Boy Fearless, a.k.a. Derrick Nickels, was the son of Jack Nickels, an aspiring Olympian. Jack had trained for the Olympics his entire life, and was expected to be the first black American in history to win gold in Judo. However, in the final match against Takeo Oni, his arm was dislocated after a brutal throw and he was forced to tap out when Takeo got him in a hold. A silver medal wasn’t enough for his sponsors. He lost his endorsements, and due to his injury never healing properly, he was forced to give up judo. He picked up odd jobs, but was barely able to keep a roof over his family’s head.
Derrick had been training in judo since he could walk, in order to follow in his father’s footsteps. When he saw what had happened to his father, it instilled in him a terrible fear of failure. He declared himself “Boy Fearless,” and set out to confront danger wherever it might be, to prove he was not afraid. To steel himself psychologically when confronting his fears, he would tie his father’s obi (the belt of the judo uniform) around his waist. The comforting pressure acted like a security blanket, reminding him of his father’s protection. Later, he began to tie straps around his arms and legs as well, as a primitive sort of superhero uniform.
Mother Hen approached Boy Fearless after a video of him defeating a gang of schoolyard bullies went viral on the net. She offered to make him a real superhero, with gadgets- like a retractable helmet, and a retractable metal gauntlet. He accepted her offer, on the condition that she provided him with an allowance that he could use to support his family.
Personality/Motivation: Although his codename is Boy Fearless, Derrick is terrified of failing. This fear drives everything he does. Every time he enters a fight, he secretly wonders if he will finally lose, like his father did. He reacts against this fear by flinging himself into dangerous situations. Despite this reckless approach, his years of judo training have made him an excellent strategist, able to think calmly under pressure. Being the leader of a teen superhero team makes him giddy with excitement, but he struggles to hide it and act mature beyond his years.