Blackrock (DC Comics) from the Who's Who


(Peter Silverstone)

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


This Blackrock (there were several) was an enemy of Superman during the late 1970s.

This entry was mostly intended to republish his stats from a then-hard-to-find Mayfair Games supplement, plus some basic info from DC’s Who’s Who. There was a small wave of profiles who were all built thus, many years ago.


  • Real Name: Samuel Tanner.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • 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”. It looks 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. Then it converts 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.
  • Transform himself into ionic particles so he can ride broadcast waves at the speed of the light to anywhere in the world.
  • Focus these charged particles into an impenetrable force-field.
  • Project a tight beam of sheer destructive power.


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

Silverstone had helped invent color television, the long-playing record, and America’s first communications satellite. Intrigued by the challenge, he 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.

(In the real world, that’s a nickname for the CBS building — Ed.).


Electric dreams of power

Looking for someone to fill the super suit, Silverstone chose Samuel Tanner himself. He hypnotised 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. He had no knowledge of what he had done.

Months later, when UBC’s ratings slipped once more, Silverstone revived Blackrock. He hypnotised Tanner’s nephew, comedian Les Vegas, into filling the role. Again, Superman defeated Blackrock. 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. This eliminated the need for another unwitting pawn.

Finally, Silverstone himself donned the Blackrock costume. The goal was to commit industrial espionage when his own ideas had run dry. This time Blackrock found himself in conflict with Supergirl. She thwarted Silverstone’s plans, then turned him over to the police.


Tanner himself was a corporate scientist from the 1950s, 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.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

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Blackrock (Peter Silverstone)

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

Hypnosis: 02

Gadgetry: 07, Scientist: 07

Stroke of Genius (Blackrock tech).

United Broadcasting Company (Low).

None demonstrated.

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).