If you’ve heard of Blackagar Boltagon, you might be wondering who he is. You probably saw him in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, directed by Sam Raimi. (He directed Evil Dead, a movie so popular, it was a Commodore 64 game.) He has actually been around for a while, first appearing in Fantastic Four, issue 45. So it is quite interesting that he had appeared in this movie, since he was not exactly a well-known character. He goes by the name Black Bolt, and was drawn by Jack Kirby, known for his dynamic drawings that became influential to other artists.
Blackagar Boltagon appears about halfway through the movie, but let’s focus on the source material. He is a member of the group called The Inhumans, a bunch of super-humans that were genetically altered. When we see him for the first time, he is the leader of the group. Although he first appeared in Fantastic Four 45 near the end, it isn’t until the following issue do we get a good look at him. We see that he has strength and speed, since he is able to stagger The Thing was a single blow. Reed Richards explains how an antenna device on Black Bolt’s head absorbs energy from the surrounding electrons, which get converted into speed and strength.
In Thor, issue 148, we learn more about Blackagar Boltagon’s origin. (This part of the comic doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Thor, so I guess it was just published as filler or something.) His father Agon, who is Chief Geneticist of a place called Attilan, created a genetically altered pattern so that his infant son could mentally affect the electronics in the surrounding air. It is discovered that his voice is strong enough to crumble a city. This is the basis of him always being silent.
During the movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we see Blackagar Boltagon as part of the Illuminati. Again we see him in silence, and with a fork-like device on his forehead. This scene of the movie was a great way to introduce some classic characters that others may not have been aware of. For example, Reed Richards of The Fantastic Four was a welcome surprise, since he is one of Marvel’s earliest characters, yet has been underutilized in movies.
Blackagar Boltagon is clearly a misunderstood and underappreciated character, though it’s not difficult to see why. A man who has the power to crumble a city with his voice would be an intimidating figure if he wasn’t also cursed with the inability to speak. It’s ironic that the leader of The Inhumans, a group of super-humans who were genetically altered for the greater good, is forced to live in a world where his greatest strength is also his greatest weakness. While it’s certainly a unique take on a superhero’s powers, one can’t help but wonder if Black Bolt is secretly bitter about his fate. It’s a shame he can’t use this ability to destroy bad movies, such as the one he had a cameo in. But alas, he remains silent, unable to speak out against the injustice. Perhaps he should consider a career as a mime artist instead? Thor 148 is the comic you want to get if you are a fan of Black Bolt, since it discusses his origin. It was also drawn by Jack Kirby, who apparently drew damn near everything for Marvel at the time.