Real Name: Joseph Manfredi

Identity/Class: Human mutate/technology user

Occupation: Criminal;
former terrorist, circus performer

Group Membership: Maggia;
Formerly Masters of Evil (Aqueduct, Bison, Boomerang, Cardinal, Constrictor, Crimson Cowl/Justine Hammer, Cyclone, Dragonfly, Eel, Flying Tiger, Gypsy Moth, Hydro-Man, Icemaster, Joystick, Klaw, Lodestone, Man-Ape, Man-Killer, Quicksand, Scorcher, Shatterfist, Shockwave, Slyde, Sunstroke, Supercharger, Tiger Shark), Skeleton Crew (Crossbones, Cutthroat, Jack O’Lantern/Steven Levins, Machinesmith, Mother Night, Red Skull, Sleeper), Hydra (Commander Kraken, Dreadnought, el Jaguar, Fixer, Fox, Man-Killer, Mentallo, Supreme Hydra/Silvermane), Circus of Crime (Great Gambonnos, Human Cannonball, Princess Python, Ringmaster/Maynard Tiboldt)

Affiliations: Dr. Benway, Heavy Mettle (Barracuda, Blackwing, Firestrike, Riot, Stronghold, Warbow), Jack O’Lantern (Steven Levins), Renard, Harley Traynor, Viper

EnemiesBlack Widow (Natasha Romanova), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Daredevil (Matt Murdock), Diamondback (Rachel Leighton), Falcon (Sam Wilson), Zachary Moonhunter, New Warriors (Aegis, Bolt/Chris Bradley, Namorita, Nova/Richard Rider, Speedball, Turbo/Micky Musashi), Pat the Cat, Thunderbolts (Atlas, Charcoal, Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Jolt, MACH-1, Moonstone/Karla Sofen, Songbird)

Known Relatives: Silvio Manfredi (Silvermane, father), Caterina Manfredi (mother)

Aliases: Giuseppe Manfredi, Mr. Silvermane, Joey Silvermane

Base of Operations: New York City, New York, USA

First Appearance: Daredevil I#118 (February, 1975)

Powers/Abilities: Blackwing spent hours training bats to follow his commands. Using technological enhancements to psionically communicate with bats, he commanded regular bats, genetically enhanced ones and, in one case, a scientifically-modified giant bat to follow his orders. Naturally athletic, Blackwing used a bat-shaped glider, anti-gravity technology that made him capable of short-range flight and razor-bat shurikens, as well as other weapons such as knives in combat. He had access to criminal resources as a member of the Maggia.

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black, dyed brown

History: (All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z I#1 (fb) – BTS) – After Silvio Manfredi's release from prison, he and his wife Caterina gave birth to Joseph. Silvio, who went by Silvermane, introduced young Joseph to a life of crime with the Maggia.

(Captain America I#396 (fb) - BTS) - As a child, Joseph played in one of his father's homes. The house would eventually become Skullhouse, base of the Red Skull.

(All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually, Joseph received technological enhancements that allowed him to psionically communicate with bats, which he then trained to follow him. He adopted the codename of Blackwing and designed a costume, with tech enhancements.

(Daredevil I#122 (fb) – BTS) – When Silvermane learned of the Circus of Crime staging a show at Shea Stadium, he worried their antics would expose Hydra's plots. To distract them, Blackwing was encouraged by Silvermane to join the Circus of Crime but was told not to reveal the full extent of his powers.

(Daredevil I#118) – When Daredevil disrupted one of the Ringmaster's criminal plots, he devised a revenge scheme for the Circus of Crime, relying mostly on new member Blackwing and his trained bats. That night, they performed at Shea Stadium with Blackwing commanding his bats to do tricks as Ringmaster slowly hypnotized both the live and television audiences. Ringmaster ordered those watching to surrender their valuables and Blackwing's bats traveled around the city gathering cash and jewelry, returning it to the stadium. Daredevil arrived and arrested the villains but Blackwing escaped.

(Daredevil I#123 (fb) – BTS) – Blackwing returned to his father, having completed his mission.

(Daredevil I#121 (fb) – BTS) – Hydra formed a new team of division chiefs with Blackwing being selected for the Air Action division. Other divisions were led by Mentallo, the Fixer, the Dreadnought, Commander Kraken, Man-Killer, el Jaguar, the Fox and Jackhammer.

(Daredevil I#122 (fb) – BTS) – Blackwing equipped a warehouse and Shea Stadium with explosives. He trained a new strain of bats, ones mutated and bred for strength and one giant bat.

(Daredevil I#122) – A Hydra agent was captured and gave S.H.I.E.L.D. agents the calling card of Blackwing, a white background with a black bat on it. Daredevil and Black Widow went searching at the warehouse but Blackwing had been warned about them and given instructions to destroy them, with his primary focus being the assassination of Nick Fury. Supreme Hydra ranted that they would have to defeat all super heroes in time. While Black Widow battled el Jaguar, Blackwing sent his bats to attack Daredevil then he covered the hero in dried blood and sent his giant bat in to attack as well. Blackwing entered the attack himself, flying swiftly, but he was furious when Daredevil managed to kill the giant bat with a stake to the heart. Blackwing evaded the hero at the right moment and Daredevil fell to the ground from a great height, the fall knocking him out. Blackwing reported back into his leader, the Supreme Hydra, who unmasked as Silvermane.

(Daredevil I#123) – As Blackwing prematurely celebrated the Hydra victory, Black Widow awakened and attacked, and Man-Killer had to save Blackwing. Silvermane ordered Blackwing and Man-Killer to set aside their differences then they got the unconscious forms of Daredevil, Black Widow and el Jaguar back to the Hydra base under Shea Stadium, where Mentallo and Dreadnought were holding "Foggy" Nelson. When S.H.I.E.L.D. attacked, Silvermane blew them up but soon realized he had only hit L.M.D.s. "Foggy" Nelson grabbed a gun and freed Daredevil and Black Widow, who began defeating the leaders of Hydra. Silvermane ordered Blackwing to fly him to safety and they rushed away with Commander Kraken, ready to fight again another day.

(Captain America I#396 (fb) – BTS) – Jack O'Lantern heard that the Red Skull was dead. He and Blackwing decided to go raid one of the Red Skull's storehouses, Skullhouse.

(Captain America I#396) – Jack O'Lantern and Blackwing went to Silvermane's home and Blackwing was shocked to see it already raided, making him sad as he had once played there as a child. When Captain America attacked, Blackwing was knocked off his bat-glider but he sent his colony of bats as well as razor-bats, or shurikens, at the hero. Jack trapped Cap in fear gas.

(Captain America I#397) – While Cap was under the fear gas influence, Blackwing tried fixing his bat-glider. The villains then attacked Cap, who was still hallucinating, until Red Skull locked them in Skullhouse behind a force shield then they began seeking an exit. Captain America attacked the two villains and temporarily defeated them. When Mother Night arrived and made Cap think the two men had been shot by the Scourge, he went after and captured her, and he soon found Jack and Blackwing gone.

(Captain America I#398/2 (fb) – BTS)) – After pulling the two men to safety, Cutthroat recruited Jack and Blackwing, convincing them that they could get in good with the Red Skull, even though Blackwing believed Red Skull to be dead.  

(Captain America I#398/2) – Cutthroat led Jack and Blackwing to the prison where Mother Night was being held. Mother Night had just made bail and she offered the men riches to join with Red Skull's Skeleton Crew. Back at Skull's base, they met Machinesmith, their teammate, and Skull's ally Viper, then the Red Skull himself.

(Captain America I#405/2) – Crossbones and Diamondback tried sneaking into Red Skull's mountain headquarters in Colorado but Blackwing and the Skeleton Crew stood against them.

(Captain America I#406/2) – Blackwing and the Skeleton Crew were forced to let Diamondback and Crossbones into their headquarters when Jack O'Lantern's life was put in danger.

(Captain America I#407/2) – The Crew took Diamondback and Crossbones to the Red Skull. Skull agreed to give Crossbones a try-out while Diamondback was imprisoned and Blackwing was confused when Cutthroat seemed concerned for Diamondback.

(Captain America I#408/2) – Blackwing saw Crossbones kill Cutthroat alongside the Skeleton Crew.

(Captain America I#409) – Red Skull questioned the Skeleton Crew then later appointed Crossbones as a member. Blackwing was defeated by Diamondback, who had escaped and had posed as Mother Night. Crossbones apprehended Diamondback then Captain America and Falcon attacked.  

(Captain America I#410) – Dr. Benway, who had been experimenting on Diamondback, called for help and Mother Night and Blackwing, both recovered, rushed toward him on a helicopter behind pilot Renard. While the Sleeper robot handled Cap's pilot, Zachary Moonhunter, Blackwing jumped on his bat-glider and grabbed a bat-edged knife, intervening in the fight between Cap and Crossbones. Despite being hit in the head with debris, Blackwing knocked Cap off a cliff but Falcon saved the hero. Blackwing then went after Falcon, seeing that Jack O'Lantern had been defeated, but Falcon beat Blackwing and tied him up. Soon, the entire Skeleton Crew was taken to the Vault but the Red Skull escaped.

(Thunderbolts I#24) – Blackwing was among the recruits for the new Masters of Evil led by the Crimson Cowl. She planned to use a weather-altering device to change weather patterns and she planned to blackmail the world's governments.

(Thunderbolts I#25) – As weather patterns shifted globally, the Masters of Evil put out their blackmail demands. The Thunderbolts infiltrated the team and a huge fight broke out. Blackwing, in a new black-and-white costume and without his bats or weapons, managed to briefly knock out Hawkeye during the fight but he in turn was defeated when Jolt dodged Shockwave, who then punched Blackwing.

(New Warriors II#2 (fb) – BTS) – Blackwing got himself out of jail by exploiting a loophole stating super-heroes weren't licensed authorities. Weary of his costumed identity, he instead decided to be the man behind the scenes. Using the name Mr. Silvermane, he formed Heavy Mettle, a group of criminals in super-powered armor, including Firestrike.

(New Warriors II#4 (fb) – BTS) – Joey also recruited Warbow, Riot, Barracuda, Stronghold and a new female armored Blackwing.

(New Warriors II#1 – BTS) – When Joey assigned Firestrike to set Pat the Cat's business on fire, he was stopped by Turbo.

(New Warriors II#2) – Joey was frustrated with Firestrike's failure. He assigned Firestrike to retrieve Turbo's suit at any cost.

(New Warriors II#3 – BTS) – Joey was behind illegal arms deals on the streets of New York, leading to a war between gangs for territory.

(New Warriors II#4 (fb) – BTS) – The New Warriors continued fighting crime, damaging Joey's plans. Local criminals doubted that he could even handle teenagers.

(New Warriors II#4) – As gang wars erupted, Firestrike called in to report to Joey, who told him to assemble Heavy Mettle. Silvermane told Joey that unless the New Warrior situation was handled, he might kill Joey himself. Joey promised his dad a success, wanting to make him proud. Unfortunately, Heavy Mettle lost their fight with the Warriors. When Joey heard about his ally Harley Traynor being arrested, he ordered him killed, afraid that Harley could give evidence against him.

(New Warriors II#5 – BTS) – Traynor was killed by a guard in jail who was working for Joey.

(New Warriors II#6 – BTS) – Firestrike called Joey, ensuring his plans to take Turbo's armor were on track.

(New Warriors II#7) – Joey grew frustrated with Firestrike, who still hadn't gotten the Turbo armor after a month of dating her. When Firestrike was captured by the New Warriors, he exposed Joey Silvermane as the man behind the arms deals. Joey sent Heavy Mettle to raid Baintronics but the New Warriors defeated the villains. Firestrike agreed to work with the district attorney in taking down Joey and he entered witness protection while the case was being built.

(Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal Infinity Comic#8) - Blackwing was among a group of criminals in jail wanting to beat up Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway, Don Heck and Vince Colletta.

Blackwing received an entry in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z I#1.

Despite fifty years of history, and his family connections to Silvermane and the Maggia, writers have never done much with Blackwing, in or out of costume. He's a mostly forgotten villain with an unexplained obsession with bats.

Profile by Chadman.

Blackwing (Joseph Manfredi) has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Daredevil I#118, cover (original costume)
Daredevil I#122, cover (with bat, versus Daredevil)
Daredevil I#122, p5, pan5 (business card)
Captain America I#396, p11, pan3 (on bat-glider)
Captain America I#396, p15, pan3 (throwing razor-bats)
Thunderbolts I#25, p29, pan5 (black-and-white costume)
New Warriors II#2, p8, pan2 (smoking cigarette)

Daredevil I#118 (February, 1975) – Gerry Conway (writer), Don Heck (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Daredevil I#121-123 (May-June, 1975) – Tony Isabella (writer), Bob Brown (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Captain America I#396-397 (January-February, 1992) – Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (penciler), Danny Bulanadi (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#398/2 (March, 1992) – Mark Gruenwald (writer), Larry Alexander (penciler), Dan Panosian (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#405/2-407/2 (August-September, 1992) – Mark Gruenwald (writer), Larry Alexander (penciler), Ariane Lenshoek (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#408/2 (October, 1992) – Mark Gruenwald (writer), Larry Alexander (penciler), Don Hudson (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#409-410 (November-December, 1992) – Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (penciler), Danny Bulanadi (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Thunderbolts I#24 (March, 1999) – Kurt Busiek (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#25 (April, 1999) – Kurt Busiek (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Bob Wiacek, Al Vey (inkers), Tom Brevoort (editor)
New Warriors II#1-2 (October-November, 1999) – Jay Faerber (writer), Steve Scott (penciler), Walden Wong (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
New Warriors II#3 (December, 1999) – Jay Faerber (writer), Steve Scott, Chris Renaud (pencilers), Walden Wong (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
New Warriors II#4 (January, 2000) – Jay Faerber (writer), Karl Kerschl (penciler), Walden Wong (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
New Warriors II#5 (February, 2000) – Jay Faerber (writer), Karl Kerschl, Chris Renaud (pencilers), Walden Wong (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
New Warriors II#6 (March, 2000) – Jay Faerber (writer), Jason Armstrong (penciler), Walden Wong (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
New Warriors II#7 (April, 2000) – Jay Faerber (writer), Jamal Igle (penciler), Walden Wong (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal Infinity Comic#8 (October, 2022) - Frank Tieri, John Cerilli (writers), Jacob Chabot (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)

First Posted: 10/25/2018
Last updated: 02/04/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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