Blackheart

blackheartfilmStill picking from casualgamer‘s list we meet another demon from the Marvel Universe, albeit not as iconic as yesterday’s one: Blackheart, son of Mephisto. Blackheart appears in Ghost Rider as the main villain, portrayed by Wes Bentley; he’s depicted as a rebel son, who seeks to overthrow his father using the lost Contract of San Venganza, holding the power of a thousand evil souls… but as his father finds this out, he sends his bounty hunter, Ghost Rider, after him. For most of the movie he appears in human form, as a pale, black-dressed young man, but in his final form (calling himself Legion) he sort of looks like his comicbook counterpart… well, kind of. In the film, Blackheart only seems able to kill people with his touch, but in the comics he’s much a more serious threat: let’s see together.

There was a place, in the State of New York, named Christ’s Crown, a grassy hill surrounded by bushes of roses: for some reason, for centuries that very gentle hill was the theater of a series of murders, rapes, robberies, as if violence was driven there with a magnet. Eventually, decade after decade, the quantity of evil energy accumulated there was so huge that it attracted the attention of Mephisto, the eldest Hell-Lord, who visited the place and absorbed all the negative energy; he then manipulated it and concocted it to materialize a “son”, the embodiment of all the hatred, the pain and the violence harvested in Christ’s Crown. The result of this unholy conception was Blackheart, a demon literally composed of evil: in his first moments of life, he killed an innocent couple passing by without even thinking about it. Mephisto appeared, offering himself as a mentor and a father figure to Blackheart: he taught him that killing an innocent was evil, but easy, and that driving an innocent to kill was truly evil. The newborn demon tried to put in act his father’s teachings, and he moved to New York City, where he hunted a pure soul to blackheartcomics1corrupt: he eventually found the superhero Daredevil, and brought him to the edge of frustration and exasperation, trying to make the blind hero kill him. Daredevil nearly surrendered to the temptation, but he was stopped in time by his friend Spider-Man. Blackheart tried to corrupt Spider-Man as well, but failed to do so, and returned to his father defeated. Disappointed in him, Mephisto decided to educate Blackheart on how mortals acted and related one to the other, and captured Daredevil, animal rights activist Brandy Ash, genetically-engineered Number Nine and three members of the Inhuman royal family, KarnakGorgon and Ahura. Mephisto tortured them in his realm, making them experience their worst pain and fears, and Brandy Ash even lost her life, but thanks to Silver Surfer Daredevil and the others managed to escape Hell; eventually, Blackheart had learnt a precious lesson all the same: he would have followed his father’s instructions no more.

Thinking that his father’s ways were ineffective and that he lacked of vision, Blackheart rebelled to Mephisto and tried to take Hell’s throne from him. Mephisto, however, was much more powerful than him, and he easily defeated Blackheart; he then banished him from Hell and exiled him on Earth with diminished powers, wanting to teach his son obedience and humility… but he only managed to exasperate Blackheart’s grudge against him. On Earth, Blackheart tried to perfect Mephisto’s techniques, and instead of corrupting pure and faultless heroes, he aimed to the ones who were already walking on the thin line between good and evil, the anti-heroes: specifically, he tempted the second Ghost RiderWolverine and The Punisher. He settled in the town on Christ’s Crown, and he lured the three vigilantes there, in an effort to make them purely evil and to use them as pawns against his father. When all three heroes rejected his offers and resisted his temptations, Blackheart decided to force their hand, and he kidnapped a girl from the town that each one of them had befriended during their time there, bringing her to Hell and making Ghost, Wolverine and Punisher follow him there. In Blacheart’s intentions, the trio would have taken on blackheartcomics2Mephisto once there, but his father only mocked him for his effort, and let him be defeated by the vigilantes, who took the girl back home and left Blackheart with his defeat and humiliation. He also made a deal with the Grim Reaper to use his brother, the heroic Wonder Man, to kill Mephisto, but also this plan failed. Eventually, he managed to turn one of his defeats into a victory: during the battle with Ghost, Wolverine and Punisher, a dagger had been tainted with the pure girl’s blood, and when Mephisto appeared once again to mock his son, Blackheart used it to stab him, effectively dispersing his energy and forcing him out of his realm. Back to full power, Blackheart could finally claim Hell’s throne, and he would have proved his superiority by claiming the soul of one of his father’s greatest enemies and most embarrassing failures, Johnny Blaze, the first Ghost Rider. Blackheart formed his own version of the Spirits of Vengeance to hunt down and kill Blaze, but he didn’t know that Mephisto was watching, waiting for just one little chance to come back to Hell and claim what was rightfully his since the dawn of time…

Blackheart may not be as powerful as Mephisto, but he’s surely just as evil: born from centuries old violence, hatred and pain, he’s the embodiment of the worst humanity has to offer, and he thrives in it. Extremely ambitious, he aims to take his father’s throne for himself, and he keeps plotting against him to win the dominion over Hell. Blackheart is just as powerful as a Class Two Demon, and he’s composed of Darkforce, which he can manipulate at will; he possesses superhuman strength and speed, he’s virtually invulnerable, he possesses powerful psychic abilities such as telekinesis, telepathy, mind control and levitation, he can modify his appearance and size, and contrary to his father he can steal a soul without the owner’s will to surrender it to him. Highly intelligent and cunning, Blackheart grows stronger and stronger, waiting for the moment he can finally overthrow Mephisto and transform his father’s Hell into a new one… possibly even worse than the previous one.

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