BLACK CROW

Real Name: Jesse Black Crow

Identity/Class: Mystically altered (Native American, Navajo) human

Occupation: (as Jesse Black Crow): None (lives on workman's compensation); former construction worker;
(as Black Crow): Mystic

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Captain America (Steve Rogers), the Crow ("Earth Spirit/Great Spirit," Native American trickster god/guardian of life), Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange), Falcon (Sam Wilson), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Lobo (wolf cub), Red Wolf (Will Talltrees), Spider-Man (Peter Parker)

Enemies: Calumet, The Cat (trickster demon), D'Spayre, Hotamitanio, Nomad (Jack Monroe) (he was unaware Black Crow was actually heroic), Nanabozho, Puma (Thomas Fireheart), Bernie Rosenthal (she was unaware Black Crow was actually heroic), S.H.I.E.L.D., Taskmaster

Known Relatives: Unidentified great-grandfather (deceased)

Aliases: "Injun Joe" (insult from Nomad)

Base of Operations: An apartment in Queens, New York, USA; formerly Navajo Reservation, New Mexico, USA

First Appearance: (in crow form): Captain America I#290 (February, 1984);
(in human form): Captain America I#292 (April, 1984)

Powers/Abilities: Jesse Black Crow had knowledge of mystical rituals. His abilities coming from the Crow’s power, the physically disabled Jesse Black could transform via the Crow's crow into the Black Crow, in which form he was able to move his legs and possessed superhuman strength, agility and durability. As the Black Crow, he had mystic senses and could communicate telepathically with the gods of the Native Americans (Anasazi) and with Captain America. He could sense the auras of other Native Americans and thereby learn their recent past. He could remove memories from the minds of others, paralyze people through mystic hypnosis, cast illusions and create a portal into the realm of the Anasazi. The Black Crow could cause himself to be in two places simultaneously, enabling fighting side-by-side with himself. He could also transform himself in other forms, including a crow, mist or a bolt of lightning, and he could use this power to assume the appearance of others, including at some point apparently that of Spider-Man and the Puma. He retained his human intelligence and the ability to speak regardless of the shape he took.  He could summon and control fog, mist and crows. He could also perform a variety of mystic rites, including one to nullify the effect of poison. The full extent of Black Crow’s mental powers was unrevealed.

He carried a knife, spear, longbow, arrows and a pouch containing herbs used in his rites.

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History: (Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#2 - Black Crow entry (fb) - BTS) - Jesse Black Crow was born on the Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico.

(Captain America I#292 (fb)) - As a young boy, Jesse Black Crow would sit and listen to his great-grandfather tell tales of his Navajo ancestry and equality for all of the Native American nations.

(Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic#1 - Black Crow entry (fb) - BTS) - Over time, Jesse Black Crow learned stories of the Native American trickster and guardian of life, the Crow, from his great-grandfather.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition#28 - Black Crow entry (fb) - BTS) - Jesse Black Crow graduated high school.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#2 - Black Crow entry (fb) - BTS) - Jesse Black Crow left the New Mexico Navajo Reservation at age 18.

(Captain America I#292 (fb)) - After leaving the Navajo reservation, Jesse Black Crow became a construction worker in New York, erecting towers and monuments to the white men who had overthrown the Navajo centuries earlier. Crippled after a 20 story fall, Jesse lay feverish and began experiencing visions of not only flying higher than skyscrapers but also the Native American persecution at the hands of white men throughout history. Understanding how Native Americans had fallen, Jesse unknowingly became host to the Crow, the Native American embodiment of the spirit of old America, who desired to hunt down the spirit of new America: Captain America.

(Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 4: Spider-Man - Black Crow Appendix entry (fb) - BTS) - As host to the Crow, Black Crow became the Earthly physical avatar to the Native American diety.

(Captain America I#292 (fb) - BTS) - For months, the Crow would take over Jesse Black Crow's body as the Black Crow to hunt for Captain America without hatred or anger, feeling forced to strike down the new American spirit and knowing that he would mourn his fallen foe. During times when his body was controlled by the Crow, Jesse Black Crow assumed he lapses in memory were caused by blackouts as his visions continued.

(Captain America I#290) – Black Crow, in the form of a giant crow, made a sudden attack at Captain America and left.

(Captain America I#292) – Black Crow returned to Jesse Black Crow's Queens apartment and landed in Jesse's wheelchair, returning to Jesse's human form from that of a giant crow. His mind once more in control of his body, Jesse thought about how many times in recent months his mysterious blackouts have occurred. As he looked in the mirror, he recalled events that had led up to that day. A short time later, the Black Crow appeared to Steve Rogers, who was out with his girlfriend Bernie Rosenthal, as a bolt of lightning and attacked Steve, toying with him by hitting him with the blunt side of his knife before transforming into a crow and flying away. In the weeks that followed, Black Crow continued monitoring Steve Rogers and on December 24, after performing ceremonial magicks in preparation for his final battle with Captain America, the Black Crow danced a Native American dance before transforming into a bolt of lightning and leaving for his battle. Luring Steve Rogers into battle by having a crow appear at a party and bite Steve, Black Crow confronted Captain America and easily gained the upper hand. When Nomad, who had followed Cap, ordered Black Crow to hold it, Black Crow mystically froze Nomad where he stood and Captain America took advantage of the distraction to renew his attack. The fierce battle continued and eventually, Captain America slid on an ice-covered bridge and fell several stories to the ground. Weakly getting to hit feet, Captain America admitted defeated and kneeled at the feet of Black Crow, placing his shield on the ground. Laughing, Black Crow helped Captain America to his feet and hugged his American spiritual brother, ultimately allowing the old and new spirits of America to reconcile, pleasing the Crow.

(Captain America I#299) - Weeks later, after the Red Skull injected Captain America with a specially prepared poison that left Captain America with three or four hours of life remaining, Jesse Black Crow experienced visions of both Captain America and the Red Skull, but was unable to to figure out their meaning.

(Captain America I#300) - Continuing to experience visions of Red Skull and Captain America, a pained Jesse Black Crow received an intense of recent events in Captain America's life, transformed into the Black Crow and flew off into the night in the form of a crow. After stopping by a hospital window, the Black Crow appeared at the Red Skull's Skull House mansion rubble, where the Red Skull had apparently perished and Captain America clung to life due to the Red Skull's poison. Confirming the Red Skull's apparent death, the Black Crow determined that his spiritual brother, Captain America, still lived and performed a magical ritual to flush out the poison that the Red Skull had injected into Steve Rogers.

(Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 5: Marvel Knights - Black Crow Appendix entry (fb) - BTS) - As avatar to Navajo god, the Crow, Black Crow was tasked with saving the superhero Daredevil from an unidentified danger.

(Daredevil I#225) – During a a fight between Daredevil and the Vulture, Black Crow appeared as a silver bird to witness the battle, tipping off Daredevil, whose heightened senses picked up a strange energy emanating from the bird. Later, the silver bird was seen in a tiny southern country that maintained tenuous relations with the United States, where it approached a prohibited zone near a rock-rimmed crater, several kilometers from the nearest settlement. There, the silver bird took the form of the mystic warrior Black Crow and reported to an unseen cave-dwelling being that he had seen Daredevil, whom Black Crow deemed worthy. A voice, emanating from the cave opening in the rocks told Black Crow to return to Daredevil and do what must be done. Black Crow agreed that he must return to Daredevil or die.

(Marvel Fanfare I#39) - After discovering a group of gruesomely murdered people in Yosemite National Park, where he was training, Clint Barton aka Hawkeye began searching outside the Park, soon finding their camp before being led by a speaking bear to the Black Crow. The Native American told Clint that the Crow was pleased after Hawkeye disrupted Black Crow with a sonic arrow and demanded to know what was going on. In an effort to explain, Black Crow had Hawkeye smoke herbs composed of pulverized blossoms intended to purify their minds. Black Crow then said that he had opened the "door" between the bear's mode of speech and the human language, and that he had done the same for all of the Crow's children to allow universal understanding. After the Black Crow revealed to Hawkeye that his powers came from the Crow. Almost in reply, Hawkeye looked at the fire and had a vision of the trickster Cat, an opposite entity to the Crow that grew stronger with every life and soul it devoured, weakening the Crow in the process. When the Cat revealed that if the  faltered, the Earth itself would follow, the Black Crow informed Hawkeye that he had to track and kill the Cat. After Hawkeye did so, the Black Crow appeared again and told Clint that he did well, even if Hawkeye didn't understand what he had done. Black Crow explained that the confused Clint had become an empty vessel, listening to the bow and the song of the Crow, promising that Clint would come to understand in time and on the day that Clint would fully understand, he would meet the Black Crow again. The Black Crow then disappeared in a burst of light.

(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#25) – Awakened by a vision of the Native American gods that he thought was a nightmare, Jesse Black Crow attempted to get up into his wheelchair, only to be bombarded by a vision involving a Navajo ghost dance, causing him to fall over the wheelchair, breaking the fingers of right hand when they were caught in the spokes of his wheelchair's wheels. Lying on the floor in pain, Jesse Black Crow was forcibly transformed into the Black Crow's crow form and the Black Crow flew to Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum for help. Calming Black Crow with a spell invoking Agamotto, Dr. Strange traced the source of Black Crow's visions to Phoenix, Arizona, where Black Crow received a vision informing him that the Cheyenne gods were seeking revenge after having been through centuries of strife and degradation. Black Crow then mystically sensed the earlier presence there of another Native American hero, Red Wolf, and split with Doctor Strange to search Red Wolf's apartment before using his Navajo magic to cleanse the dimensional rift that had allowed the Cheyenne gods to attack. After Doctor Strange and Red Wolf faced and defeated the Cheyenne gods, they regrouped with Black Crow, where Strange admitted that Black Crow's magic had blunted the Navajo's passions. Revealing that he knew it would, Black Crow expressed guilt over using a freezing mist to keep police at bay while he cleansed the area and explained that it would wear off shortly. The three heroes then said their goodbyes and parted ways.

(Quasar I#23) – The Black Crow was briefly seen as one of the beings with heightened senses able to feel the Earth’s rotation slowly grinding to a halt.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#191) – Jesse Black Crow, once more plagued with visions, this time of his past encounters with Earth's heroes, was drawn to become the Black Crow. Black Crow used his shape shifting abilities to arrange a confrontation between the Puma and Spider-Man, alternatively borrowing one's physical form to lure the other, and forced their meeting before transporting them to the realm of the Anasazi.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#192) – Black Crow toyed with both Spider-Man and Puma, easily defeating them and splitting himself in two illusiory copies of himself before asking both Spider-Man and the Puma to follow the copies, each going in separate directions. As the heroes traveled, Black Crow fought and defeated them again while forcing them to think about their actions. Later, a third fight with Black Crow's illusions occurred and both Spider-Man and Puma defeated the illusion of the Black Crow, with Spider-Man sparing the illusion's life and Puma “killing” him. Black Crow commended Spider-Man on saving lives rather than taking them as Puma found and lunged at Spider-Man, only for both to be transported back to Earth. Black Crow then appeared to the confused Spider-Man, explaining that what had transpired did not matter, only that Puma must be stopped or an innocent life would be lost. Black Crow then vanished in a cloud of mist.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#193) – Black Crow guided Spider-Man in his crow form to Senator Maguire to save him from the Puma. During Spider-Man's fight with Puma, the Black Crow appeared in his crow form, flew down and swatted Puma's face, mystically causing Puma to forget Spider-Man's secret identity of Peter Parker. As the crow flew away and a confused Puma reeled back, Black Crow remarked that Puma's memory lapse was a gift to Spider-Man from the Crow in return for Spider-Man's courage and trust. After Spider-Man thanked the Crow for the gift, a SWAT squad appeared, prompting Puma to rise to attack but Puma was instead shot by the SWAT squad before falling towards the streets below. Rushing to rescue the falling Puma, Spider-Man found that there was no falling body to be seen and he looked up to see a crow, wondering if perhaps the Black Crow had whisked Puma away or if Puma had actually fallen to his death.

(Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic#1 - Black Crow entry - BTS) - Angered at the Crow diety for offering hope, which counteracted the despair that D'Spayre sought to feed on, D'Spayre took advantage of how the Crow used Jesse Black Crow as a host and attempted to feed off Jesse's pain and despair.

(Spectacular Spider-Man Annual I#13/3) – Following a return from a night out as the Black Crow, Jesse Black Crow was attacked in his sleep by D’Spayre. He changed into Black Crow, automatically protecting his host Jesse from D’Spayre’s attacks. Black Crow easily defeated D’Spayre by combining his psyche with that of his host, Jesse Black Crow, despite D'Spayre weakening Jesse Black Crow by making him feel his deepest fears. Revealing that he had allowed D'Spayre's attack on Jesse to test if his host was ready for the next level of spiritual advancement, Black Crow spared D'Spayre's life after D'Spayre begged Black Crow not to destroy him, admitting that D'Spayre had a part to play in the Crow's drama. D'Spayre then left the battlefield, promising that he would not forget the humilation he had suffered and Black Crow returned Jesse control of his body. Waking up from his supposed "blackout," Jesse Black Crow smiled, knowing from Black Crow that a time was coming when all would be explained to him.

(Captain America I#440) – Falcon searched for Jesse Black Crow, finding him playing basketball with a group of local children in Brooklyn. Speaking with Jesse in private, Falcon explained how Captain America was dying and conventional medicine was proving unable to save him. Falcon then admitted that he had heard that Jesse Black Crow was some sort of Native American mystic and that he had prayed that Jesse might be able to do something for the ailing Captain America. Scoffing at Falcon's claims that he was a healer, Jesse suggested that if he was some sort of healer, he would have done something by now about his "useless" legs.

(Captain America I#443) – Captain America was lying on the ground in a street when he was visited by his friend Black Crow, who told Captain America that he had only 24 hours to live. Admitting that he thought Captain America would want to know in advance, Black Crow suggested Cap use his remaining time thoughtfully and left the place in the form of a crow. As Cap used his remaining time to visit friends and foes, a crow watched as Cap met with Batroc, who thought of Cap as an honored foe that he had never defeated. Later, when Cap left his exoskeleton on a bed in Avengers Mansion, where Edwin Jarvis found him and called the Avengers, believing that Cap was dead. However, the exoskeleton proved empty and the Avengers began questioning who could have removed Cap's exoskeleton, as no one could have entered or exited the Mansion without setting off security. Quicksilver noticed an open window and asked if the window had been open when Jarvis had earlier found the exoskeleton. When Jarvis replied that it wasn't, Quicksilver looked outside, where a crow was seen flying away.

(Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic#1 - Black Crow entry - BTS) - Black Crow was apprehended by S.H.I.E.L.D. for refusing to comply with the Superhuman Registration Act and was incarcerated at Prison 42 within the Negative Zone.

(Civil War I#6) – Freed from his cell by Captain America's anti-registration "Secret Avengers," Black Crow joined Captain America in his war against Tony Stark.

(Civil War I#7) – Black Crow was seen fighting with Captain America’s allies during his war against Iron Man, where he was hit by Taskmaster's sword.

(Civil War Battle Damage Report - BTS) - Following the superhero civil war, Tony Stark considered the Black Crow as a potential recruit for the Fifty-State Initiative.

Comments: Created by  J. M. DeMatteis, Paul Neary and Ed Baretto.

Thanks to Proto-Man for catching the missing BTS appearances in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition, Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 4: Spider-Man, Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 5: Marvel Knights, Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic#1 and Civil War Battle Damage Report!

So why exactly was Black Crow watching Daredevil in Daredevil I#225 and why did he have to return to Daredevil or die? Unfortunately, that plot thread was never picked up on so we may never know! The Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 5: Marvel Knights Appendix entry on Black Crow stated that Black Crow was tasked with saving Daredevil from an unidentified danger, so that explains some of it but what the danger ever was remains to be seen.

Black Crow had Handbook entries in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#2, Master Edition#28, Appendix entries in Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 4-5, Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic#1 & Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z HC Vol. 1.

While the Black Crow often refers to his diety as "Earth Spirit" or "Great Spirit," the Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic#1 established that spirit was actually the Native American trickster and guardian of life, the Crow.

Despite the flashback in Captain America I#292 stating that the Black Crow was planning to hunt and strike down Captain America without hatred or anger (even stating that he would mourn the fallen Cap), Black Crow's entry in the Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic#1 states that the Black Crow was angered at how the people in the USA had treated Native Americans. The visions Jesse Black Crow experienced of Native Americans' plight in Captain America I#292 would certainly make one think the Crow spirit was angry at how Native Americans were treated. Perhaps it was the Crow diety itself that was angered while Black Crow the person disliked having to strike down Cap as the Crow diety's servant?

The Crow diety has appeared separately from Black Crow, once sought out by Steve Rogers during his first tenure of head of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Proto-Man

Profile by Julien Vive.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Black Crow has no KNOWN connections to:


images: (without ads)
Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic#1, p4 (Black Crow, main image)
Captain America I#292, p7, pan1 (human form, face)
Captain America I#290, p21, pan6 (giant crow form)
Captain America I#292, p6, pan9 (human form)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition#28, Black Crow entry (Black Crow without cape)
Captain America I#292, p20, pan1 (mystical warrior form, face)
Marvel Fanfare I#39, p8, pan3 (full body image, w/spear)


Appearances:
Captain America I#290 (February, 1984) – J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Ron Frenz (breakdowns), Steve Leihaloha (finishes), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Captain America I#292 (April, 1984) - J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Paul Neary (pencils), Ed Baretto (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Captain America I#299 (November, 1984) - J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Paul Neary (pencils), Roy Richardson (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Captain America I#300 (December, 1984) - J. M. DeMatteis (plot), Michael Ellis (script), Paul Neary (pencils), Dennis Janke (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Daredevil I#225 (December, 1985) – Denny O’Neil (writer), David Mazzucchelli (art), Ralph Maccio (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#2 (January, 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer, producer), Peter Sanderson (writer, research), Howard Bender (Black Crow pencils), Eliot Brown (technical illustrator), Josef Rubinstein (inks, embellishes), no full editor credited
Marvel Fanfare I#39 (August, 1988) - J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Joe Staton (penciler), Kim DeMulder (inker), Jack Morelli (letters),  Juliana Ferriter (colors), Al Milgrom (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)
Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme I#25 (January, 1991) – Fabian Nicieza (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Sam de la Rosa, Kelley Jones (collectively as Manuel Labor) (inks),  Ralph Macchio (editor)
Quasar I#23 (June, 1991) – Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capulo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#191 (August, 1992) - J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Sal Buscema (art), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#192 (September, 1992) - J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Sal Buscema (art), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#193 (October, 1992) - J. M. DeMatteis (writer), Sal Buscema (art), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition#28 (March, 1993) - Glenn Herdling, Peter Sanderson, Murray Ward (text, research), Keith Pollard (pencils), Josef Rubinstein (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man Annual I#13 (1993) - "In Your Eyes" story - J. M. DeMatteis (plot, story), Mat Levine (plot), M. C. Wyman & Company (art), Eric Fein (editor)
Captain America I#440 (June, 1995) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Dave Hoover (pencils), Marie Severin, Dan Bulanadi, Don Hudson (inks), Ralph Maccio (editor)
Captain America I#443 (September, 1995) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Dave Hoover, Danny Bulanadi (art), Ralph Maccio (editor)
Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 4: Spider-Man (2003) - Jonathan Couper-Smartt (writer, research), Syd Barney-Hawke, Seth Biederman (contributing writers), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Marvel Encyclopedia HC Vol. 5: Marvel Knights (2004) - Daredevil A-Z section - Kuljit Mithra (writer, research), Michael Ruscoe (contributing writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Civil War I#6 (December, 2006) – Mark Millar (writer), Steve McNiven (pencils), Dexter Vines (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War I#7 (January, 2007) - Mark Millar (writer), Steve McNiven (pencils), Dexter Vines, John Dell, Tim Townsend (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Civil War Battle Damage Report (2007) - Anthony Flamini (head writer, coordinator), Ronald Byrd (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic#1 (2007) - David Sexton, Jeff Christiansen (head writers, coordinators), Madison Carter, Michael Hoskin, Eric J. Moreels, Ronald Byrd, Chad Anderson, Al Sjoerdsma, Mark O'English, Chris Biggs, Stuart Vandal (writers), Howard Bender, Paul Neary (Black Crow entry art), Jeff Youngquist, Jennifer Grunwald (editors)


Last updated: 03/07/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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