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Real Name: Emmanuel Da Costa

Identity/Class: Human (Brazil)

Occupation: Businessman, CEO of Da Costa International

Group Membership: Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, aka: Lords Cardinal (Black King/Sebastian Shaw, Black Bishop/Harry Leland, Black Queen/Selene Gallio, Tessa, White Bishop/Donald Pierce, Black Rook/Friedrich von Roehm, White Queen/Emma Frost)

Affiliations: Axe, Eve, Hellfire Club, Juliana (Sunspot's girlfriend), Manoli Wetherell

Enemies: None (see comments)

Known Relatives: Nina Da Costa (wife, divorced), Roberto Da Costa (son)

Aliases: White Rook (Inner Circle title)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
                                  formerly Hellfire Club, New York City, New York;
                                  formerly Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

First Appearance:  Marvel Graphic Novel#4 (November, 1982)

Powers/Abilities: Emmanuel Da Costa possessed no known superhuman abilities. A skilled and ruthless businessman, he had no trouble endangering even his family if it meant making a profit. Da Costa was a proud, determined individual with great personal charisma, allowing him to rise above his meager beginnings to become one of the most influential and richest men of his time. Passionate about family and continuing the Da Costa legacy, he was not above cheating on his wife. Emmanuel Da Costa was a smoker.

Height: 6'0"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black


(New Mutants I#7 (fb) - BTS) - Emmanuel Da Costa was born the son of a poor maid, working in a palatial mansion in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. Even as a barefoot houseboy, he vowed that one day he would own this palace and treat his mother like a queen.

(New Mutants I#12 (fb) - BTS) - As a child, he was often whipped by his master, leaving physical scars that would never heal and only served to fuel the fire of ambition and determination that burned inside him.

(New Mutants I#7 (fb) - BTS) - A natural businessman, he founded Da Costa International and earned his first million at 20. By the time he was 30, Emmanuel  had become an economic and political force. Da Costa bought the mansion his mother once worked at and moved in there. He married Nina, a beautiful archeologist he loved deeply who in time bore him a son, Roberto.

(New Mutants I#12 (fb) - BTS) - Emmanuel would regularly take his son up on mount Corcovado, overlooking Rio de Janeiro. Da Costa would wave his hand across the city, ensuring his boy that one day all they beheld would be his.

(Avengers World#18 (fb) ) - After watching his son lead his soccer team to victory, Emmanuel had a chat with Roberto about the qualities any good leader should have. He recognized a great strength in Roberto and told him the key to success, both in business and on the field, was to inspire people as a leader and be the heart of the organization.

(New Mutants I#7 (fb) - BTS) -
As the years went on, work started to consume him and, overtaken by greed, his marriage started to suffer. When Emmanuel and Nina would be together, there was tension in the air which was not lost on their son Roberto. However, Nina started to go on increasingly extended expeditions, which often took her away from home for several months.

(Avengers World#19 (fb) ) - Emmanuel would often spar with his young teen son in the boxing ring, but the older, stronger Da Costa refused to pull his punches, landing several hard blows. When Roberto told his papa they were "just sparring", Da Costa the elder replied that there's no point in sparring if you don't learn to take a few hits. Frustrated, Roberto wanted to quit boxing altogether, but his father instead explained this was a lesson about the way of the world: it was a dangerous place where even the kindest of heart had enemies. A true leader must be prepared for this and fight to protect his people and what he believed in.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#4) - Emmanuel attended one of Roberto's soccer matches, his son's girlfriend Juliana by his side. When Roberto lost his temper on the field and manifested his mutant abilities, Emmanuel could barely believe his eyes even as the rest of the crowd started to panic (see comments).

(New Mutants I#7 (fb) - BTS) - Ever eager to expand his business empire, Emmanuel had set his eyes on an uncharted section of the Amazon known as the Maderia. Satellite surveys had determined the area was a mineralogical treasure trove he intended to claim. However, his wife Nina was planning an expedition there, which could lead to the Maderia becoming a protected wildlife reserve. He set out to make sure his wife's plans were delayed and found an unexpected ally in the Hellfire Club's leader Sebastian Shaw who not only offered Emmanuel membership within the prestigious group, he also volunteered to take care of Nina.

Arguing with wife

(New Mutants I#7) - Emmanuel Da Costa returned home to Ipanema after a business meeting to find his wife had returned home, along with Roberto and his classmates from Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Over dinner, Emmanuel and Nina had one of their classic, icy conversations which embarrassed Roberto to no end. Nina planned to take the New Mutants along on her exploration of the Maderia, which Da Costa thought was foolish. After some more bickering, he left the table.

(New Mutants I#7 (fb) - BTS) - Da Costa allowed Sebastian Shaw to handle the kidnapping of Nina by his operatives and the mutant mercenary Axe. However, the New Mutants were on hand to free Nina and defeat the villains. The Maderia expedition was still going forward, leading Emmanuel to make arrangements on his own to ensure the trip's eventual derailment.

(New Mutants I#7) - Emmanuel and Sebastian Shaw watched from a distance how Nina and the New Mutants took off from Santos Dumont airport, headed for the Maderia. Shaw repeated his offer to deal with them, but Da Costa told him he'd already made sure his would not reach her destination (Da Costa had bribed Castro, a crewman on the boat Nina had chartered).

(New Mutants I#8) - Emmanuel and Sebastian discussed Castro's lack of progress in sabotaging the mission. Shaw stressed that it was a difficult task to stop Nina and the New Mutants without harming or killing them, as per Emmanuel's request. The wealthy tycoon would hear nothing of it though, explaining once again that the Maderia's natural resources needed to be his. Moments later, the prostitutes he had ordered for him and Sebastian to enjoy arrived.

Joining Hellfire Club (New Mutants I#12) - After learning of his father's involvement in the botched Maderia expedition, Sunspot confronted Emmanuel in his office. After a brief, tense conversation Roberto renounced his father, his fortune and the Da Costa legacy, claiming he was half an orphan before leaving. Hurt, wounded and frustrated, Emmanuel smashed his cup of coffee before making a decision. He contacted Sebastian Shaw and accepted the Black King's open invitation to join the Hellfire Club.

(New Mutants I#22) - Emmanuel traveled to New York City to take part in the Hellfire Club's admission ceremony. However, he had trouble not feeling silly wearing the Inner Circle's traditional late 19th century nobleman garb. Sebastian Shaw ensured him the clothing was necessary, because they signified the Inner Circle's abandonment of the modern age, instead embracing a simpler time when a man needed only think of himself to become all he could be. Shaw offered Emmanuel one final chance to reconsider, which Da Costa refused. The initiation would go on as planned.

(New Mutants I#23) - Emmanuel Da Costa was officially inducted into the Hellfire Club, almost immediately presented as the newest candidate for admission into the Inner Circle as its White Rook, along with the mysterious Selene, who was determined to join as the Black Queen. As part of the ceremony, he was offered to drink from the cup of fellowship that would forge unbreakable bonds both spiritual and material in nature. Afterwards, Shaw personally congratulated Emmanuel and expressed a desire to see the day his son Roberto would also join them. Emmanuel wholeheartedly agreed.

(Fallen Angels#1 (fb) - BTS) - When Sunspot accidentally injured his teammate Cannonball and decided to run away from the school, he briefly considered returning home. Leafing through an old family album, he came across pictures of his father and couldn't help but feel awkward about the fact Emmanuel was now a charter member of one of the X-Men's most hated foes.

(Uncanny X-Men I#272) - When news broke that Sunspot and a number of his fellow mutants were imprisoned on the sovereign island nation of Genosha, reporter Manoli Wetherell approached Emmanuel Da Costa for comment, which he refused.

(New Mutants I#98) - As part of his convoluted scheme to groom Sunspot, the External Gideon ordered the death of Emmanuel Da Costa. On December 4th, one of Gideon's accomplices, posing as Emmanuel's secretary Eve, brought him a cup of coffee that contained a fast acting, lethal poison. After taking a few sips, he died behind his desk.

(New Mutants I#98 - BTS) - Gideon informed Roberto of his father's death, claiming he had suffered a heart attack.

(Avengers World#18) - After returning to the home office of Da Costa International as its new CEO, Roberto sat behind his father's old desk and couldn't help remember his lessons.

(Avengers World#19) - Fighting to protect the world from AIM's machinations, Sunspot couldn't help but think back to the times he would spar with his late father. Emmanuel's lessons caused him to fight even harder. 

Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), Bob McLeod (pencils & inks).

Emmanuel never had a talk with his son about the fact he was a mutant. It's also a bit odd that Roberto didn't ask his father's help when wayward Hellfire Club member Donald Pierce kidnapped Juliana in order to acquire Sunspot's services in Marvel Graphic Novel#4. You'd think that a businessman of his stature would be sufficiently connected.

As a member of the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle, it stands to reason that the Club's enemies would be Emmanuel's as well. However, he never directly fought, opposed or otherwise engaged anyone on panel. You might count Gideon, who ordered his death... But Da Costa didn't have any established animosity against the External. Incidentally, with the possible exception of Courtney Ross, Emmanuel Da Costa is the only member of the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle without superpowers.

Emmanuel Da Costa, as a member of the Inner Circle, received profiles in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#5 and Marvel Encyclopedia: X-Men.

Profile by Norvo.

Emmanuel Da Costa should not be confused with

images: (without ads)
New Mutants I#23, p1, pan1 (main image)
Avengers World#19, p15, pan5 (sparring with Roberto)
New Mutants I#7, p9, pan2 (fighting with his wife)
New Mutants I#12, p6, pans2&3 (decides to join the Hellfire Club)
New Mutants I#98, p12, pans2,3,4 (dies)

Marvel Graphic Novel#4 (November, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Bob McLeod (pencils & inks), Louise Jones (editor)
New Mutants I#7 (September, 1983) - Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
New Mutants I#8 (October, 1983) - Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
New Mutants I#12 (February, 1984) -
Chris Claremont (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Tom Mandrake (inks), Louise Jones (editor)
New Mutants I#22 (December, 1984)
- Chris Claremont (writer), Bill Sienkiewicz (pencils & inks) Ann Nocenti (editor)
New Mutants I#23 (January, 1985) - Chris Claremont (writer), Bill Sienkiewicz (pencils & inks) Ann Nocenti (editor)
Fallen Angels I#1 (April, 1987) - Jo Duffy (writer), Kerry Gammill (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#272 (January, 1991) - Chris Claremont (writer), Jim Lee (pencils), Scott Williams (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
New Mutants I#98 (February, 1991) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Rob Liefeld (pencils & inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Avengers World#18 (May, 2015) - Frank Barbiere (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils & inks), Will Moss (editor)
Avengers World#19 (June, 2015) - Frank Barbiere (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils & inks), Will Moss (editor)

First Posted: 07/27/2015
Last updated: 07/27/2015

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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