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Blackout (Nova and Avengers enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Blackout

(Marcus Daniels)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

*This* Blackout is Marcus Daniel, a minor Marvel Comics super-villain who first appeared in 1978. But he popped up in Nova, a deliberately retro book, so the design feels older.

Honestly he never amounted to much, but there’s something about him that works – the darkness powers, the Silver Age-ish costume, the damaged mental state, the connection with the Darkforce…


Background

  • Real Name: Marcus Daniels
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Masters of Evil
  • Base Of Operations: New York
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 180 lbs
  • Eyes: Grey Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Blackout is able to open portals into the Darkforce  Dimension , and can control the Darkforce matter which comes out of it, which he can use to produce a variety of effects. He can:

  • form it into solid objects
  • project it as blasts of energy
  • create black disks which let him walk through the air
  • use it as a cloud of darkness
  • use the coldness of it to create ice around targets
  • lace it into clouds, allowing him to control the weather

The portals also allow him access to the Darkforce Dimension. This allows him to travel vast distances (such as from the Earth to the Moon), or to banish his enemies there.

When he first appeared, he believed his powers to be some form of light control. Thus, when he banished people to the Darkforce Dimension he believed he was turning them into black light, their atoms merging with the colour spectrum. At this point his energy blasts could be made invisible.


History

There have been two differing accounts of the events that gave Daniels his powers. Both were related by Daniels, but given his deteriorating mental state the truth could be one of these, parts of each, or neither. What is known is that Marcus Daniels was a laboratory assistant to physicist Dr. Abner Croit.

First account

The first origin has it that Croit was working on a device to harness the power of a black star. When the honest Daniels discovered Croit was defrauding his government backers, he went straight to the police.

Unfortunately Croit managed to frame Daniels. Daniels later claimed that Croit had bribed the DA and the judge, but this was during his paranoid period, so this was unsubstantiated. The assistant was threatened with prison if he didn’t act as a guinea pig for Croit’s experiments. Daniels reluctantly agreed.

Exposure to energies from the black star changed Daniels. For three days he had to remain isolated, the energies proving dangerous to anyone around him. Unwilling to let Croit control his power, Daniels fled the laboratory.

Second account

The second origin has Croit as a kindly man who took pity on the unfortunate Daniels. He offered him a job as an assistant, and always helped him out of troubles with the law.

Blackout (Marcus Daniels) body shot

In this origin Croit was building an experimental device to try using another dimension as a power source. The dimension in question was the Darkforce Dimension. However, a lab accident empowered Daniels as a conduit to this dimension.

Croit worried about the damage this could do to Daniels, and tried to cure him. But Daniels decided he liked his newfound power. Fed up with what he saw as Croit’s condescension, fled.

Blackout

Whatever the truth, Daniels eventually realized his powers were becoming uncontrollable. Adopting the Blackout identity, he returned to confront Croit. His goal was to take the stabilizer which would allow him to control the energies.

On his way to Croit’s laboratory he spotted Nova flying over Manhattan. In his growing paranoia, Daniels believed the hero was searching for him. He attacked Nova, but, realising his error, left him in a block of sticky darkforce, continuing on to Croit’s laboratory.

Breaking into the lab, he retrieved the stabilizer and confronted Croit and his new assistant. He merged their atoms with the colour spectrum (actually banishing them to the Darkforce Dimension). He then used his now-controlled powers to create unnaturally harsh weather over New York.

Blackout was discovered by Nova, and the two fought again. When the stabilizer was destroyed in the battle, Blackout again lost control of his powers, and found himself following Croit.

Moonstone

The stabilizer ended up at Project: PEGASUS. Vibrations from an earthquake reactivated the stabilizer. Then the proximity of Captain Marvel’s energy form passing nearby triggered it, allowing Blackout to return. Fellow prisoner, Moonstone, convinced him to free her, and other villains imprisoned there, Electro and Rhino.

They were soon confronted by the Avengers and Spider-Man. After causing damage to the Project’s nuclear reactor, Blackout and Moonstone escaped while the Avengers were busy averting a meltdown.

Moonstone took advantage of their freedom to work her way into Daniels’ confidence. She offered him therapy to overcome his problems, but actually manipulated him to be reliant on her. But they were soon found by the Avengers. When Moonstone ordered Blackout to trap the Avengers within the Darkforce Dimension, he instead trapped himself and Moonstone.

The pair next appeared on the Moon, where she was hoping to find another of the stones which empowered her. They hadn’t expected to find it inhabited, so were surprised to find the Inhumans’ city. The Inhumans were equally surprised when a cloud of darkness (which provided the pair oxygen, as well as concealing them) appeared near their home.

Unable to penetrate the cloud, the Inhumans sought aid from Dazzler. Working with Black Bolt, Dazzler managed to pierce Blackout’s darkness. Blackout and Moonstone fought back but were defeated, and returned to the custody of Project: PEGASUS.

Masters of Evil

When Moonstone was recruited into Zemo’s Masters of Evil, she asked for Blackout to also be released. She claimed that he could be instrumental in countering Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), the most powerful of the current line-up of Avengers.

Blackout (Marcus Daniels) and Moonstone

Zemo agreed, freeing Blackout. However, he was justifiably concerned about Moonstone being a threat to his leadership. Thus, he had the Fixer invent a device that made Blackout believe everything Zemo told him.

They invaded and took control of Avengers Mansion, and Blackout engulfed it in a block of solid darkforce. When the Avengers eventually retook it, Zemo ordered Blackout to send the entire mansion to the Darkforce Dimension. But Doctor Druid used his psychic abilities to help Blackout fend off Zemo’s control.

However the strain was too much, and Blackout suffered a massive brain hemorrhage.

Thunderbolts

Blackout’s body was kept alive by the authorities. Years later, when Zemo worked with the Commission on Superhuman Activities, he was given Blackout. The goal was to allow him to recover Atlas’ younger brother, the Smuggler, from the Darkforce Dimension, where he’d been stranded.

Zemo used the artificially animated Blackout when his group confronted the Thunderbolts over the life of their member, Photon. His disposition following this, and whether he is actually dead, in uncertain, but he probably returned to CSA custody.


Personality

Originally either an honest, law-abiding, citizen, or a bitter, resentful, thug. But in either case, the energies that gave him his powers also affected his mind. He became increasingly paranoid.

After Moonstone worked to make him more reliant on her, he eventually became practically catatonic, reacting only to her commands, or to Zemo’s, once he gained control of Blackout. That lasted until his mind was freed from their control by Doctor Druid. At this point he reverted to his highly paranoid mindset, even rejecting Druid’s suggestions.


Quotes

“Why were you spying on me ? Were you sent to stop Blackout before I’ve accomplished my goals ?”

“The black star power you shot into me is still too powerful. If I don’t siphon some of it off with your stabilizer — if I can’t correct my body’s metabolism — the black light pulsations will rip me apart ! And my atoms will merge with the light spectrum ! I’ll be lost in the rainbow — forever ! But I have the stabilizer — and I can focus my excess energy into Manhattan — and cripple this city… making it ripe for plunder — while saving my life at the same time. A double coup, Croit. A double victory for Marcus Daniels — for Blackout !”

“You tried to stop me before. Wanted me locked away, like all the rest ! Now you’ll pay, yes !”

“Get away from me ! Get away ! You’re not my friend… you’re like all the others who imprisoned me ! You… you imprisoned my mind ! Yes ! But no more. No more !!”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Blackout

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Criminal ; former lab assistant
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 012 HP: 030

Powers:
Darkness: 10, Dimensional Travel: 08, Energy Blast: 10, Flight: 06, Force Manipulation: 16, Ice Production: 10, Teleportation: 21, Weather Control: 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All other powers are Contingent on Dimensional Travel (-1)
  • Dimensional Travel only allows travel to the Darkforce Dimension (-1)
  • Weather Control is Minor Marginal (-1)

Skills:
None

Advantages:
None

Connections:
Masters of Evil (Low)

Drawbacks:
CPI (Partially catatonic), SPI (Paranoia)


Previous stats

Prior to joining the Masters of Evil his only drawback was his SPI. Before becoming Blackout, he may have had Scientist: 02 (see History).[/special]

By Gareth Lewis

Source of Character: Marvel Comics

Helper(s): marvunapp.com , Sébastien Andrivet

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