"My sister once told me she thought I had died in that rainforest. I never told her that I did." - Blackbird
| Personal Data
| Real Name:
|| Derek Corbin Blake
| Current Alias:
| Known Aliases:
|| The Winged Avenger
| Base of Operations:
|| The Bird's Nest, Blake Tower, Millennium City; Grotto Pássaro (formerly)
| Group Affiliations:
|| Blackbird Flock, Blake Biotech, Superhuman Defense Initiative
| Biographical Data
|| English American
| Place of Birth:
|| Chicago, Illinois
| Known Relatives:
|| Harold Blake (father, deceased), Katrina Blake (mother, deceased), Stephanie Blake (sister), Anna Blake (wife, deceased), Jeremy Shepard (father-in-law), Miranda Shepard (mother-in-law), Ezekiel Shepard (brother-in-law)
|| 215 lbs.
| Eye Color:
| Hair Color:
|| Dirty Blonde
| Unusual Features:
|| Numerous scars and bruises on his torso.
| Legal Status:
| Marital Status:
|| Businessman, Vigilante
|| B.S. Chemical Engineering, Purdue University
| Hero Data
|| Genius-level Intellect, Peak Human Conditioning, Master Martial Artist, Master of Stealth, Master Acrobat, Master Detective, Master Tactician and Strategist, Master Escapologist
|| Birdsuit, Utility Belt, Bird Blades, Blackwings
Blackbird (Derek Blake) is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in Champions Online.
After being kidnapped by revolutionary terrorists in South America and witnessing the torture and death of his wife, Blake swore revenge on those who would control others through violence and crime, creating the persona of Blackbird to fulfill his oath of vengeance.
Despite possessing no superpowers, Blake is one of the finest living combatants and possesses one of the planet's greatest analytical minds, harnessing a vast array of knowledge and virtually peerless detective skills. He also possesses a vast wealth, which he uses to further his secret crusade, and is known to the public as a billionaire industrialist and philanthropist.
Derek Corbin Blake was born on October 19, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois to billionaire and philanthropist Harold Blake and his wife, Katrina. Blake was raised in a wealthy family, his father inheriting control of Blake Biotech, a global biotechnology and bioengineering company, from his own father. Despite seldom worrying about money, Blake was taught from an early age about responsibility and compassion for those who are less fortunate.
Blake was a gifted child, excelling at his studies in both elementary and high school. When he was 18, Blake enrolled at Purdue University to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering, hoping to inherit the family company and carry on his father's legacy. During his first two years at Purdue, Blake rose to the top of his class, taking classes in not only his major, but also Physics, Biology, Computer Science, and Business. When Blake was 20, he witnessed the televised broadcast of the Battle of Detroit and the city's destruction by Doctor Destroyer. His father, devastated by thousands of innocents killed and wishing to help rebuild the city, announced the relocation of Blake Biotech to the newly-established Millennium City.
During his senior year, Blake met Anna Shepard, a beautiful young woman and fellow student. The two quickly began a relationship and upon graduation, Anna returned to Millennium City with Blake to live in the newly constructed Blake Tower. Blake accepted a position at Blake Biotech beneath his father, where he could learn the inner-workings of the company and one day become a successful executive. Blake continued his work for some years, and at age 24, proposed to Anna. She accepted, and the two agreed to marry later that year.
Blake and Anna were married in the summer, and left for their honeymoon in Brazil soon after. They spent a few days in Belém, before beginning a planned week long hiking tour through the Brazilian Amazon. Some days after beginning their tour, Blake and Anna were ambushed and kidnapped by a group of revolutionary terrorists who had been hiding along the river. Blake and Anna were taken to a compound hidden deep within the jungle, where they were held separately for days. Despite being far removed from his family's empire, his identity was discovered by the terrorists and they demanded a large payment in return for their release. Blake refused, knowing that any money would be used to acquire weapons and munitions, and was beaten severely as a consequence. The terrorists continued to demand ransom, and each time Blake refused and was beaten.
Eventually, Anna was brought before Blake, and again the terrorists demanded money but threatened to kill Anna should Blake refuse. Anna pleaded with Blake not to agree, but she was beaten and tortured severely. Blake relented and agreed to pay the ransom, but Anna was shot and killed. Devastated and broken, Blake shut down and retreated inward, refusing to speak or divulge the money. Blake was brought before a firing squad and just as he had comes to terms with his fate, Blake was saved by a mysterious, sword-wielding woman. He was then freed and taken deep into the jungle.
The Coven of Secrets
Blake awoke to find himself in a grotto along the Amazon Basin, his wounds cleaned and bandaged. The sword-wielding woman revealed herself to be Badb, and explained that she is a member of the secretive order of assassins known as the Coven of Secrets. Blake questioned Badb as to why she saved him and she explained that it had not been his time. Upon being asked whether he was afraid, Blake declined, saying he was instead angry, and that he would not allow those who control others through violence and crime escape justice. Badb then agreed to train Blake in the Coven's secret arts.
Over the next several years, Blake was trained in numerous martial arts by Badb. He was also taught the arts of stealth and reconnaissance in the Amazon jungle, man-hunting and guerrilla tactics in Colombia, survivalism in the Peruvian Andes, and acrobatics. Badb also tutored Blake in mental disciplines, including criminology, strategy, tactics, forensics, linguistics, psychology, and history. In the course of his training, Blake was subjected to numerous brutal trials to enhance his body's natural stamina and endurance, including exposure to various poisons and poisonous substances from around the world, extended periods of sleeplessness, and grueling tests of physicality. Over time, Blake became an unconventional and unpredictable opponent, even defeating Badb in combat on some occasions, leading her to ask if Blake wished to become a member of the Coven. Blake explained that he was thankful for her tutelage, but his vengeance would begin elsewhere.
At age 26, Blake returned to Millennium City, now possessing all the skills and knowledge necessary to fulfill his oath. Despite this, he felt something was missing. Blake recalled Badb's teachings that as humans we can be beaten, but if we make ourselves more, then we can become something else entirely. Embracing this idea, Blake decided to make his appearance resemble a large, black bird, paying respect to his mentor, whose name was drawn from a war and crow goddess in Irish mythology. After reestablishing connections with his family's company, his sister Stephanie informed Blake that their parents had been killed in a hit-and-run some years ago, and that Blake had been presumed dead along with Anna. Further fueling his vengeful anger, Blake used his resources at Blake Biotech to design a suit drawing from suspended military prototypes and other gear using experimental technology.
Blake redesigned his penthouse in Blake Tower to accommodate his secretive war, creating a central room complete with the latest in surveillance, forensics, and medical technology. Calling this The Bird's Nest, it also held storage space for his suit and other technology.
The Whisper in the Night
Despite the known presence of metahumans and other superpowered individuals present in Millennium City, Blake's unconventional tactics in opposing crime led to him becoming an urban legend throughout the more crime-infested and corrupt areas of Millennium City. His unwillingness to register his identity with the city led to him being named an unsanctioned vigilante and the Millennium City Police Department was tasked with capturing him. Blake met his first ally in Peter Weston, a police lieutenant who saw that Blake was doing good in areas of the city typically forgotten by other heroes. The two developed a working relationship operating outside the law when it was necessary.
Main article: Blackbird Villains
Blackbird's presence within the corrupt neighborhoods created a new class of criminal, more dynamic and often deranged personalities instead of simple thugs, mobsters, and corrupt businessmen. The first adversary he was faced with was Meerkat, a seductress assassin employing methods similar to his own. The next threat was Dr. Sadist, a deranged scientist and serial killer who experimented on his victims. Blackbird found his greatest nemesis in Malice, an extremist terrorist and revolutionary believing that it was his duty to free the world from the chains of oppression. Other villains appeared in Blackbird's early years of operation, each with their own derangement or personality quirk. Mirage was a charismatic, but sociopathic magician who used illusions and parlor tricks to rob banks and his assistants usually ended up dead. The Philosopher was a deranged college professor who believed himself intellectually superior to all, and left behind complex philosophical treatises at each crime scene. Sireyn attempted to use sonic weaponry to cripple the city's water supply. A psychotic mortician and murderer called Reaper attempted to animate the corpses of his victims.
Three years after Blackbird began his crusade against crime, he was confronted on a rooftop by a mysterious man during one of his nighttime vigils. He introduced himself as Ustadh ibn Haqq, the leader of the Coven of Secrets. Ustadh explained that refusing an offer to join the Coven does not go unpunished and that Millennium City would pay for Blackbird's crime. After a brief fight, Blackbird is surrounded by Coven assassins and he escapes by leaping from the rooftop. Blackbird was contacted by Peter Weston, who explained that numerous police precincts around the Westside had been taken hostage by groups of heavily-armed masked assailants. Deducing that the Coven was responsible, Blackbird warned Weston not to return to police headquarters and to close off the roads to the Westside. Staging a breakout at Westside Jail, Ustadh enlisted the help of the escaped prisoners in bringing down the city. The prisoners incited a riot in the streets and they were confronted by the remaining police and SWAT teams who had escaped the precincts. Blackbird tracked Ustadh to a dockside warehouse where he discovered Ustadh planned to use the riot and chaos as cover in order to release an airborne virus stolen from a biological weapons program at Harmon Industries. Blackbird fights with Ustadh in the warehouse and during the fight Blackbird manages to throw a Blackwing into the disbursement mechanism, causing it to explode. The explosion knocks both men out onto the docks, where they quickly recover and continue to fight. Enraged that Blackbird had disrupted his plan, Ustadh gains the upper hand and just as he is about to kill Blackbird, Badb appears and stabs Ustadh, causing him to fall into the water, seemingly dead. Blackbird nods an unspoken thanks to Badb before she disappears into the night. Blackbird then assisted Weston and the police in rounding up what fugitives they could and freeing the police precincts from the Coven's control. When Weston asked if it was over, Blackbird said that one day the Coven would return, and they would be ready.
On the seventh anniversary of Anna's death, Blake paid his respects at the honorary grave he had erected for her. As he was returning home from the cemetery, he was accosted by a hooded young woman. She demanded money or other valuables, but Blake refused. The woman attacked Blake with a knife, but was cornered in an alley, unable to contend with Blake's superior fighting skills. Breaking down, the woman introduced herself as Aurora Faulkner, and explained that she had runaway from an abusive home in St. Louis in hopes of finding a better life, but had been forced to live on the streets. Blake saw the same misguided anger within her that he had once possessed, and offered to give her food and shelter in his penthouse. Aurora agreed, and Blake became somewhat of a father figure. She was able to enroll at Millennium City University when Blake offered to pay for her schooling, and she began to study Criminology.
Aurora demonstrated her keen detecting abilities when she successfully deduced that Blake was the secret identity of Blackbird. She confronted Blake with her findings and explained that she wished to join his fight against crime and the corrupt, revealing that her own father had murdered her mother. Blake agreed, finally realizing that he did not have to be alone in his crusade. Aurora was subjected to rigorous physical and mental training, and after several months she created the persona of Talon and was given a specially designed suit to fit her fighting style. Talon has acted as Blackbird's partner for three years, and together they continue their secret crusade.
Traumatized by his torture at the hands of South American terrorists and the murder of his wife, Blackbird is a grim and dark hero with a personal vendetta against criminals and those who use violence to oppress the innocent. He is paranoid and obsessive, which makes it difficult for him to work with or trust other heroes, aside from Talon and his sister, Stephanie. He also has a bleak outlook of life, believing that crime will always exists unless there are those to stand against it. He rarely speaks of his personal experiences, and would not even tell his sister the truth of what occurred in South America.
Blackbird was taught compassion for others by his parents, and it still remains, though he holds little compassion for criminals and the corrupt. While he will go to great lengths to enact his oath, he is not without a deep sense of justice. Though he was trained by an assassin, he refuses to kill his enemies, believing that a life-for-a-life is not justice. Despite this, he will not go out of his way to save a criminal if he is not directly responsible.
Blake guards his secret identity well, and only Talon is aware of his true identity. Blake fears what his enemies might do were they to discover his identity, and he further separates the two by adopting a low, guttural, and often raspy voice while in his Blackbird suit. However, his former mentor, Badb, and the leader of the Coven of Secrets, Ustadh ibn Haqq, are aware of his secret identity, though the latter is presumed dead. Blake believes that his sister may have suspicions, which has led him to become distant in order to protect her. He also has stayed away from Anna's family in the interest of their safety.
Relationships with allies
As a young man, Blake was outgoing and sociable, having grown up amongst the wealthy elite of Chicago, and he maintained a close circle of friends. However, upon his return from South America, Blake became solitary and withdrawn, causing his relationships to suffer as a result. His greatest difficulty in forming new relationships is his inability to trust others fully, or to let them past his hardened emotional walls.
Next to Anna, his closest relationship is with his sister, Stephanie, though it has suffered due to his paranoia and traumatic experiences. Stephanie represents his life before Blackbird, and he has difficulty with embracing the memories of that life. Despite this, he still remains in contact with Stephanie and keeps a close watch on her from afar.
His next closest relationship is with his partner, Talon. It is not always a harmonious relationship, as he is a harsh, strict, and emotionally withdrawn mentor, often challenging her both physically and mentally. However, he views Talon as a daughter or younger sister, and he has made it clear that he does care for her.
Peter Weston is consistently a staunch ally and close friend, though he struggles with Blackbird's secretive nature. The two have grown to have a mutual and deep respect, and Blackbird views Weston as perhaps his only true friend, outside of his family and Talon.
He has worked with other superheroes and metahumans on some occasions, but they have always been short and often difficult. Many heroes do not approve of his unconventional methods, and some have confronted him about them, leading to a deeper mistrust than was already present. Blackbird can also be arrogant at times, and will impose his extreme standards of justice and personal code upon others, which has caused problems with some of the more carefree heroes. Still, some appreciate his results, and have reflected that Blackbird may be a 'necessary evil'.
Blake was emotionally devastated by Anna's murder, and his ability to feel romantic love has suffered because of it. However, there have been times when Blake has been involved with a woman in a romantic or sexual manner:
- Anna Shepard: Blake's only real true love, and it is because of her death that he has continued on as Blackbird. He still loves her, and visits her memorial grave each year on the anniversary of her death.
- Meerkat: Blackbird and Meerkat's relationship is complex. Although she is a criminal and assassin, she has shown that she maintains her own personal code, and most of her targets are corrupt businessmen or other powerful figures. She has attempted to seduce Blackbird on numerous occasions, but has been unsuccessful. Despite this, Blackbird struggles with his feelings towards her, as his ability to love or engage in a romance has been severely damaged and her methods go against his code.
- Brianna Marinko: A Millennium City socialite and businesswoman who has shown interest in Blake, and though they have had drinks after business events, Blake has been hesitant to let it go beyond that.
Powers and Abilities
- Indomitable Will: Although he has no superhuman powers, Blackbird's unstoppable and hardened determination and strength of will make him an extremely formidable opponent. This makes him able to function while tolerating massive amounts of physical pain, and also allows him to resist all but the most powerful telepathy or mind control.
- Intimidation: Blackbird has the ability to instill fear in others, even the people that know him best are intimidated by him, including Talon and his own mentor, Badb.
- Interrogation: Blackbird is adept in interrogation techniques, often using law enforcement methods as well as torture. He most often uses his imposing and intimidating appearance to get answers, as he was taught that fear can be used as a motivator.
- Peak Human Conditioning: Through continued intense training, a specialized diet, and biofeedback treatments, Blackbird represents the pinnacle of human physical prowess. His physical attributes exceeded that of any Olympic level athlete that has ever completed. His strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes and coordination are at peak human perfection. He had mastered full body control under the tutelage of Badb, and was subjected to intense physical and mental regimens that included weight lifting. As Blake, he maintains strict diet to enable his body to develop and operate at its most proficient, along with biofeedback treatments, using technology acquired from Blake Biotech's biomechanics division. Blackbird has performed amazing physical feats due to his superior physique. He engages in an intensive regular regimen of rigorous exercise (including aerobics, weight lifting, gymnastics, and simulated combat) to keep himself in peak condition, and has often defeated opponents whose size, strength, or other powers greatly exceeded his own. Following his tutelage by Badb, he has spent his life in pursuit of physical perfection and has attained it through constant intensive training and determination.
- Peak Human Strength: Blackbird regularly bench-presses at least 1000 lbs. during his exercise routine.
- Peak Human Reflexes: Blackbird's reflexes are honed to such a degree that he has been able to catch arrows in mid-flight. He has also been able to dodge point blank gunfire.
- Peak Human Speed: He can run at speeds comparable to the finest competing athletes.
- Peak Human Endurance: His endurance is comparable to that of the finest Olympic Decathlon participant. His lung capacity is so great that he can hold his breath underwater for nearly 4 minutes, and was able to survive for days in the low oxygen peaks of the Peruvian Andes.
- Peak Human Agility: His agility is greater than that of a circus acrobat and an Olympic gold medalist gymnast. His main phase of movement is Parkour which he learned from Badb and uses that to scale the cities rooftops in an acrobatic manner.
- Peak Human Durability: He has been shot numerous times, but wears Kevlar and Kestrium lined body armor.
- Master Acrobat: He is proficient in gymnastics and acrobatics.
- Master Martial Artist: Blackbird is well trained in multiple martial arts. His primary form of combat is a personal style created from a mixture of Krav Maga, Escrima, Systema, Judo, Eagle Claw kung fu, Jujitsu, Karate, and Ninjitsu. Blackbird is one of the finest human combatants Earth has ever known.
- Weapons Master: Through his martial arts training, he has become an expert on all melee weapons. Blackbird has displayed exceptional sword fighting capability and proficiency with knives, sticks and various other weapons. He practices during his combat sessions to keep his skills intact, but he prefers his specially designed pair of Kakushi buki, or Bird Blades.
- Master of Stealth: His Ninjutsu training has made him a master at stealth and capable of breaching high security facilities without being detected.
- Expert Marksman: Blackbird is an expert marksman skilled with throwing projectile weapons, archery and firearms. He has been practicing such skills since his training with Badb, and is an expert in throwing shuriken.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Blackbird is a brilliant, virtually peerless, detective, strategist, scientist, tactician, and commander; he is widely regarded as one of the keenest analytical minds on the planet. Because of his lack of superpowers, he often uses cunning and planning to outwit his foes, rather than simply "out-fighting" them.
- Polymath: Blake was educated at Purdue University, where he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering. He also has advanced knowledge of Criminology, Forensic Science, Computer Science, History, Psychology, and Linguistics. He also studied Biology, Medicine, Physics, Advanced Technology, Security Systems, and Anthropology. He has learned database creation on crime bosses and criminals, personal foes and other supervillains, Advanced Materials Science for body armor and micro-machinery, and Advanced Biomechanics.
- Master Detective: He is widely considered as one of the world's greatest detectives, capable of observation, forensic investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Human intuition is an unlearnable trait and one of Blackbird's most effective tools in his fight against crime. Given any mystery, he can arrive at the correct conclusions with only a fraction of the data.
- Multi-lingual: He is able to speak Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, French, Latin, German, Japanese, English, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Portuguese, Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Hindi, Thai and is able to quickly learn fluency in other languages as needed.
- Master Tactician and Strategist: Blackbird commonly utilizes cunning tactics to outwit his foes. He is an excellent leader and has proved to be an accomplished mentor for his partner, Talon.
- Master Escapologist: Black is second only to his mentor Badb in skill as an escape artist. He is able to escape from a straight jacket, chain bonds, and other bindings in mere seconds.
- Aviation: Blackbird is able to fly the Birdwing with ease, and is skilled in navigating through urban environments using his specialized cape gliding technology.
- Tracking and Man-hunting: Blackbird has been trained in hunting and tracking techniques by Badb in the jungles of Colombia.
- Ventriloquism: Blackbird is able to project and mask his voice to sound as though it is coming from other places, or from other individuals.
- Expert Mechanic and Vehicular Driver: Blackbird is proficient at combat driving, and has learned improved vehicle designs.
- Expert Businessman: Blake is an excellent and shrewd businessman and he maintains control of Blake Biotech and oversees daily operations.
- Peak Human Strength: Blackbird engages in an intensive and grueling physical regimen, and his strength is at the peak of human perfection as a result. He is able to bench-press at least 1000 lbs.
- Birdsuit: In order to complete his transformation into Blackbird, Blake designed a suit of armor made from advanced military prototypes taken from Blake Biotech. The armor is made of hardened Kevlar and Kendrium plates layered on a suit of titanium-dipped weaved fibers, and broken into separate plates for enhanced flexibility and agility. The cowl is comprised of a Kendrium alloy lined with Kevlar and it is separate from the suit, allowing for freedom of neck movement. The bird wing attachments on the cowl are made of lightweight titanium and conceal communication, listening and recording devices, and a protective nose-guard provides a rebreather system in case of exposure to toxic or poisonous gas. The cowl is also outfitted with an intricate vision system, with white lenses folding down from Blackbird's cowl to conceal his eyes. Similar to the vision of actual birds, Blackbird is able to see well-beyond the range of normal humans using this technology, and is able to extend his visible spectrum to ultraviolet and infrared light. Blackbird's cape is made from a specially designed cloth lined with a lightweight magnetic alloy that is able to becoming rigid when it is subjected to an electrical mircocurrent concealed in his gloves, allowing Blackbird to glide through the air. The cape is shaped so that it resembles fully-extended bird wings when in flight.
- Utility Belt: Blackbird's utility belt houses all of his necessary gear and technological devices. The belt is composed of a lightweight Kendrium alloy with magnetized impact-resistant canisters and pouches held at ergonomic points for easy access. The belt houses a magnetic gas-powered grapple gun, smoke capsules, gas pellets, a fingerprint and forensic analysis kit, evidence bags, a medical kit, tear gas pellets, a micro universal power source, a small laser torch, incendiary capsules, tracking devices, sedatives, mircofiber net capsules, retractable bolas, flash grenades, Blackwings, and remote control for the Birdwing. Blackbird is able to switch out devices and gear when necessary.
- Birdwing: Blackbird's personal mode of transportation is a modified prototype stealth aircraft that was designed by Blake Biotech. Originally a gray steel color, the Birdwing is painted black and has resemblances to a bird, with a feather-like design to the wings and a beak design at the aircraft's nose. The Birdwing is equipped with dual wing-mounted machine guns, concealed miniature rocket launchers, a Kendrium reinforced fuselage, a remote pilot system, and an integrated stealth mode. Blackbird is also able to deploy from beneath the Birdwing's main body to surprise opponents.
- Bird Blades: Although Blackbird refrains from killing, he uses a pair of specially designed pair of Kakushi buki, a favored weapon utilized in Ninjitsu. The talon-like weapons, which Blackbird calls Bird Blades, are made of an incredibly resistant titanium and Kendrium alloy, and the edges are dulled to prevent accidental lethal blows. He is able to block other melee weapons with ease and has been known to catch swords, arrows, and even deflect bullets. The weapons are housed within his bracers and can be deployed with a quick motion of the wrist.
- Blackwings: Blackbird utilizes small wing-shaped shuriken called Blackwings, which are crafted from lightweight titanium. Unlike the Bird Blades, the edges are sharp, but they are never used for lethal maneuvers.
- Blackbird is technically wanted by the police due to his unregistered vigilante status. However, as a result of his successful efforts, he is seldom pursued. Peter Weston has commented that even if they attempted to, it is unlikely they would catch him. Still, some heroes or ambitious police officers may attempt to bring him in.
- The urban legend in the Westside regarding Blackbird has spread to other parts of the city, including areas frequented by some of the more popular metahumans and other heroes.
- Blackbird has access to an inexplicably large amount of resources and knowledge. Some heroes may seek him out for assistance.
- Derek Blake has business and social relationships with numerous business moguls, socialites, and other powerful individuals throughout Millennium City. To the superhero community, Blake Biotech is a viable resource for acquiring technology.
- Blackbird is heavily inspired by the DC Comics character Batman, specifically the version portrayed in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy.
- Elements of Blackbird were also inspired by the CW network's modern retelling of the DC Comics character Green Arrow.
- If a movie were to be made featuring the character of Blackbird, he would be portrayed by actor Michael Shanks.