Blockbuster (DC Comics)

This article is about the DC Comics supervillain. For the Marvel Comics supervillain, see Blockbuster (Marauder).

Blockbuster is the name of four fictional characters in the DC Comics Universe. The first one was primarily a foe of Batman and Robin, while the second frequently fought Nightwing (formerly Robin). The latest Blockbuster first appeared in the pages of the series 52 wherein he is directed into battle against Lex Luthors team of superheroes, Infinity, Inc.

Publication history

The Mark Desmond version of Blockbuster first appeared in Detective Comics #345 and was created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino.

The Roland Desmond version of Blockbuster first appeared in Starman #9 and was created by Roger Stern and Tom Lyle.

Fictional character biography

Mark Desmond


Interior artwork from Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe 3 (May 1985  DC Comics). Art by Michael T. Gilbert.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Detective Comics #345 (November 1965)
Created by Gardner Fox
Carmine Infantino
In-story information
Alter ego Mark Desmond
Team affiliations Secret Society of Super Villains
Suicide Squad
Abilities Superhuman strength, stamina, and endurance
High-level resistance to injury

The first Blockbuster was Mark Desmond, a chemist who desired to increase his physical strength. Experimenting on himself, he succeeded in making himself stronger and taller, but as a side-effect of the process he also became almost mindlessly aggressive. The mentally debilitated Desmond was cared for by his brother Roland, a local criminal, who kept their mother from discovering what Mark had done to himself.[1]

Roland manipulated his brother into committing crimes on his behalf until they came into conflict with Batman and Robin. Bruce Wayne had once rescued a young Desmond from drowning, and he discovered that he could calm the enraged adult Desmond by removing his cowl, showing him his face, though when Blockbuster first appears he has to leap into a swamp and thrash around like him to remind Blockbuster of this. Desmond later found himself clashing with Batman on various occasions. He joined the Secret Society of Super Villains briefly for a battle with the Justice League. Later, Amanda Waller recruited Desmond for her revived Suicide Squad. He was killed fighting Darkseid's creation Brimstone.[2]

In Pre-Crisis, Blockbuster absorbed energies from the Alfred Memorial which gave him some powers and was once substituted for the super-strong undead villain Solomon Grundy from Earth-2 due to a machine that was substituting people from both Earths. Green Lantern caused him to fight Solomon Grundy, leading to them both briefly getting the fight knocked out of each other.

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Mark Desmond is a patient of Dr. Phayne's. He lives on the estate and at night he undergoes procedures to enhance his intelligence. He is exposed to small amounts of a green compound intravenously. An accident is caused by a new patient believing he is in pain and the cascade of green liquid overdoses Desmond and creates an explosion. The overdose exposes a super strong man calling himself Blockbuster. He rampages from the building in pain and knocks an attacking Hawkman unconscious.[3] Blockbuster was later mind-controlled by Necromancer to help her steal an artifact from a Washington DC museum, which brought the attention of Hawk and Dove. They teamed up with Batman and Robin to stop Blockbuster and Necromancer.[4] Mark Desmond later appears as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains upon having been recruited by Outsider. When Catwoman breaks out of Arkham Asylum, Mark Desmond and Signalman confronted Catwoman on a rooftop, which ended with Catwoman being knocked out.[5]

Roland Desmond


Interior artwork from Nightwing: Secret Files and Origins 1 (October 1999  DC Comics). Art by Greg Land.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Starman #9 (April 1989)
Created by Roger Stern
Tom Lyle
In-story information
Alter ego Roland Desmond
Team affiliations Underground Society
Black Lantern Corps
Abilities Superhuman strength, stamina, and endurance
High-level resistance to injury
Genius-level intellect

Roland Desmond became the second Blockbuster after a severe illness forced him to be treated with experimental steroids. Like his brother Mark, Roland became a child-minded super-strong monster. He ran wild in the Southwest, but Batman and Starman (Will Payton) brought his rampage to an end.[6][7]

Desmond became obsessed with elevating himself greatly above his debilitated intellect. A pact with the demon Neron granted him a genius-level intellect, and Desmond embarked once more on a career of crime and destruction. He began his revived criminal career by causing chaos in the town of Manchester, although his schemes were foiled by the speedster Impulse.

Desmond then moved to his mother's home town of Blüdhaven. He forced the crime lord Angel Marin out of power and took over the city's criminal rackets. Roland's plan was to build a criminal empire in the 'Haven, that would eventually enable him to extend his dominion over Gotham, Star City, Metropolis, and New York's underworlds. For that purpose, he bought the corrupt elements of the city's police department, most notably the Police Chief Redhorn and Inspector Dudley "Deadly" Soames.

Despite his swift and vicious consolidation of power, Blockbuster's hold on Blüdhaven's organized crime was nevertheless weakened by the intervention of the city's new protector, Nightwing (Dick Grayson, the former Robin), who, with Oracle's help, foiled Desmond's plans at every turn. Oracle often removes money from Blockbuster's accounts and he has a man working to stop and find Oracle, named Vogel.[8]

Desmond's primary goal became the elimination of the young vigilante. He placed a contract on Nightwing's life, employing the services of several assassins, including Lady Vic, Stallion, Brutale, the Trigger Twins, and Shrike.

As a further result of his initial transformation, Desmond later developed albinism and a heart defect. He was restored to (comparative) health by a heart transplant from one of the talking apes of Gorilla City, and was consolidating his control over Blüdhaven and contemplating a takeover of Gotham City, when he was killed by the new Tarantula, Catalina Flores.[9]

As part of the Blackest Night event, Roland's corpse is reanimated by a black power ring and recruited to the Black Lantern Corps in Blackest Night: Batman #1 (October 2009).

Blockbuster III

Lex Luthor created a new Blockbuster in the pages of the miniseries event 52 to serve as an opponent of his manufactured hero team, Infinity, Inc.

Little is revealed about this Blockbuster, save for the fact that Luthor possesses some measure of control of his actions and level of strength. Luthor also comments that he is stronger than either of the two previous Blockbusters. This brute's cognitive abilities and appearance are very similar to the original. Blockbuster, with controlled interference from Lex Luthor, kills the superhero Trajectory.

Martian Manhunter's disguise

A Blockbuster appears among the villains exiled to an alien world in Salvation Run. In issue #3, it is revealed to be a disguised Martian Manhunter.

Female Blockbuster

A newer, female Blockbuster appears in the swamps of Louisiana and fights Mon-El.[10]

Powers and abilities

All Blockbusters have superhuman strength, stamina, and endurance. They also have a high degree of resistance to physical and energy attacks.

After selling his soul to Neron, Roland Desmond gained genius-level intelligence.

In other media


Blockbuster as seen in Young Justice.


Video Games

See also


  1. Greenberger, Robert (2008). "Blockbuster I". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 56. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5.
  2. Ostrander, John (w), Byrne, John (p), Kesel, Karl (i). "Send For... the Suicide Squad!" Legends 3: 14 (January 1987), DC Comics
  3. Savage Hawkman #18
  4. Hawk and Dove Vol. 5 #6
  5. Justice League of America Vol. 3 #3
  6. Starman #10 (May 1989)
  7. Wallace, Dan (2008). "Blockbuster II". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. p. 55. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5.
  8. Nightwing #44 (June 2000)
  9. Nightwing #93 (July 2004)
  10. Superman #689 (August 2009)
  11. "Blockbuster Turn by *Phillybee". Deviant Art. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  12. "Supermax: Green Arrow Story Details and Villains/Inmates Gallery". Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  13. Gerding, Stephen (January 13, 2016). "Exclusive: Nightwing's Romantic Life Takes a Hit in "Batman: Bad Blood" Clip". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved January 14, 2016.

External links

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