Black Condor

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Black Condor is the name of three DC Comics superheroes who have all been members of the Freedom Fighters. Richard Grey Jr. the first Black Condor was originally a Quality Comics character.

Contents

Richard Grey Jr.

Quality Comics

A Golden Age mystery man who possessed the power of flight, Black Condor was a member of the Freedom Fighters, a group that operated from World War II on. Richard Grey, Jr. (alias Tom Wright) was the first Black Condor.

Crack Comics #26, by Gill Fox
Crack Comics #26, by Gill Fox

His story inspired by Tarzan, he was born on a caravan conducting a scientific expedition through 1940's Mongolia. The caravan was later attacked by bandits and everyone was killed except for the newly born Richard. The child was rescued by a mysterious local race of super-intelligent Condors which took in and raised the boy.

A mountain hermit named "Father Pierre" eventually discovered the boy, and with much effort eventually civilized the feral child and taught him how to speak English. Young Richard tracked down and killed the Mongolian bandits who had killed his parents and then departed for United States|America where he uncovered a plot to kill United States Senator Thomas Wright. He was too late to save Wright from assassination, and so decided to use his identity. He adopted the guise of Black Condor to fight crooked politicians, bootleggers and racketeers.

DC Comics

In the DC Comics universe his power was retconned to being caused by exposure to a radioactive meteor. Here he met Uncle Sam and joined his group the Freedom Fighters, and later the All-Star Squadron.

He was among a group of Golden and Silver Age heroes who helped the JLA repel an Appelaxian invasion in the JLA: Year One mini-series by Mark Waid. He appeared more recently as an ethereal spirit guide in the pages of Ryan Kendall's Black Condor series.

Ryan Kendall

Black Condor #1, by Rags Morales
Black Condor #1, by Rags Morales

The second Black Condor, Ryan Kendall, derived his powers of flight, telekinesis, and healing from the genetic experiments of his grandfather, Creighton. A member of an organization called the Society of the Golden Wing, Creighton and his allies had been attempting to create a man who could fly. After numerous attempts, Ryan was the only success. Ryan eventually rebelled and escaped from his grandfather, who made frequent attempts to recapture the youth in order to study and reproduce his abilities.

A mysterious telekinetic who pretty much kept to himself, Ryan Kendall was adamant when he first appeared as the Black Condor that he was not a super-hero. However, time was to prove differently, and he fought the good fight alongside others, notably Primal Force, the Justice League (for a brief time), and alone. Eventually, he went to Opal City, where he felt very much at home.

In Infinite Crisis #1, Kendall, as part of the Freedom Fighters was killed by a powerful beam fired by Sinestro in an ambush by the Secret Society of Super Villains.

In Nightwing #140 a mystery villain was shown to grave rob Ryan Kendall's body and later showed up wearing his arms and wings.

John Trujillo

John Trujillo the new Black Condor. Art by Daniel Acuña
John Trujillo the new Black Condor. Art by Daniel Acuña

Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3 introduced a new Black Condor named John Trujillo whose home turf is the Arizona desert. John was given the hereditary powers of the Black Condor by Tocotl a Mayan Spider Goddess.

Trujillo sees himself as a protector of the universe. He first appears when he single handedly rescues Uncle Sam and the other Freedom Fighters who had been defeated by agents of SHADE. Trujillo is very serious and seems somewhat uncomfortable interacting with other people.

The full extent of the new Black Condor's powers remains unrevealed. He can fly at extremely high speeds, control the winds, and may possess moderate superhuman strength.

Powers and abilities

  • The first Black Condor possessed the power of flight which he had somehow absorbed from the race of super-intelligent Condors who had raised him (later retconned to being the result of exposure to a radioactive meteorite). He also carried a "black light" pistol.
  • The second Black Condor possessed a talent for Telekinesis which he also used to fly, as well as limited empathic abilities and a rapid healing rate.
  • The third Black Condor has so far only demonstrated the abilities of flight and wind/air-current control, but has been credited by Tocotl as an elemental of the sky and the earth. He is extremely strong, fast and seems quite ruthless.

Alternate versions

  • In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-10". As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-X, including the Quality characters. The names of the characters and the team are not mentioned in the panel in which they appear, but a character visually similar to the Richard Grey, Jr. Black Condor appears.

References

Bibliography

Richard Grey Jr.

Ryan Kendall

John Trujillo

  • Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3 - 8

External links

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