BLACK TALON

Real Name: Desmond Drew

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Millionaire, cult leader

Legal Status: No criminal record

Group Membership: Cult of the Dark Lord

Affiliations: Mama Limbo

Enemies: Brother Voodoo, Loralee Tate

Known Relatives: Mama Limbo (mother)

Aliases: None

Place of Birth: Unrevealed

Base of Operations: The Castle of the Forsaken, Headtaker's Hill, New Orleans, Louisiana

Extent of Education: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#173 (April, 1974)

Powers/Abilities: Black Talon wore a costume fitted with talons on the gloves and boots. He also wielded a dagger. As a gangan, he was a false Voodoo priest, and used his mother's magical powers to make himself appear to be a houngan to his followers. As Desmond Drew, he kept guard dogs at his mansion and a revolver in his desk.

Height: 6' Weight: 180 lbs. Eyes: Brown Hair: Black

 

 

 

 

 

History: (Strange Tales I#172 (fb), 172 - BTS) - To assist his mother Mama Limbo in obtaining virgins so that she could bathe in their blood in an attempt to regain her lost youth, Desmond Drew assumed the mantle of the Black Talon to lead the Cult of the Dark Lord, and sent his followers out to obtain the needed virgins. The fourth woman they targeted was the nurse Loralee Tate, who was sent a black rooster in the mail as a warning. When they attempted to capture her as she was driving, she sped away, only for a face in the fog conjured by Mama Limbo to frighten her off the road. She was saved by Brother Voodoo and brought to his home, but the cult came for her, and bested Brother Voodoo and his servant Bambu with aid of Mama Limbo's fog. They brought her to their altar to the Dark Lord.

(Strange Tales I#173) - Brother Voodoo went to Mama Limbo for aid in finding Loralee, unaware of her involvement in her capture. She directed him to the Castle of the Forsaken, where Brother Voodoo met with Drew, who claimed to know nothing of the cultists. As Brother Voodoo departed, he was attacked by Mama Limbo's fog apparition, and was driven into the Cult of the Dark Lord. Although Brother Voodoo held his own against the cultists, he decided that his only hope for finding Loralee was to allow them to defeat him and bring him to where she was. He was brought to the altar of the Dark Lord and chained to an upside-down cross by Drew, who was now garbed as the Black Talon.

(Tales of the Zombie#6/2) - Black Talon announced to the Dark Lord that they were ready to sacrifice Brother Voodoo and Loralee Tate to him, and a mist appeared over the Dark Lord's statue as a sign that it was time. Before the Black Talon could proceed, Brother Voodoo used the spirit of his brother Daniel to possess one of the cultists and set him free, and he created a wall of flame to hold the cultists and Black Talon back while he took Loralee Tate to safety. As Black Talon and Brother Voodoo fought, Brother Voodoo recognized him as a gangan, and nearly beat him until Mama Limbo entered the fight, knocking Brother Voodoo out from behind.

Brother Voodoo and Loralee Tate were returned to their place of sacrifice before the Dark Lord, and the cultists began to chant to prepare them, but Brother Voodoo used the combined strength of his brother to break free from cross and attack. Mama Limbo froze Brother Voodoo, Black Talon and the cultists in place while she attempted to draw Loralee's blood, but the broken cross fell on her, and crushed her to death. As the Black Talon mourned his mother's death, the cultists turned on him for deceiving them, and he was beaten to death. Brother Voodoo summoned Samuel Tate to arrest the cult.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments: Created by Len Wein, Gene Colan and Dick Giordano.

    I have suspicions that the conclusion of this story-- co-written by Doug Moench-- wasn't entirely what Wein had been building up to in Strange Tales I#172-173.

    The Black Talon takes a lot of needling from fandom for dressing like a chicken, even though the rooster is a genuinely potent sacrifice in voodoo. Believe it or not, the Black Talon uniform is actually at its most ridiculous in Tales of the Zombie#6, where Colan drew the cape (wings) and boots (talons) so large that he really did look like a giant chicken. Poor guy.

There is an entry for all Black Talons in Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic.

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Black Talon should not be confused with:


CULT OF THE DARK LORD

The Cult of the Dark Lord believed in the Dark Lord which Mama Limbo and Black Talon had provided, and thought that the virgins they captured were being sacrificed for their god. When they learned that it was all a ploy by Mama Limbo to regain her youth, they turned on the Black Talon and killed him.

--Strange Tales I#172 (172 (fb), 172 173, Tales of the Zombie#6/2

THE DARK LORD

The Dark Lord was the supposed demon who the cult worshipped, but it was nothing more than a statue which Mama Limbo enhanced using her powers.

--Strange Tales I#172 ( 173, Tales of the Zombie#6/2



 

 

 

 

 








MAMA LIMBO

 

    Mama Limbo was a powerful and respected Mamaloi (voodoo priestess) who desired to regain her youth. Learning of Elizabeth Bathory's method of rejuvenation from Bathory's diary, Mama Limbo set up the Cult of the Dark Lord with her son Desmond Drew as the Black Talon, using her abilities to make up for her son's lack. She had the cultists bring her virgins so that she could bathe in their blood. She helped direct Brother Voodoo to the Castle of the Forsaken so that the cult would be able to ambush him. When she overeagerly attempted to claim Loralee Tate, she was crushed by a giant cross that Brother Voodoo broken free of. Her death caused the cultists to turn on her son and kill him.

Mama Limbo could create a fearsome foggy image, create mist, and see visions. She also wielded a cane.

--Strange Tales I#173 ([172 (fb)], 173, Tales of the Zombie#6/2

 

 

 

 











Images taken from:
Strange Tales I#173, page 23
Strange Tales I#173, page 14, panel 1
Cult/Dark Lord- Strange Tales I#172, page 23, panel 4
Mama Limbo- Strange Tales I#173, page 1


Appearances:
Strange Tales I#172-173 (February-April, 1974) - Len Wein (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Dick Giordano (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Tales of the Zombie#6 (July, 1974) - Doug Moench & Len Wein (writers), Gene Colan (pencils), Frank Chiaramonte (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)

Last updated: 09/05/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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