Issue(s): Nova #19
Blackout controls "black light" which he can use either to make it dark, shoot energy blasts, or encase someone in a solid black object. He can even create a lightning storm by seeding clouds with his black light power (or at least he thinks he can; the storm could be a coincidence). This will later be explained as darkforce energy, the same stuff used by Darkstar, Shroud, and Cloak. But for now it's just black light. Blackout leaves Nova trapped in black light, assuming he'll suffocate, but Nova's emergency air supply kicks in, giving him enough time to free himself and get to school.
At school, Rich finds out from Ginger that his father said he was going to some sort of business meeting, even though Rich knows he's unemployed. And in a throwaway dialogue, two other students are talking to each other, and one says "So, I said, Barry, you're slowing down my action." and the other responds "You didn't really, Wally, did you?". For those of you even more deficient in DC stuff than me, that's a cutesy Flash reference.
Blackout is Marcus Daniels, a former criminal who agreed to be a guinea pig in return for getting out of jail early.
He was assigned to a Dr. Croit who was trying to harness "the power of the black star". The experiment goes wrong, of course, and Blackout got his powers. He returns to hide Croit in the darkforce dimension until he can expose Croit. Since the black light super-science will later be discredited, we can assume that this flashback, told from Daniels' point of view, isn't entirely accurate. Blackout will later be depicted as dysfunctional and crazy, but in this issue he's just the standard sort of super-villain crackpot. In the rematch with Nova...
...he winds up getting dispersed into the "light waves".
I like Blackout because he was part of the Masters of Evil during Roger Stern's Raid on Avenger's Mansion story. He's really a totally different character at this point, however.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Yeah, Blackout as written here could have easily just been forgotten. But Roger Stern will do a very good job of actually developing over the course of his run on the Avengers.
Posted by: Erik Beck | April 4, 2015 9:40 AM
Question: does anyone know where exactly the idea of darkforce was introduced?
Posted by: Piotr W | May 4, 2016 4:01 PM
According to research, Bizarre Adventures #27 is the first time "Darkforce" is used as a term.
Posted by: Ataru320 | May 4, 2016 4:22 PM
Checking... nope. The darkforce in Bizarre Adventures was generated by Darkstar in Champions 17, and she first used the term to describe her powers in Champions 12, written by Bill Mantlo and drawn by John Byrne. Prior to that, she referred to it as a darkfield. My guess would be that Byrne came up with the term.
Posted by: Andrew | May 4, 2016 7:53 PM
Thanks. And where was it first stated that the darkforce is an energy type that's used by various characters such as Shroud, Black Mamba etc.?
Posted by: Piotr W | May 5, 2016 12:41 AM
Um ... I think the first to make explicit connections was Stern when he brought out Captain Marvel from the Shroud hood:
Posted by: Midnighter | May 5, 2016 3:12 AM
I know the NW story you're referring to and it's actually the reason I'm asking :)
The story, IIRC, actually treats the idea that there is this "darkforce" various super-characters are using as a pre-existing knowledge. It's not the story to introduce the connection, it merely uses it. So, I'm wondering who made this connection first? Who revealed that the powers of Black Mamba, Shroud etc. are tied to the same energy type?
Posted by: Piotr W | May 5, 2016 3:39 PM
Avengers 238 established that Darkstar, Shroud and Blackout were all using the same Darkforce.
Posted by: Michael | May 5, 2016 7:54 PM
Wolfman goes into bonus rounds having Blackout say the name "Croit" over and over again. It also looks pretty obvious from the art that Infantino had Blackout killing Croit and his assistant. Wolfman seems to be awkwardly covering for it by having Blackout say that he banished Croit to the Dark Dimension until he could get dirt on him and then... bring him back so he can stand trial? Or something? It's all very convoluted and to be honest, "Croit" is always shown at such a distance that I don't think Infantino even intended for him to be that significant, just a nameless scientist (in fact, he's always standing next to another scientist guy, also rather indistinct).
Posted by: JP! | February 4, 2018 4:07 AM
Tom Palmer's inks look great on all this fine Infantino art. Blackout's costume might be another fairly obvious "cutesy Flash reference" hah;D
Posted by: Holt | March 17, 2018 2:29 PM
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