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Roberto da Costa (Earth-616): Misc


Marvel Database

Up to date as of February 09, 2010

From Marvel Database

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Real Name
Current Alias

Bobby, Reignfire, Shadowskin, Cloak, Black Rook, Black King, Lord Imperial



Hellfire Club, X-Corporation (Los Angeles branch), formerly X-Force, New Mutants, Fallen Angels, Mutant Liberation Front, Bratpack

Emmanuel da Costa (father, deceased), Nina da Costa (mother)



5' 8"

170 lbs (77 kg)



Unusual Features
Usage of his powers causes Sunspot to become cloaked in darkness as he uses up all the ambient light in his body.


Marital Status

Adventurer, CEO of Da Costa International, former Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club; former student, recreational soccer player

Xavier's Institute for Higher Learning (Graduate)


Place of Birth

First appearance

Marvel Graphic Novel #4
(December, 1982)



Roberto Da Costa is the son of Brazilian millionaire Emmanuel da Costa and his American wife Nina, an archaeologist. Roberto first manifested his superhuman mutant powers when, at the age of fourteen, he was playing in a championship soccer match for his school team in Rio de Janeiro. Motivated by racial hatred, a boy named Keller and another member of the opposing team knocked Da Costa to the ground. The hot-tempered Da Costa retaliated by tackling Keller, who began brutally beating him. It was then that, without being aware of what was happening to him, Da Costa first became able to use his superhuman strength, his body and clothing temporarily turning black in the process. Da Costa used his newfound strength to hurl Keller from him. Bewildered, Da Costa sought help, but both the other players and most of the spectators panicked and fled. However, his girlfriend, Juliana Sandoval, who had been watching the game along with Emmanuel Da Costa, stood by Roberto in his time of need.

Roberto's powers came to the attention of Donald Pierce, the renegade White Bishop of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, who sought to murder any superhuman mutants he found. Pierce's mercenaries failed to abduct Roberto, but then they kidnapped Juliana. The mutant telepath Professor Charles Xavier had learned of Pierce's plan to kill Roberto and sent his colleague Moira MacTaggert and the young superhuman mutants Karma and Mirage to help Da Costa. Roberto agreed to meet with Pierce's men in order to obtain Sandoval's release, but the mercenaries refused to free her and intended to kill both of them instead. To defend themselves, Roberto activated his powers and fought them, but the young mutant exhausted his power too soon, and a mercenary was about to kill him when Karma and Mirage intervened. Karma took control of the mind of the mercenary, and Mirage used her powers to terrify the others. But Da Costa, regaining his superhuman strength, unintentionally knocked Karma unconscious, thinking her one of his assailants, thus breaking her hold on the mercenary. That mercenary fired at Da Costa, who had returned to normalcy again, but Juliana leaped in front of Da Costa, taking the fatal bullet herself, and Mirage defeated the killer. Anguished with guilt that Juliana had died because he was a mutant and thus had become the target of these killers, Da Costa vowed to take vengeance on Pierce. He joined Karma, Xavier, and another young mutant named Wolfsbane, in tracking down Pierce and battling him and his men. Xavier succeeded in defeating Pierce.

Da Costa decided to stay with Xavier and receive training in the use of his superhuman powers as a member of the New Mutants (Ironically, his father Emmanuel later became a member of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club). A founding member of the New Mutants, Bobby was a mainstay of the junior team for most of its existence. However, when his father died (killed by the External Gideon), Bobby went with Gideon, who was an old friend, to take over his father's business. Gideon, however, was looking for the next External, and thinking that it was Sunspot, had Bobby subjected to various experiments that increased his solar absorption capabilities by 3000%. When Sunspot was liberated by X-Force, he found he had the ability to fire energy blasts from his hands.

Roberto da Costa

Later still, during a battle with the M.L.F., Sunspot channeled his solar energy around his body, enabling him to fly. Unfortunately, he flew into one of Locus' portal beams and was sent into the time-stream. It was thought that Sunspot had an alternate persona called Reignfire who led the M.L.F., but it became clear that they were separate entities. After Bobby flew into Locus' beam, Reignfire captured him and forged a telepathic link that made Sunspot his puppet. When Cable forced his Askani disciplines into Sunspot to "expunge" Reignfire, he severed that link and Bobby returned to normal. As a result of Cable's actions, Bobby was now fluent in Askani and gained finer control over his powers. He was currently so powerful that he found it hard not to be in his blacked-out "fiery-head" state, but he can power down using the Askani methods. In the final battle with Reignfire, Bobby was possessed by his nemesis, but eventually regained control of his body, and was stronger than ever.

While his best friend Sam Guthrie ("Cannonball") was with the X-Men, Bobby got closer with Sam's girlfriend Tabitha ("Meltdown"). Things progressed to the point where the teammates kissed, just in time for Sam to burst in and see them. This drove a wedge between the friends that hadn't really healed, although they managed to work together when Sam rejoined X-Force.

Recently, Bobby was deported from the U.S. because his student visa was no longer valid since he was not a student anymore. He returned to Brazil, but was restless and found the life of a rich playboy heir boring and meaningless. At that moment, Selene, who had usurped control of the Hellfire Club, approached Bobby and convinced him to help her stop the Deviants in the Damocles Foundation from resurrecting a Celestial Template. Bobby agreed, and met up with X-Force again during the battle. However, Selene didn't give up so easily and put Bobby through a number of illusory situations to force him to her side. Sunspot saw through all of them, so Selene and Blackheart, the new Black King, played their trump card: Juilana Sandoval. Juilana was Bobby's girlfriend before his powers manifested. She was captured along with him by the Hellfire Club and she died to save him from being shot by a HC goon. Blackheart told Bobby that Juliana was supposed to have lived, but someone in Processing messed up. The deal was: Bobby would join the Hellfire Club, and Juliana would get a new start in a recently deceased girl's body. Feeling that he owed his life to Juliana, Bobby had no choice but to accept, and left X-Force to become the third Black Rook.

With Sebastian Shaw's resumption of leadership of the Hellfire Club, Bobby appeared to have been released from his vow. Exactly what occurred and why Shaw would let Bobby get away is still unknown. Bobby then became the head of the Los Angeles X-Corporation branch, and was working with Empath to insure that mutant interests are taken care of. For some reason, Bobby no longer used or had access to his energy-blasting and flight abilities, and now simply operated as "super-strong." In that capacity, Bobby helped Jon Spectre and a reconstituted X-Force battle the Skornn.

Recently, Bobby was again contacted by Shaw (and secretly by Sage) and invited to join the Lords Cardinal as the Black King under Shaw, who sought the overarching position of Lord Imperial. However, Shaw's injury at the hands of Donald Pierce put Roberto in position to become Lord Imperial, with Sage as his primary adviser.

As a result of the Scarlet Witch's actions in the "House of M" event, nearly all of the mutants in the entire world were stripped of their powers. It has been made known by Marvel that only 198 mutants have still retained their powers, and Bobby is known to be one of them.

Powers and Abilities



Solar Radiation Absorption: absorbs solar energy and can utilize it for physical strength. The cells of a normal human body convert energy from foodstuffs into a form of energy usable by the body. This energy is stored through converting molecules of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) in the cells into adenosine triphosphate (ATP); the energy is released when necessary by breaking a chemical bond in the ATP molecules, converting them back to ADP. Apparently Sunspot can store solar-derived energy in his cells through the same, or a similar method, and release it when necessary to enhance his physical strength. His body is cloaked in darkness because he drains all the ambient light from his skin.

Sunspot's abilities

Solar Re-channeling: ability to re-channel the solar energy which his body absorbs, by which he takes the solar energy and uses it for a variety of related purposes.

  • Flight: ability to fly by propelling himself thorough the air, by force of will, by generating thermal updrafts. Bobby has also refined this ability to be able to hover in the air without leaving a heat trail, and can reach speeds of up to 150 mph maximum without over exerting himself.
  • Thermokinesis: ability to project heat in intense waves when he absorbs and re-channels solar energy from any part of his body to raise the temperature. Roberto can also absorb heat into his body to lower the temperature in his immediate area. He can also project and absorb heat directly into/from people, causing intense discomfort at their fluctuating body temperatures.
  • Limited Photokinesis: ability to project light in intense waves when he absorbs and re-channels solar energy, and absorb ambient wavelengths.
  • Dark Solar Plasma Blasts: ability to project concussive dark plasma energy blasts from his hands, with about 20 tons of force behind them at their most powerful.
Previously, Sunspot would quickly exhaust his energy if he was not in direct sunlight. This no longer applies to his current state. With his increasing age and experience, he has become able to absorb sunlight even at night if there is a moon, as moonlight is nothing but refracted sunlight.


Roberto is fluent in Portuguese as well as the future language of the Askani. He is a trained pilot and a highly skilled soccer player, at professional level.

Strength level

Roberto can release solar energy stored in his body so as to give himself superhuman strength. When he first manifested this ability, Sunspot could give himself enough strength to be able to lift (press) 25 tons under normal Earth conditions. As he grew older and bigger, his strength increased enabling him to lift (press) 50 tons. The extent of his strength can also increase further if he is exposed to more intense sunlight, and there has been no seen limit to the extent of his strength as it constantly increases based off of the stored energy in his body and the intensity of the sunlight.


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This article uses material from the "Roberto da Costa (Earth-616)" article on the Marvel Database wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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