blackbyrd-nathaniel-full.jpg BLACKBYRDblackbyrd-nathaniel-vignette

Real Name: Nathaniel Alexander Byrd

Identity/Class: Human, conventional weapons user

Occupation: Police lieutenant (New York Police Department; NYPD 24th precinct);
    former private investigator

Group Membership: New York Police Department

Affiliations: Amos the cat, Awilda Ayala, Linda Lee Black, Corporation (notably Filippo Ayala, Stryke and his agents), Lt. Jimmy D'Angelo, Holly Gillis, Lou Gunther (informant), Raymond Halliday, Iron Fist (Daniel Rand), Jack of Hearts (Jonathon Heart), Dr. Lionel Jeffries, Captain Kamenstein, Bernie Klieg and his agents, Misty Knight, Gerald Mills, Shang Chi ("Master of Kung Fu"), Sons of the Tiger (Abe Brown, Bob Diamond, Lotus Shinchuko, Lin Sun), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Thor Odinson (also as Donald Blake), US Coast Guard, Ramon Vasquez, White Tiger (Hector Ayala);
    inmates of New Troy State Prison (including Ishmael and Moses)

Enemies: Warden Beyce (or Bryce), the Black Hand, Bombadiers, Devon Caxon, Caxon Oil company, Foxy, Hollywood, Gideon Mace (indirectly), Sgt. Ryder, Smiler, Snake Eyes, Whitewash ();
    formerly
Captain Kamenstein (perhaps not a true enemy, but somewhat of an antagonist and possibly an opponent);
    a number of corrupt guards and the doctor at New Troy State Prison

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: ;
    "Harlem's answer to Kojak"

Base of Operations: Harlem, New York;
    Manhattan (New York)'s 24th Precinct;
    The Yellow Tooth bar, 125th and Lennox, Manhattan, New York;
    formerly Manhattan (New York)'s 91 Precinct

First Appearance: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12 (May, 1975)

blackbyrd-nathaniel-specspii10-face.jpgPowers/Abilities: An experienced private investigator and police officer, Blackbyrd is a skilled marksman and combatant, although he occasionally made a loud noise inadvertently (coughing or bumping into or falling through something) while investigating, drawing attention to his presence.

    Blackbyrd is bold, willing to confront multiple opponents at once, not even backing down from superhuman opponents. He would continue to operate even after being shot in the arm, although he did recognize when he was getting weak from blood loss.

    He is also blunt, speaking what was on his mind and not tiptoeing around others' feelings.

    He had some experience in flying a helicopter.

    He liked to smoke cigars, which also likely hampered his effectiveness at being stealthy.

Height: 4-5 inches shorter than Abe Brown
Weight:
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Bald (likely/formerly black or brown; shaved or bald)

History:

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#22/2 (fb) - BTS) - Byrd was part of the New York Police Department, during which time he associated with Lt. Jimmy D'Angelo and Captain Kamenstein.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#31 (fb) - BTS) - Byrd worked in the 91st Precinct.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#16/2 (fb) - BTS) <Ten years before the main story> - Byrd sent Ryder to prison for burglary.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#18/2 (fb) - BTS) <Five years before the main story> - Blackbyrd arrested Snake Eyes for killing a blind war veteran who was begging him to leave him alone.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12) - Byrd's friends on 125th and Lenox (possibly at the Yellow Tooth) nicknamed him Blackbyrd, "kind of an off-color joke, if you can dig it." Byrd accepted the nickname, introducing himself by that name thereafter.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#31 (fb) - BTS) - Blackbyrd used to work with Misty Knight on the force.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#30 (fb) - BTS) - Byrd's police days were not the kind of thing he wanted to remember.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#31 (fb) - BTS) - Captain Kamenstein was always breathing down Blackbyrd's neck.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#22/2 (fb) - BTS) - Blackbyrd quit the police; allegedly they would have fired him if he didn't quit.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12/2 (fb) - BTS) - Linda Lee Black's sister hired Blackbyrd to keep an eye on her as she traveled to the United Nations (UN) building to give them a folder containing her notes on the unsafe radiation practices of a plant owned by Caxon Oil Company.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12/2) - Though following Linda closely, Blackbyrd was unable to prevent her from being shot twice in the chest on 42nd Street by a pair of agents of Caxon Oil. Also present, Kung Fu and Sons of the Tiger member Abe Brown subdued one of the men, but backed off when the other man held him at gunpoint. However, when the gunman tried to run off, Blackbyrd shot him down, apparently fatally.

    Rushing to Linda's side, Blackbyrd realized she was dying and tried to calm and comfort her, but she forced herself to give him her folder before she perished. Questioned by an arriving police officer, Blackbyrd claimed to have just been a passerby when the woman was shot, but someone else in the crowd revealed how she had given him a folder. Calling Blackbyrd "boy," the officer warned him that witholding evidence was a serious charge; but Blackbyrd shoved his revolver in the officer's face, telling him the folder was given to him and was his property, that he wasn't getting it without a warrant, and that he didn't like being called "boy"; although he was happy to call the officer "pig." Backing off from Blackbyrd, the police officer decided he had a prime suspect in the man Abe had stunned, knocking him out with his nightstick.

    After an ambulance took away Linda, Blackbyrd took Abe to get a bite to eat, during which he introduced himself, explained his nickname, and shared how he was supposed to have been protecting Linda. Blackbyrd then shared Linda's history, and Abe agreed to help get the people who had her killed and to pass on her notes to the UN.


    Traveling to the Lower East Side's docks at midnight, Blackbyrd mocked Abe's "circus costume," and was surprised that Abe also did this sort of thing for a living. Blackbyrd then explained that Linda's notes identified the warehouse they were investigating as the site to which Caxon Oil Company was dumping a lot of the radioactive material it was bringing into the country; Caxon had made a deal with "some tiny third world country" to receive a load of illegal plutonium in exchange for helping plan a revolution in that country. Getting closer to hear better after Caxon executive Gerald Mills arrived, Blackbyrd unthinkingly coughed and drew a pair of guards' attention, but Abe swiftly dropkicked the two men, with Abe and Blackbyrd finishing the pair off.

    They then listened as Mills met with Captain Barkan and were surprised as Mills' "secretary," Devon, took over, shooting Barkan dead when he tried to blackmail then for more money. As Abe went after Devon
(revealed as Devon Caxon, daughter of the company's owner) as she departed, Blackbyrd confronted Mills while he began dumping oil or gas barrels in preparation to torch the warehouse. Blackbyrd goaded Mills to go for his gun.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12/2 (fb) - BTS) - Taking a nasty wound in his right arm from Mills, Blackbyrd's shot apparently subdued Mills nonfatally and prevented him from setting fire to the warehose.

    Blackbyrd contacted the Harbor Patrol / US Coast Guard, who came to the warehouse. Mills agreed to reveal what he knew if the Harbor Patrol kept Blackbyrd from coming after him again. Blackbyrd boarded the Coast Guard ship as it went after Devon's boat.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12/2 - BTS) - As the Harbor Patrol surprised Devon aboard her motorboat, she fell overboard and was apparently struck by the Coast Guard ship.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12/2 (fb) - BTS) - The Coast Guard got the plutonium-loaded tanker.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12/2) - After Abe had boarded the Coast Guard, he noted how the case had been wrapped up, but Blackbyrd had his doubts as he feared there was still deep-seated government corrupt, although he hope otherwise.

blackbyrd-nathaniel-agent-side.jpg(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#16/2 (fb) - BTS) - Having gotten word of Blackbyrd and Brown's activities against Caxon, Raymond Halliday of the National Citizen's Liberties Union sought their aid in corroborating reports of extensive injustices in New Troy State Prison.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#16/2) - Blackbyrd brought Halliday to meet the Sons of the Tiger (Abe Brown, Bob Diamond, Lotus Shinchuko, Lin Sun), and they agreed to go to lunch to hear more from him.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#16/2 (fb) - BTS) - Following lunch with Halliday, Blackbyrd and the Sons of the Tiger traveled to New Troy State Prison.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#16/2) - Blackbyrd and the Sons of the Tiger met with Warden Beyce (??; it's Bryce in #17) convincing him to let the Sons perform a Kung Fu demonstration, during which they would secretly be gathering information; Blackbyrd acted as their agent. Sgt. Ryder then showed them to their stage.

    When the inmates arrived, it became clear that they had been beaten, and when the Sons confronted Warden Beyce, Ryder ordered them to back off or he would order the guards to open fire on the prisonsers. Pressured to perform, Abe and Lin staged a fight until Abe dropped Ryder with his hurled bo staff, but when a guard stunned by Lin's nunchaks dropped his weapon, Moses (one of the beaten inmates) picked it up, and the inmates revolted. blackbyrd-nathaniel-hatless-gunholster.jpg

    Blackbyrd and the Sons teamed up to take out the corrupt guards, but the warden then convinced governor that a riot was beyond control, leading him to send in the National Guard.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#17/2) - As inmate Ishmael convinced Moses and the others not to kill the guards, Blackbyrd kept Ryder at gunpoint. The National Guard then fired tear gas into the prison, and Ryder and the other guards escaped during the chaos.

    After the tear gas cleared, Blackbyrd had Lotus help him get the more injured inmates to the infirmary where he contacted Halliday. After pressuring the doctor there to treat the inmates, Blackbyrd heard Ryder and his men approaching and urged everyone to get away from the doors. Nonetheless, a bloodbath erupted with gunfire taking down members of both sides; Blackbyrd advised a shocked Bob Diamond that this was real, not Hollywood.

    Halliday eventually arrived and stopped the fight, assuring those present that they had obtained the needed evidence to put the warden and other corrupt guards away. When Ryder went for a gun again, Blackbyrd shot Ryder through the head. With all the casualties, however, Blackbyrd did not see any reason to celebrate.

(
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#18/2) - After criminals Foxy and Hollywood shot a subway clerk and fled, knocking a woman onto the subway tracks in the process, Blackbyrd fired on the pair, pinning them down and preventing their escape while he advised them that Harlem was his turf and he didn't appreciate "no out-o'-town punk messin' it all up! Dig?"

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#18/2 (fb) - BTS) - Blackbyrd apparently killed Hollywood in a shootout.

blackbyrd-nathaniel-ratf.jpg(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#18/2) - When arriving police threatened to take Iron Fist in for the damage he did to a subway train in preventing it from running over the girl knocked onto the tracks (as well as Abe Brown, who had jumped in in hopes of saving her), Blackbyrd excused Iron Fist, himself, Abe, Lin, and Bob, taking them to the Yellow Tooth, a bar a couple blocks away (on 125th street and Lennox Avenue) where there weren't cops.

    As he bought another round for his friends, Blackbyrd appreciated that the bartender, Whitewash, had recognized him and had abruptly and suspiciously fled. Excusing himself to "pay his respects to the plumbing," Blackbyrd followed Whitewash into the back room, where he noted a number of criminals he knew, most of whom were supposed to have been put away for life. Surprised by a rat, however, he knocked over a trashcan, drawing the attention of several member's of Snake Eyes' gang the Black Hand. Outgunned, Blackbyrd dropped his gun and talked to Snake Eyes, who punched him out back before lifting him into the air and noting how he had been waiting for revenge for being sent to prison by Blackbyrd.

    Before Snake Eyes could fire, the Sons of the Tiger arrived alongside Iron Fist and engaged Snake Eyes' forces; as more of Snake Eyes' men arrived, Snake Eyes revealed that the city would soon be begging him to release an antidote -- to an epidemic that was sweeping through the city's streets -- he had hijacked. Blackbyrd shot one of the Black Hand who sought to shoot Iron Fist in the back, but when he interrupted Snake Eyes as he strangled, Snake Eyes punched Blackbyrd to the ground noting his new power. Blackbyrd shot Snake Eyes in the chest, which only revealed the bullet-proof transparent window over his thoracic organs. Ultimately, Iron Fist shattered the casing, killing Snake Eyes.

    Blackbyrd and his allies returned to the bar, which had been leveled in an unrelated barfight, and he poured drinks for his friends: "Here's to Kung Fu and all that other Jazz, gents!"blackbyrd-nathaniel-dhokf-full.jpg

(
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#22/2) - Blackbyrd appeared at a New York Police Department building and interrupted Captain Kamenstein and Det. Sgt. Jimmy D'Angelo as they discussed the new hero known as the White Tiger. Noting his past experience with the previous wearers of the Tiger Amulets, he expressed an interest in finding them, notably Abe Brown who was -- unbeknownst to them -- en route to the Middle East by plane.

(
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23/2) - Alongside Det. Jimmy D'Angelo and Awilda Ayala, sister of Hector (White Tiger), Blackbyrd confronted White Tiger following a destructive battle of mistaken identities with Jack of Hearts; Blackbyrd warned Jimmy that his driving was going to get them killed. Blackbyrd told White Tiger to explain where he had gotten "them fancy amulets."

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#24/2 (fb) - BTS) - Alongside D'Angelo, Awilda, and the White Tiger, Blackbyrd accompanied Jack of Hearts to a hospital.

blackbyrd-nathaniel-face-gun-dig (Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#24/2) - When a hospital administrator warned they couldn't barge in and demand emergency service, Blackbyrd advised the administrator to take care of the paperwork and to call the police commissioner if he had any questions.

    Blackbyrd then directed the taciturn White Tiger into the waiting room; after Blackbyrd and D'Angelo questioned him and Awilda asked about her missing brother, White pulled off his mask, revealing his true identity and explaining how he had found the amulets in an alley (where the Sons of the Tiger had abandoned them).

    The discussion was interrupted by explosive energy discharges from Jack of Hearts, which the Tiger explained was a result of attempting to remove his armor while he was sedated; Blackbyrd allowed White Tiger to go after Jack of Hearts, though he warned the Tiger that this better not be a trick. Watching the Tiger in action, Blackbyrd acknowledged that he moved really well, like Abe Brown.

    With D'Angelo, Blackbyrd told White Tiger he was free to go (at least until he had checked out his story), and then convinced him to join them in investigating the lead that had led to the confrontation between Jack of Hearts and the White Tiger, a reference to Jack's killer having been associated with a "Tiger." Blackbyrd then Just then, however, they were attacked by a group of Corporation agents led by Stryke. Blackbyrd futilely warned off Stryke, and when combat ensued he urged the others to action, striking down one of the warriors with a blow to the neck before falling after taking a shuriken (throwing star) across the forehead.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#26) - With Stryke and his agents holding D'Angelo and Awilda and focused on the White Tiger, D'Angelo noticed that Blackbyrd was only feigning unconscious. Grabbing his gun, Blackbyrd suddenly jumped up and began firing at Stryke's men, allowing D'Angelo to use the distraction to take out the man who had previously held him. D'Angelo subsequently shot down a man attempting to skewer Blackbyrd with a spear-like weapon.

    After the last of their attackers had fallen, Blackbyrd told White Tiger that his efforts to calm the distraught Awilda weren't working as she was in dazed denial. As Awilda departed, the Tiger was frustrated with Blackbyrd's interference, but Blackbyrd urged him to focus on tracking down the men who had killed Jack of Hearts' father, as they would otherwise probably target him. Blackbyrd then announced they were heading to the El Tigre bar in the South Bronx.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#27) - Alongside D'Angelo and White Tiger, Blackbyrd traveled to El Tigre; when the Tiger stopped to greet the young Marguerita Yvette "Cheeky" Molina, Blackbyrd reminded him that they weren't there to open a day care center and urged him to hurry along. D'Angelo encouraged Blackbyrd to cut the Tiger some slack, but Blackbyrd reminded him that all of their lives were at stake.

    With D'Angelo having radioed ahad to the 41st precinct, asking them to give him an hour, Blackbyrd and his allies entered the bar, swiftly recognizing the bartender as Whitewash. The bartender dropped a glass upon spotting Blackbyrd, drawing everyone attention to their arrival. Blackbyrd told Whitewash to turn down the loud TV and then asked everyone present if they had heard of El Tigre. When a patron named Smiler told him he had no right to come in there, Blackbyrd advised him that the cop with him might be interested in why Smiler wasn't still in Tombs; he further advised Smiler not to try anything. When he questioned Whitewash, the albino argued that Blackbyrd wasn't a cop and he didn't have to tell him anything; D'Angelo interrupted, noting that he was a cop and that Whitewash had better talk, but Blackbyrd countered that Whitewash wasn't impressed as he used to stamp his own badges a few years back.

    Whitewash pulled out a machine gun from under the bar, but White Tiger warned Blackbyrd and D'Angelo in time for them to duck (with the bullets hitting a pair of the bar's patrons instead), after which the Tiger dropped Whitewash. The Tiger then realized the TV had been following their moves, and he kicked Blackbyrd and D'Angelo out of the way just before lasers erupted from the TV's lens; the Tiger swiftly destroyed the TV.

    With everyone else in the bar dead or unconscious and having gained no useful information, the Tiger voiced his frustation; Blackbyrd praised his skill and efforts, but told him he could quit if didn't have the guts to finish it. Just then Blackbyrd realized that whoever had been operating the laser had fled down an alley and was long gone. When Whitewash refused to talk for fear of being killed for it, Blackbyrd advised they wait until the polce came to pick up Whitewash.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#27 - BTS) - Meanwhile, the White Tiger accompanied Cheeky who was then killed by a bomb in a handball that was intended for the Tiger instead.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#27) - Drawn by the sound of the explosion, Blackbyrd and D'Angelo came running; upon seeing the dead girl, Blackbyrd advised D'Angelo to give the Tiger some time.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#29/2) - After checking on the White Tiger, Blackbyrd noted that the gathering crowd was getting uglier, and after the ambulance took away Cheeky's body, the crowd rapidly progressed to violence, accusing the Tiger as a child-killer (and assuming him to be a white man that had killed a Puerto Rican girl). As the crowd rushed them, Blackbyrd told the Tiger it had been nice knowing him.

    After taking a number of hits, the Tiger finally fought back after taking a flesh wound from a gunshot. Blackbyrd applauded the Tiger's efforts, advising him that even if he disliked the path of violence, he'd be alive to consider it. However, when the Tiger began to fight back with force, Blackbyrd cautioned him not to use lethal force. blackbyrd-nathaniel-punchdown-tiger.jpg

    When police reinforcements arrived and drove off the rioters, the Tiger -- maddened with anger and sadness -- continued to fight against empty air. After the Tiger ignored Blackbyrd's words, Blackbyrd apologized as he punched down the Tiger, finally bringing him to his senses.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#30/2 (fb) - BTS) - The Tiger departed, but Blackbyrd and D'Angelo remained on the scene. Blackbyrd discussed his plans to get Jack of Hearts mad and set him on the trail of trail of El Tigre as well.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#30/2) - When a recovered Jack of Hearts arrived, Blackbyrd and D'Angelo explained that the Tiger was gone, and Byrd expressed sympathy for the Tiger's having felt like he was betraying his own people by working with them. When a frustrated Jack of Hearts -- annoyed with being called kid and with being accused of not helping while he was healing from his broken ribs -- grabbed Blackbyrd by his lapels and threatened him, Blackbyrd stuck his gun in Jack's face and called him, "kid" again. Telling Blackbyrd he needed a lesson in humanity, Jack shattered his gun and walked off.
    Blackbyrd was pleased his efforts had the desired result, although he wished it hadn't cost him his gun.
blackbyrd-nathaniel-face-close.jpg

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#31 (fb) - BTS) - Blackbyrd sought out Misty Knight for aid in assisting the White Tiger.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#31) - Blackbyrd was in Misty's office in the evening when Iron Fist (along with Shang Chi) checked in on her, and they agreed to help the White Tiger.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#31 (fb) - BTS) - Blackbyrd heard a police report about gunfire and weird lights at the dockyard; he figured this likely involved the White Tiger and Jack of Hearts.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#31) - Via helicopter, Blackbyrd flew Iron Fist and Shang Chi to the dockyard where his passengers climbed down the helicopter's ladder and joined Jack of Hearts in the fight against Corporation agent Stryke and his men on the el Tigre ship's deck.

    Corporation agents aboard the el Tigre shot the windshield and then the propeller, causing the copter to crash. Before it hit the ship, Blackbyrd climbed out leapt onto the dock; the copter's impact knocked down the Corporation agents fighting the White Tiger below the deck, allowing White Tiger to take the advantage. In flames, the ship floated down the river.

    Blackbyrd was waiting on the dock when D'Angelo and his men arrived, telling him of the helicopter's and ship's fates.

    Blackbyrd joined D'Angelo in a boat going after el Tigre, but the ship suddenly turned, and they were forced to jump out before it crashed into the ship. Blackbyrd noted that the heroes were on their own now.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#31 - BTS) - The heroes jumped overboard and landed in the water as the White Tiger's brother, Filippo, detonated a bomb rather than go to prison for his drug dealing.

(
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#32/2) - From the docks, Blackbyrd remarked to D'Angelo that the burning el Tigre freighter was "one weinee roast they can see all the way up to Harlem." He then told Jack that he hoped his revenge against his father's killers was worth it, as Filippo's death would hurt the White Tiger for the rest of his life.

    As the others left, Blackbyrd approved Iron Fist giving Misty his love, and acknowledged Jack's comment that they had saved many innocents. He then told the lone White Tiger to go ahead and cry; while it wouldn't help, "it'll sure as Hell clean your insides out."

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#32/2 / Spectacular Spider-Man II#9 (fb)) - Figuring some action would take the White Tiger's mind off of his dead brother, Blackbyrd introduced him to Bob Diamond, who was temporarily confined to a wheelchair due to frostbite.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#32/2) - Blackbyrd summarized the White Tiger's nature and history, including how he had the combined powers of the Sons of the Tiger.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#32/2 - BTS) - Diamond elected to take the Tiger and Blackbyrd to Lotus Shinchuko and Lin Sun.

(Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#32/2) - Finding Lotus and Lin under attack by agents of corrupt film-maker Bernie Klieg, Blackbyrd shot a man preparing to shoot Lotus in the back. He then introduced the White Tiger, who joined Lin and Lotus in taking out Klieg and his men.

    After Bob made his presence known, the three Sons resolved to become a team anew and asked the White Tiger to stay with them until they understood why the four of them had come together, and until they found their fifth member, Abe Brown, and were made whole once more. blackbyrd-nathaniel-spider-signal.jpg

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#9 (fb)) - When the Sons prepared to depart to seek out the missing Abe, however, the Tiger declined joining them, and they parted ways.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#9 (fb) - BTS) - Hector instead enrolled at Empire State University's night school.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#9 (fb) - BTS) - Blackbyrd heard the discussion about ESU potentially closing its night school, and he he figured that would cause Hector to be hurting.

(
Spectacular Spider-Man II#9 - BTS) - Researching the Daily Globe's files on the White Tiger, who had allegedly stolen the Erskine Manuscripts from Empire State University (he had framed by Ramon Vasquez), Spider-Man learned of Blackbyrd's association with him.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#9) - Locating Blackbyrd in Harlem, Spider-Man shined his light on him. A surprised Blackbyrd pulled his gun as he whipped around, telling Spider-Man to get the light out of his eyes and climb down from the lamp post before he blew him off of it. Expressing his displeasure with meeting Spider-Man, Blackbyrd denied Spider-Man's request for information and swatted away the vigilante's hand. After Spider-Man told him it was about the White Tiger, whose life was at risk, Blackbyrd told Spider-Man about the Sons of the Tiger and the White Tiger.

    As he had a car service take them to ESU, Blackbyrd further noted that there was no telling what Hector would do to hang onto the night school. Not having any change in his costume, Spider-Man had Blackbyrd pay for the drive but promised that next time would be his treat. Blackbyrd laughed as the cab pulled away.blackbyrd-nathaniel-specp10-skylight.jpg

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#10 (fb) - BTS) - Spider-Man's description of the gang that tried to steal the Erskine Manuscripts reminded Blackbyrd of the Black Hand.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#10) - Climbing atop the roof of the a partially burnt out warehouse in central Harlem, Blackbyrd saw and heard the Black Hand members confirm their involvement via the skylight. However, as he prepared to depart to seek backup, the skylight caved in; as he fell through and realized he was in trouble, Blackbyrd decided he better come in shooting.

    Subsequently pinned down behind some crates, Blackbyrd's gun jammed as he realized that the police would never arrive in time to help him. Rather than waiting to be picked off, he hurled his gun at the light, shattering the bulb, and then leapt at the gang members, realizing this was one of the dumbest things he'd ever done in his life.blackbyrd-nathaniel-specp10-last.jpg

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#10 (fb) - BTS) - Blackbyrd captured or at least held off the Black Hand members until the police arrived to take them into custody.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#10) - Blackbyrd and the police arrived at ESU with the Black Hand members, revealing that they had no connection to Ramon Vasquez. This convinced ESU president Dwyer to allow the night school to continue.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#49/2 (fb) - BTS) - Blackbyrd learned of the murder of Hector Ayala's family (at the hands of Gideon Mace and his agents). blackbyrd-nathaniel-specspii50-wt.jpg

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#50/2) - Blackbyrd heard rumors of a dangerous group of "out-of-town muscle" alledgedly responsible for the murders of the Ayalas.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#49/2) - The next day, Blackbyrd chased down informant Lou Gunther to learn what he knew about the Ayala murders. Gunther fled, and when Blackbyrd cornered him in an alley, Gunther shot at him, creasing his right forearm, but Blackbyrd not only kept hold on his own gun but shot Gunther's handgun out of his hand. Still holding Gunther at gunpoint, Blackbyrd told him to sit down while he told him about the White Tiger's history. Blackbyrd asked what Gunther knew about the killings, but before he could respond, the White Tiger arrived and demanded information, beating Gunther relentlessly and not even giving him a chance to talk. Fearing the Tiger might kill Gunther, Blackbyrd told him to stop at gunpoint. After the Tiger regained his senses, Blackbyrd swore to him they would find his family's killers, although he didn't know how.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#50/2) - Blackbyrd held off the White Tiger, allowing Gunther to recover and explain what he knew: Some out of town muscle was responsible, and that this group was rumored to have a hideouts in the former candy store on Davidson Avenue and in a vacant storefront in Treemont.

    Despite Blackbyrd's urging not to go after the killers alone, the Tiger departed, and Blackbyrd found the nearest pay phone trashed, and as he started heading to the nearest precinct, he began to feel weak, and he realized he must have lost more blood than he had thought.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51/2 (fb) - BTS ) - Having walked into a trap, the White Tiger was gunned down by Gideon Mace.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#52) - Mace's agents dumped the White Tiger's body in front of the Daily Bugle building. As the Tiger clung to life, Peter Parker had an ambulance called and rode with the Tiger to Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#52) - His right arm in a sling, Blackbyrd arrived at Bellevue in time to stop the doctor from having his amulets removed, warning them that this would kill the Tiger as it was the source of his power, to which he was somewhat addicted. When Parker introduced himself, Blackbyrd departed, informing him he had one basic rule, not talking to the press.

    As Blackbyrd watched outside the operating room while the dug the fifth slug, silenting encouraging Hector to fight to survive, Parker returned as Spider-Man. After getting down from the ceiling at Blackbyrd's insistence, Spider-Man told him that Parker had learned from Hector that the shooter was Gideon Mace. After sharing that Mace had fought Power Man a few times and was an ex-Army colonel and "real section 8 material," Blackbyrd advised Spider-Man that he would need more than luck against Mace.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#52 - BTS) - Blackbyrd stayed throughout Hector's surgery.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#52) - Blackbyrd was with Hector as they wheeled him out of the OR, just as they wheeled in Gideon Mace (who had ordered his men to shoot through him to get Spider-Man). Seeing Parker approaching, Blackbyrd agreed to talk to him.

    Blackbyrd told Parker that Hector was really lucky and was going to live, as all 12 of the slugs that had hit him had narrowly missed his vital organs. After all that had happened to Hector, Blackbyrd hoped he could find something to live for.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#52) - A week later, still in a sling, Blackbyrd was with Hector and his girlfriend, Holly Gillis, as Hector painfully removed his Tiger amulet, undergoing a painful withdrawal.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#52) - Three weeks later, a slingless Blackbyrd bade Hector goodbye as he departed with Holly to someplace no one had ever heard of the White Tiger. Before leaving, Hector gave Blackbyrd the Tiger Amulets and asked them to give them back to the Sons of the Tiger and warn them of what the power within could do.

    Blackbyrd subsequently advised Spider-Man that Hector was smarter than he was, as he'd learned enough to quit while he was ahead.blackbyrd-nathaniel-thor309-nypd

(Thor I#309 (fb) - BTS) - Blackbyrd rejoined the New York Police Department.

(
Thor I#309) - Dr. Lionel Jeffries introduced his new employee Dr. Donald Blake to Blackbyrd, who explained that the patients who had been injured in the collapse of the old Savoy hotel had been the victims of a group of gangsters hired by an unscrupulous landlord to destroyed the building so its owner could collect the insurance. Disgusted by the thought, after Blackbyrd noted a pattern of suspcious disasters on the Upper West Side, Blake asked Blackbyrd to keep him posted.

(Thor I#309 (fb) - BTS) - As Blake spent all day working on the victims, Blackbyrd researched housing and real estate records.

(Thor I#309) - Blackbyrd called Blake, sharing that other buildings owned by the owner of the Savoy had been similarly demolished; he also noted that the owner had one more hotel, which might be hit next. At Blake's request, Blackbyrd provided the location of the owner's last remaining hotel, though he couldn't understand why the doctor would want/need that info.

(Thor I#309) - Later, as Thor (who, at the time was using the mortal form of Donald Blake), fought the Bombadiers (responsible for the recent assaults), Blackbyrd and other NYPD agents showed up.  When Thor advised the Bombadiers to surrender to the guardians of the law, one of the Bombadiers argued that they shouldn't do that, because they had killed people; and Blackbyrd told them that it was his duty to tell them that anything they said may be used as evidence against them. When the Bomabadiers opened fire with their blaster weapons, Thor provided shielding by swinging his mystic hammer, Mjolnir, and advised Blackbyrd to get to cover while he dealt with "these vermin." Blackbyrd acknowledged and complied, though he wondered how the hero knew his name.

    After the leader took off in the rocket-car, the fight went out of the remaining Bombadiers, and Blackbyrd took advantage, shooting (at?) them and at least pinning them down and forcing their surrenders. After other officers arrived to take those Bombadiers custody, Blackbyrd rushed to help "Blondie" (Thor), who was at the time pinned by the secondary adamantium rocket-car.blackbyrd-nathaniel-thor309-shooting.jpg

(Thor I#309 (fb) - BTS) - Abandoned by their leader, the captured Bombadiers provided information about the landlord who had hired them, and they also revealed that the rocket-car was carrying enough explosives to "total the borough" (to destroy Manhattan).

(Thor I#309) - Appreciating that the nearly indestructible rocket-car's windshield wasn't made of the same material, Blackbyrd shot out its windshield, at which point Amos the former pet cat of Max Yadow (slain in the Bombadiers' last attack) dove through the open windshield and swiftly targeted the driver/leader's eyes with his claws.

(Thor I#309 (fb) - BTS) - The leader fell back into the rocket-car's flight controls, causing the rocket-car's wings to unfold and drive it skyward. Realizing this, Thor released the vehicle, allowing it to fly into the sky, after which Blackbyrd told him about the explosives in the rocket-car. Thor then flew after the rocket-car; seeing the rider dead, apparently electrocuted by the craft's instrumentation, Thor rescued Amos from the rocket-car and allowed it to continue on its skyward path and to explode shortly thereafter.

(Thor I#309) - Thor returned to the ground and informed Blackbyrd that the craft's explosives were powerful enough to destroy it's frame. Blackbyrd was pleased with the resolution, as they had taken down the Bombadiers and "gotten the goods" on the landlord "all neat and clean, as if someone wrote it in a story." Thor and Blackbyrd both enjoyed that Amos had helped take down his owner's killers.

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, George Perez, & Rico Rival.

    It was the 70s when these stories were written. And MANY cops were written to be corrupt, racist pigs. And the US government was so corrupt, that it was required to seek international help from the UN. It's painful to read when you review a series of stories.
    Blackbyrd must have had friends on the force who could keep him out of trouble, as he frequently pulled guns on police officers and forced them to back off, and there was never any consequence for these actions.
    He called police officers "pigs." He called men whose name he didn't know "Jack." (except Jack of Hearts...he called him "kid").
    Blackbyrd made a point of identifying people's ethnicity (he frequently referenced D'Angelo as being Italian (sometimes calling him Sicilian), and he often called the White Tiger "Rican" and sometimes the derogatory "spic."
    Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12 had three primary African-American characters, named Abe Brown, Linda Lee Black, and Blackbyrd. Interesting coincidence, I guess...

    The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12 story was supposed to take place on April 1 (it also said 1975, but the year is certainly topical).

    I had Blackbyrd listed as appearing in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#19, but that story exclusively focuses on Abe, Bob, Lotus, and Lin before introducing the White Tiger. I don't see Blackbyrd at all.

    --Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12/2(16/3, 17/2-19/2, 22/2-24/2, 26, 27, 29/2, 30(fb), 30,31,32/2, Spectacular Spider-Man II#9, 50, Thor I#309

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Blackbyrd
should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#16/2, story pg. 7 (including prologue), panel 2 (posing as the Tiger's agent);
    #18, story pg. 2 (including prologue), panel 2 (Blackbyrd intro image);
       pg. 9, panel 8 (spooked by rat);
    #22, story pg. 8, panel 1 (full body, swinging pistol);
    #24, pg. 16, panel 4 (face, obscured by gun);

    #27, story pg. 6, panel 1 (full body, with hat);
    #29, pg. 10, panel 6-7 (taking down maddened White Tiger);
    #31, pg. 11, panel 1 (face);
Spectacular Spider-Man II#9, pg. 12, panel 3 (distant full body, in spider-signal);
    #10, pg. 8, panel 3 (face);
          panel 6 (falling through skylight);
       last page, panel 1-2 (hips and upper body; face);
Thor I#309, pg. 19, panel 4 (full body, in front of police car);
       pg. 20, panel 1 (face, shooting)


Appearances:
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#12 (May, 1975) - Bill Mantlo (writer), George Perez (penciler), Rico Rival (inker), John Warner (assistant editor), David Kraft (associate editor), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#16 (September, 1975) - Bill Mantlo (writer), George Perez (penciler), Steve Gan (inker), John Warner (assistant editor), David Kraft (associate editor), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#17 (October, 1975) - Bill Mantlo (writer), George Perez (penciler), Jack Abel (inker), John Warner (associate editor), Don McGregor (editor), Archie Goodwin (editor-in-chief)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#18 (November, 1975) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Pat Broderick (penciler), Terry Austin (inker), John Warner (assistant editor), David Kraft (associate editor), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#22 (March, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Keith Giffen (penciler), Rico Rival (inker), John Warner (associate editor), Marv Wolfman (consulting editor), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#23 (April, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Keith Giffen (penciler), Rico Rival (inker), John Warner (associate editor), Marv Wolfman (consulting editor), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#24 (May, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Keith Giffen (penciler), the Tribe (inker), John Warner (associate editor), Marv Wolfman (consulting editor), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#26 (July, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Jim Sherman (penciler), the Tribe (inker), John Warner (associate editor), Marv Wolfman (consulting editor), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#27 (August, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Ron Wilson (penciler), the Tribe (inker), John Warner (associate editor), Marv Wolfman (consulting editor), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#29 (October, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Ron Wilson, with Sonny Trinidad, Rudy Mesina, & Pete Lijauco (pencilers), Pete Ligauco (inkers), Ralph Macchio (assistant editor), John Warner (editor), Archie Goodwin (editor-in-chief)
(editor)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#30 (November, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), George Perez (pencilers), Sonny Trinidad (inker), Ralph Macchio (assistant editor), John Warner (editor), Archie Goodwin (editor-in-chief)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#31 (December, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Joe Staton (pencilers), Sonny Trinidad (inker), Ralph Macchio (assistant editor), John Warner (editor), Archie Goodwin (editor-in-chief)
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu#32 (January, 1977) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Joe Staton (pencilers), Sonny Trinidad (inker), Ralph Macchio (assistant editor), John Warner (editor), Archie Goodwin (editor-in-chief)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#9 (August, 1977) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#10 (September, 1977) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#49/2 (December, 1980) - Roger Stern (writer), Denys Cowan (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#50/2 (January, 1981) - Roger Stern (writer), Denys Cowan (penciler), Dave Humphrys & Josef Rubinstein (inkers), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#52 (March, 1981) - Roger Stern (writer), Rick Leonardi (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Thor I#309 (July, 1981) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Rick Leonardi (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)


First posted: 11/26/2018
Last updated: 11/26/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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