Deacon Blackfire was a conman and cult leader who was over 100 years old at the time of his death, despite appearing much younger. He had discovered the secret to eternal youth, bathing in buckets and buckets of human blood. Blackfire craved power and destruction, and orchestrated his movements toward these goals. During The Cult he formed an army in the sewers beneath Gotham City, largely composed of the homeless and derelict. Blackfire used this army to begin a violent war on crime, which escalated into him taking over the entire city, resulting in it being isolated from the rest of the country. Blackfire captured and brainwashes Batman, temporarily making the Caped Crusader a member of Blackfire's cult. Batman eventually broke his conditioning, but its after-effects made it difficult for him to capture Blackfire. After a brutal search through the sewers with Robin, Batman confronted Blackfire, who demanded that Batman kill him, making him a martyr. Batman refused, and instead savagely beat Blackfire, in front of his army. Blackfire's army turned on him and killed him.
Deacon Blackfire was one of the many villains raised from the dead in Gotham City to join the new Black Lantern Corps as zombies during Blackest Night event. Along with Abbatoir, KGBeast, Blockbuster, King Snake, Magpie, the Trigger Twins, and the Ventriloquist, he had received a Black Lantern Ring. He was seen terrorizing the city, and tearing out the hearts of innocents, in churches, to feed on their emotional energies and life force when they were feeling the most compassion.
- 7 Appearances of Joseph Blackfire (New Earth)
- 7 Images featuring Joseph Blackfire (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Joseph Blackfire (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Joseph Blackfire (New Earth)
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