Who's Who in the Superman Comics
The product of technology gone awry, Blackrock is the super-powered alias of Dr. Peter Silverstone, a brilliant scientist who served as the Director of Research and Technology for United Broadcasting - a major hometown rival of Galaxy Broadcasting System.
Because Galaxy Broadcasting was always the first to break news of Superman's exploits, UB President Samuel Tanner ordered Dr. Silverstone to create a corporate super-hero, whose adventures could be the exclusive domain of United Broadcasting. Silverstone, to that end, created a costume which endowed its wearer with super-powers, and named this character Blackrock, after the noted nickname of the United Broadcasting Building.
Now that he had the suit, Dr. Silverstone needed someone to fill it - who better than Sam Tanner himself! Secretly hypnotized, Tanner became Blackrock, and managed to battle The Man of Steel to a standstill; ultimately escaping escaping Superman's grasps. The effort paid off, as United's ratings received a substantial increase, and Dr. Silverstone and President Tanner plugged away at their duties within the national television network.
However, when ratings decreased months later, Silverstone revived his creation - this time, hypnotizing Tanner's nephew, comedian Les Vegas. Figuring the older man was too frail to return to the mantle of Blackrock, Silverstone theorized that a younger subject would be more of a challenge to Superman. And so, Blackrock returned, using his trademark tv-based puns, and fought Superman. A wild affair which ultimately saw The Man of Tomorrow triumphant, Vegas was returned to normal, and Blackrock once again faded to black.
When Silversone felt his scientific efforts were failing, he revived the persona of Blackrock; but this time, he filled the boots himself! Challenging Superman and Supergirl, Blackrock was decisively defeated, and captured. While released from prison, Blackrock - now a known super-villain, was found in a secret haunt for super-villains, playing a game of poker. He and other super fiends lost gambled and lost their weapons to an average man, who went on to torment the Justice League for the remainder of the day. In the end, the commoner lost his rampage, and Blackrock and the others managed to retrieve their belongings.
Silverstone was later found in a dirty, vermin infested apartment watching television and muttering to himself, having been overexposed to the power of the Blackrock and gone insane. An ex-convict named Sam Benjamin discovered Silverstone and was attracted to the Blackrock, which itself had deemed Silverstone a lost cause and of no further use and called out to the criminal. Benjamin, unable to resist the Blackrock's allure, took the rock and used it to beat Silverstone to death before assuming its power for himself. Benjamin's inexperience with the Blackrock made him easy to defeat. Sam Benjamin was imprisoned and Superman threw the Blackrock into the sun. The stone was retrieved by Lex Luthor Jr. and given to a woman named Lucia who was subsequently defeated by Superman, who then took the Blackrock for safe storage in the Fortress of Solitude.
At this point in the ever-changing history of the new "Final Crisis," it is almost impossible to know what has stayed and what has changed. Some of the last events that occurred concerning the Blackrock seem to indicate that the artifact is not a creation of Dr. Silverstone, but rather an alien symbiotic life form that had bonded with multiple humans over the years. Much of the transformation in every host was the same, granting super-strength, added endurance, flight and energy projection powers.
Most recently, an alien invasion force lead by Despero attempted to use a Blackrock meteor shower to change millions of humans into drones filled with hatred for the alien protectors of the world. The same alien invaders had infected the minds of all aliens on Earth, convincing them that the human race was unworthy of their protection and that superior alien life forms like them were meant to rule. Batman was forced to retrieve the Blackrock in order to try and stop Superman who had also decided he was too good for Earth. Once Lois Lane convinced Superman he was under artificial influence, Superman went back to save Batman who was now in complete thrall of the Blackrock and ready to die with it. Superman convinced the entity that he would kill Bruce Wayne in order to give him peace if the symbiote didn't release Batman and, apparently believing the Kryptonian would do it, the Blackrock vanished and Batman regained his mind.
In the end, Superman and Batman were able to convince the invading alien force that they were duped by Despero into thinking the human race was nothing but a dark pool of evil. Once they were shown the humans weren't deserving of destruction, the alien force released the other alien minds on the planet and left the Earth, freeing everyone from the Blackrocks' control and evidently taking all specimens with them.
His greatest weapon is his power-stone, which is a literal black rock the size of a baseball. With it, Blackrock can amass radio and television waves, and convert them into pure energy to manipulate at his whim. In essence, the power-stone acts in a similar manner to Green Lantern's power ring, and provides Blackrock with unlimited powers and abilities, able to render even Superman vulnerable.
First Appearance (Historic): Action Comics #458 (April 1976)
Summation supplied with the assistance of material written by Len Wein, and published in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory Of The DC Universe, Volume III, from 1985.
Who's Who in the Superman Comics
This is a listing of many of the notable characters and a few places that have appeared in the Superman
comics from the 1986 revamp up until around 2008.
NOTE: A new, and more current version of the Who's Who is currently being worked on and can be accessed by clicking here.
Although Superman often appears in other DC Comics, this text's information is limited mainly to what has occurred in the regular Superman comics.
Many thanks to Scotty V, Derrick Lyle Coleman, Dean Vanek, Genevieve Clemens and Benjamin Grose who all helped out at one time or another with writing and updating these Who's Who descriptions.
The listings are displayed as follows:
- Surname, Firstname - Text describing the character, place, object, etc...
Relevant issues of the Superman comics are listed as such:
- SUP = Superman
- MOS = Man of Steel
- AOS = Adventures of Superman
- ACT = Action Comics
- MOT = Man of Tomorrow
The Issue Number for each of these titles is written in this manner: #000. (e.g. SUP
First Appearance refers to the issue since 1986 unless otherwise noted.