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Context

A very minor, jobberWrestling slang for a wrestler who almost always loses DC Comics villain.

He’s chiefly notable for having appeared in Booster Gold #1 (1986). Which I’m sure Booster would insist is a valuable collectible.

He’s very simple to use in a story. Which is good.

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Background

  • Real Name: Richard “Dick” Hertz.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Former employee of the 1,000 ; former Suicide Squad operative.
  • Base Of Operations: Formerly Metropolis ; formerly the Dark Side Bar in Queens, New York City ; Belle Reve prison.
  • Height: 6’1” (1.85m) Weight: 275 lbs. (125 Kg.)
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black.

Powers and Abilities

Blackguard is big and strong, with adequate close combat skills.

He can generate solid energy to create a mace, hammer or flail in one hand – and a shield in the other. Those can withstand and deliver superhuman blows, but are electrically conductive.

Blackguard also wears a suit of high-tech, bulky body armour. Its exoskeleton  greatly amplifies his strength – to “Class 25” or so.

King Faraday once stated that the power stemmed from the armour and not the man. This contradicts previous accounts. Perhaps he meant that the armour helps with the stability of the solid energy construct ? Or some other No-Prize HypothesisA made-up explanation to plug a plot hole.

Blackguard (DC Comics villain) with energy hammer and shield

The Blackguard armour during the late 2000s.

History (part 1)

During the 1980s Mr. Hertz was hired, empowered and outfitted by the conspiracy called The 1,000.

Presumably, he already had a criminal career as a thug before they hired him.

In 1986, Blackguard accompanied troops to steal satellite tech from S.T.A.R. Labs. Howbeit, their vehicle was intercepted on the way home by the brand new (and I do mean “brand”) hero Booster Gold (Michael Carter).

Blackguard didn’t fare badly, thanks to his power armourStrength-enhancing body armour, like Iron Man’s. However, Booster tricked him into hitting a power terminal. This shocked Hertz unconscious.

Inhuman resources management

This was not Blackguard’s first failure. Therefore, the 1,000’s Director decided to have him disciplined. He sent in a more competent enforcer, Mindancer, who busted Blackguard out of prison.

When the Director advised Blackguard that they were unhappy with his performance, Hertz got violent. But he was knocked out. His employer decided to execute him, along with the recently-captured Booster Gold.

Metropolis vigilante the Thorn (Rhosyn “Rose” Forrest) rescued them. Blackguard prepared to fight along with Booster and the Thorn – but Mindancer took over his mind.

However, the mesmerised Blackguard was sluggish and devoid of initiative. He was thus defeated by Skeet, Booster Gold’s robot sidekick.

Apparently, Hertz recovered his free will when he woke up, and fled.

History (part 2)

Underworld unleashed

In 1995, the demonic lord Neron offered FaustianMaking a deal with the Devil, like literary character Faust did deals to many villains throughout the DC Universe.

Blackguard apparently asked not to be stupid anymore. He was granted what seemed to be at least average intellect.

As part of his service to the Hell-lord, Blackguard was teamed up with Earthworm (Herbert Hynde) and Cheetah (Barbara Minerva). They were to occupy Warrior’s, Guy Gardner’s superhumans-themed bar.

During the clash Blackguard was seemingly incinerated by Guy Gardner. Who, at that point, was in an altered psychological state.

History (part 3)

(The events in this section occurred during the mid-2000s. This span of Justice League Classified is usually called the “Super-Buddies era”).

(There’s confusion about when the Super-Buddies material occurs. On this matter I firmly stand with the people who don’t know. And let’s not even mention the issue of Guy’s ring. I’ve assumed for this writeup that said events actually occur in 2003, as per P. Svensson  ’s advice.)

Bwahaha

When Blackguard was seen years later, he was alive and unburned. But his Neron-improved intellect was clearly gone.

Blackguard (DC Comics) from the Who's Who

The Blackguard armour during the 1980s.

He had done his time in prison. Hertz was apparently fully reformed, and received excellent recommendations from his parole officer.

He was also on friendly terms with Guy Gardner (perhaps after exchanging letters while he was in prison). Thus, they decided to open a bar together.

The dive, situated next to the office of the “Super Buddies” in Queens was named the Dark Side. The name came from a previous supervillains bar, but there’s no relation with the Dark Side Club that opened years later in Metropolis.

And then… and then…

What happened next is unrevealed. The whole Super-Buddies thing disappeared into comic book limboWhen a character still exists, but hasn’t appeared in comics for years.

Hertz apparently relapsed into crime, and was arrested.

He was thrown into the Belle Reve prison in Louisiana – seemingly for years.

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History (part 4)

When Amanda “the Wall” Waller was dismissed from the modern version of Checkmate, she continued operating her Suicide Squad. She showed an interest in Blackguard as a member.

After some training and tests, he was assigned to a slash-and-burn mission at the corporate headquarters of Haake-Bruton. This company had weaponized a deadly virus. Said virus could easily trigger an extinction-level pandemic.

On this op Blackguard was part of the heavy squad, along with Marauder, White Dragon (William Heller) and the General (Wade Eiling). They were to dispose of guards wearing replicas of the cybernetic Carapax armour.

During the operation, part of the team betrayed the rest. Blackguard was beheaded by the General.

Legacy ?

Richard Hertz might be dead. On the other hand – he has been reduced to a charred skeleton before.

Furthermore the armour is likely in the hands of the US government. And Hertz’s powers had been artificially bestowed in the first place.

Thus, having a new Blackguard emerge in your campaign would be trivial.

Blackguard (DC Comics villain) swinging an energy hammer

Description

Officially he’s 5’10” (1.78m). But he’s consistently drawn taller, even when out of armour.

Personality

A boisterous thug, too confident in his brawn and too proud for his own good.

He’s not too bright either. In fact he’s downright dumb. This seemed alleviated while the deal with Neron was in effect.

After he reforms and becomes just Richard Hertz, he’s a fairly genial blue-collar type. Hertz is noticeably (though not ridiculously) non-violent and non-confrontational… and still thick as two short planksStarlingly lacking in intelligence..

He prefers for people to call him “Dick” when he’s not Blackguard. He’s utterly oblivious to the fact that “Dick Hertz” is a notoriously bad combo.

Quotes

(Facing Booster Gold) “Yer gonna lose more than that, babyface ! I’m Blackguard, squirt ! And, as of now, you are a dead man !”

“For a sooper-hero, you ain’t much, fella !”

(Neron-enhanced) “I’m Blackguard — the human killing spree. Make a line. There’s no waiting.”

Blackguard (DC Comics villain) face closeup

DC Heroes RPG

Blackguard

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04
Int: 02 Wil: 01 Min: 03
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 03
Init: 009 HP: 020

Powers:

Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 12), Energy shield: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Enhance actually produces a melee weapon (usually an infantry one-handed flail). On one hand it must be wielded just like a real weapon. On the other hand the weapon can be thrown, and can be used to inflict Bashing damage if needed.
  • Force shield produces an actual shield, which must be wielded just like a real shield (it takes up one hand, people can arm-lock it away, it can’t defend against attacks from the opposite side, etc.). It can also be used to do shield bashes (but this does not carry any special in-game benefits) and could conceivably be clumsily thrown.

Skills:

Weaponry (Blunt melee weapons – wielded or thrown)*: 04

Advantages:

None demonstrated.

Connections:

Underworld (Low).

Drawbacks:

None demonstrated.

Motivation:

Mercenary.

Occupation:

Mercenary.

Wealth:

004

Equipment:

BLACKGUARD ARMOUR [/STR/ 10 /BODY/ 09, Energy absorption: 03, Growth: 01, Limitation: Growth is Always On and Already Factored In – the suit is quite large].


Candlepower

Blackguard was only briefly seen in his Neron-enhanced state.

My guess would be that his DEX, INT and WIL had been raised to 05 (with his Weaponry following suit), his INF and AUR were now 04, and he had a Minor Rage.

Those effects did not last long, though, unlike with some Neron-enhanced villains such as Blockbuster.

It is also *possible* that Blackguard asked for some form of immortality, or ability to survive a set number of mortal wounds.

This is purely speculative. But this would explain the continuity glitch with his seeming death at the hand of Warrior (Guy Gardner), and make it even more trivial to bring him back after his seeming death in Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag.

Blackguard (DC Comics villain) on the cover of Booster Gold vol. 1 #1

DC Adventures RPG

Blackguard — Averaged PL 7.8

STR STA AGL DEX
02 02 01 00
FGT INT AWE PRE
03 00 00 00

Powers:

Solid energy weaponry generation ● 6 point ● Descriptor: Unrevealed
– Mace of some sort — Strength-based blunt Damage 3.
– Solid energy shield — Enhanced Dodge 2, Enhanced Parry 2, Enhanced Advantages (Improved Defense, Defensive Attack), with an overral Limited 1 (is a physical shield, must be wielded, covers only one facing, etc..)

Devices:

Blackguard power armour ● 22 points (Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology
– Exo — Enhanced Strength 8, Enhanced Stamina 2.
– Armour — Protection 7.
– Energy proofed — Protection 2 (Limited 1 to radiant energy).
– Quirk — Larger and heavier than most.

Combat Advantages:

Close Attack 2, Defensive Roll 2, Ranged Attack 2.

Other Advantages:

Nah.

Skills:

Athletics 2 (+4), Close combat (Blunt melee weapons) 1 (+6), Expertise (Underworld enforcer) 3 (+3), Expertise (Bar owner) 3 (+3), Perception 1 (+1).

Offence:

Initiative +1
Unarmed (w/power armour) +5, Close, Damage 10.
Solid energy weapon (w/power armour) +6, Close, Damage 13.

Defence:

Dodge 05/07**
Fortitude 06
Parry 06/08**
Toughness 02*/04/11
Will 02

* Without Defensive Roll.
** With solid energy shield.
** With Blackguard Power Armour and Defensive Roll, add 2 more vs. radiant energy.

Complications:

  • Mercenary He’s a hitman, Jim.
  • Two short planks Blackguard is daft, unobservant and has a temper.

Powers Levels:

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 10, Dodge/Toughness PL 10, Parry/Toughness PL 10, Fort/Will PL 4.
  • Points total 68. Abilities 16, Defences 13, Skills 5, Powers 6, Devices 22, Advantages 6. Equiv. PL 5.


Notes

Blackguard was only briefly seen in his Neron-enhanced state.

My guess would be that his FGT/INT/AWE/PRE were all raised by one Rank, he had two more Ranks in some Skills (Insight, Perception, Expertise) and his Complication about intelligence was replaced by one about bloodlust.

It is also *possible* that Blackguard asked for some form of immortality. Or perhaps the ability to survive a set number of mortal wounds.

This is purely speculative. But this would explain the continuity glitch with his seeming death at the hand of Warrior (Guy Gardner), and make it even more trivial to bring him back after his seeming death in Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag.

Writeups.org writer avatar Sébastien Andrivet

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: DC Universe.

Helper(s): Peter Svensson, Kal El el Vigilante.