djblast-93060-uvyzdots2-mostlyfull-cost.jpgdjblast-93060-uvyzdots4-faceD.J. BLAST

Real Name: Jamal Blass

Identity/Class: Alternate reality (Earth-93060/"Ultraverse") "ultra"

Occupation: Musician; local government sanctioned hero, spokesman, actor (in advertisements)

Group Membership: The Squad (Forsa/Carlos Jimenez, Hardcase/Tom Hawke, Starburst/Linda Warren);

Affiliations: American Express, Mayor Bradley, Celia Brady (Squad secretary), Jamal Brown, Entity on (or from) the Moon, Kevin Green (later Prime), Los Angeles Police Department, Patti (girlfriend); unidentified record producer; Mrs. Jimenez and their son (and perhaps other family members)
    several kids in his neighborhood idolized him, and a significant portion of the Los Angeles population appreciated/supported the Squad's efforts/activities;
    formerly an unidentified record producer

Enemies: Pete Jensen, Rex Mundi, NM-E, Zulus (Jerome, Grease, Daddy K, Tyrone);
    unidentified terrrorists at JFK Junior High; numerous unidentified criminals (notably crack dealers, bank robbers, arsonists, and anti-Zionists)

Known Relatives: Unidentified mother, Yolanda (sister)

Aliases: DJ Blast! (from Ultra Monthly);
    "Rap Star" (from his sister);
    derogatory terms such as "Uncle Tom" and sellout (and various racial slurs)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    apparently died in the San Fernando Valley, California;djblast-93060-uvyzdots2-powers
    formerly the Squad's office in Century City, California;
    formerly Watts, Los Angeles, California (see comments)

First Appearance: Hardcase#1 (June, 1993)

Powers/Abilities: D.J. Blast could cause matter to explode by "violently reorganizing" molecules.

    He could affect both organic and inorganic molecules, including living tissue.

    He could either cause something (a car or the hand of someone holding a gun) to explode or project explosive force unidirectionally to stun to shatter rocks.

    The ultimate release of his power caused windows to shatter five miles away from the concussive force, while pieces of cement and other debris rained down over a file mile radius.

    He may have had some degree of superhuman strength and/or durability as he was able to leap off the top of building at least a couple stories tall without injury (or maybe Forsa lowered him to the ground).

        Regardless, he certainly was not resistant to machine gun fire at close range.

    Jamal had a strong interest and some experience with writing and performing rap music.
    He had at least one album underway or completed.

    Jamal was strong and confident, protective of his friends, family, and neighborhood.

    Although he sometimes disagreed with the government or the legal system, he ultimately chose to protect innocents from crime. 

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6')
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 200 lbs.)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb) - BTS) - Jamal Blass was born in 1973 (see comments).

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb) - BTS) - Jamal dreamed of being a rap artist. He cut some demo tapes, but no record deals had materialized.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb)) - In Watts (see comments), southern Los Angeles, California, Jamal lived with his sister, Yolanda. As she chatted with a friend on the phone, he aked her if she could get off the phone as he was expecting a call, but she mockingly told him that the record producers were never going to call him. Jamal countered that she had been on the phone for over an hour, but then a series of nearby gunshots from an apparent driveby caused them both to dive to the ground.

     Lying on his back, Jamal considered that he needed to get out of there.



(Ultra Monthly#1 (fb) - BTS / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb)) <October 12, 1991> -
While Jamal was cutting a demo in Inglewood, his producer interrupted, asking him to run that line again, as he had had trouble with the sound.

     Jamal told him that the microphone was bargain basement, but he was advised that this was not a cheap studio for nothin'.

Jamal started to question how he knew the microphone even worked, but then it surprising exploded in his face
(see comments).
(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb) - BTS) - From his base in the earth below the crushing ocean depths, Rex Mundi monitored the recent influx of empowering "jumpstarts" in Los Angeles.


(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb)) - The next day, members of the Zulus gang confronted Jamal on the streets, noting the drive-by the night before and telling him he had not seen anything.

   Jamal agreed, and they told him he better tell the cops the same thing, but when he noted that he had already told them he had not seen anything, he was accused of disrespecting them and was racially insulted.

     One of the Zulus, Jerome, prepared to put a bullet in the back of his head, but Jamal unconsciously blew up the man's right (gun) hand.

     Realizing what he had done, Jamal then blew up the Zulus' van.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb) - BTS) - Jamal reported his power and his discovery to thre press.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb) - BTS) - Jamal soon had five record companies wanting to sign a contract.

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - After being transformed into a much more physically powerful form by an unexplained energy burst, Tom Hawke turned on the news and learned about three other people in the Los Angeles area who had experienced bursts of power, although each case was different.

     There were unconfirmed rumors of other events.

(Break-Thru#2 (fb) - BTS) - These empowerments were via the Entity on the Moon, and they were later referred as a jumpstart.

(Hardcase#4 (fb) / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb)) - Tom contacted Jamal and two other confirmed and reported empowered people -- Linda Warren and Carlos Jimenez -- and arranged a meeting at "--oscanella Italian Kitchen," where he told them they all had something to gain and that if they pooled their resources, they could get major media exposure, which could help all of their careers.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb)) - Hawke suggested they form an ultra-hero team, noting Ultratech's Prototype (Bob Campbell) as an example of how such publicity could be good for business, and they might actually do some good.

     While Jamal and the others were initially incredulous, Jamal appreciated that such a venture could lead to movies, cartoons, and video games.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb)) - BTS) - Rex Mundi observed this interaction and assigned the four as targets to his robot servant NM-E; however, he instructed it to wait to see who else came out into the limelight after this group went public.


djblast-93060-uvyzdots2-kneesup-civ(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) <Two days after the restaurant meeting> - Jamal met with Hawke, Jimenez, and Warren out in a desert to showcase and test the limits of their powers in preparation for a press conference to announce themselves to the world.
    Jamal's girlfriend, Patti,
came to watch, and she sat with Linda's boyfriend, Pete Jensen, and Carlos' wife and their son. They sat around talking, getting bored, sipping sodas, and realizing they were fifth wheels.

djblast-93060-uvyzdots2-prof-civ    Presumably that afternoon or evening, as some kids asked Jamal for his autograph, he was confronted by a group of the Zulus, who warned him that even though he had the ultra edge, they could get to his sister, his mother, and/or his"'ho." They advised him to do what they told him or he would know their idea of retribution. Unphased, Jamal advised them that they had said the wrong thing, after which they countered with the same reply and then left. 

    The next day, Jamal told the others about the crack gang terrorizing their neighborhood, explaining how they hurt people for fun and that he wanted to put them down. He clarified that he did not want to kill them, discussing how they were lost souls and that their lives had been crap sinve day one; however, that was no excuse for what they did and that he wanted them to know that they could not continue on the path they had chosen: "We need to convince them that crime doesn't pay."

     Having grown up with gangs, Carlos agreed that they should make an example there. Tom and Linda agreed as long as no one got seriously hurt, and all four made a pact that they would never knowingly maim or kill another human being.

    They further acknowledged that their powers did not give make them gods and that they had not been given a mandate to right wrongs: They all just wanted to live in a better world.

    After the four of them arrived at Jamal's house, his mother came running out and told him that the gang had taken his sister, Yolanda, as well as Patti.

    As Jerome prepared to shoot the girls, Jamal and the others confronted the Zulus. Refusing Jamal's instruction to put their guns down while they still could, the Zulus fired on them, but they easily and safely overpowered the Zulus without hurting anyone, warning them to go straight.

     However, as Jamal prepared to take Yolanda and Patti home, the LAPD showed up and arrested Jamal and his allies. Although Yolanda and Patti what had happened, they were ignored, and Jamal and his allies spent the night in jail; no charges were filed.

    The next morning, the group was brought before the mayor and the chief of police, who told them that alhough they had acted as vigilantes, they had been calm and prepared and that they not used any unreasonable force; these things impressed the authorities, who arranged for them to be able to fight crime under the city's supervision (vs. being prosecuted if they continued independently).

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - Soon after, the mayor introduced them publicly in a press conference as LA's newest crimefighting team, the Squad. They met with immediate public approval by a crowd outside the building cheering for what they did, and the four appreciated the city officials' motive to make them their own.

    Fashion people said they defined a new, health-conscious look. They received costumes based on the clothes in which they had been arrested. 

    Seeing the public's reaction, the media jumped at including the Squad everywhere possible.

(Hardcase#13 (fb) - BTS) <September, 1991> - Aladdin began extensive surveilance of the Squad (see comments).

djblast-93060-hc-amex(Hardcase#4 (fb)) <Late 1991> - Soon after, the Squad (D.J. Blast/Blass, Forsa/Jimenez, Hardcase/Hawke, Starburst/Warren) was a national sensation, on the cover of almost every magazine. 

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - They were also guests on almost every talk show.

(Hardcase#4 (fb)) - They started out doing charity work for the disadvantaged.

(Hardcase#4 (fb)) - The Squad members also did advertisements, which paid nicely. D.J. Blast did an ad for American Express.djblast-93060-uvyzdots2-shoead

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mayor Bradley gave the Squad sanction to help out the police on cases where cops might get killed.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - The Squad were sent into dangerous scenes which the police wished to avoid. Their ability to take down the opposition without casualties pleased the police, the city, and the public. 

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - They started with some "simple things," like crack houses.

(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Squad shut down a number of crack houses and did a lot of community service, which was greatly appreciated by the local police. 

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - The Squad later moved on to bank robbers and the like.

    They found things to seem "too easy," as normal criminals were no match for them.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - The squad was deluged with mail. On slow days, they sat around the coffee room, going through letters. Some were full of praise, while others were cries for help: Kids wanting protection from bullies, people afraid of their neighbors, women who were being stalked by their ex-lovers, and children who wanted their father to stop hitting mommy.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - D.J. Blast did a commercial for a brand of athletic shoes.




(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - The Squad's success contributed to UltraTech look into a replacement for their public agent, Prototype (Bob Campbell)

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb) - The Squad got an office in Century City, along with a secretary (Celia Brady) to handle all the mail and calls that they were getting.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#3 (fb) - BTS) - The city made the Squad heroes in the eyes of the public through carefully orchestrated attacks on crack houses and hostage situations, although they spent most of their time doing public relations work.

djblast-93060-uvyzdots3-album(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#3 (fb)) - The Squad spoke to high school students near downtown LA. When an African-American student accused them of racist attacks on people of color, Jamal countered that the Squad was a multi-cultural team of crime-fighters who were fighting the injustice crime brings to the lives of innocent people. 

     After Jamal further noted that he had grown in the hood, Carlos spoke up, clarifying that they were trying to help people in the disadvantaged areas.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#3 (fb)) - Jamal worked on his first album.



djblast-93060-uvyzdots3-face(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#3 (fb)) <see comments> - When the verdict of not guilty came in for the police involved with the Rodney King incident, LA erupted in violent rioting.

    The Squad was ordered not to get involved as officials feared they might do more harm than good without police supervision. Jamal noted that while he was not happy about the verdict, he did not want to see his neighborhood get trashed, and the Squad pretended they had never heard these orders and tried in vain to bring peace and order to the town.

    Looking down on the looters, Jamal noted how it had started with anger but that it was now about greed. Although being called "Uncle Tom" and a "sell out" in the process, Jamal stopped a group of looters from trashing a small family-owned store.

    Though Jamal and the rest of the Squad were frustrated by their lack of success, Officer Jamal Brown thanked them for being level-headed and credited them for preventing things from getting even worse.

(Ultra Monthly#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Squad took on everything from arsonists to anti-Zionists.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb) - BTS) - Rex Mundi instructed NM-E to kill a number of ultras in Los Angeles and to save the Squad for last.

(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Squad thought they were the only ultras on the planet. 

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - Hardcase and the rest of the Squad discussed their mixed feedback following the riots, but ultimately felt they were doing some good. Jamal commented how there was always going to be someone out to tear you down, and he further noted that while there were people calling him "Uncle Tom" or worse because he worked with the police, there were a lot of people who respected what he did, as they were sick of the crime that infected the city.

    Although Jamal refused to work for the federal government, Linda convinced them to meet with the US government as requested, so they would not be seen as being against the government.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - The LAPD informed the Squad of brutal slaughters of 11 ultras in the city in the last 10 days; this disabused them of the notion they were the only ultras, and also put them on alert as they might be next.

(Hardcase#4 (fb) / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) <Around March 3, 1992> - Agents of the US federal government group Aladdin met the Squad, telling them they were doing great work in LA, but that their country could put them to better use. Jamal was immediately opposed to this, pointing that he heard the word "use," and noting that he had seen the movie "JFK" and that he knew what kind of use the government put people to. Despite assurances that Aladdin were the good guys and wanted to help them live up to their full potential, the Squad was leery about working for some government agency of which they'd never heard. Tom voiced this opinion and politely declined the offer.

(Ultraverse Premiere#0/4 / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) <March 9, 1992> - When terrorists took hostage a class of students at Canoga Park's JFK Junior High, the Squad arrived to stop them. Hearing news reports of their arrival, the terrorists instructed the authorities to call the Squad back, but the Squad had already gone in. Working in pairs -- Hardcase and Starburst, and D.J. Blast and Forsa -- took out a number of the terrorists. DJ and Forsa stopped a pair of terrorists who had cornered and were preparing to kill Kevin Green. When the terrorists refused to back down and fired on them, Forsa telekinetically re-directed the bullets, while Jamal blasted them into unconsciousness against a wall. djblast-93060-uvyzdots4-blastnme

    The terrorist leader ordered his men to kill some of the kids as a warning, but the Squad united to protect the kids and take them down without a single fatality.


(Ultraverse Premiere#0/4 - BTS) - A newswoman reported the the Squad had captured all of the terrorists and that the FBI and SWAT teams were moving in.

    Observing this, Rex Mundi ordered NM-E to kill the Squad as brutally as possible.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - As the FBI took away the terrorists, Hardcase and the Squad regained their confidence and their belief in what they were doing.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - Linda's ex-boyfriend Pete sold lies about the Squad to the tabloids, including that Jamal and Carlos were gay lovers.

(Hardcase#4 (fb) / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) <March 10, 1992; one week after the Aladdin meeting> - In Studio City in the San Fernando Valley, California, Forsa (Carlos) and his wife had a housewarming party.

     Jamal was annoyed upon learning the lies Pete had told the tabloids.

(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS / Hardcase#4 (fb) / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - NM-E (whose identity was not known at the time of the attack) burst through the roof and attacked the Squad out of the blue.

(Hardcase#4 (fb) / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - Before anyone could react, NM-E had slain half of the people in the room. Forsa launched the creature out of the house into a nearby drainage canal. 

    D.J. Blast joined the others in following it there, but when Jamal blasted NM-E, it fired a machine gun, blowing a massive hole through his abdomen.djblast-93060-uvyzdots4-woundeddjblast-93060-uvyzdots4-final

(Hardcase#1 (fb) / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - D.J. Blast was on the ground, a short distance from the unconscious Starburst, with the legless Forsa impaled by NM-E.

    As Hardcase recovered and prepared to attack NM-E anew, D.J. Blast advised him that NM-E had smoked Forsa, that he was almost done himself, and that Hardcase should get Starburst out of there while he tried something.

    Appreciating that Jamal's power could take out half the neighborhood, Hardcase grabbed Starburst and leapt away, after which Jamal cut loose with his power.

(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS) - Realizing that his friend had committed  suicide, Hardcase yelled his friend's name but the explosion drowned out his scream.

     Windows shattered five miles away from the concussive force, while pieces of cement and other debris rained down over a file mile radius.

    Landing in a swimming pool, Hardcase survived.

    Over 30 people were injured by the explosion, and several minor car accidents were reported.

(Ultra Monthly#1 (fb) - BTS) - The explosion left a crater twelve feet deep and forty feet in circumference. The creature was vaporized along with what was once Carlos and Jamal (see comments).

(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS) - The news reported how D.J. Blast and Forsa had perished; Hardcase recovered, but Starburst remained in critical condition, with little hope of recovery.

(Hardcase#4 - BTS) - At the request of the ultras known as the Strangers (Atom Bob/Bob Hardin, ElectroCute/Candy, Grenade/Hugh Fox, Lady-Killer/Elena la Brava, Spectral/Dave Castiglione, Yrial, Zip-Zip/Leon Balford), Hardcase related the history of the Squad.

     After doing so, Hardcase appreciated that they had been attacked not long after rejecting Aladdin's offer, and he considered that they may have sent the attacker (NM-E) after them for some reason.

Comments: Created by James D. Hudnall, Jim Callahan, and Norm Breyfogle

    His first name was revealed in Hardcase#1, but Ultra Monthly#1 came out the same month and gave his full name.I don't know which came out first.

    Jerome looked significantly younger and smaller in Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 than in #2-4. The stories continued two days apart, so either a little after being empowered, Jamal suddenly bulked up, or it was just artistic license.

    There are a few relatively minor discrepancies in D.J. Blast's timeline from original presentation and the expansion in Ultraverse Year Zero: Death of the Squad

    Yolanda was identified by name in Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2.

    It was not clear to me whether his girlfriend, Patti, was present at the party at Forsa's house and, if so, whether she was slain by NM-E or not.

Profile by Snood.

D.J. Blast
should be distinguished from:

: (without ads)

Hardcase#4, pg. 11, panel 1 (Amex advertisement);
Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1, pg. 1, panel 3 (pre-mutation);
       pg. 8, panel 3 (Yolanda);
          panel 5 (on the ground; I gotta get out of here);
       pg. 11, panel 1 (demo);
          panel 4 (explodes microphone);
       pg. 17, panel 5 (blows up car);
    #2, pg. 4, panel 3 (demonstrating unidirectional blast);
       pg. 6, panel 1 (civilian, upper body);
       pg. 8, panel 1 (first public adventure outfit; profile);
       pg. 12, panel 1 (first public adventure outfit; frontal);djblast-93060-uvyzdots4-altcost
       pg. 14, panel 3 (first costume);
          panel 4 (jet magazine);
       pg. 21, panel 1 (shoe ad);
    #3, pg. 5, panel 3 (speaking to students);
       pg. 11, panel 1 (face, close-up);
    #4, pg. 5, panel 2 (face, full);
       pg. 17, panel 3 (blasting NM-E);
          panel 4 (shot through the abdomen);
       pg. 20, panel 3 (eviscerated);
       pg. 21, panel 3 (unleashing full power against NM-E);
       pg. 23, panel 4 (tombstone)

Hardcase#1 (June, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Jim Callahan (penciler), Norm Breyfogle (inker), Chris Ulm (editor)
Ultra Monthly#1 (June, 1993) - April Brown, James Hudnall (writers), Gibbons (artist -- that's the signature on the cover, but there's no internal credit; the same image is used in the Squad feature), Chris Ulm (contributing editor)

Hardcase#4 (September, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Roger Robinson (penciler), Larry Welch (inker), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Ultraverse Premiere#0/4 (or 0/3 if you didn't think the "Making of Run" feature counts) (November, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Kevin Maguire (artist), Hank Kanalz (editor)

Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (April, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), Scott Benefiel (penciler), Jasen Rodriguez (inker), Hank Kanalz & Phil Crain (editors)
Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2-3 (May-June, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), George Dove (penciler), Jeff Whiting (inker), Phil Crain (editor)

Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (July, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), George Dove (penciler), Jeff Whiting & John Stangeland (inkers), Phil Crain (editor)

First posted06/29/2023
Last updated: 07/01/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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