Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human (pre-modern era)
Group Membership: First Line (confirmed teammates with Black Fox/Robert Paine, Effigy/Velmax, Eternal Brain/William Carmody, Firefall, Flatiron/Russell, Katyusha/Anya, Mr. Justice/Tim Carney, Nightingale, Oxbow/Sam Matonabbe, Pixie, Positron/Veronica, Reflex; see comments)
formerly the Scythe, Zuhn
(Luke Garrow), Scimitar,
formerly the First Line (including, at least, Black Fox, Effigy, Kid Justice/Tim Carney, Liberty Girl/Beverly, Yankee Clipper/Pat Carney; see comments), Monster Hunters ((Ulysses Bloodstone, Doctor Druid/Anthony Ludgate, Namora/Aquaria Nautica Neptunia, Zawadi)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Jack," "Lover," "Sell-out" (nicknames given by Positron)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly First Line Headquarters; mobile throughout the United States
First Appearance: Marvel: The Lost Generation I#9 (June 2000)
Powers/Abilities: Blackjack exhibited no superhuman
abilities. A trained fighter in several, undisclosed forms of martial
arts, his body functioned at peak human condition. He usually went into
combat unarmed, though he was proficient in the use of billy-clubs.
Usually daring and slightly abrasive, Blackjack had a boisterous,
fun-loving side that countered the more serious and grim aspects of his
personality. At times, he could underestimate his opponents.
Height: 6'1" (by approximation)
Weight: 190 lbs. (by approximation)
(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#2 - BTS) - At some unrevealed point, possibly during the late 1940s or early '50s, the man calling himself Blackjack embarked on a career as a costumed, professional mercenary. During his early years, he ran into heroes such as the Black Fox and the Yankee Clipper. The crimes he committed were major enough for the authorities to spread wanted posters on him.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#2 - BTS) - In 1958, the disguised Skrull Zuhn hired Blackjack and fellow mercenary the Scythe as his bodyguards while he breached a Long Island research facility, where the vessel Zuhn crashed on Earth with in 1947 was being kept for study.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#2) - When Black Fox, Liberty Girl, Yankee Clipper, agent Scott (secretly the Skrull Velmax) and the Monster Hunters became aware something was wrong at the Long Island facility, they joined forces and fought Blackjack, the Scythe and several scientists mutated into monsters by the bio-moleculizer on board the Skrull ship. While the Yankee Clipper fought the Scythe, Blackjack tried to hit special agent Scott with a billy-club. The brash Blackjack rejoiced in the fact Scott had brought the Clipper, eager to prove himself against a "sooper hero." When Namora of the Monster Hunters tore a hole in the facility's outer wall, Blackjack was momentarily startled, allowing the Black Fox (Robert Paine) to catch him, claiming he didn't like the idea hired muscle was using a name so similar to his. Blackjack was taken prisoner and presumably wound up behind bars.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#3 - BTS) - Escaping prison in either the late 1950s or early '60s, Blackjack resumed his career as a mercenary, facing off against the newly-founded First Line in the Spring of 1961. During this encounter, he almost got the better of the team's unofficial member Kid Justice (Timothy Carney). At around the same time, Blackjack met and fell in love with fellow outlaw Positron.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#6 - BTS) - Through undisclosed circumstances, Blackjack decided to leave his life of crime behind. Somehow winning amnesty and joining the First Line, he gained the enmity of the super-villain population, including his lover Positron.
Positron, along with super-villains Axis, Howler, the Scythe and Typhoon were recruited by three disguised Skrull agents in July of 1969 to help disrupt the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. The Skrulls figured a fatal incident with the Apollo would discourage mankind from moving too far ahead with the exploration of space. Unbeknownst to the Skrulls and the villains alike, the First Line (through Velmax, now known as team leader Effigy) had become aware the race that built the craft they encountered back on Long Island in 1958 were planning to attack the Apollo mission.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#6) - Blackjack and the other First Line members boarded the Long Island Skrull space craft that only recently had been restored for limited use and headed for the Moon. While traveling to Luna, Blackjack and the others used the ship's unique "lifeboat technology" that temporarily supercharged the body's natural electromagnetic aura, while hyper-oxygenating its tissues, allowing anyone who used it to freely operate in (outer) space. Blackjack and the First Line landed on the Moon, while keeping apprised of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's progress as the first humans on the Moon. The overenthusiastic Blackjack wanted to go say hi to them, only to be restrained by Mr. Justice, who voted against opposing NASA. The point was moot anyhow when Blackjack spotted a pair of very familiar legs, immediately recognizing them as part of his former lover Positron. He tried to quietly approach his old lover, but she was less than enthused to see him and started blasting away at the reformed villain. This firefight alerted Positron's allies, equally annoyed at the sight of Blackjack. The already unstable Howler lost control and rushed Blackjack, vowing to kill him--he never made good on his threat, ending up killing his ally Axis, only to be murdered by the Scythe in retaliation. When Effigy entered the Skrull agents' saucer, killing the operatives and rigging it to self-destruct (inadvertently blowing up Typhoon as well), he contacted Blackjack and the other First Liners through their headgear with the news. In turn, Blackjack confronted Positron with the fact she was now stranded, offering his former sweetheart a way home... as their prisoner. While heading for home on the Skrull saucer, Blackjack removed the Scythe's signature blades, while Pixie took Positron's powerpacks.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#9 - BTS) - Over the years, Positron reformed as well and reconnected with her old love Blackjack. Now a couple, they both joined on First Line missions, even though the group had gone largely underground following President Richard Nixon's 1972 decree the team should obey his orders directly (this led to Effigy leaking information about Nixon's shady activities to Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein, who eventually unearthed enough damaging evidence to cause the President's downfall in the Summer of 1974).
(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#9) - Circa 1980, Blackjack
was one of the First Line members who agreed to go to Halwan to rescue
Mr. Justice, who had been taken captive after his jet was shot down.
Blackjack, however, wondered why the CIA wouldn't extract Justice,
figuring the First Line shouldn't be forced to help him out. None of
them were aware of the fact the First Line's presence in Halwan was
actually intended as a diversion so that CIA agent Nick Fury and a team
of covert agents could carry out Operation: Clean Sweep
(intended to free a number of diplomats being held hostage, which was
the reason Mr. Justice was there in the first place). After the
First Line managed to gain access to the Halwani royal palace thanks to
Positron's silently using her powers, Positron kissed her lover
Blackjack goodbye before spreading out.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#9 - BTS) - Blackjack and Positron's fond farewell was witnessed by the time-traveling historian Cassandra Locke who, after an encounter with First Liner Nightingale suddenly realized her latest time-jump had brought her to the critical moment that a First Liner perished and everything went awry for the team. She rushed off to prevent the inevitable.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation I#9) - While Cassandra ran off to try and avert that which had already happened, she was caught by Halwan's hereditary hero, the blade wielding Scimitar. Eager to help out, Blackjack jumped Scimitar, who easily withstood his blows. Scimitar then lashed out with his weapon of choice and managed to totally disembowel Blackjack. Positron witnessed the act and, in shock, used her powers to incinerate Scimitar with a single blast. Even though she begged him to hold on until the team's healer Nightingale could get to him, Blackjack assured her nothing short of a resurrection could save him. Right before he passed, Blackjack promised to save his ladylove a table on the other side.
Comments: Created by Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks).
One has to wonder just what a
non-superpowered vigilante like Blackjack was thinking, on either side
of the law--at least the similarly unpowered Scythe had his giant blades
to either slice someone or deflect a bullet or two. Not Blackjack, who
was always a single stroke of bad luck away from death, a fact which
became painfully obvious when his cause of death was, well... a single
stroke. Still, if you base your costumed identity on a high-stakes game
of cards, you kinda know the odds can turn at any moment.
regards to Blackjack's chosen sobriquet: My guess is that he named
himself for the bludgeoning weapon
he used (as seen in Main Image).--Ron Fredricks
Black Fox is one of the
characters whose chronology DOES NOT suffer from attaching the First
Line to "just before the Modern era." He was active as a criminal as of
1958, as a member of the First Line as of July, 1969, and he perished in
an adventure in 1980. Whether issues 10-12 get distorted by decades or
not does not affect him, as it does other characters in the series.
Ultimately, my vote would be to make the interactions with Reed Richards and Ben Grimm as being topical (just like them being shown to have been active in World War II in early Marvel stories was shown to be)
The story in Lost Generation#9 occurred in or after 1980 due to the involvement of the Eternal Brain. See his profile for further details.
We have only listed confirmed teammates under First Line membership. He was an enemy of the team shortly before he was shown as a member in #6 (circa 1969), and was not seen in the subsequent issues (#7-8) when the team went underground following the team being turned into outlaws by Richard Nixon. He was recruited for the mission to Halwan in #9 (circa 1980), and he died on that mission. What all he was doing in the time in-between is unrevealed, but at least some of it involved reuniting with Positron. He may well have worked with other First Line members in the years in between, but anything else is speculation.
He may well have been teammates with other
members, and former First Line members could have worked with him or the
rest of the team on one or more occasions during hid period of activity.
Similarly, any of the teams' major enemies not seen to have interacted
with any member may have done so in an unrecorded adventure.
Further, he was shown as an enemy of the First Line in #2 (1958), but
he had already encountered the Yankee Clipper by that time. He was
referenced as having nearly defeated Kid Justice while fighting the
team again in #3 (which occurred in 1961), but wasn't seen or
referenced again until #6 (in 1969). He apparently joined the First
Line sometime between #5 (Summer, 1967) and #6. At what point he
stopped being an enemy and became an ally, and then a member is
unrevealed. He could have been an enemy and/or ally of any of the
other members through #5, such as Frank (see comments), Major
Other known members he was not seen to be teammates with include:
It's not clear whether Frank from
the First Line is definitely the Frankenstein
monster or not. The First Line and Frankenstein Monster profiles
in the OHotMU are contradictory in this regard, with the former saying
they are the same and the latter saying it is "unknown."
As the head-writer of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe at that time, I can tell you, the official policy is: Frank of the First Line is apparently either a Frankenstein monster--meaning a creature created in the manner of Victor Frankenstein's first creation--or just a being with a similar appearance and abilities who adopted the name Frank due to the notable similarities. However, it as yet remains unrevealed whether Frank is actually the original creation of Victor Frankenstein, aka "the Frankenstein monster". Previous entries referencing Frank as "Frankenstein monster" were unclear in specifying/clarifying this point.
Profile by Norvo.
Blackjack should not be confused with:
images: (without ads)
Marvel The Lost Generation I#2, p14, pan3 (main image)
Marvel The Lost Generation I#9, p8, pan2 (closeup)
Marvel The Lost Generation I#6, p16, pan2 (versus Positron)
Marvel The Lost Generation I#9, p20, pan2 (dies)
Marvel: The Lost Generation I#9 (June 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation I#6 (September 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation I#3 (December 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Marvel: The Lost Generation I#2 (January 2001) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
First Posted: 02/16/2014
Last updated: 10/23/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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