- "I saw Kara Danvers do something amazing, and it stayed with me. I knew that Kara was living in National City and then Supergirl showed up in National City; I put two and two together. I knew it was you."
- —Rick Malverne[src]
Rick Malverne was born and raised in Midvale. He had a difficult childhood with an abusive mother who constantly beat him and berated him as garbage. Rick was forced to hide his bruises from people and couldn't talk about what was happening to him.
One day, Rick met Alex's newly-adopted sister, Kara Danvers. He invited both girls to Swan Beach after school, which Alex accepted. While at the beach, Rick was talking with Alex when he noticed Kara staring at some flying birds, believing her to be "weird". Rick later witnessed Kara rescuing a mother and a child from a crashed car and get caught in the subsequent explosion, which she came out of without a scratch. While everyone else at school believed this to be a heroic act fueled by luck and an adrenaline rush, Rick remained suspicious, believing it was something else, and kept a close eye on Kara in the following years.
One day, when Alex was homesick with chicken pox, Rick saw that Kara was eating lunch alone and went over to sit with her to cheer her up.
Rick eventually learned that his mother was hiding the identity of his father, Peter Thompson, and worked to find him. Peter then took custody of Rick and moved his son away from his abusive home life in Midvale. They struggled financially, but Peter managed to provide for Rick and even pay for his son's college tuition.
Trying to free his father
Over the years, the incident with Kara and the car crash stayed with him. Rick then heard all about Supergirl and saw that she was in National City. Knowing that Kara had moved to National City and remembering her from before she wore glasses, Rick realized that Kara was Supergirl. He then realized that he could use this information to rescue his father and went to National City to watch both Kara and Alex. He spent a year learning all he could about the Danvers sisters and came up with a way to rescue his father. He learned all about Kara and her powers, along with her friendship with the Martian Manhunter, about Alex and her relationship with Maggie Sawyer.
When he felt he was ready, Rick laid in wait outside Maggie's apartment and took Alex prisoner. He contacted Kara through Alex's phone and told her that he had Alex and she would only be safe if she broke his father out of prison within the next 36 hours. He also told her that he knew that she was Supergirl. Eventually, Winn Schott was able to identify who he was and Kara went to his home to look for Alex. He surprised her with surveillance footage of Alex, trapped in a room but Rick told Kara that he wouldn't tell her where she was unless she rescued his father.
Kara brought Rick to the D.E.O. but J'onn was unable to read his mind. Kara and Maggie went to talk with him and he told Kara all about how he learned that Kara was Supergirl. When Kara asked what happened to him, he angrily told her about his painful childhood and the love he had for his father. He then told Kara to go and rescue his father with only 24 hours left but Kara angrily grabbed at him but Maggie talked her down. Rick then told them both that it was now a matter of which of them loved Alex more, musing he didn't know where he would place his bet.
Later, Rick was overjoyed when Peter was supposedly brought into the room. However, when he saw that his father was trying to put too much effort in getting him to let Alex go, Rick realized that J'onn was trying to trick him. He remained resolute, even when it seemed that they traced the signal from the camera. Rick calmly told Kara not to pursue this lead, but she ignored him. Indeed, Kara realized it was a trap that triggered a fail-safe, causing the timer to go down to four hours and Alex's prison to begin filling up with water, which would completely fill once the timer ended.
Maggie then came to question him. Rick expressed that maybe he had been relying too much on getting Kara to do what he wanted. He admitted that Kara wouldn't do it as she was too much of a "Girl Scout", but he could see that Maggie would do what it takes to get Alex back as he had seen how much they love each other from when he had been watching them. Rick knew that Maggie could also free his father since as a cop, she could just walk into the prison and get Peter out.
Maggie went to Albatross Bay to break Peter out. However, Kara arrived and convinced Peter to help them find Alex to spare his son from committing murder. When Alex was rescued brought back to the D.E.O., Rick was brought to see them. He was impressed upon realizing Alex survived his trap long enough to be found. J'onn explained that to protect Supergirl's identity and the D.E.O., Rick would have his memories wiped. Alex then delivered a hard punch at Rick's face, breaking his nose, and asked J'onn to make sure he at least remembered that.
- Genius-level intellect/Master tactician/Expert investigator: In his quest to free his father, Peter Thompson, Rick proved to be very methodical and precise in his preparations. Showing considerable patience and resourcefulness, he learned considerable amounts of information about the D.E.O. and its agents, including J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter. He is also shown to be very perceptive to his surrounding nature. Remembering one of Kara Danvers' first heroic exploits as a teenager, he was able to easily deduce her identity as Supergirl. He could even see through J'onn's impersonation of his father, despite J'onn having probed Peter's mind to perfectly mimic his habits. Rick is very crafty and problematic. Anticipating various actions and countermeasures his enemies may take, he is able to easily use the enemies' own plans against them.
- Expert manipulator: Rick was determined to spur either Kara or Maggie Sawyer into freeing his father in exchange for Alex Danvers' life. After studying the two women's psyches, Rick ultimately succeeded in persuading Maggie, a trained police detective, to break Peter out of prison until Kara stopped her.
- Expert engineer/Computer specialist: Rick is shown to be very efficient with machinery in various forms. He designed a sophisticated trap for Alex to drown in and likewise was able to reroute a wireless signal to a different location. Rick also hacked into a different computer network to cover his bases, accessing its cameras and audio system.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Richard "Dick" Malverne was an orphan at the Midvale Orphanage and a love interest to Supergirl.