During an invasion of Earth by an alien alliance, the Dominators detonated a gene bomb that awakened the latent metagene in a large numbers of humans, including Roland Desmond. Falling ill to a debilitating malady, Desmond was hospitalized and treated with an experimental steroid. Like his brother, Mark, who was the first Blockbuster, the effects of the treatment made Desmond into a mindless, muscle-bound behemoth. He later escaped during a transfer to another facility but was apprehended by Will Payton, the Starman, and Batman.
Roland Desmond as Blockbuster
Desmond was imprisoned at Belle Reve Prison, from which he later escaped with the help of the demon lord Neron. Striking a bargain with the demon, in exchange for his soul, Blockbuster’s intellect was elevated to a level that would match his physical size. Becoming a master strategist, Blockbuster desired to conquer Gotham City first, but he decided to test himself with Bludhaven, to the south. Blockbuster established a criminal empire by slowly taking the city over from then-boss Angel Marin. Despite setting himself up and gaining a hold on organized crime in Bludhaven, his power base was weakened with the arrival of Nightwing as the city’s new protector.
Desmond’s transformation into the oversized Blockbuster triggered a latent infirmities that took a toll on his defective heart. Exhausting the limits of medication, the crimelord needed a new heart to keep him alive. After capturing a Gorilla City native, Blockbuster stole the compatible ape heart from the simian to save his own life.
Bludhaven Or Bust
Blockbuster’s vengeance campaign against Nightwing escalated as he wrongfully blamed the young hero for the death of his mother. . The criminal kingpin bombed Dick Grayson’s apartment complex, killing most of its residents, including Dick’s Romanian grandfather. The war was now more personal than ever, as far as Nightwing was concerned. The desperate young crimefighter even enlisted the help of Bludhaven’s newest vigilante, the amoral female Tarantula.
Nightwing’s inaction leads to Blockbuster’s death at the hands of Tarantula,
as seen in NIGHTWING #93 .
When every legal attempt to bring in Blockbuster failed, Nightwing felt utterly defeated. And as Tarantula shot Blockbuster dead at point blank range, Nightwing neglected to stop her. His inaction in that moment became a source of tremendous guilt for the young hero. But despite her questionable methods, Tarantula’s act did succeed in freeing Bludhaven from Blockbuster’s grasp.
Powers & Weapons
Blockbuster possesses superhuman strength and stamina, as well as enhanced durability. His transformation at the hands of the demon Neron has given him genius level intellect.
A 2001 Nighwing commission by Scott McDaniel.
Nightwing #7-8 : Nightwing follows leads to Angel Marin, who shows up dead. Nightwing learns the organized crime of Bludhaven is consolidated by Roland Desmond, the gargantuan genius Blockbuster. After Nightwing has a violent confrontation with Blockbuster, he places a sizable contract on Nightwing’s head. Meanwhile, a violent blond teen vigilante [Tad Ryerstad] protects his turf. First appearance of Tad Ryerstad.
Nightwing #13-15 : Lending his former partner a hand, Batman travels to Bludhaven and aids Nightwing’s assault upon Roland Desmond’s headquarters. While Batman occupies the energies of hired killers Lady Vic and Stallion, Nightwing takes on Blockbuster himself, destroying the criminal mastermind’s home in the process. In a rare display of emotion, Batman expresses his pride in Nightwing.
Nightwing #32-34 : Blockbuster tries to cure his enlarged heart.
Nightwing #43 : Nightwing and Nite-Wing narrowly escape death and Nightwing agrees to train Nite-Wing. Dick tells a heartbroken Clancy he is beginning to get serious with Barbara. Torque tries to take advantage of gang warfare to wrest power for himself. Blockbuster plots to secure a new heart from Gorilla City.
Nightwing #44 : Nite-Wing confronts Chief Redhorn and acquires incriminating files on Blockbuster from him. Blockbuster begins his hunt to find Oracle, who has been pilfering his funds. as Nightwing and Nite-Wing confront Blockbuster with this new information, they are felled by Blockbuster’s ally from Gorilla City.
Nightwing #45-46, Birds of Prey #20-21: “Hunt For Oracle” storyline: Nightwing’s archenemy Blockbuster seeks to kill Oracle and destroy her information network because Barbara had pilfered hundreds of millions from the villain’s secret offshore accounts. Nightwing is tortured for information on Oracle but is rescued by Cisco Blaine. Blaine, thought to be in Blockbuster’s employ, reveals himself as a federal agent undercover trying to bring Blockbuster down. Believing him a criminal threat, Nite-Wing later beats Blaine to death.
Nightwing #87-92 [2003-2004]: Blockbuster’s vengeance campaign escalates as he wrongfully blames Nightwing for the death of his mother. The criminal kingpin bombs Dick Grayson’s apartment complex, killing most of its residents, including Dick’s Romanian grandfather.
Nightwing #93 : Blockbuster is killed by Tarantula as Nightwing watches.
Sources for this entry: DC Universe Role-Playing Games: Sourcebooks and Manuals [ West End Games], DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com