We are born into the world, and it is our parents’ duty to raise us during our formative years. But of course, not every family experiences this, and occasionally, these parental figures neglect their kids to the point where the kids develop hatred toward the parents.
Fictional accounts of absent parents are common, and today we shall look at the beginnings of “Blackheart,” a tormented demon who was born against his will by the devil lord “Mephisto.” Blackheart spent his entire life exacting retribution on his father because he did not want to endure the horrible existence of a demon.
This character debuted in the Daredevil comics and was developed by Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr. The character of Blackheart was subsequently included in the Ghost Rider film, where he has an intriguing plot line that provides us with insight into a complex father-son relationship. Let us investigate his life history and discover more about this unkillable demon!
The comic book origins are quite interesting
Blackheart made his first appearance in the Daredevil Comics Issue 270, which was released in the year 1989 and introduced ‘the Macabre Menace of Blackheart!’
The comic was set in 1968 and began with a panel of a dead lady lying on ‘Christ’s Crown’ hill in blood-soaked clothes. We learn that her name is ‘Abigail Houseman’ and she had been brutally murdered for no reason. Over the next few years, terrible incidents kept occurring on the same grassy hill, and the place had an eerie, unsettling vibe. One wondered if something horrible resided there or was it just the humans that regarded the spot as evil. One could hear screams fill the air at all times; children were asked to stay away from the hill, and people avoided renting houses near the place.
In the present day, a man named Peter lures Sarah to this hill and forces himself upon her. Despite her protests, he continues assaulting her, and this causes an evil force to start bubbling beneath the surface. A loud eruption of dark smoke follows, from which emerges the demon known as ‘Blackheart.’
He has a skeletal appearance, and his muscles are twisted like barbed wires that seem to leave him in a constant state of agony. Blackheart’s eyes were also a burning red, and it seemed as if he had never known sleep. This creature emerges from the ground and looks at Peter and Sarah, who are terrified to witness his creation. All the accumulated evil on this hilltop seems to have birthed ‘Blackheart.’ He then approaches the couple and ruthlessly kills them both.
After Blackheart kills the couple, the Lord of the hell realm, ‘Mephisto’, makes an appearance and congratulates Blackheart on his first kill. Mephisto addresses him as ‘his son and tells him that he has created him. Blackheart lashes out at Mephisto, who scolds him and tells him to embrace the true potential of his powers. He also tells Blackheart that he must endure the pain, which is a small price to endure to attain Godhood! He also tells Blackheart to use his evil in more sublime ways and advises him not to reveal his true self to humans as it will weaken him. Mephisto gives him a human appearance and tells him to show his true self only to a worthy foe!
On a different side, Daredevil seems to be doing some form of physical training on top of an abandoned roller coaster. He soon senses a strange presence that turns out to be Blackheart. Daredevil also observes that this unknown entity has no heartbeat, and he decides to investigate. He spots Blackheart, who has returned to his original demonic form. Daredevil launches into an attack on the demon but faces backlash as Blackheart zaps at him with an intense bout of energy.
Daredevil retaliates by trapping Blackheart under the wreckage of a roller coaster, slowing down the demon’s movements. All this commotion catches the general public’s attention, as well as the Spider-Man who is just passing by. Spider-Man makes a cameo and appears by Daredevil’s side as the two fight together to defeat Blackheart. The three entities end up in a terrifying brawl, and a huge crowd gathers to watch Spider-Man and Daredevil fight against Blackheart. When Blackheart notices a huge audience, he decides to stop fighting back.
In the meantime, Daredevil finds a huge electrocuting wire and is ready to take down Blackheart with it. However, Spider-Man realizes that this is exactly what Blackheart wants since he has stopped retaliating. Spider-Man advises Daredevil not to go any closer to Blackheart with the electric wire, and Daredevil drops the wire. Instead, the two superheroes lunge at Blackheart together and fight him with just their physical strength. Blackheart decides he can no longer take this and teleports away with a loud blast.
Daredevil is quite disappointed that he let Blackheart get away, and Spider-Man consoles him. In the meantime, Mephisto watches the entire scene from afar. He is sure that the Daredevil will soon be able to sense his presence, and he laughs about the fact that he is walking away while Daredevil still tries to recognize him. Just as Mephisto leaves, Daredevil finally realizes that he just felt Mephisto’s dark presence while fighting Blackheart.
In a different corner of the place, back at ‘Christ’s Crown,’ Blackheart sulks all by himself as he processes the day’s events. He cries out in anger as he wonders why Mephisto, who has been an absent father, finally decides to bring Blackheart into such a dark and cruel world. Blackheart does not wish to live such a life full of suffering, and he once again becomes one with the ground as he returns to the Earth it came from. As the comic comes to an end, Blackheart hopes that Mephisto will forget all about him and let him rest on this ground in peace.
However, over the next few years, Blackheart was summoned by Mephisto and was sent to torment Daredevil, Brandy Ash, and many other such heroes on Earth. Blackheart was also held captive by Mephisto in Hell, and the demon reached out to ‘Misha’ from the group of warriors known as the Warheads. The Warheads invaded Hell and freed Blackheart from the controls of Mephisto.
Mephisto finally lets Blackheart return to Earth, but he takes away most of his powers to make his son learn some humility. After returning to Earth, Blackheart returned to Christ’s Crown and summoned the ‘Warheads.’ He also tried to lure Ghost Rider, Wolverine, and other heroes to Christ’s Crown in an attempt to corrupt them. Blackheart relied on the Warheads group to destroy Mephisto and even commissioned them to return to Hell and fight Mephisto along his side. Blackheart’s final goal was to dethrone his father and take his place instead as a Lord of the Hell realm.
Blackheart in the Ghost Rider movie
Wes Bentley was cast to play Blackheart in the 2007 Ghost Riders movie and did an excellent job portraying this demonic character.
The movie’s plot was primarily centered around the ‘Contract of San Venganza,’ which enables the contract owner to gain control over a thousand corrupt souls. Mephisto, Lord of the Hell Realm, is determined to get his hands on the contract and has been pursuing it for years. He once sent a Ghost Rider to bring the contract to him, but the Ghost Rider escaped with it when he realized just how dangerous it would be to give Mephisto the power over a thousand souls.
After a few years, Mephisto makes a deal with a seventeen-year-old ‘Johnny Blaze’ and offers to cure his father of cancer in exchange for Johnny’s soul. Though Mephisto cures the cancer, Johnny’s father ends up dying in a freak accident the next day anyway. The young boy blames Mephisto for his father’s death, but the devil tells him that he did keep his side of the promise and that Johnny would one day have to repay him.
After a few years, Mephisto finds out that Blackheart is looking for the Contract of San Venganza. Worried that Blackheart would become more powerful by gaining the contract, Mephisto visited Johnny Blaze and asked him to capture Blackheart for him. At the time, Johnny had become a world-famous stuntman, and he had no option but to follow Mephisto’s orders since he had made a deal with the devil. Mephisto even transforms Johnny into the Ghost Rider, giving him additional powers to defeat his demonic son.
In the meantime, Blackheart teams up with a group of demons, namely Gressil, Abigor, and Wallow. Gressil was the Demon of Earth, while Abigor was the Demon of Wind, and Wallow had the title of the ‘Demon of Water’. Blackheart was determined to overthrow Mephisto, and he needed the Contract of San Venganza to stand a chance against his father.
However, his team of demons was not so powerful; one by one, Ghost Rider defeated all of them. Desperate to find Ghost Rider’s weakness, Blackheart finally discovers that Johnny has a lost lover named ‘Roxanne.’ She was Johnny’s weakness, and Blackheart kidnaps her to gain some leverage over the Ghost Rider. He then asks the Ghost Rider to locate the contract of San Venganza and bring it to him if he wishes to see Roxanne live.
Johnny Blaze finds the contract and rushes back to Blackheart to free Roxanne. Now that Blackheart finally has the key to his grand plan, he keeps his promise and releases Roxanne.
Blackheart then unleashed the powers of the contract and absorbed the spirit of the thousand evil souls. He transformed into an ultra-powerful being known as ‘Legion,’ and the process altered his appearance as well as modified his powers. He no longer could be invincible to the Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare. The Penance Stare used one’s evil against themselves, and Ghost Rider then used this stare on ‘Legion’ to burn all the corrupt souls in his body. The stare draws out all the evil that now resides in Legion’s body, causing him an excruciating amount of pain. The suffering of the thousand souls makes it impossible for Legion to tolerate the pain, and he ends up dying. As Legion falls to the ground, his body transforms into Blackheart, who seems dead.
Mephisto finally appears at the scene, and he congratulates Ghost Rider on completing his mission. He even offers to return his soul, but Johnny turns down the offer. He is now determined to live as Ghost Rider and vows to one day use the powers given to him by Mephisto against him. Johnny declares that he will use these powers to protect innocent humans, and an infuriated Mephisto promises to return to make him pay. Finally, the Lord of Hell returns to his realm with Blackheart’s body. Johnny is reunited with Roxanne, who gives their relationship a second chance, and Ghost Rider then rides away on his bike.
What makes him so powerful?
Since Blackheart was created by none other than the Lord of Hell’ Mephisto’ himself, he had many deadly powers that virtually made him undefeatable. He was highly intelligent and often got out of difficult situations by using his brains instead of resorting to his superpowers.
Blackheart possessed superhuman strength and speed and could easily overpower most superheroes. His body had superhuman durability, and Blackheart’s bodily tissues were invulnerable to most human injuries. Weapons such as bullets and energy blasts did not have any effect on him, and Blackheart’s ability to withstand such damages made him quite undefeatable in combat. In some instances, Blackheart did end up with some injuries, but his body had regenerative healing properties, and he quickly recovered. Since he had demonic origins, Blackheart was also immortal and immune to diseases, aging, and other human ailments.
Blackheart was immune to the Ghost Rider’s infamous Penance Stare, which was capable of bringing down even the most powerful entities. This stare could inflict various forms of harm upon its target, ranging from just inflicting pain to even killing people. However, this stare did not affect Blackheart. On the other hand, this stare made Blackheart even stronger. Since the Penance Stare makes the victim relive all their sins, and Blackheart’s source of power resides in evil, the stare makes him even more powerful by drawing out his evil forces.
Blackheart can transport from one realm to another by teleporting. He also has other powers, such as the ability to levitate objects, generate many different forms of energy, and weaponize them in the form of evil’ energy blasts’. He can also alter his physical form at will and decrease or increase his size depending on the size of his opponents. Blackheart even had some telepathic powers, as well as the unique ability to capture human souls. While in Hell, Blackheart can control the minds of even a million creatures all at once.
To conclude, Blackheart is a mighty demon who has lived a very long life full of hardships due to his devil father, ‘Mephisto.’ He was a strong-willed demon who would do anything to get his revenge on his father and dethrone him. Blackheart has a fascinating backstory, and his character has the potential to be explored better in future Marvel movies!