|“||Imagine you could never make another sound, not for the rest of your life. Not a sigh. Not a yawn. Not a single word. Ever. Then, imagine you were given one chance to speak. What would you say?||„|
|~ Marvel Knights Inhumans narration regarding Black Bolt.|
|“||I. Am. Awake!||„|
|~ Black Bolt speaking.|
Blackagar Boltagon, better known as Black Bolt, is a fictional superhero that appears in the Marvel Comics, being the ruler of Attilan, and the Inhumans. He is known for not his hypersonic voice, and doesn't speak as it will cause massive destruction.
Black Bolt was born to two of Attilan's top geneticists, Agon, head of the ruling Council of Genetics, and Rynda, director of the Prenatal Care Center. Subjected to the mutagenic Terrigen Mist while still an embryo, Bolt was born with strange powers surpassing even the Inhumans' norm. As an infant, he demonstrated certain energy-manipulative abilities which he could not yet control, particularly that of producing quasi-sonic energy of great destructive potential through his voice. To protect the community, he was placed inside a sound-proofed chamber and given an energy-harnessing suit. There he was schooled in the art of controlling his powers until the age of nineteen, when he was permitted to enter society.
A month after being awarded his freedom, Black Bolt discovered his younger brother Maximus in the process of making a treacherous pact with emissaries of the alien Kree. Attempting to stop the Kree ship before it escaped, Bolt used the forbidden power of his quasi-sonic voice to knock the ship out of the sky. When the ship crashed to Earth, it landed on the parliament, killing several key members of the Council of Genetics, including his parents, Agon and Rynda. The reverberations of his brother's shout affected Maximus's sanity and suppressed his nascent mental powers. Despite his guilt and silent protests, Black Bolt was obligated to accept the mantle of leadership of the Inhumans at age twenty.
Black Bolt's first crisis in leadership came when his cousin Triton was briefly held captive by humans. Learning of Triton's encounter upon his escape, Black Bolt decided that the Inhuman' island of Attilan was in imminent danger of discovery by humanity. Black Bolt scouted out possible sites to which to move, and settled upon the remote Himalayan mountains. After the great migration, Black Bolt faced his second great crisis when his now mad brother Maximus unleashed the Trikon, three of the Inhumans' worker drones who were transformed into energy-beings. The Trikon enabled Maximus to wrest the rule of the Inhuman from his brother and send Black Bolt and the other members of the Royal Family into exile. For the next few years, Black Bolt and his kinsmen wandered Asia, Europe, and finally America, in search of Medusa, his betrothed mate, who had been separated from the others during the battle with the Trikon. Eventually Black Bolt was reunited with Medusa and the Royal Family returned to Attilan and resumed the crown.
Black Bolt led the Inhumans through some of the most turbulent times in their history, including several more attempts by Maximus to usurp the throne, revolts by the worker class, attacks by human renegades, the kidnapping of Medusa, the destruction and rebuilding of Attilan, the revelation of the Inhuman existence to humanity, and several more relocations of Attilans. Following the traditional lengthy period of betrothal, Black Bolt and Medusa were wed.
His role as king of the Inhumans had been tumultuous. The first major crisis occurred when he and Medusa conceived a child. Medusa bore the child in defiance of the Genetic Council who felt that Black Bolt's bloodline was too dangerous to pass on. The Council nonetheless took the child to examine, and forbade parental contact. Black Bolt was torn between his love of family and his duty to respect the Genetic Council, and it was only when the Council was revealed to be using his son in a plot against him that he finally turned against the Council. With that, he also gave up the crown as king of the Inhumans. For a while, they lived away from Attilan, but returned in times of need.
By the time the Avengers and the Fantastic Four returned from Counter Earth following the Onslaught crisis, Black Bolt was re-instated as monarch without much further explanation, but was subsequently exiled after Attilan's forced adventure with Ronan in space. He returned again to the moon with his Royal Family after being banned from Earth, and again it seemed that the rest of the Inhuman population soon rejoined them there and reaffirmed his role as king without much ado.
There was very little exploration of the ongoing inequities and injustices of the caste-bound Attilan society during this time, and Black Bolt seemed to turn a blind eye to much of it. It could be that as a product of that environment, he accepted the status quo as a given: this would make him a benevolent yet flawed ruler. Given his exposure to the outside world (and his own stand previously against the Genetic Council), this seems unlikely. Given his ever changing status as ruler, he likely saw limits to any further changes that he could realistically make to the social fabric at this point (after all, it was only not so long ago during his reign that the Alpha Primitives were emancipated). He was a great leader in ensuring the survival of Attilan against threats from outside and in; perhaps he was biding his time, awaiting a period of stability before again turning his considerable leadership skills to issues of social justice.
After Quicksilver stole a cluster of Terrigen Crystals, Black Bolt and other Inhumans followed him to Earth in pursuit. Quicksilver evaded capture however, and the crystals fell into the possession of the US government, who refused to hand them over to the Inhumans. This led Black Bolt to declare war on the United States. He sent a strike force led by his cousin Gorgon to capture several high standing members of American society who were attending a charity opera. The operation went awry however and several civilians were killed and the team was captured by the Fantastic Four.
The US government began experimenting with the crystals, exposing Gorgon to them once again, causing him to undergo a second terrigenesis. Black Bolt journeyed to Earth to find Quicksilver in search of the Crystals and found that Quicksilver had embedded several of them in his flesh. Black Bolt lost his composure and began savagely beating Quicksilver until Medusa stopped him from killing him. Quicksilver revealed that using the powers the crystals had granted him, he had traveled into the future where he witnessed an explosion on the surface of the Moon visible from Earth, deducing that it was Attilan.
Matters were further complicated by the fact that Black Bolts brother Maximus who as part of a very long plan managed to exert control over Medusa and force her to kiss him, leading Black Bolt to believe she was having an affair. Maximus also manipulated Luna into freeing him and Black Bolts son Ahura. Meanwhile, Black Bolt traveled to the Pentagon with other members of the royal family to free Gorgon and get the crystals. They defeated the facility's defenders and the Avengers who arrived to stop them and reclaimed the crystals. The United States retaliated by sending a marine squad that had been mutated by the crystals to Attilan. The Inhumans engaged them, and the squad surrendered. While inside the city, one of the squad members used her powers to detonate herself in a giant blast that devastated Attilan.
Maximus confronted Black Bolt amidst the rubble, declaring himself king and telling his brother that he'd be taking care of everything now. Black Bolt was jailed, and while imprisoned was approached by Luna who told him that everyone except Black Bolt and she herself were being manipulated by Black Bolt, and asked him what to do.
Black Bolt was ambushed by the Skrull Empire, while unaware and surprised and was then taken captive by the Skrulls and held prisoner aboard the Skrull Battleship Ryb'ik. The Skrulls planned to use his quasi-sonic scream as the their deadliest and most powerful weapon. A Skrull began impersonating Black Bolt.
During this time, the Hulk, embittered over being placed into exile on the planet Sakaar, returned to this star system and attacked the Skrull impostor who he believed was Black Bolt because of his role in the Hulk's exile. Even though this "Black Bolt" was able to knock the Hulk back at first, the Hulk got back up and savagely beat him up. Hulk enslaved him with a slave disk and forced him to fight as a gladiator. Later, the Illuminati discovered the Skrull impostor among them. Black Bolt was rescued by Medusa and the Inhuman Royal family, and returned to Attilan to co-rule with Maximus.
He then took aggressive counteraction against the Skrulls, and deployed Maximus-designed inventions to tap into his quasi-sonic powers for military purposes. The city of Attilan became a weaponized vessel that tracked down and destroyed the fleeing Skrull ships, as well as some Shi'ar vessels trying to intercept. He breached Kree defenses and forced Ronan and the Kree to pledge allegiance to him.
The Inhumans had plans to lead a benevolent future with the Kree. Crystal was promised to Ronan to further unite the Kree and the Inhumans even offered the Terrigen Mists to enhance the evolution of the Kree. However, the Shi'ar declared war on the Kree.
The War of the Four Cities
Black Bolt in fact survived the explosion. It was revealed that he likely represents the anomaly of the Kree Inhuman genetics program that had been predicted hundreds of thousands of years ago. The genetic prophecy was that this anomaly would bring about the end of the Supreme Intelligence. To prevent this outcome, the Kree Supreme Intelligence had ordered the destruction of all the worlds where the genetic experiments took place. Only five colonies escaped, including Earth's: these were the Universal Inhumans. After his return to Attilan, Black Bolt joined the Universal Inhumans and was presented with four new brides, one from each of the other colonies.
They returned to Earth to help defeat the last four Reeds of the Interdimensional Council. They then faced the Kree Armada, who had been ordered by the resurrected Kree Supreme Intelligence to wipe out Earth and the Inhumans. After the Kree fled in defeat, the Inhumans followed in pursuit.
Black Bolt was visited by Thanos' Cull Obsidian in order to demand a tribute, the heads of Inhuman younglings between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two, or the annihilation of Earth's inhabitants.
Using the Terrigen Codex, Black Bolt discovered Thanos used the tribute demand as a cover for his true mission, to kill his secret Inhuman-descendant son whose identity and location were unknown even by his father. After the Inhumans denied the tribute to Corvus Glaive, Thanos personally visited Black Bolt in Attilan. Finding the Inhuman city empty, with only Black Bolt left, Black Bolt unleashed a powerful scream which tore down Attilan itself and activated a Terrigen Bomb which spread the Mists across the Earth.
The Mad Titan survived however, and found Black Bolt still alive in the rubble, and demanded to know the location of his son. Black Bolt refused, and continued attacking Thanos with his voice, until an enraged Thanos knocked him out. Black Bolt was held captive, for Thanos to use his power to activate the Illuminati's anti-matter bombs to destroy the Earth. When the Illumianti arrived in the Necropolis, they found Thanos' general Supergiant, with Black Bolt under her control, whom she used to defeat them. When Supergiant activated the bombs, Maximus appeared with the trigger. He triggered the bombs, but also used Lockjaw to transport the anti-matter bomb along with Supergiant to a distant uninhabited planet where she died in the explosion.
Black Bolt was liberated, and left the scene along with Maximus and Lockjaw. In the ancient location of Attilan in the Himalayas, Black Bolt hid the Terrigen Codex, and made Maximus understand his survival and that of his brother were to be kept a secret. Maximus also deduced that Black Bolt was always going to activate the Terrigen Bomb, irrespective of Thanos' arrival, to herald a new age of the Inhumans.
After being examined by Maximus, they discovered that the Terrigen Bomb had greatly diminished Black Bolt's powers. The two agreed to keep this a secret. Using exogenetically charged waters, Maximus was able to help Black Bolt recover from this weakness.