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Manchester Black

Manchester Black

This isn't about love , people aren't looking for babysitters in spandex to spank them when they're bad, they are looking for surgeons to remove the cancers that fester in us and make sure they never come back - Doctor Black, at your service.
~ Manchester Black

Manchester Black is an anti-villain in the DC comics.


Manchester Black was the Union Jack wearing leader of a team of super-powered antiheroes known as The Elite. Very little is specifically known about the Englishmans background; what little that is known include insinuations that he was abused both physically and sexually by his parents while growing up. Manchester later says that he grew up hating traditional heroes, especially those who believed in high moral concepts such as never killing under any circumstances, personally feeling that the only way to truly stop the villains was to kill them.

The Elite

Black and The Elite gained worldwide popularity for viciously killing their foes and thus preventing them coming back to cause more problems, and came into conflict with Superman, who opposed their wanton violence, leading to a showdown on Jupiter's moon Io that was videotaped for the Earth's media. Black used his powers to give Superman a stroke, and his teammates (Coldcast, Menagerie and the Hat) apparently were able to destroy Superman in a giant explosion. While the Elite were gloating, however, Superman used his superspeed to seemingly kill all the team members, except for Black; Superman then disabled the Englishman by using his x-ray vision to locate an unusual growth on Black's brain. He identified the growth as the source of Black's powers, and then carefully fired a thin burst of heat vision through Black's retinas and told Black that he had cut out the growth (he had actually given Black a micro-concussion that left him temporarily powerless).

Faced with the apparent loss of his powers, Black actually wept, hypocritically appalled that Superman had seemingly adopted the lethal tactics he and the Elite had spent so much time advocating. Superman then revealed to the powerless Black that the rest of the Elite were only unconscious, he had not removed anything from Black's brain, and that murdering opponents makes a hero no better than his enemies. Furious, Black declared that by not killing him, Superman had guaranteed that as long as Black was alive, he would come after Superman again and again, but Superman calmly replied that he wouldn't want it any other way, and that dreams like the ones he gave to Earth were what made life worth living.

Suicide Squad

A temporarily beaten Black was taken into custody, and his mental powers restored themselves over the next few months. During the events of Our Worlds At War, Black was hired by the American government and President Lex Luthor to lead a new Suicide Squad featuring Chemo, Plasmus, Shrapnel and Steel. The Squad's mission was to release the monster Doomsday against the threat of the galactic conqueror Imperiex. However, Doomsday apparently killed the Squad upon his release, with the exception of Black, who escaped after 'reprogramming' Doomsday's mind so that Doomsday's hatred for Superman was redirected towards the Imperiex probes for a time.


After the war, Black mentally controlling dozens of super-villains by revealing Superman's secret identity and sending them en masse after the Man of Steel. Superman manages to hold the villains back, and then finds Black in his apartment, apparently having killed Superman's wife Lois Lane. Black taunted Superman and goaded him into killing him, but Superman puts Lois' body first and gives her a proper burial. Despite fantasizing about killing Black, Superman resists temptation and tells Black that he will devote the rest of his life to keeping the villain behind bars, not in the morgue.

Black was stunned at Superman's fortitude, and as his spirit wavers, his mental spell crumbles, and it is revealed that Lois is still alive; Black was trying to force Superman into a position where he would have to kill a man, but his plan failed despite all the lengths Black went to. Distraught at the revelation that he had become a villain himself, Black made the supervillains forget that Superman is really Clark Kent, and then used his telekinetic powers to take his own life.

Manchester's sister Vera Black is currently the leader of the Justice League Elite team of superheroes. For a time, Black's spirit manifested itself in her mind, thus nearly driving her to destroy London, but the other members of the Elite drove him out.

Powers and Abilities


Telekinesis: Manchester Black was an incredibly gifted telekinetic, and was capable of amazingly precise use of his telekinesis. He was able to give Superman the equivalent of a stroke, for example, by telekinetically pinching blood vessels in Superman's brain.

Telepathy: He can read and manipulate the minds of others and even higher order animals. He has demonstrated the following specialized uses:

  • Telepathic Defense: He can manifest his telepathy in a number of defensive ways.
    • Telepathic Cloak: He can mask his presence and the use of his abilities from being detected by other psions and psychic entities. He can extend these defenses to others around him as well. Cloaking via telepathy is not perfect and powerful telepaths may notice and 'see' through this ability.
    • Psionic Shield: Ability to erect a psychic shield for protection of himself and of others minds.
  • Telepathic Illusions: He can create realistic and very detailed illusions and cause people to experience events which are not actually occurring.
    • Telepathic Camouflage: He can alter the apparent physical appearance of himself and other people by altering the perceptions of those around him. This can go so far as to make other people believe that the camouflaged people are not there e.g. invisible.
  • Telepathic Manipulation: He can manipulate other people's minds easily, achieving a variety of effects.
    • Mind Control: He can control the thoughts and actions of others. Black could control thousands of minds at the same time. While controlling Bizarro and Silver Banshee, he was able to temporarily grant them enough sanity to enable them to communicate and form plans. He was able to switch Superman's and Bizarro's minds, putting both of their minds into each other's bodies.
    • Mental Paralysis: He can induce temporary mental or physical paralysis.
    • Mental Amnesia: He can erase any awareness of particular memories or cause total amnesia.
    • Mental Sedating: Can telepathically "sedate" his victims so that, if already rendered unconscious, they remain so for as long as he continues to "sedate" them.
  • Psionic Blast: He can project psionic force bolts which have no physical effects but which can affect a victim's mind so as to cause the victim pain or unconsciousness and turning someone brain-dead.
  • Mental Detection: He can sense the presence of another superhuman within a small but as yet undefined radius of himself by perceiving the distinctive mental radiations emitted by such a being.

Superman vs. The Elite

Manchester Black Superman vs The Elite 001
"Apologies in advance for the graphic nature of what you're about to see. Some of us had it rough in the origins department."
-- Manchester Black


Manchester Black was born the unplanned fifth of five boys. His mother died giving birth to her sixth child and only daughter, Vera. Their brothers all either died or ended up in jail, where they ended up getting killed anyway. Manchester and Vera were left alone with only their abusive, drukard father. To survive, the children turned to pick-pocketing. Vera would use her innocent appearence to distract people in Heaton Park, while Manchester would pull their wallets and coin purses. Neither child was proud of it, but it did keep them alive. One day, the children were pursued by police and Vera fell in front of an oncoming train! It was at this point that Manchester's latent meta-gene activated, allowing him to stop the train with a telekinetic shockwave, causing the train to derail and killing a dozen passengers. After this incident, Manchester and Vera were taken in and trained by MI5, the British Secret Service. At some point, Manchester used his powers to give their father a massive stroke, freeing himself and his sister from the old man's influence forever.

The great quotes of Manchester Black

The great quotes of Manchester Black

Manchester became a field operative for MI5, using his psychic powers to complete his missions. During a "particularly disenfranchising" tour in Africa, Manchester met with other Metahuman operatives like himself. The group decided to leave the service together and take a stab at freelance work as a superhero team, calling themselves "the Elite". However, their methods of killing criminals caused Superman to declare war on him and the rest of the Elite. In the end, though, Manchester and his cronies were stripped of their powers. Manchester was lobotomized by Superman's heat vision, depriving him of his powers and he was sent to a super max prison for his crimes.