(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and their many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
Like I have said, the line between magic and science, mysticism and sci-fi is a fine one, and one that I cross often. In doing so, I discovered another character I did not know. (Happening more and more often, I am afraid.) This guy is Blackheart, but no pirate, he!
Centuries of murder in a locale named Christ's Crown, N.Y., draws the attention of a demon-lord, Mephisto, who creates a “son,” Blackheart, from the energy of the accumulated evil. Blackheart explored the nature of evil under his father's tutelage, clashing with and failing to corrupt Daredevil and Spider-Man. Mephisto and Blackheart once tormented Daredevil, Brandy Ash, the genetically engineered Number Nine, and the Inhumans Gorgon, Karnak and Ahura, manipulating their emotions and tricking them. They were soon drawn into Hell for worse torments. Brandy Ash did not survive.
Later, in an attempt to be free of captivity, Blackheart makes contact with Misha from the group Warheads and becomes the source of her pre-cognitive visions. Eventually Misha's squad, Kether Troop, invades Hell itself and frees Blackheart, who was temporarily in the disguise of Dr. Strange. Blackheart's plan to have the Troop slay Mephisto falls apart, though.
Mephisto sent Blackheart to Earth with diminished powers to learn humility. (Mephisto as Odin? Who’da thunk it?) Blackheart returns to Christ's Crown and tempts Ghost Rider, Punisher and Wolverine to the town itself in an attempt to corrupt them. He brainwashes the entire town and kidnaps a young girl all three men had befriended. (huh?) His stated goal was to get the three men to cross their own personal line of not harming the innocents; Blackheart states crossing this line would soon allow the trio to destroy Mephisto. (“Personal line”? Ghost Rider, Punisher and Wolverine? Riiiiiight.) The group eventually follows Blackheart and the girl back into his own realm for a final confrontation. The demon is defeated and everyone leaves safely.
Blackheart is finally killed (wellll) during the final issues of the second volume of Ghost Rider. Blackheart had created a group of Spirits of Vengeance in order to oppose the bike rider, who he recently found out was Noble Kale. Blackheart tricked Kale and tried to make him a member of his group, promising Kale the power to rule in Hell alongside himself. In the end, Ghost Rider double-crosses Blackheart and kills him, freeing the other Spirits of Vengeance and gaining rule over Blackheart's portion of Hell.
He is later seen alive and attending a meeting with Mephisto, Satannish, Hela and Dormammu about a disturbance created by the newly-resurrected Magik, who is looking for her Soulsword and the original Bloodstone amulet. Belasco's daughter, Witchfire, appears during the meeting and reveals she is now the current owner of the original amulet and vows to take her father's place as ruler of Limbo.
As far as sons of “Satan” go, this guy’s no Hellstorm … or even a N’Astirh. But then again, who is?