|In story information|
It is a powerful, extra-dimensional energy that can be manipulated in slightly different ways by a handful of beings that are attuned to it. There are slight yet inconclusive hints that it may be a corruptive influence of some kind (at least to Cloak, possibly to Darkhawk as well) and perhaps even a sentient entity. At least one darkforce user (Quagmire) is from the parallel universe of the Squadron Supreme instead of the main Marvel Universe. DC Comics has a similar dimension, called the Shadowlands, from which characters such as Obsidian, the Shade and Ian Karkull draw their powers.
The Darkforce's origin is unknown. Some stories suggest that it is actually matter from a parallel universe that may be accessed by mystical means. Its first appearance was in August 1976's Champions #7, where it was shown as the source of Darkstar's powers of solid energy projection and flight.
Over the years, the Darkforce gradually became more and more of a presence among superpowered beings of the Marvel Universe. Moonstone (Karla Sofen) speculated in Avengers #238 that it could be related to the powers of the Shroud and the first Blackout. A later storyline revealed that, at the very least, it is possible to escape Blackout's energy traps by means of the Shroud's cape, as shown when Captain Marvel was trapped there by Blackout and emerged out of the Shroud's cape during the Masters of Evil's attack on Avengers Mansion. New Warriors #31-33 and other storylines later expanded the number of Darkforce users even more.
Sometimes the effects of Darkforce are subtle to the point of being cosmetic. For instance, it had been deduced that both X-Men member Nightcrawler and X-Men foe Vanisher use the Darkforce Dimension during their teleportation (as revealed in Bizarre Adventures #27). However, in the Draco storyline of Uncanny X-Men, it was explained that Nightcrawler's power stems from another dimension (nicknamed the "Brimstone Dimension"). If this dimension bears any connection to Darkforce, it has yet to be revealed.
It is not always easy to determine whether a superpower has any relation to the Darkforce. A tentative list includes:
- Asylum - gained powers from a mask tied to the Darkforce Dimension; New Warriors foe/member of Psionex
- Blackheart - Demon son of Mephisto (lord of the Netherealm) and can access and manipulate it.
- Black Mamba (of the Serpent Society) - gained powers through a special component implanted in her forebrain.
- Blackout- Raving paranoid; could only effectively use his powers after being brainwashed by the second Baron Zemo and Moonstone.
- Blackout II- Ghost Rider foe, powers due to half-demonic heritage.
- Cloak (of Cloak and Dagger) - a human mutate; however, his cloak is also tied to Darkforce Dimension
- Darkhawk- The Darkhawk armor can produce darkforce blasts from the amulet in the chest.
- Darkling/Asylum - a mutant/gained possession of Asylum's mask
- Darkstar - a mutant
- Doorman (from the Great Lakes Avengers) - a mutant
- Dusk - one of the Slingers
- Ecstasy - temporarily gained possession of Cloak's powers
- Left Hand - New Warriors foe, usurped powers from his comatose daughter
- Mister Negative - a villain of Spider-Man that gained his powers from the same experiments that Cloak (see above) did.
- Nightside - a member of alien Shi'ar Imperial Guard; all members of her race can tap into the Darkforce dimension
- Nightwind - a depowered mutant who had the ability to form a Darkforce sword with various effects
- Quagmire (formerly of the Squadron Supreme)
- Sepulchre, also known as Shadowoman. Uses the Darkforce energy to manipulate energy allowing her powers such as flight.
- Shroud - gained powers through the symbol of Kali branded on his forehead, this brand is also what blinded him
- Silhouette (of the New Warriors) - a mutate who can simulate teleportation by using existing shadows as passages into and out of the Darkforce Dimension (this power is referred to as "shadowmelting")
- Smuggler (of the New Thunderbolts) - gained powers from costume tied to the Darkforce Dimension
- Spot (Spider-Man foe) - Creates a 'portable hole' effect possible ability to use darkforce energy.
- Undercloaks - Artificially created mutants who possess a teleportation power similar to Silhouette's (see above), and are intangible only while hiding in shadows. Appeared only in the Age Of Apocalypse alternate reality, in the series Generation Next.
- Vanisher (as a means for teleporting only) - a mutant