||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (March 2010)|
Crack Comics #1
Black Condor #1
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3
Will Eisner (writer)
Lou Fine (artist)
Brian Augustyn (writer)
Rags Morales (artist)
Jimmy Palmiotti (writer)
Justin Gray (writer)
Daniel Acuña (artist)
|Alter ego||- Richard Grey Jr.
- Ryan Kendall
- John Trujillo
Black Lantern Corps
Thomas "Tom" Wright
Black Condor is the name of three fictional characters, DC Comics superheroes who have all been members of the Freedom Fighters. The first Black Condor, Richard Grey Jr., was originally a Quality Comics character.
Richard Grey Jr.
A Golden Age mystery man who possessed the power of flight, Black Condor was a member of the Freedom Fighters, a group that operated from the start of World War II on. Richard Grey, Jr. (alias Tom Wright) was the first Black Condor.
His story was inspired by Tarzan; he was born on a caravan conducting a scientific expedition through 1940's Mongolia. The caravan was later attacked by bandits and everyone was killed except for the newly born Richard. The child was rescued by a mysterious local race of super-intelligent Condors which took in and raised the boy.
A mountain hermit named "Father Pierre" eventually discovered the boy, and with much effort eventually civilized the feral child and taught him to speak English. Young Richard tracked down and killed the Mongolian bandits who had killed his parents and then departed for the United States where he uncovered a plot to kill United States Senator Thomas Wright. He was too late to save Wright from assassination, and so decided to use his identity. He adopted the guise of Black Condor to fight crooked politicians, bootleggers and racketeers.
In the DC Comics universe his power was retconned to being caused by exposure to a radioactive meteor. Here he met Uncle Sam and joined his group the Freedom Fighters, and later the All-Star Squadron.
He was among a group of Golden and Silver Age heroes who helped the JLA repel an Appelaxian invasion in the JLA: Year One mini-series by Mark Waid. He appeared more recently as an ethereal spirit guide in the pages of Ryan Kendall's Black Condor series.
The second Black Condor, Ryan Kendall, derived his powers of flight, telekinesis, and healing from the genetic experiments of his grandfather, Creighton. A member of an organization called the Society of the Golden Wing, Creighton and his allies had been attempting to create a man who could fly. After numerous attempts, Kendall was the only success. Kendall eventually rebelled and escaped from his grandfather, who made frequent attempts to recapture the youth in order to study and reproduce his abilities.
A mysterious telekinetic who kept to himself, Ryan Kendall was adamant when he first appeared as the Black Condor that he was not a super-hero. However, time proved him wrong, and he fought alongside other super-heroes, notably Primal Force and the Justice League (for a brief time). Eventually, he went to Opal City, where he felt very much at home.
In Nightwing #140, a mystery villain was shown to have stolen the corpse of Ryan Kendall and later showed up wearing his arms and wings.
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3 introduced a new Black Condor named John Trujillo whose home turf is the Arizona desert. John was given the hereditary powers of the Black Condor by Tocotl, a Mayan Spider Goddess.
Trujillo sees himself as a protector of the universe. He first appears when he single handedly rescues Uncle Sam and the other Freedom Fighters who had been defeated by agents of S.H.A.D.E.. Trujillo is very serious and seems somewhat uncomfortable interacting with other people.
In issue #6, he rebuffs romantic overtures by the Phantom Lady, correctly (as she realizes later) assuming she does not really mean it.
The full extent of the new Black Condor's powers remains unrevealed. He can fly at extremely high speeds, control the winds, and may possess moderate superhuman strength and speed.
Powers and abilities
- The first Black Condor has the mutant ability to fly, although no limits are known as to speed, duration or altitude. Sometime after arriving on Earth-X, it became apparent that his mutant powers also included limited telepathic abilities, most notably mind-over-matter. At times, the Black Condor carries a ray gun, the origin of which is unknown. When used, it fires a black force beam of adjustable power capable of stunning a man or breaking a brick wall. He is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant and an Olympic level athlete
- The second Black Condor possessed a talent for Telekinesis which he also used to fly, as well as limited empathic abilities and a rapid healing rate.
- The third Black Condor has so far only demonstrated the abilities of flight and wind/air-current control, but has been credited by Tocotl as an elemental of the sky and the earth. He also has a moderate level of superhuman strength and speed, and seems quite ruthless.
- In a Bronze Age story, Mister Mxyzptlk shows Superman a gender-reversed Justice League. Amongst its members are Black Condor, a male equivalent to Black Canary.
- In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-10". As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-X, including the Quality characters. The names of the characters and the team are not mentioned in the panel in which they appear, but a character visually similar to the Richard Grey, Jr. Black Condor appears. Based on comments by Grant Morrison, this alternate universe is not the pre-Crisis Earth-X.
In other media
- The Richard Grey Jr. version of Black Condor appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Cry Freedom Fighters" voiced by Jason C. Miller.
- Greenberger, Robert (2008). "Freedom Fighters". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 131. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017.
- Greenberger, Robert (2008). "Black Condor I". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 51. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5.
- Black Condor #1 at the Grand Comics Database
- Wallace, Dan (2008). "Black Condor II". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 51. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5.
- Newstime: 23 (May, 1993), DC Comics
- Hawkman (third series) #20.
- Jimmy Palmiotti (2006-09-21). "Previewing Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3...". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 2007-05-07. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
- Gordon Ramel (2007-02-27). "Some Tarantula Myths". Earth-Life Web Productions. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
- Superman, volume 1, #349 (in a story entitled "The Turnabout Trap!")
- 52 52: 12/1 (May 2, 2007), DC Comics
- Brady, Matt (2007-05-08). "THE 52 EXIT INTERVIEWS: GRANT MORRISON". Newsarama. Retrieved 2007-05-12.
- Black Condor I Index
- DCU Guide: Black Condor I
- DCU Guide: Black Condor II
- International Hero site: Black Condor I
- Toonopedia site: Black Condor I
- Comic Treadmill: Black Condor II brief summary of issues 1-8
- Some Tarantula Myths: Tocotl
- Tocotl info page
- Newsarama previews USATFF #3...Black Condor III