BLACK BRIGADE

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human, cybernetically enhanced

Occupation: "Protector of Slorenia", enforcer for the Slorene government.

Affiliations: Tabissara, Volkhvy

Enemies: Ember, Force Works (Century, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman, U.S. Agent), War Machine, Locomotive Breath, Ultron

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Slorene Parliament Building, Slorenia

First Appearance: Force Works#4 (October, 1994)

Powers: Black Brigade’s armor boosted his strength to superhuman levels and contained a shoulder-cannon and concussive-pulse firing wrist-blasters, and also enabled him to control his squad of robot drones, all of which were similarly armed. Black Brigade used a turbocopter gunship as his personal transport, carrying him and his drones.

History: His powered armor created by the immortal Slorenian mutant Locomotive Breath, Black Brigade was a special unit in the Red Army until their withdrawal from Slorenia. Since then, he had served his new masters, Volkhvy and the Tabissara, and was merciless in his following of their orders. He was short-tempered, confident in his abilities, and underestimated Westerners. He also had a poor grasp of the English language.

He has walked unfazed, through artillery assaults in Zagreb and Kabul shrugged off 105mm shells and the depleted uranium rounds of tank-buster aircraft and torn out the guts of T-62s and Abrams alike.

(Force Works#4)- Black Brigade and his robot drones (at least 4 of them) arrived in their helicopter at the scene of Ember’s massacre of a Slorene military unit, and finding only Force Works there, mistakenly blamed them for Ember’s actions.

(Force Works#5)- Before Black Brigade could attack, Scarlet Witch managed to reason with him, by quoting from the Slorenian Declaration of Allegiance, and asking him to contact his superiors to verify Force Works’ intent. He did so, and then led them to the Slorene Parliament building to meet with the Tabissara, where he reported to his superiors that Ember had escaped before he could deal with him. Volkhvy ordered him to let Force Works lead him to Ember, then destroy him, no matter who got in the way.

Black Brigade was sent to work alongside Force Works as an envoy in their hunt for Ember, and ordered for his gunship to be prepared for launch. After an hour of searching for Ember’s location with no success, Black Brigade and Boshlovor reported to Volkhvy, Black Brigade complaining of how they were useless and just getting in his way, and quickly took offence when Boshlovor reminded him that he had spent months trying and failing to find Ember.

When Force Works finally located Ember, in the old Winter Palace, Black Brigade followed, leading his drones (at least 2 of them) in an all-out attack on the palace, attacking Iron Man, Spider-Woman and Century, wanting them out of the way so he could deal with Ember. Smashing Iron Man to the ground with a massive stone pillar, he was unaffected by Iron Man’s attempt to disable his systems with an EMP, and ordered Iron Man to take his team and flee before they were all crushed. Black Brigade punched Iron Man through a wall, into another chamber in the catacombs below the Palace, where US Agent and Scarlet Witch had found Pavel Chenklo, the man who had become Ember. Seeing his enemy, Black Brigade opened fire on him, shattering the floor beneath him, sending Chenklo falling to his apparent death, and then thanked Force Works for their assistance.

(War Machine#14)- Black Brigade reported to Volkhvy that Locomotive Breath had returned to Slorenia, bringing War Machine with him, seeking access to The Program. Volkhvy ordered him to keep them away from The Program at all costs.

Black Brigade found War Machine and Locomotive Breath breaking into the Winter Palace, and attacked alongside three of his drones, surrounding them, ordering them to surrender or be exterminated. Locomotive Breath fled into the palace, leaving War Machine to distract Black Brigade, who shot him down and explained to him how Locomotive Breath had used him, and lied about a humanitarian cause to trick him into helping him. War Machine recovered, and smashed two drones, ordering Black Brigade to stand down while he dealt with Locomotive Breath.

Black Brigade waited outside the palace (now with four drones), and, sensing a massive energy spike underground, believed War Machine and Locomotive Breath to have destroyed each other, and was shocked to see that War Machine had survived, and that Locomotive Breath had apparently been destroyed by the Ember Triptych. War Machine left Black Brigade something to remember him by, punching him.

(Force Works#11)- Black Brigade, along with two of his drones and Slorene soldiers, attacked a distribution of Red Cross food parcels to impoverished Dudaks, claiming it was an illegal assembly. Unaffected by a Molotov cocktail attack, he shot down the protestors with concussive pulses, capturing them for interrogation.

Later, a weakened Volkhvy ordered Black Brigade to take a squad of Targoth and capture more Dudak for use in The Program, to replenish his strength. Black Brigade sent one of his drones on this mission instead, and suspecting the visiting Tony Stark, waited outside the Slorene Parliament building with two more drones, his suspicions paying off when he saw, and ambushed Iron Man, and ordered one of his drones to report to the Tabissara that he had captured a spy.

(Force Works#12)- Believing Iron Man to be a "foreign interloper, meddling in the affairs of the Slorene nation", Black Brigade had his two drones hold Iron Man while he prepared to punch his captive’s head off. Iron Man broke free, decapitating the two drones with repulsors, and evading Black Brigade’s punch, and a blast from his shoulder-cannon. Receiving a radio transmission from Scarlet Witch, Iron Man was informed of proof of the Slorenian’s atrocities, and, knowing that Force Works’ presence in Slorenia was justified, felt able to fight back, flying into Black Brigade, knocking him down. Iron Man staggered him with another punch, yet he refused to fall, and rejected Iron Man’s attempts to make him give up. His presence needed elsewhere to help the rest of the team, Iron Man ended the fight quickly, ripping out Black Brigade’s central cybernet processor, leaving him unable to move. Only then was it revealed that Black Brigade had been connected into his armor so much that he depended on it for life support, and would die without it. Iron Man quickly attempted to repair his armor, and had him taken to a hospital for emergency surgery.

After the battle with Ember was over, Iron Man made arrangements for Dr. Irena Renko to oversee Black Brigade’s rehabilitation, and intended to supply technical support to free him from his armor.

(Avengers III#20)- As Ultron’s forces attacked Slorenia, Black Brigade and his drones fought back, the drones destroyed by Ultron’s robot soldiers, and Ultron himself tearing off Black Brigade’s arm and seemingly killing him.

Comments: Created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Tom Tenney.

If Black Brigade had indeed been freed from his armor, it was not necessarily the original Black Brigade who died fighting Ultron. Not that, given his cyborg-y nature, he’s necessarily dead anyway. (I vaguely recall Busiek himself backing that up on the AMB. Will look for the quote soon.)

I hope he's not dead, anyway. Black Brigade rules because he speaks bad English, and any story with him in has to use the words "robot drones" lots.

by Gauntlet: Dark Rider

CLARIFICATIONS:
Black Brigade should not be confused with:


images: (without ads)
Force Works#4, p17 (Black Brigade main image)
Force Works#5, p15, pan3 (Black Brigade head shot)


Other appearances:
Force Works#5 (November, 1994)
War Machine#14 (May, 1995)
Force Works#11-12 (May-June, 1995)
Avengers III#20 (September, 1999)


Last updated: 11/30/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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