For those paying close attention to Batman: Blackest Night, the appearance of Deacon Joseph Blackfire may have you puzzled. The Deacon and his followers appeared in Batman – The Cult, which will be the focus of discussion during the trade paperback section of the next Major Spoilers Podcast.

Batman must stop the army of the homeless recruited by the mysterious Deacon Blackfire in this classic title illustrated by master horror artist Bernie Wrightson, co-creator of the “Swamp Thing”. Deacon Blackfire, charismatic shaman with roots as old as Gotham City itself, seemingly uses the city’s homeless to fight crime. But Blackfire has a hidden agenda!

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. This was one of the greatest Batman stories ever told in my opinion.

    Before the days of changing the hero forever (AGAIN, this 4 issue series came out and changed the way we not only see Batman, but what could happen to him. Before his 15 minutes of preparation power manifested, we were able to seethis character completely brainwashed. I don’t even think that there was a chinese laundry around but he was steamed & pressed before he snapped out of it.
    Deacon Blackfire is also a character who seemed ambiguous. Unable to extrapolate his full history we needed to fill in the blanks with our (Dare I say it? {Dare! Dare!} The Presidency!!! I mean IMAGINATION!)
    A few short years after Bane cleaned Bruces clock, but Blackfire did it first, and he didn’t need a 6month crossover to wear him down. Likewise Bats didn’t need a year-long crossover to recover.
    Thank you for doing this I am very thankful.

  2. I have to say that this series kind of paled in retrospect. It seemed like it took Batman to a place from which he should never recover. Blackfire destroyed Bruce’s psyche–compelling him to do…well, what exactly isn’t clear, but he was definitely willing to use an automatic weapon–possibly to kill (something implied but never expressly shown). And the scene with Jason Todd in the cavern of corpses was horrifying…not only at face value, but because Jason looks so obviously like a frightened little boy.

    Bernie Wrightson’s art was incredible–really showing off that EC look. But it seemed to me more like it was a Batman story designed to show off his particular brand of art, rather than his art highlighting aspects of a story.

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