Niels originally belonged to Dr. Nicholas Benson, a scientist at the Hammond Research Lab.[4]

After high school, Robbie Baldwin began working under Dr. Benson at his Hammond Labs. An accident occurred while the scientists were investigating an energy source originating from another dimension. Numerous energy bubbles shot out of the dimension and started to engulf Niels and Robbie granting them both kinetic superpowers. Robbie Baldwin decided to use his new found powers to become the superhero Speedball.[4]

The Speedball Revenge Squad was hired by the villainous Clyde in hopes of taking the feline's powers for himself. They were easily defeated by Speedball.[1]

Penance and P-Cat

After the tragic events of Stamford, Connecticut, Robbie Baldwin transformed from the happy-go-lucky Speedball to the regretful Penance. Penance explains to Squirrel Girl that Niels was now P-Cat, the Penitent Puss.[2]

Niels (Earth-616) P-cat

Penance showing Squirrel Girl P-Cat, the Penitent Puss

While recovering from Norman Osborn's brainwashing, Trauma was able to get a hold of Niels and gave him to an amnesic Penance for use as a therapy animal.[5]

Robert Baldwin (Earth-616) and Niels (Earth-616) 001

Niels reuniting with Robbie

When Speedball decided to join the staff of the Avengers Academy,[6] he and Niels moved into the Infinite Avengers Mansion.[7] Niels was narrowly rescued from the destruction of Infinite Avengers Mansion by Quicksilver.[3]

Niels was later seen by Jim Hammond being experimented on by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, who had studied his powers. Due to the experimentations having ended, and because of Niels' dangerousness, he was going to be euthanized.[8] In order to avoid Niels' death just because he was different, Jim Hammond decided to adopt him.[9]


Similar to Speedball, Hairball has kinetic powers due to accidental exposure to extra-dimensional energy during a lab experiment. His powers include:

  • Kinetic Energy Field: Niels has the super ability to create a kinetic field of unknown energy around himself, which absorbed all kinetic energy directed against him. This absorption could vary from resisting the effects of physical objects such as bricks and rocks to resisting that of energy and fire and even explosions. Within his kinetic field it was nearly impossible for him to be hurt, and he instead bounced harmlessly from object to object, with no loss or transference of momentum. When transformed he is surrounded by a display of multi-colored bubbles.[4]

  • Hairball has a love/hate relationship with Ms. Lion.

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