Black Raazer

Real Name: Razer?;
    name of apparent human host unrevealed (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human magic-user (see comments);
    apparent human host is presumably a mortal man simply empowered by his possession, though perhaps he had some special skills that enabled him to command Razer's power? (see comments);
    active an unspecified number of centuries ago, as well as from 1939 to the modern era (the latter portion within Puck)

Occupation: Sorcerer, warrior

Group Membership: Desert Sword (Aminedi, Arabian Knight/Abdul Qamar, Sirocco, Veil)

Affiliations: (Razer) unidentified apparent human host;
        possibly the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim;
        formerly Puck (Eugene Judd; human host);
    (apparent host) Iraqi government, Razer

Enemies: Alpha Flight (Aurora/Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, Box/Roger Bochs, Box/Madison Jeffries, Northstar/Jean-Paul Beaubier, Puck/Eugene Judd, Sasquatch/Walter Langkowski, Vindicator/Heather Hudson), Arcade, Freedom Force (Avalanche/Dominikos Petrakis, Blob/Fred Dukes, Crimson Commando/Frank Bohannon, Pyro/St. John Alerdyce, Super Sabre/Martin Fletcher), Reinhold Kurtzmann, Loki Laufeyson, unidentified Persian sorcerers

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Raazer, Razer, Razor (see comments)

Base of Operations: Mobile within apparent unidentified human host throughout Iraq and Kuwait when last seen;
    formerly mobile within Puck (Eugene Judd);
    formerly trapped within the Black Blade of Bagdhad;
    formerly Bagdhad, Iraq

First Appearance: (Behind-The-Scenes, unidentified) Alpha Flight I#5 (December, 1983);
    (unidentified, Behind-The-Scenes, Black Blade referenced) Alpha Flight I#31 (February, 1986);
    (seen, identified) Alpha Flight I#32 (March, 1986)

Powers/Abilities: Razer's abilities as a mortal sorcerer are undefined.

    In his disembodied state, he had a large, apparently immaterial cloud or wraith-like form, via which he could pass through smaller portals; however, he could turn solid either partially or completely at will to grasp others or to shatter either solid stone walls. To insure his own immortality, Razer had to constantly consume others' life forces, which he claimed a bit at a time with his Black Blade of Baghdad; as they lost portions of their souls, his victims typically shrunk by 6" with each sword-strike. Even a mystical being, such as Sasquatch, or a mechanical form merged with a human mind/spirit was similarly affected by his sword-strikes. Upon his being re-contained, driven off, or otherwise defeated, his victims typically regained their original heights.
    Razer could not be sensed by computers or other mechanical sensors. He was weakened and pained by light, which was effective in driving him back.
    He could be trapped within a living being who voluntarily sacrificed his or her own soul to contain him. In the case of Puck, his host was shrunken in half height-wise (though maintaining a comparable width and thickness) and ceased aging, though separation from Razer restored him to his original height and his true age. In the case of his apparent unidentified human host, the host remained normal human height but took on an appearance matching Razer's, but retaining human dimensions; this host could also access Razer's abilities and weaknesses, and also maintained his own will.

    Black Raazer was apparently a mortal bonded to and possessing Razer's physical appearance, (a degree of his) abilities, and weaknesses. He appeared often-times in fully humanoid form and other times coalescing from a purple-black smoke; in the latter form, he could float through the air, and presumably both he and the Black Blade were largely immaterial, though he may have been able to physically contact others if he wished. Certainly when caught in physical form, he could be physically struck and injured. His sword-strikes could allegedly consign other's spirits to Hell, though Avalanche was only briefly incapacitated by such a strike (Black Raazer reasoned this was either because his armor deflected the mystical properties of his sword, or because Avalanche already believed his soul was consigned to Hell); and Blob was only pained by being impaled by the sword, probably for similar reasons with his virtually invulnerable skin potentially protecting him, though the sword did apparently cut him, as Blob commented about worrying about bleeding to death. Being smashed into a brick wall by the superhumanly strong Blob and then impaled through the chest by his own sword only briefly incapacitated him, and he could remove the sword (though not without some pain) and apparently recover completely within minutes.

Height: Unrevealed; his mortal form has not been seen on panel as far as I recall; his disembodied form was generally immense, apparently varying between 25-50' tall; as Black Raazer, perhaps 6'6" or larger (and/or variable); he appeared much larger than the 5'10 Arabian Knight, though he also appeared smaller than the Blob, who is also noted to be only 5'10" but generally appears to be way taller than that...so, unrevealed...
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Solid red (original form unrevealed)
Hair: None (original color unrevealed)

History:

(Alpha Flight I#32 (fb) - BTS) - The Black Blade of Baghdad's origins were shrouded in the supernatural.

(Alpha Flight I#32 (fb) - BTS) - Persian mystics forged in sorcerous fire a scimitar that shone mystic white light.

(Alpha Flight I#32 (fb) - BTS) <Centuries ago> - Persian mystics mystically imprisoned a renegade sorcerer (Razer) within the shining white scimitar, apparently for making men small, shriveling and stealing their souls and reducing them to nothingness to make his own power grow.

(Alpha Flight I#32 (fb) - BTS) - Razer corrupted the light that formerly shone through the white scimitar, turning it black; it eventually became known as the Black Blade of Baghdad. This corruption would allow Razer to be released when grasped by someone who had forgotten the legends.

(Alpha Flight I#32 (fb) - BTS) - The sorcerers who created the white scimitar (and who presumably imprisoned Razer) eventually perished.

(Alpha Flight I#32 (fb) - BTS) <1939> - Eugene Judd was hired by certain dealers in antiquity to obtain the Black Blade of Baghdad for them; Judd's own curiosity would have impelled him to obtain it even without their retainers.

(Alpha Flight I#32 (fb)) <1939> - Judd located the Blade. Deciding not to turning the Blade over to his employers, Judd's dishonest thoughts apparently stirred the kindred spirit within Razer, who emerged from the sword, now a wraith-like manifestation of mystical force (see comments); Judd's mind flooded with Razer's origins. Razer thanked Judd, then attempted to slay him to avoid risking reincarceration. After shrinking 6" following being struck with the Black Blade, Judd realized Razer's nature and goals. Having spent some time with mystics, Judd recalled their lessons, and he sacrificed himself, his very soul, using the light of his spirit to imprison Razer within himself; in the process, Judd was reduced to '" tall.

(Alpha Flight I#32 (fb) - BTS) - With Razer's magical form trapped within him, Judd stopped aging. Razer plagued Judd's form with pain, but Judd's resolve allowed him to focus past it.

(Alpha Flight I#5 (fb) - BTS) - Puck referenced the pain within him.

(Alpha Flight I#31 - BTS) - Puck held the sword of Nemesis to dismember and seemingly slay Deadly Ernest. Feeling its power reminded Puck of the Black Blade, and it also apparently renewed Razer's efforts to plague Puck with pain.

(Alpha Flight I#32 - BTS) - Worried over Heather Hudson (whom he unrequitedly loved) adopting her husband's Guardian battlesuit as Vindicator and putting herself in danger, Puck was too distracted to focus past his pain; Puck was further distracted by distress over having broken his promise to Guardian to never kill again. Razer took advantage of the distraction and wracked Puck's form with pain.

(Alpha Flight I#32) - His resolve momentarily weakening, Puck released Razer, whose cloudy form billowed forth violently, blowing the turret off of the Alpha Flight's mansion's tower Puck was in; due to Razer's mystical nature, he escaped detection by the mansion's sensors. As Aurora and Northstar investigated, Razer ordered them away, claiming Judd as his own. Razer's Black Blade struck Northstar and Box (Roger Bochs), cutting six inches from and incapacitating each.
    Restored to his true age and height, Puck witnessed Razer backing away from Aurora's light, which caused Puck to realize that light -- the sorcerous light shining off the blade of a mystically-forged sword, as well as the light of a spirit to survive -- could contain Razer's darkness. Aurora's light and Northstar's vortex briefly unbalanced Razer, and Puck -- unwilling to allow Razer to inflict even worse agony on mankind -- sacrificed himself anew, stealing Razer's blade and plunging it into himself, releasing the light of his soul and letting that light bind Razer's infernal darkness to Puck once again. Screaming, Razer was pulled into the wound Puck had inflicted in himself with the blade, and then trapped within as the wound healed.

(Alpha Flight I#50) - Seeking the magical Firefountain which had previously healed their ills, Alpha Flight (Aurora, Box/Madison Jeffries, Northstar, Puck, Sasquatch/Walter Langkowski, Vindicator/Heath Hudson) returned to Ungava Bay. Alerted to their return by the Well of the Wyrd, Asgardian mischief god Loki Laufeyson arranged for them to locate a mystic doorway that would actually bring them to Svartalfheim. Within, they found a black Firefountain and were attacked by Dark Elves; during the battle, Puck was knocked off a bridge into the black Firefountain, which "cured" Puck of his dwarfism by releasing Razer anew. Razer assaulted Box, Sasquatch, and Vindicator, shrinking each as he fed on portions of their life forces, but Northstar drove Razer back with a burst of pure light, allowing him to flee with his teammates. His victims regained their original heights.
    Later, when They Who Sit Above in Shadows punished Loki for his duplicity by banishing him to Svartalfheim, Razer joined the Dark Elves in confronting Loki to vent their frustrations.

(Marvel Comics Presents#99/2 (fb) - BTS) - Arcade cracked Alpha Flight's computer security and learned Puck housed Black Razer; he decided to steal Black Razer's power in hopes of turning the hole planet into a mad, mad Murderworld.

(Marvel Comics Presents#99/2) - Arcade led Puck into a set-up where he seemingly slew Heather Hudson (actually just a hologram). Despairing, Puck lost the focus to contain Razer, who burst free but was trapped within a transparent containment dome by Arcade. After Razer shattered the dome with his Black Blade and began progressively shrinking Arcade with sword-strikes (and stating his intent to make all Earth his dominion), Arcade revealed his duplicity, and Puck leapt atop the giant Razer, shoving his face into the Black Blade and enabling him to re-contain Razer to prevent Razer from threatening everyone he loved.
    Arcade recovered his lost soul fragments and original size, then escaped in a shuttle.

see comments

(New Mutants Annual#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - As Black Raazer, Razer joined Desert Sword, the superhuman arm of the Iraqi military.

(New Mutants Annual#7/2 (fb) - BTS) - With Desert Sword, after Iraq occupied Kuwait (see comments), Black Raazer helped capture German physicist Reinhold Kurtzmann -- whom the Iraqis sought to advance their nuclear capability -- from Kuwaiti resistance forces .

(New Mutants Annual#7/2) - Sent to recover or, failing that, slay Kurtzmann to prevent the Iraqis from obtaining him, Freedom Force (Avalanche/Dominikos Petrakis, Blob/Fred Dukes, Crimson Commando/Frank Bohannon, Pyro/St. John Alerdyce, Super Sabre/Martin Fletcher) fought their way into the safehouse in Kuwait City, only to find it empty. After Aminedi (presumably) decapitated Super Sabre and cut off Crimson Commando's right hand, Black Raazer struck down Avalanche with a sword-strike and Veil nearly suffocated Pyro; Black Raazer held up Kurtzmann as Desert Sword confronted Blob en masse, and Veil (see comments) threatened to kill Blob if he continued to fight.

(Uncanny X-Men Annual#15/2) - Blob charged Desert Sword until Aminedi stopped Blob with a cutting wind to the back of the knee, but when Black Raazer prepared to strike Blob down, a revived Pyro generated a wave of fire, the light of which assaulted the demon possessing Black Raazer. After Avalanche assaulted Desert Sword anew, Sirocco questioned how he could still be living after Black Raazer's sword-strike; Black Raazer reasoned that either Avalanche's armor deflected the mystical properties of his blade, or the man believed his soul was already consigned to Hell.
    Freedom Force split up, and Sirocco sent Black Raazer to accompany Arabian Knight and Veil in going after Kurtzmann, who had been taken by Blob and Pyro. After the  the Arabian Knight falsely claimed to not be able to see their quarries (who had fled into the Bal-Hajib cafe), Black Raazer reminded the Arabian Knight he would serve his teammates as long as they held his wives and children hostage (see Arabian Knight profile for explanation). Arabian Knight revealed their location, and Black Raazer ordered Veil to create a masking fog in the cafe while he "discretely" shattered the windows. Pyro drove those two back with a fireball, but Arabian Knight reclaimed Kurtzmann. Reminded of their options by Blob, Pyro immolated Kurtzmann to prevent the Iraqi government from getting him, and Black Raazer vowed this would be the "last mistake of their misbegotten lives."

(X-Factor Annual#6/2) - With Kurtzmann dead, Black Raazer ordered the others to fight to the death, and both he and the Arabian Knight stabbed Pyro with their swords. Pyro torched Veil, and Blob smashed his attackers into a brick wall, pulled the swords out of himself, and threw them into their owners. Pyro and Blob fled (the latter seeking to escape before he bled to death), and Raazer -- after briefly stealing himself -- pulled the Black Blade out of his chest and responded to Sirocco, ordering a medical support team for the critically Arabian Knight and reporting Veil and Kurtzmann's deaths; he reported his own condition as "merely angry."
    Black Raazer returned to Sirocco and Aminedi in time to help them confront Blob and Pyro; the latter two intended to run, but surrendered when a trio of Iraqi planes surrounded them.

 

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, John Bogdanove, and Gerry Talaoc.

    IF I remember correctly, Puck had previously discussed the pain he lived with, but that was a story by Byrne, and the pain was at that time thought to be related only to his dwarfism. But, in retrospect, that may be the first hint of Razer's existence.

    Razer could be considered behind-the-scenes in every appearance by Puck since he was first reduced in size in the flashback in Alpha Flight I#32 until Razer was separated from Puck in Alpha Flight I#50.

    We don't know when Razer transformed from a mortal sorcerer into a "wraith-like manifestation of mystical force," but I am working on the ASSumption that it occurred after Razer was trapped within the mystic sword for centuries. It is the most logical point in what we know of his career, though, again, it hasn't been spelled out completely yet.

    In Alpha Flight I#32, he was Razer first, though also referred to as Razor once.
    In Alpha Flight I#50, he was Raazer.
    In Marvel Comics Presents#99/2, he was Razer again.
    The the Killing Stroke trilogy, he was Black Raazer, but see below...

    It seems to me that Black Raazer in the Killing Stroke was a mortal, possibly an Iraqi agent, who was possessed by or otherwise contained Razer, but somehow learned to control the relationship. Certainly Razer had no loyalty in the Iraqi government and was only interested in accumulating power in hopes of making all Earth his dominion. Most supportive is the comment in Uncanny X-Men Annual#15/2 where Black Razer refers to the "demon possessing him body and soul."
    Black Raazer looks different than Razer, but that could be artistic license. Three different artists drew the three arcs of the Killing Stroke. Nonetheless, we don't know for certain and we don't know anything about a potential host, either.
    It's also interesting to consider whether the reference to Razer as a demon was accurate or just indicating he was a evil, magical creature. We've certain seen sorcerers who degenerated into a demonic state via black magic use (Belasco, for example), and being in a disembodied state, isolated in a mystic prison for centuries certainly seems like it could have driven him down that path.
    Killing Stroke resulted in the dissolution of that incarnation of Freedom Force.

    Gulf War, topical...
    Published in 1991, the first arc started January 14, 11:22 pm; the second January 14, 12:21 am (presumably they meant January 15, or that the first part started January 13...); an the third January 14, 2:17 am (ditto...). The month, day, and time may be accurate, but the story occurred within the sliding timescale, and cannot have occurred more than 4-5 years before current stories...or 10-11 years after the start of the modern age in Fantastic Four I#1.

    Sirocco was Desert Sword's leader, and I'd suspect the balloon in the final panel from New Mutants Annual#7/2 should have pointed to him. Veil was the most timid of the group, and, based on their other statements, the sexist male members of the team would probably not have allowed her to speak for them.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No KNOWN connections to:


images: (without ads)
Alpha Flight I#32, pg. 12, panel 2 (face);
            panel 3 (emerging);
        pg. 19, panel 3 (vs. Puck; full body)
Uncanny X-Men Annual 15 page 46 panel 2 (Black Raazer full)
X-Factor Annual 6 page 42 panel 1 (Black Raazer face)


Appearances:
Alpha Flight I#32 (March, 1986) - Bill Mantlo (writer), John Bogdanove (penciler), Gerry Talaoc (inker), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#50 (September, 1987) - Bill Mantlo (writer), June Brigman and Whilce Portacio (artists), Carl Potts (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents#99/2 (1992) - Paula Foye/Raz Mesinai (plot), Paula Foye (scripter), Joe Madureira (penciler), Joe Rubinstein (inker), Mark Powers (assistant editor), Terry Kavanaugh (editor)
New Mutants Annual#7/2 (1991) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Kirk Jarvinin (penciler), Joe Rubinstein (inker), Suzanne Gaffney (assistant editor), Robert Harras (editor)
Uncanny X-Men Annual#15/2 (1991) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Jerry DeCaire (penciler), Joe Rubinstein (inker), Bob Harras (editor)
X-Factor Annual#6 (1991) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Steven Butler (penciler), Joe Rubinstein (inker), Bob Harras (editor)


Last updated: 11/13/13

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