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Master Darque is a fictional character, a Valiant Comics villain that first appeared in Shadowman #8 (December 1992) and later became a staple villain in both the Shadowman and Second Life of Dr. Mirage comic books.
Mister Darque acquired an immediate prominence in the Valiant Comics line, as Valiant editor-in-chief Bob Layton noted: "I'd say that '93 is going to be 'The Master Darque Year' in the books. Right up until around February, he is prominent in just about all of the Valiant books! ... All throughout the January and February books, he's in Eternal Warrior, he's in Shadowman, he's all over."
When Acclaim Entertainment bought Valiant for $65 million, they changed the Master Darque character, along with most for the Valiant universe, and gave him his own series (Darque Passages) under the Acclaim Comics banner.
Fictional character biography
Little is known about Master Darque. He was born in 1802, and soon delved into magic, or more specifically, the Black Arts. He became apprentice to sorcerer Anton Quigley, and the two made a horrifically evil pair.
Quigley, with his arcane knowledge, and Darque, whose earthly frame held necromantic energy were well prepared to wreak havoc upon the law-abiding universe.
Quigley, upon meeting Darque's sister, Sandria, instantly wanted her for his own dark pleasures. He made a pact with Darque to teach him all he knew, in exchange for Sandria. As Darque learned sorcery, the formulas tattooed themselves on his body from the inside out, completely covering him with evil writing.
As his body became saturated with the spells, so too did that of his sister, since whatever happens to Darque happens to Sandria. When Quigley tried to take pleasure from Sandria, her kiss burned him with the dark energies which inhabited her body and those of her brother. Quigley tried to kill her, only to have Darque revive her with his own blood. Quigley was later killed by the first Shadowman (Maxim St James).
After Darque learned the secrets Quigley had to offer him, he quickly surpassed his old master in the Black Arts. He used this extensive knowledge in sorcery and magic to prolong his life, as well as that of his sister.
In recent years, Darque's necromantic powers have blossomed to horrific new extents, as though some new source of death-energy had arrived in the world. Now, after years of seemingly pointless existence, Darque finds himself with enough power to challenge the many new superhumans who intrude on his dark ruling.
Upon mastering the Black Magic, Darque also created several superbeings. One such being, a man named Fred Bender, sought out Master Darque to provide him with the power to obtain revenge on Solar. Darque replaced Bender's cells with dark power, turning him into Doctor Eclipse.
Gilad's brother, Aram, has also had a hand in Darque's downfalls for many years. Since both Gilad and Aram (Armstrong to his friends) have lived for centuries, Aram has been foiling Darque's schemes ever since Darque started learning his craft.
Later, Darque encountered X-O Manowar and acquired the X-O armor for a short time. Darque is defeated and apparently killed at the end of this story.