Black Air agents
|First appearance||Excalibur #86|
|Created by||Warren Ellis
|Type of organisation||Intelligence agency|
|Base(s)||The Blackwall (former HQ)
Dream Nails (former research facility)
Black Air is a fictional former Governmental Intelligence department founded and operating primarily within the United Kingdom in the Marvel Universe, initially as an adjunct to the Ministry of Defence. It was introduced along with Pete Wisdom in the Excalibur series when it was written by Warren Ellis.
Fictional organization history
Black Air, as a covert, secretive Intelligence department, was mandated with the investigation into and research of supernatural and paranormal phenomena, at first alongside, and then replacing another British Intelligence department, the Weird Happenings Organization (aka W.H.O, which is an obvious homage to UK sci-fi series, Doctor Who).
The organization was introduced in Excalibur #86, and had entirely replaced the W.H.O, collecting alien technologies and specimens for use in combat and gene-splicing with human test subjects, respectively; at introduction, Black Air used the W.H.O's old links to the super-team Excalibur to send them to investigate a civil uprising in Genosha, with particular reference to anti-mutant ammunition. As an attachment to the team, field agent Peter Wisdom was sent along as Black Air's representative. However, it transpired that the entire mission had in fact been a ruse; Black Air had in fact sent the mission simply to cause a commotion, that they might use this to their advantage, accessing whatever technologies or information were revealed by the investigation.
Following that mission, Wisdom took Excalibur member Kitty Pryde with him to investigate the death of an old friend, ultimately leading him to Dream Nails, a codenamed Black Air facility which had dealt with xenobiological specimens, such as a race known as the Uncreated; these creatures had been experimented on within the facility to create Blood Eagle, a psychoactive virus that would consume the flesh of the host if they experienced any stressful emotion. Ultimately, Wisdom and Pryde destroyed the Dream Nails facility.
Later, in a bid to seize control of the country, Black Air allied themselves with the London Branch of the Hellfire Club, an ancient "gentleman's club" devoted to power through non-traditional means, in order to both bribe the British Parliament, and raise an ancient demon from its crypt below London. The aim was to release it onto the streets, hoping to use the ensuing chaos to their advantage. Douglock, the being composed of Warlock and Cypher was to be used as the conduit to the crypt. However, Wisdom and Excalibur were able to enter The Blackwall, Black Air's HQ, and sever the link, rescuing Douglock, destroying The Blackwall and stopping the resurrection.
However, Black Air survived this loss of political and actual power, albeit in a much-reduced manner, operating only through a handful of splinter cells. One of these cells sent Sari St. Hubbins, a contract killer, to kill her former lover, Peter Wisdom, who was primarily responsible for their fall from power; simultaneously, they were responsible for the kidnapping and sale to extraterrestrials of Nightcrawler.
When a new Excalibur, on the behalf of MI-13, surfaced as a team, Black Air made an appearance as a private-sector rival operation. As to their current aims, numbers and strength, little is known yet.