- "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 had a tense childhood where he had an abusive mother who beat him and told him constantly that he was garbage. He was forced to hide the bruises from people and didn't talk about what was happening to him.
When Rick was 14, he had a crush on Alex Danvers. He used to go out of his way and carry her bag for her at school. After he met Alex's new adopted sister Kara, Rick then went and invited Alex to Swan Beach after school. He even invited Kara as well since Alex couldn't go without her. She then accepted his invitation and he was happy she did. While at the beach, he told Alex that he thought Kara was weird. He witnessed Kara get caught in a car explosion after she saved a mother and a child and came out of it without a scratch. While everyone else at school thought it was a freak adrenaline thing, he believed that it was something else.
One time when Alex had caught the chicken pox, he saw that Kara was eating lunch alone and went over to sit with her.
Eventually, Rick learned that his mother was hiding the identity of his father, Peter Thompson, and he had found him. His father then took custody of him and moved him away from Midvale. They struggled financially but his father had managed to take care of Rick and even found a way to pay for his son to go to college. But then his father was arrested for the murder of two people and Rick resolved to find a way to get his father out of prison.
Trying to free his father
Over the years, the incident with Kara and the car crash stayed with him. He then heard all about Supergirl and saw that she was in National City. He then knew that Kara Danvers had moved to National City and he remembered Kara from before she wore glasses and realized that she 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 and he didn't know where he would place his bet.
When his father was brought into his room, Rick was happy. However, when he saw that his father was trying to put too much effort in getting him to let Alex go, he realized that J'onn was trying to trick him. He remained resolute even when it seemed that they traced the signal from the camera. However, Rick calmly told them not to go there but Supergirl went and found that it was a trap. The timer went down to four hours and activated a trap which made it start to fill up with water.
Maggie then came to visit him and Rick told her that maybe he had been relying too much on getting Kara to do what he wanted. He admitted that she wouldn't do it as she was too much of a Girlscout 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 she could also free his father since as a cop she could just walk into the prison and get his father out.
Maggie went to the prison to get his father out when Kara arrived. She convinced Maggie that this wasn't the way before she started to talk to Peter. She told him what Rick had done and tried to convince him to help them find Alex because if she died then Rick would go to a place he could never get back from. Peter then told them both of where Rick would take her and they quickly found and freed her before she drowned. When Alex was brought back to the D.E.O. Rick was brought to see them. It was revealed that to protect Supergirl's identity and the D.E.O. Rick would have his memories wiped. Before it could happen, Alex went and gave him a hard punch at his face and asked J'onn to make sure he at least remembered that.
- Genius-level intellect/Expert investigator: In his quest to free his father, 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 Martian Manhunter. He is also shown to be very perceptive to peoples' nature. Remembering one of Kara's first heroic exploits as a child, he was able to easily deduce her identity as Supergirl. He could even see through J'onn's impersonation of his father despite having probed Peter's mind to perfectly mimic his habits.
- Master engineer/Computer hacker: 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. He can also easily hack into a different computer network, accessing its cameras and audio system. Rick was also able to block J'onn's telepathy from reading his mind, supposedly from some form of advanced tech.
- Master tactician: 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.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Richard "Dick" Malverne was an orphan at the Midvale Orphanage and a love interest to Supergirl.