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Martydoom is the destiny of all messiahs. It is the only way to validate divine inspiration. The faithful expect their saviors to suffer death, defending their religious principles. There's nothing more boring than a deity who hangs around past his alloted time. I accept this fate, gladly. For haven't I gained my life's ambition? I am the undispited master of Gotham, ruler of the greatest city in the world. What more is there for me to do on this Earth? I have written my heavenly message on the streets of this city, in the blood of its citizens. Anything that I do now, other than dying gloriously, would be anti-climatic. Dramatic balance call for my death. I eagerly await my end.
~ Deacon Blackfire


Deacon Joseph Blackfire is a sinister preacher and a villain in the DC comics, Blackfire is stated as being over 100 years old, and is often portrayed as a power-crazed, sadistic, callous, manipulative, and charismatic con artist and cult leader skilled in manipulation and brainwashing. Blackfire claimed to be a Native American shaman who was entombed alive after being found guilty of killing a tribal chief and committing heresy.

History

The Cult

Deacon Blackfire is a conman and the leader of his unnamed cult of devotees who was over 100 years old at the time of his death, despite appearing much younger. He has discovered the secret to eternal youth, bathing in buckets and buckets of human blood. Blackfire craves power and destruction, and orchestrates his movements toward these goals. He forms an army in the sewers beneath Gotham City, largely composed of the homeless and derelict.

Blackfire uses this army to begin a violent war on crime, which escalates into him taking over the entire city, resulting in it being isolated from the rest of the country. Blackfire captures and brainwashes Batman, temporarily making the Caped Crusader a member of Blackfire's cult. Batman eventually breaks his conditioning, but its after-effects make it difficult for him to capture Blackfire. After a brutal search through the sewers with Robin, Batman confronts Blackfire, who demands that Batman kill him, making him a martyr. Batman refuses, and instead savagely beats Blackfire in front of his army. Blackfire's army turns on him and kills him.

Blackest Night

Deacon Blackfire Blackest Night

Deacon Blackfire as a Black Lantern.

Deacon Blackfire is one of the many villains raised from the dead in Gotham City to join the new Black Lantern Corps as zombies during Blackest Night. Along with Abbatoir, KGBeast, Blockbuster, King Snake, Magpie, the Trigger Twins, and the Ventriloquist, he has received a Black Lantern Ring. He has been seen terrorizing the city, and tearing out the hearts of innocents in churches to feed on their emotions and life force when they're feeling the most compassion.

New 52

In the New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Deacon Blackfire is an evangelist who is the center of the occult power permeating Arkham Asylum, with Joker's Daughter as his enforcer. When Batwing and The Spectre (as Jim Corrigan) uncover the secret of the Asylum, both are captured by Blackfire and his demonic army. In the same issue, flashbacks are shown of the previous time Batman encountered the Deacon. The Deacon had an army of devoted homeless and underprivileged, but he also kept many of them drugged under his control.

He attempted to do the same with Batman, keeping him chained and drugged in his basement for 7 days and 7 nights, but the Dark Knight's resiliency led to Deacon ordering his devotees to kill him. Batman however, brought up the question of why Deacon Blackfire wouldn't kill him himself, if he was as powerful as he wanted his army to believe. Batman is able to break the pipe he is chained to, and in a reversal of their confrontation in "The Cult", orders the Deacon to kill him to prove himself in front of his followers. Deacon Blackfire refuses multiple times, and his disillusioned army turns on him and appears to beat him to death.

Between their first encounter and the time of Batman Eternal, the Deacon managed to escape hell and had taken over the body of Maxie Zeus, in an attempt to regain entry into the mortal world. Aided in this plot by his demon forces and the undead, the Deacon also intended to build a new cult using the inmates of Arkham Asylum. However, his plan was eventually foiled by the Spectre, who pulled Blackfire out from Maxie Zeus' body and crush the ghost in the palm of his hand.

Other Media

Batman: Arkham Origins

A homeless shelter run by Blackfire is mentioned in one of the radio channels in the game.

Batman: Arkham Knight

Deacon blackfire

Deacon, as shown in Arkham Knight.

Deacon Blackfire appears in Batman: Arkham Knight Deacon Blackfire is the villain behind the "Lamb to the Slaughterer" side quest. He is seen at the Lady of Gotham statue about to sacrifice Jack Ryder when he gets too close in investigating Deacon Blackfire's cult. Batman arrives at the Lady of Gotham statue where he fights Deacon Blackfire's cultists to get to Deacon Blackfire and Jack Ryder. After the cultists are defeated, Batman disables the electrical generators powering the sacrificial cage, defeats Deacon Blackfire, and frees Jack Ryder. Moments later at the Gotham City Police Department, Deacon Blackfire is handed to Aaron Cash and the police officers with him to have him locked up in their cells. If Azrael is incarcerated at the Gotham City Police Department, Deacon Blackfire and Azrael develop an animosity towards each other as both villains consider themselves to be God's rightful representative.

Trivia

  • He is no relation to Blackfire of the Teen Titans comics.
  • Deacon Blackfire was created by Jim Starlin, Who also created the Marvel villain Thanos.

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Comics
Amygdala | Anarky | Baby Doll | Bane | Black Glove | Black Mask | Blockbuster I | Blockbuster II | Calculator | Calendar Man | Carmine Falcone | Catman | Catwoman | Circus of Strange | Clayface | Clock King | Cluemaster | Condiment King | Copperhead | Crazy Quilt | Crime Doctor | Deacon Blackfire | Deadshot | Doctor Death | Doctor Double X | Doctor Hurt | Doctor Phosphorus | Electrocutioner | Firefly | Floronic Man | General Ulysses Armstrong | Great White Shark | Gotham City Police Department | H.A.R.D.A.C. | Harley Quinn | Holiday | Humpty Dumpty | Hugo Strange | Hush | Jack the Ripper | Jason Todd | Joe Chill | The Joker | KGBeast | King Snake | King Tut | Killer Croc | Killer Moth | Lady Shiva | League of Assassins | Lex Luthor | Lock-Up | Mad Hatter | Mad Monk | Magpie | Man-Bat | Maxie Zeus | Mr. Freeze | Orca | Penguin | Professor Pyg | Prometheus | Poison Ivy | Polka Dot Man | Ra's al Ghul | Ratcatcher | Reaper | Red Claw | Riddler | Roland Daggett | Roxy Rocket | Rupert Thorne | Sal Maroni | Scarecrow | Solomon Grundy | Spellbinder | Talia al Ghul | Tally Man | Timecode | Tony Zucco | Tweedledum and Tweedledee | Two-Face | Ubu | Ventriloquist | Ventriloquist II | Ventriloquist III | Vertigo | Victor Zsasz

Movies
Batman (1989): Joker | Bob | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso
Batman Returns: Penguin | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame)
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar & Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Batman Begins: Ra's al Ghul | League of Shadows (Scarecrow & Ra's Decoy) | Carmine Falcone | Victor Zsasz | Joe Chill
The Dark Knight: Joker | Two-Face | Sal Maroni | The Chechen | Gambol | Lau | Bank Manager | Michael Wuertz | Joker's Thugs (Thomas Schiff, Chuckles, Kilson, Bus Driver, Happy, Dopey & Grumpy & Truck Driver) | Burmese Bandit
The Dark Knight Rises: Bane | Talia al Ghul | League of Shadows (Barsad) | Catwoman | John Daggett