Black Death

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human mutate or mutant (see comments)

Occupation: Criminal;

former superhero, university student

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None;

formerly Gravity, New York University

Enemies: Gravity, the Jester (see comments), Professor King, Rage

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Greenwich Guardian

Base of Operations: New York University, Manhattan, New York, USA

First Appearance: (As Black Death) Gravity#1 (August, 2005);

(As Greenwich Guardian) Gravity#2 (September, 2005)

Powers/Abilities: As the Greenwich Guardian, Black Death possessed enhanced strength, stamina and the ability to leap long distances with ease. As Black Death, he had the ability to envelop his body in darkness and create controlled darkness-energy blasts, as well as flight.



Black Death Unmasked

History: (Gravity#5 (fb) - BTS (see comments)) - Prior to receiving his powers, the man who would become the Greenwich Guardian used to read books and watch girls on the NYU campus.

(Gravity#5 (fb) - BTS) - Adopting the Greenwich Guardian identity, he had his first fight as a superhero on the NYU campus.
   Some time later, in his student guise, the Greenwich Guardian received a failing grade in social psychology from Professor King. He then began spending a great deal of time studying in the Bobst Library.

The Greenwich Guardian

(Gravity#4 (fb) - BTS) - The Greenwich Guardian fought the Jester at NYU and was defeated. He disappeared soon after this.

(Gravity#5 (fb) - BTS) - Feeling unappreciated as a hero, a series of disheartening events in NYU's Hayden Hall led the Greenwich Guardian to become Black Death.

(Gravity#1 (fb) - BTS) - Black Death based himself out of midtown Manhattan, making his presence known. He later encountered Rage. A fight between the two nearly ended when Rage knocked Black Death down.

(Gravity#1) - The fight between Black Death and Rage continued into NYU and into a building where freshman Greg Willis was meeting with an adviser. Donning his suit and leaping into action as Gravity, Willis mistook Rage for the villain of the fight and pushed him though several walls with his gravity powers. Ambushing Gravity, Black Death used his powers to pin him against a wall and taunted him, calling him "Guppy." As he left, Black Death warned Gravity they'd meet again.

(Gravity#2) - The Greenwich Guardian encountered Gravity while patrolling Greenwich Village and congratulated him on defeating Rhino earlier that day. The Guardian asked Gravity if he'd like to join him on patrol, and offered to show the novice hero the ropes. Gravity accepted and they agreed to meet the following day at midnight.
    The Greenwich Guardian and Gravity formed a partnership that continued over several nights, stopping ATM robbers in skeleton costumes and saving a family from a burning building. During a fight against gang members in an alley, the Greenwich Guardian's aggressiveness against their enemies forced Gravity to intervene. The Greenwich Guardian scolded Gravity and told him the gang members wouldn't hesitate to murder either of them, and that Gravity should be more interested in watching his back. Gravity was able to talk the Greenwich Guardian into continuing the patrol. The duo soon spotted a jewelry store robbery and leapt into action. Making short work of the thieves, Gravity was blasted from behind by Black Death.

(Gravity#3) - Gravity rose to his feet, unable to stop Black Death from using his powers to kill one of the jewelry store thieves. He launched a full assault at Black Death only to be thrown back through a window. After a one-sided fight, Black Death collapsed a portion of the ceiling on Gravity, but was enraged that to learn Gravity escaped through an air duct.

Black Death vs. Gravity

(Gravity#4) - The Greenwich Guardian returned weeks later. Telling Gravity he'd been in the hospital since their encounter with Black Death and that he left the fight as suddenly as he did to get needed medical attention. The Guardian told Gravity he'd been tracking Black Death and learned of his plan to steal an experimental seismic pulse generator to destroy Manhattan. The Guardian proposed they steal it first and talked a reluctant Gravity into it. After the successful theft of the device, Gravity handed it over to the Greenwich Guardian and the duo continued to work together.
    Some time later, the Guardian tracked Gravity down on the NYU campus with news that he'd finally tracked down Black Death. As Gravity got into position in Black Death's warehouse lair, the Greenwich Guardian put the seismic pulse generator on and told Gravity that the device was actually a graviton trap. And that he's actually Black Death.

(Gravity#5) - Bringing Gravity back to the NYU campus, Black Death explained that he used "camera things" that measure fluctuations in gravity to figure out how Gravity's powers worked, giving them to the thieves he set up to rob the jewelry store. Wanting to use Gravity's powers to further his own agenda, Black Death used the graviton trap to destroy buildings and other parts of the NYU campus that reminded him of his days there. Able to assert control over his powers, Gravity destroyed the graviton trap and leapt at Black Death, who grabbed Gravity and flung him through the Washington Square Arch.
    Trapped under debris, Gravity could only listen while Black Death told him about his aspirations as the Greenwich Guardian, how he thought he'd be the next big thing, and how, feeling unappreciated, he chose to use his powers for himself. Lifting debris off to Black Death's surprise, Gravity hit the villain with a massive punch and left him laid out on the ground. Black Death's form disintegrated into a black smear.
    Black Death recovered, albeit with minor injuries to his human form. He broke into an admissions office and began a search for freshman students from Wisconsin.

Comments: Created by Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (pencils) and Jonathan Glapion (inks).

The source of Black Death's powers were not revealed, nor was it explained if he had his Black Death powers while active as the Greenwich Guardian or gained them separately (as is slightly implied in Gravity#5). Black Death's powers may be Darkforce related as all "shadow-based" powers seem to be. While acting as the Greenwich Guardian in Gravity#4, he seemed to be flying, although it's not entirely clear from the art if that's the case or if he's simply leaping. It's possible that the Greenwich Guardian had flight as a power, something that carried over when he became Black Death

   The chronology of the prior events mentioned by Black Death in Gravity#5 are recounted in the order given above, but it's unclear if they actually occurred in this sequence.

   Black Death rather pointedly asked Gravity if he was a member of the X-Men when the latter was misidentified in the Daily Bugle as one in Gravity#2. It's possible he was making sure Gravity wouldn't have back-up following him, but it may well have been an indication that Black Death was either anti-mutant or a mutant himself.

   Black Death's backstory isn't totally clear, but there's enough there to piece together that his humbling and humiliating defeat by the Jester was the cause for his abandonment of the Greenwich Guardian identity and that he continued to attend NYU until just recently when he was pushed too far and -- through unknown means -- gained the powers he would use as Black Death just prior to the start of the Gravity limited series. It's not clear which Jester he encountered, but it's probably the second version, the late Jody Putt, although the Greenwich Guardian may have been active early enough to run into Jonathan Powers during his heyday.

   The end result of Black Death's revenge against Gravity is unrevealed.

Profile by G Morrow .

Black Death has no known connections to

images: (without ads)
Gravity#2, p22, pan1 (main image)
Gravity#5, p23, pan2 (Black Death unmasked)
Gravity#2, p12, pan1 (Greenwich Guardian)
Gravity#3, p6, pan4 (Gravity vs. Black Death)

Gravity#1 (August, 2005) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor)

Gravity#2 (September, 2005) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor)
Gravity#3 (October, 2005) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor)
Gravity#4 (November, 2005) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor)
Gravity#5 (December, 2005) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (pencils), Jonathan Glapion (inks), Mackenzie Cadenhead (editor)

Last updated: 11/12/07

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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