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Blackrock from the Who's Who


Samuel Tanner

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


  • Real Name: Samuel Tanner
  • Marital Status: Unknown
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Base Of Operations: Metropolis
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 168lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Red

Powers and Abilities

While he at first used a TV-antenna-like wand, Blackrock quickly shifted to a device he calls a “power-stone”, which look like a baseball-sized black rock strapped to the palm of his right hand.

The power-stone serves as a receiver for radio- and TV-waves, converting them into energy Blackrock can manipulate at will. With this inexhaustible power source, Blackrock commands energy of such magnitude that even Superman is vulnerable to its effects.

With the aid of his power-stone, Blackrock is able to cast illusions of sight and sound, short out any communication device at will, and transform himself into ionic particles so he can ride broadcast waves at the speed of the light to anywhere in the world. Blackrock can also focus these charged particles into an impenetrable force-field or a tight beam of sheer destructive power.


Convinced that his network was second in the ratings because his chief competitor, Galaxy Broadcasting, had so many exclusive stories concerning Superman, United Broadcasting Company President Samuel Tanner ordered his chief research scientist, Dr. Peter Silverstone, to create a super-hero for UBC to exploit.

Intrigued by the challenge, Silverstone, who had helped invent color television, the long-playing record, and America’s first communications satellite, set to work designing a costume that would give its wearer a wide array of super-powers. He called this super-hero Blackrock, after the popular nickname of the UBC Building itself.

Looking for someone to fill the super suit, Silverstone chose Samuel Tanner himself, hypnotizing the UBC President without his knowledge into becoming his own super-hero. When Blackrock was ultimately defeated by Superman after a fierce competition, Tanner resumed his normal life with no knowledge of what he had done.

Months later, when UBC’s ratings slipped once more, Silverstone revived Blackrock, hypnotizing Tanner’s nephew, comedian Les Vegas, into filling the role. Again, Superman defeated Blackrock, and Vegas returned to normal, never knowing what he had done.

The third time Blackrock was needed, Silverstone used charged ions to animate the costume itself, eliminating the need for another unwitting pawn.

Finally, Silverstone himself donned the Blackrock costume in an attempt at industrial espionage when his own ideas had run dry. This time Blackrock found himself in conflict with Supergirl, who thwarted Silverstone’s plans, then turned him over to the police.


Tanner himself was a corporate scientist from the 50s, with glasses and a short moustache.


Silverstone is not a ruthless, hardened criminal ; however he would do anything short of murder to continue his research in electronics.

As the wearer of the Blackrock suit was usually an hypnotized pawn, he rarely displayed much imagination in the use of its powers – this relative sluggishness was always a problem for Silverstone.

In public Blackrock would play the hero, never endangering passerby or doing anything that would make him unpopular. When away from the public’s eyes, he would ruthlessly try his best to beat Superman.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Director of R&D
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 007
Init: 012 HP: 140

Powers: Hypnosis: 02

Skills: Gadgetry: 07, Scientist: 07

Advantages: Stroke of Genius (Blackrock tech)

Connections: United Broadcasting Company (Low)

Drawbacks: None AFAIK

Equipment: POWERSTONE [/STR/ 03, /BODY/ 06, Weaponry (itself): 10, Force field: 12, Illusion: 12, Lightning: 15, Neutralize: 15, Teleportation: 22. Limitation : All Powers cannot be used in an area where broadcast frequencies cannot be picked up (a lead-lined room, a tunnel under a river…) ; Teleportation may only be used on Blackrock and anything he is carrying ; Neutralize only on communication devices using something resembling Radio Coms]

Compiled by Sébastien Andrivet (from Superman sourcebook)

Helper(s): Danielle Mendus

Source of Character: Superman comics (Pre-Crisis DCU)

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