Deacon Blackfire
Deacon Blackfire.jpg
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Batman: The Cult #1 (August, 1988)
Created by Jim Starlin (writer), Bernie Wrightson (artist)
In-story information
Full name Deacon Joseph Blackfire
Species Human
Place of origin Earth
Team affiliations The Underworlders
Black Lantern Corps
Notable aliases Shaman Blackfire, The Holy One

Deacon Blackfire is a fictional supervillain in DC Comics. Blackfire is stated as being over a hundred years old, and is often portrayed as a power-crazed charismatic con artist and cult leader skilled in manipulation and brainwashing. Blackfire claimed to be a Native American shaman who was entombed alive after being found guilty of killing a tribal chief and committing heresy.

Publication history[edit | edit source]

He first appeared in Batman: The Cult #1 (1988) and was created by Jim Starlin and Bernie Wrightson.

Fictional character biography[edit | edit source]

Deacon Blackfire is the main antagonist in the four-issue miniseries, Batman: The Cult. Blackfire is a conman and cult leader who may be over 100 years old.[1] He forms an army in the sewers beneath Gotham City, largely composed of the homeless. Blackfire uses this army to begin a violent war on crime, which escalates into him taking over the entire city, resulting in it being isolated from the rest of the country. Blackfire captures and brainwashes Batman, temporarily making the Caped Crusader a member of Blackfire's cult, during which Batman breaks his cardinal rule of not killing. Batman eventually breaks his conditioning, but its aftereffects make it difficult for him to capture Blackfire. After a brutal search through the sewers, Batman confronts Blackfire, who demands that Batman kill him, making him a martyr. Batman refuses, and instead savagely beats Blackfire in front of his army. Blackfire's army turns on him and kills him.[2]

Blackest Night[edit | edit source]

As part of the Blackest Night event, Blackfire's corpse is reanimated by a black power ring and recruited to the Black Lantern Corps in Blackest Night: Batman #1 (October 2009).[3][4]

The New 52[edit | edit source]

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Deacon Blackfire is an evangelist who is the center of the occult power permeating Arkham Asylum, with Joker's Daughter as his enforcer. When Batwing and The Spectre (as Jim Corrigan) uncover the secret of the Asylum, both are captured by Blackfire and his demonic army. In the same issue, flashbacks are shown of the previous time Batman encountered the Deacon. The Deacon had an army of devoted homeless and underprivileged, but he also kept many of them drugged under his control. He attempted to do the same with Batman, keeping him chained and drugged in his basement for seven days and seven nights, but the Dark Knight's resiliency led to Deacon ordering his devotees to kill him. Batman however, brought up the question of why Deacon Blackfire wouldn't kill him himself, if he was as powerful as he wanted his army to believe. Batman is able to break the pipe he is chained to, and in a reversal of their confrontation in "The Cult," orders the Deacon to kill him to prove himself in front of his followers. Deacon Blackfire refuses multiple times, and his disillusioned army turns on him and appears to beat him to death.[5]

Between their first encounter and the time of Eternal, the Deacon has taken over the body of Maxie Zeus, in attempt to regain entry into this world.[6]

DC Rebirth[edit | edit source]

The ghost of Deacon Blackfire returns, attempting to possess his only remaining blood relative as a means of resurrection.[7]

In other media[edit | edit source]

Video games[edit | edit source]

  • Deacon Blackfire makes his debut in adapted media in Batman: Arkham Knight, voiced by Marc Worden. Deacon Blackfire is the villain behind the "Lamb to the Slaughter" side quest. He is seen at the Lady of Gotham statue about to sacrifice Jack Ryder when he gets too close in investigating Deacon Blackfire's cult. Batman arrives at the Lady of Gotham statue where he fights Deacon Blackfire's cultists to get to Deacon Blackfire and Jack Ryder. After the cultists are defeated, Batman disables the electrical generators powering the sacrificial cage, defeats Deacon Blackfire, and frees Jack Ryder. Moments later at the Gotham City Police Department, Deacon Blackfire is handed to Aaron Cash and the police officers with him to have him locked up in their cells. If Azrael is incarcerated at the Gotham City Police Department, he and Deacon Blackfire will develop an animosity towards each other as both villains consider themselves to be God's rightful representative.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Batman: The Cult #3 (October 1988)
  2. Batman: The Cult #4
  3. Blackest Night: Batman #1
  4. Blackest Night: Batman #2
  5. Batman: Eternal #17
  6. Batman: Eternal #16
  7. Detective Comics #982. DC Comics.

External links[edit | edit source]

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