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Blackout

Real Name: Marcus Daniels
Occupation: Research assistant, later professional criminal
Identity: Publicly known
Legal status: Citizen of the United States with a criminal record
Other Aliases: None
Place of Birth: Flushing, New York City
Place of Death: Avengers Mansion, Manhattan, New York City
Known Survivors: None
Group Affiliation: Masters of Evil IV, former partner of Moonstone
Base of operations: Now York City area
First Appearance: NOVA #19
Final Appearance: AVENGERS #277

History: Marcus Daniels was a laboratory assistant to Dr. Abner Croit, a physicist studying an unidentified form of radiation which he called 'black star" rays. Coercing his assistant into being a subject for his experiments, Croit bombarded Darnels with this unknown cosmic radiation, which was later identified as the Darkforce. Daniels became charged with its energy and soon learned he could project it from his body as quasi-solid blackness. Croit created a bodysuit that curtailed Darnels' body and the extradimensional source of his energy was so close that Croit had to build a stabilizing device to keep Daniels' body from shifting totally into this energy dimension. Daniels escaped from Croit's laboratory not long after, and calling himself Blackout, used his superhuman powers to commit a series of robberies.

Feeling the energies within him becoming increasingly unstable, Blackout returned to Croit's laboratory to steal the stabilizer. Croit caught him in the act, however, and Blackout used his powers to open up an aperture into the dimension from which the energy he projects originates. Croit was sucked into that dimension and has yet to be recovered; presumably, he died there. Following a skirmish with the fledging crimefighter Nova, Blackout himself vanished into this other dimension after accidentally destroying the stabilizer. Blackout later returned to Earth, his grasp on sanity made more precarious by his interval in the other dimension. He was apprehended by legal authorities and eventually taken to Project: Pegasus so its energy specialists could analyze his power. During a diversion elsewhere in Pegasus, Blackout managed to escape his containment cell and free several of his fellow superhuman criminals, who were also there to be studied. Blackout and his new ally Moonstone escaped the confines of Pegasus, but were later tracked down by the Avengers. Attempting to escape from them, Blackout opened up another aperture into the "dark dimension," and he and Moonstone wore sucked into that dimension. (Note: the so-called "dark dimension" from which Blackout drew Darkforce is not to be confused with the Dark Dimension previously ruled by Dormammu and now ruled by Clea.

Moonstone used her energy powers to ascertain where they were and helped Blackout navigate them out of the Darkforce dimension to the Earth's moon. Moonstone hoped to augment her superhuman powers on the moon's surface, but before she could do so, members of the moon's resident race, the Inhumans, aided by the mutant Dazzler, overpowered the two escaped criminals. Blackout and Moonstone were taken back to Earth and were returned to captivity at Project: Pegasus.

Months later, Moonstone joined Baron Helmut Zemo's new Masters of Evil and persuaded the baron to free Blackout from Project: Pegasus. By this time Blackout's mental condition was so unstable that at times he sank into a nearly catatonic state. Using a combination of her own talent for psychological conditioning and certain technological devices, Moonstone succeeded not only in making Blackout responsive to her commands (as long as they wore simple enough for his now feeble mind to comprehend), but also in extending and refining Blackouts control of his superhuman power. Zemo realized that due to her ambition, high intelligence, and control over Blackouts formidable power, Moonstone posed a serious challenge to his leadership of the Masters of Evil. Therefore, Zemo had another of the Masters, the Fixer, install circuitry within the Baron's headband that was keyed to the pattern of Blackout's brain waves. Hence, using the circuitry Zemo could mentally force Blackout to obey his commands, and override Moonstone's influence over Blackout, as Zemo demonstrated to her when she finally challenged his leadership. Zemo allowed Moonstone to continue supervising Blackout, however.

Zemo and his Masters of Evil seized control of Avengers Mansion. On Zemo's instructions, Blackout used his powers to entrap the Avenger Captain Marvel within the Darkforce Dimension. Moonstone had Blackout surround the mansion with an impenetrable barricade of Darkforce to prevent other Avengers, the police, or the military from entering it.

However, Captain Marvel finally escaped the Darkforce Dimension through an aperture opened into it by the Shroud. Doctor Druid used his psychic ability to influence minds to induce Blackout to remove the Darkforce barrier about the mansion. A force of Avengers entered the mansion from underground and defeated many of the Masters of Evil within it.

Faced with the possible ruin of his plans, Zemo ordered Blackout to project the entire mansion (and the Avengers inside with it) into the Darkforce Dimension. Doctor Druid mentally informed Blackout that Zemo was not the friend he pretended to be, but was trying to exploit Blackout. Realizing that Druid was right, Blackout resisted Zemo's mental commends, which were backed up by the power of the Fixer's devices in the baron's headband. The strain of resistance was too great for Blackout to bear, and Blackout collapsed from a massive cerebral hemorrhage: Blackout died nearly instantaneously. Soon afterwards, Zemo tell from the roof of the mansion during a confrontation with his arch foe Captain America.

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 180 lbs.
Eyes: Grey
Hair: Brown

Strength level: Blackout possessed the normal strength of a man of his own age, height, and build who engaged in moderate regular exercise.

Known superhuman powers: Blackout possessed the ability to tap and manipulate an intense black form of extradimensional energy called the Darkforce. This energy, which appears to be related to the extradimensional black gas-like substance manipulated by Cloak and the Shroud, possesses mass and form, whereas the substance employed by Cloak and the Shroud does not. Although Blackout drew Darkforce from the same dimension from which the Shroud draws his gas-like substance, it is not yet clear whether this is the same dimension of darkness to which Cloak's powers are connected. Blackout's powers seem to have been identical to those of the mutant Darkstar, although Blackout's were gained by experimental means and Darkstar was born with the genetic potential to manifest her powers.

Blackout could project the Darkforce as concussive energy with tremendous force, the limits of which are unknown.

Blackout could cause the Darkforce to take on simple mentally controlled forms such as discs, cubes, cylinders, and so on. Before Moonstone helped him extend his control of his powers, Blackout could form objects that had the maximum density of hardened rubber and the consistency of tar at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Before Moonstone added him with his powers, he could form objects with a maximum volume of approximately 150 cubic feet, sufficient to encompass two average human beings. However, under Moonstone's guidance Blackout learned to project sufficient Darkforce to envelop the entire Avengers Mansion. Moreover, the wall of Darkforce that Blackout created about the mansion was strong enough to resist bazooka fire; the extent to which the wall was impenetrable is unknown. Darkforce objects created by Blackout after his training by Moonstone absorbed energy directed against them. The limits to the amount of energy these objects could absorb harmlessly are also unknown. The objects that Blackout created from Darkforce were solid and well defined when he consciously willed them to be. Blackout could exercise control over his Darkforce constructs within a range of about 1000 feet from his person. A fully formed object that he ceased to control consciously would remain solid for about five minutes before it began to lose its solidity and shape. Within about two minutes, the object would have totally dissipated; Blackout could dissipate at will an object he has formed from Darkforce.

Blackout could mentally open apertures into the Darkforce Dimension, which would remain open as long as he maintained mental control over them, willing them to do so He could envelop a person or object with Darkforce and then project that entrapped person or object into the Darkforce dimension.

The Darkforce is apparently unaffected by gravity. Hence, Blackout's Darkforce-constructs remained in the air (in their relative positions to the Earths surface) unsupported, and only moved at his mental command. By standing on a disc of Darkforce and making it move through the air, Blackout could fly. He could travel at any speed and height at which he could still breathe (about 50 miles per hour and 10,000 feet above sea level)

Limitations: Blackouts control over the Darkforce was dependent upon his mental clarity. Thus, fatigue and artificial stimulants or depressants would affect his ability to create and form Darkforce-constructs. Until training with Moonstone, Blackout could manipulate the Darkforce at peak exertion for up to an hour before mental fatigue impaired his performance. After training with Moonstone, however, Blackout maintained the barrier around Avengers Mansion for a quite considerably longer period of time.

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