Created by: Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod
1st appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel #4, 1982
Team Affiliations: X-Men, Young X-Men, Hellfire Club, New Mutants, Fallen Angels, X-Force, Mutant Liberation Front, X-Corporation
Legal Status: Brazilian citizen with no criminal record
Height: 5’8 Weight: 170 lbs
Eyes: Brown Hair: Black
Relatives: Emmanuel (Father, deceased), Nina da Costa (Mother)
Skills and abilities: Roberto is fluent in at least six languages: Brazilian Portuguese, English, Chinese, Classical Latin, Askani, and Spanish.
He also has extensive hand to hand combat training from time with the New Mutants and X-force.
Powers: Roberto is a mutant with the power to absorb Solar energy and use it in a variety of ways. When he uses his powers his body becomes pitch black with a glowing corona and dark globes of energy floating around him. Roberto can use the stored solar energy to augment his strength to lift about 50 tons. Unlike most superheroes who have super strength Roberto is not invulnerable and only possesses enhanced durability.
He can also fire blasts of heat and concussive energy from his hands and is immune to the effects of heat and fire. Roberto can also use his powers to fly.
Early years and Origins
Roberto Da Costa was born to Afro-Brazilian father Emmanuel Da Costa and his white American [Marvel Encyclopedia #2 (X-men)] wife Nina. A very skilled soccer player since his youth he had dreams of one day playing the sport professionally. As a teenager he fell in love with Juliana Sandoval. His powers manifested at a soccer match when he was subject to a racist attack because of his dark skin. In retaliation to the attack Roberto lashed out and he transformed. Only Juliana remained at his side as the stadium terrified of him all fled [Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants, 1982]. After his powers manifested the hellfire club and the X-men fought over him which resulted in his girlfriend being killed after taking a bullet for him. After this he joined the New Mutants [Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants, 1982].
New Mutant Years
Alongside Xi’an Coy Manh/Karma, Danielle Moonstar/Psyche, Rahn Sinclair/Wolfsbane and Samuel Guthrie/Cannonball they formed the new mutants under the watchful eye of Charles Xavier. When his mother who was estranged from the family because of her job as an archeologist invited him and his friends on an archeological dig they accepted and saved her life from a hellfire club assassin. His relationship with his father strained when he realized his father was the one who had sent the assassin in the first place.
Over the course of his adventures he became best friends with Cannonball, journeyed into space and even other realms such as Asgard [New Mutants Special Edition #1 and Uncanny X-men Annual #9]. He also became a monster after being injected with the drug that created Cloak and Dagger [Marvel Team up Annual #6]. He met Magma and battled Selene on an excavation to Nova Roma [New Mutants V1. 9-11]. Roberto and the team fought the alien Phalanx, Magus [New Mutants #50] and later the mutant hater Cameron Hodge and the Right [New Mutants #60]. Other notable happenings include a clash with Freedom Force and love with the Alien Gasamyr [New Mutants #65].
Sunspot then came to the attention of the mutant eternal Gideon who secretly poisoned his father Emmanuel resulting in his death. Gideon himself delivered the news to young Roberto [New Mutants #98].
This caused Sunspot to leave the New Mutants and take up the task of CEO of his family’s company [New Mutants V1. #99]. Gideon continued to train and guide the boy [X-force #1-6]. When Gideon realized that it was Cannonball and not Sunspot who was the next External, he was enraged and beat the boy into unconsciousness [X-force #12]. He then subjected the boy to experimentation; unlocking potential he never knew he had [X-Force 13-15]. Unknown to Sunspot and Gideon Dr. Jashua used his blood on Subject 19 which resulted in Reignfire, becoming essentially his twin. X-force later rescued him and his overload of energy caused an explosion [X-force #15]. This lead straight into the X-ecutioner’s song which found him and X-force facing off against the joint forces of the government-run X-factor and the X-men [X-force #16].
When Reignfire escaped he became leader of the Mutant Liberation Front [X-force #26] and used his power over sunspot to attack the team even removing his mask to implicate Roberto [X-force #43]. Cable later severed the link between Reignfire and Sunspot [X-force #79].
With his new powers of flight and energy projection he rejoined his teammates in time for Cannonball to graduate to the ranks of the X-men [. With Sam gone he grew closer to Tabitha Smith/Boomer, his best friend’s girlfriend [X-force #71-74]. When the team broke from Cable [X-force #70] he shared a kiss with Tabitha right as Cannonball was contemplating leaving the X-men [X-force #75]. When Cannonball discovered their blossoming feelings for each other he left angrily. During this time Roberto is cut off from the family fortune thanks to litigation [X-force #71]. The team was eventually confronted once more by Reignfire [X-force #77-78] who revealed their shared origin [X-force #79] before he was defeated and seemingly killed [X-force #80].
Roberto was next approached by Selene into taking his father’s position in the hellfire club in exchange for bringing his dead girlfriend back to life. He accepted and left X-force after years of guilt over Juliana’s death [X-Force #94 and #97]. Selene brings back the girl’s spirit in a comatose body resulting in a loss of memories. When Roberto approaches her and realizes he leaves her to enjoy her new life [X-Force #99-100].
He resurfaces as the head of the X-corp Los Angeles Branch. When X-corp is shut down he is approached by Sebastian Shaw to join his rendition of the Hellfire club but after Sebastian was injured fighting Pierce he became Lord Imperial of the club hoping to use it as a force for good. Sage/Tessa remains at his side in hopes of preventing his new found power from corrupting him. After M-day he is one of the few mutants left with his mutant abilities. X-corp is shut down and he joins the X-men. During Secret Invasion he helps fend off the skrulls [Secret Invasion: X-men #1]. He was injured by the young X-men when they were tricked into attacking him by a disguised Donald Pierce [Young X-men #3]. After this he leaves the Hellfire club and rejoins the X-men alongside Dani Moonstar to train the Young X-men [Young X-men #6].
New Mutant once More
When two of his former New Mutant teammates go missing he’s recruited by Cannonball to join the reformed New Mutants. During these adventures they battle Legion [New Mutants V3. #1-4] and met the Asgardian hero Sigurd [New Mutants v3. #34, #37, #42, #43 and Journey into Mystery #637 and #638].
Life as an Avenger
After Avengers vs X-men alongside Cannonball they were recruited into Captain America’s global Avengers initiative and met Falcon, Captain Universe, Manifold and NightMask. As an Avenger he was pulled into the INFINTY event.. [Avengers (2013) #1-10]. As an Avenger he was pulled into the INFINTY event [Infinity #1-6].