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Martyrdom 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.
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 and withdrawal 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.
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.
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.
Despite his supposed death in Batman:Eternal Blackfire's spirit returned in Rebirth forming a new death cult and using their belief in him to make himself stronger. He also ordered his cult to kidnapp one of his relatives, a young boy called Joshua Joshua he intended to use as a vessel to return to the real world. The cult held the boy captured in the sewers were they tried to give him to Blackfire through a ritual. However Batman managed to find them and defeated the cultists shortly before Blackfire was able to enter Joshua's body. With all his followers unconcious and therefore nobody present to give him the power he needed to retain his spirit form through the belief in him, Blackfire screamed in terror knowing he wouldn't be able to return, and then painfully dissolved back to hell.
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 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.
He has no relation to Blackfire of the Teen Titans comics.
Deacon Blackfire was created by Jim Starlin, Who also created the Marvel villain Thanos.