Dr. Richard "Hellhound" McKnight
Dr. Richard McKnight (Hellhound)
Portrayed By (Before Transformation) Neil Patrick Harris
Voice Actor (Transformed) Steven Blum
Gender Male
Date of Birth October 13, 1965
Age 45
Zodiac Sign Libra - Snake
Aliases Hellhound
Place of Birth Philadelphia, NY
Current Location New York City
Occupation Geneticist
Known Relatives See Below
Significant Other Solaris McKnight
Identity Secret
Known Abilities Physical Mutation
Alignment Lawful Good
First Appearance Rampage of the Hellhound
Alts Played by Raff Bruce, Eris & Hildegarde


Richard McKnight was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Robert and Angela McKnight. Robert was a prominent spinal surgeon and Angela was the head nurse at the local hospital. Both parents loved Richard and his brother Edward very much, but they were often too busy with work to spend much time with their children. The boys were often sent to their Uncle Chip’s house while their parents worked. The two spent much of their time playing with each other, not making too many friends in their private school. On the weekends Richard and Alex would go out fishing with their Uncle and Grandfather. Seeing the boys’ apparent affinity for the outdoors, their parents enrolled them in the Boy Scouts. When they got a little older they started hunting and camping with their Uncle.

Richard continued with the Scouts until he graduated Highschool, after which time he found himself slightly too busy with his college work to interact heavily with the organization. He still volunteered with the organization on occasion and continued to go on semi-annual hunting and camping trips with his family. Though Richard and Edward tried several times, they were never able to convince either parent to join them in their excursions.

Richard studied general biology during the early parts of his college career. His parents strongly urged him to take up nursing and move into a medical field, but he was far more interested in laboratory work, eventually specializing his training in genetics and biological engineering.

Richard had a few friends in college. He was active in human rights and environmental organizations on campus. He also attended weekly table-top gaming get-togethers with a regular group of students. One of these students was Solaris Black, a zoology student two years behind Richard. The two fell in love and began dating half way through Richard’s Junior year.

After graduating college, Richard moved on to attain his Masters and eventually his PHD. Richard and Solaris were married after she graduated college. She got her masters, but after she became pregnant with Alexandria she took a break from schooling. Richard worked in the labs of the colleges as he attained his degrees, working as a teaching assistant and running lab courses for underclassmen. He began independently researching the mutant phenomenon, being fascinated by the abilities displayed by this newly evolved human group. Richard theorized that mutations could be induced in humans lacking the X-Gene through genetic manipulation. He wrote an extensive paper on the subject and graduated with his PHD when he was 30.

Richard was approached by a company known as Hydra shortly before he graduated. They offered him a laboratory, a team of scientists, and a sizeable grant if he agreed to do research for them in their facility. He studied human and mutant DNA, hoping that if abilities such as cellular regeneration could be replicated, then he could make life easier for millions of people. Richard found that finding viable samples of mutant DNA was no easy task. He began to research animal DNA in an attempt to splice specific genetic traits into the codes of other animals.

After some years of research, Richard developed a serum which could be injected into rodents and trigger an extreme transformation. The animals that were exposed to the serum took on chimeric appearances and began to display traits and abilities not typical to their species. An unfortunate side effect of the serum was that the animals displayed extreme aggression toward other animals. Richard developed a counter-serum which acted as a genetic inhibitor. The second serum could be used to quell the rage in the mutates, but they needed to be re-injected every 24 hours in order to maintain a non-aggressive state.

Richard had become obsessed with his work. He spent countless hours locked away in his laboratories working. Solaris eventually grew weary of his reclusiveness and separated from him. She moved out to live with her parents and took Alexandria with her. Alexandria would spend the weekends with her father and the weeks with her mother.

When Alexandria turned 12 she underwent a violent mutation in which her skin developed nematophores. Direct skin contact with the girl was similar to touching that part of your body against the tentacles of a jellyfish. Deciding that this was no way for his child to live her life, Richard immediately changed his research focus to trying to suppress undesired mutations. The company seemed not to mind this additional research being done, and they agreed to fund Richard’s new project as long as he agreed to oversee the synthetic mutation research as well.

After a few years Dr. McKnight believed that he had found a suitable inhibitor for mutations. The serum needed to be continually injected into mutated rodents in order to suppress the mutation, but it appeared to work with no ill side effects. Richard took his findings to the head of the company and asked to begin human testing. Feeling that the serum held too much of a potential risk, the company denied his request.

Desperate to cure his daughter of her affliction, yet unwilling to allow her to be the first recipient of a largely untested drug, Richard decided that he would use himself as the subject. He planned to inject himself with the mutation serum and then have his assistant inject him with the inhibitor. Richard injected himself with the mutagenic serum and was transformed into a monstrous creature. Having underestimated the doctor’s strength increase, the creature broke free of his restraints and destroyed the laboratory and much of the research. Shortly afterward it escaped into the streets of the city.

The head of Hydra found out what happened with Richard and set about a plan to recapture the doctor. He sends out his agents and orders them to capture the creature if possible, but if it seemed too difficult a task then Richard is to be killed. After the creature is witnessed by civilians and shows up on the news, HYDRA decides to issue a "Kill on Sight" order for Richard.

Having witnessed the transformation and having over-heard her boss speaking, Richard’s lab assistant Emily decided to take action. She managed to contact Spider-Woman of the Avengers. Emily explained what truly took place and how the serums that were used work. It seems that all samples and notes on the mutant inhibitor were destroyed, but the aggression inhibitor and notes were all largely undamaged. This allows Emily to equip the heroine with a way to stop Richard without killing him.

The Avengers managed to hunt down and dart Richard, returning him to his usual state of mind. Richard found himself to be terrifying and refuses to return to his family. Hearing that the company had attempted to have him killed, he decides to separate himself from them. Richard took the remaining serums and research and asked the Avengers if they would detain him for a while. He wanted to be sure that the aggression inhibitor will work properly before going out into the outside world.


Date Log Title Cast Summary
August 30 Rampage of the Hellhound Hellhound & Spider Woman Hellhound goes on a rampage in the subway. Spider Woman Manages to return him to his proper state of mind with the help of his lab assistant.

Friends & Family

Name Race Relation Notes
Robert McKnight Human Richard's Father Passed away from a heart attack when Richard was 37.
Angela McKnight Human Richard’s Mother Lives alone since her husband died of cancer 7 years ago. She believes that Richard was killed in an accident at the lab (Post Mutation)
Chip McKnight Human Richard's Uncle Used to take Richard and Alex hunting and camping. He died in a car accident when Richard was 33.
Edward McKnight Human Richard’s Brother Lives in the Bronx working at a hospital. He believes that Richard was killed in an accident at the lab (Post Mutation).
Solaris McKnight Human Richard’s Ex-Wife She fell out of love with her husband, but came back to him for support when Alexandria’s abilities manifested. She was informed that Richard was killed in a lab accident (Post Mutation).
Alexandria McKnight Mutant Richard’s Daughter She has a mutant ability which prevents her from touching others without injuring them. She was told that her father was killed, but she keeps having dreams that he is alive and coming to save her.
Emily Stone Human Richard's Lab Assistant She contacted the Avengers and assists them in finding a way to calm and capture Richard after his initial transformation.
HYDRA Corporation Richard's Former Employer Controlled a genetics company which employed Richard. When his experiments went wrong they attempted to have the man killed. Now that he is back in control of his body, they are trying to reclaim him. They state that he is HYDRA property and would like to reverse engineer him in an attempt to create a new race of super-soldiers.


Richard is a very kind and soft-spoken man. He is always willing to help people and feels that he has a calling to save mankind. He refuses to do research unless he can see ways in which it will directly benefit mankind. After transforming, Richard withdrew a bit into himself. Though it may look as though he has become shy, it is actually that he is trying to give people enough personal space that they do not feel threatened.

When Hellhound takes over, Richard is lost to the feral mind. He focuses purely by instinct and he can be severely aggressive. He will do whatever the animal mind wants to do.


Body - Hellhound’s body is a chimera of sorts, appearing to be comprised of several animal parts. Because he does not resemble any specific animal in particular, most people who see him may describe him as ‘demonic’ in appearance.

Physical Abilities - The morphology of Hellhound’s legs and back allows him to move just as easily on two or four legs, but aside from this he is no more agile than a normal human being. His claws improve his traction and allow him to run about as fast as a dog while on all fours (about 20mph). Running on all fours is slightly easier for him, while movement on two legs causes him to have a lumbering gate. He is currently capable of lifting 300 pounds.

Claws - Hellhound possesses non-retractable claws on his hands similar to a dog’s claws. If he were to swipe at a person it would scratch them, but the claws are ineffective for slashing or climbing trees.

Teeth - Hellhound carries a sharp set of teeth and possesses a bite pressure of about 1000 psi (For reference: Human = approx 150 psi , Hyena = approx 3000 psi). Despite the morphology of his jaw, Hellhound is capable of human speech. He is also capable of many animalistic sounds such as growls and yelps.

Ears - Hellhound’s enormous ears allow him to pick up minute sounds, and his ability to swivel his ears allows him to pinpoint sounds more accurately and to calculate where the sound is being emitted from. In complete silence, Hellhound would be able to hear a pin drop from a distance of 100 feet if his ears were erect and pointed in that direction. He is able to hear the breathing and heartbeat of people around him, and can detect changes which may indicate a person’s degree of anxiety.

Nose - Hellhound’s sense of smell while in beast form is much better than a human’s, but not quite as strong as an animal‘s. He can easily distinguish species by odor and is capable of tracking an individual if they left a strong enough scent.

Eyes - Hellhound’s eyes contain tapetum lucidum which allow him to see in areas of very low light. He is able to see with small amounts of light, but cannot see in total darkness. The tapedum lucidum cause his eyes to shine or glow in the darkness much like a cat‘s eyes. As a result of this morphology, Hellhound is unable to detect red light and cannot distinguish red or orange objects. Also, being out in bright light causes him some discomfort. He cannot go outside on a sunny day without eye protection. His visual acuity is no better than a normal human with perfect vision.

Animal Communication - Hellhound is capable of intrinsically understanding the pheromone messages and body language of mammalian animals. He will often pick up on these messages subconsciously and his body may react automatically, such as posturing his body to respond to the threatening stance of a dog.


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When Hellhound goes feral-minded, he is unable to control himself. He acts like a carnivorous animal and will not hesitate to attack someone that looks like a prey item to him.


Physical Descriptions

Hellhound -

A large creature stands before you. The being is tall and extremely thin. Its body is covered in black fur, except for the insides of its ears, the tuft of its tail, and the pads on its feet, which are dark green in color. Its face resembles that of a large carnivorous mammal, like that of a dog or hyena. Its eyes have a bright green ring surrounding a large black pupil, they emit a faint glow in the darkness. The ears are immense and resemble those of a rabbit or kangaroo, though the ears appear disproportionately large compared to the size of the creature's head. Its hands and feet have short, dulled claws like those of a dog, and its hind feet appear lengthened at the heel so that the creature walks on its toes. It possesses a tail with a tuft of fur at the end, like that of a lion but not quite as slender.


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