ranging from Hawkeye, to Punisher, to Black Cat, to Foolkiller. It'll be interesting to see if his star rises again after appearing on Disney+ in Ironheart.
Anthony Ramos plays The Hood in Ironheart. The series is expected to debut on Disney+ in 2023.