Kid Devil

 
 
Gopher - Head Shot
Real Name: Edward Bloomberg
A.K.A.: Gopher
Powers (in costume): As the costumed crusader Kid Devil, Eddie Bloomberg's power set was roughly equivalent to those of Daniel Cassidy's Blue Devil costume, the designs of which were the inspiration for Eddie's tinkering. Those powers include enhanced strength and agility, the limits of which have never been fully tested, though probably amplifying his innate attributes by a factor of 20.
Powers (as demon): In his demon incarnation, Kid Devil's agility has again been ratched up to super-human levels, aided by a prehensile tail and a bat-like webbing connecting his arms and his abdomen. His skin temperature is scalding to normal human touch, his blood reeks of gasoline, and he can expel flame from his mouth at will. Strength is, I assume, also super-human, though I don't know that this has been specifically shown to be the case.
Profession: Gopher/Part-time Sidekick (BLUE DEVIL)
Full-time hero (TEEN TITANS)
Home Town: Syracuse, New York
Relatives: Robert Bloomberg (father)
Sylvia Bloomberg (mother)
[Marla Bloom] (aunt)
First Appearance: [FURY OF FIRESTORM No. 24]

BIOGRAPHY

Nephew of Hollywood B-movie director/producer Marla Bloom, Eddie Bloomberg spent his formative years (let's say his early teens) bunking down at [her lavish Hollywood Hills mansion] while his parents worked out their domestic issues1 (back to this in just a tick). As a result of being such an inveterate hanger-on, Eddie spent a lot of time on movie sets, and thus begins the awkward education of Edward Bloomberg, later to be known as the Kid Devil, member of the Teen Titans.

But when the curtain first rises for us on Eddie Bloomberg, others address him most frequently by his nom de métier: Gopher. (He's little and people can push him around and ask him to get stuff, so he is their Gopher. See? Doesn't everything make so much sense now?) It's unlikely that he was ever paid for his efforts in the service of his Hollywood taskmasters (probably something in the child labor laws about this), but for a twelve year-old kid, there are less cool things that you could do than hanging around with budding Hollywood stars and starlets.

Though it's often belied by his youthful exuberance and, dare I say?, naiveté, young Gopher is a kid with a lot on the ball, and whose boundless ambition stagnated at home in Syracuse, New York. (I've been to Syracuse. I don't know why the characters in this comic are so down on the place. It's not that bad.) His parents felt it, too, and sent him off to live with his Aunt Marla who ran a production company in California. Every little kid's dream, right? It's was Gopher's even more.

Everybody there liked the kid and came to think of him as one of their own. But among the people who had a particular affinity for Gopher was the great stuntman and special effects master named [Daniel Cassidy] who was working on Marla Bloom Associates' production of [Blue Devil]. Well, at the very least...Gopher had an affinity for Dan.

Kid Devil - Full Figure

When Dan was going through his roughest period right after the accident, it was probably Gopher who gave him the most inspiration by always believing in him as a person and as a hero. He idolized the stuntman and strove to emulate his talents and heroism in whatever manner he could devise. So late at night, Gopher started sneaking into Dan's workshop where he would appropriate certain blue prints and devices which would help him attain his goal. Nobody knew the difference until one night while testing out his suit, he barged in on Dan, who was working late.

Well, nobody thought it was a particularly good idea for Gopher to be leaping around, fighting crime as the Kid Devil but they could not convince him to stop. He actually garnered some degree of acceptance, from Dan at least, when he helped to save his parents, Robert and Sylvia, from hijackers who had taken over their flight. Gopher's parents had actually flown out in order to bring young Eddie home with them. They saw Hollywood as a bad influence which would get him into trouble. They were probably right. Regardless, Marla, Dan and the professors from the [Institute of Hyper-Normal Studies] convinced them otherwise and Gopher stayed on the West Coast, though on a tight leash.

More to come...

Eddie, making much of his erstwhile position as Blue Devil's sidekick, would later turn up in costume for the Teen Titans membership drive held in the year subsequent to INFINITE CRISIS (52 Week 32). The membership drive was something of a ruse to receive into the Teen Titans' ranks a product of Lex Luthor's Everyman Project. While congregating with the gathered crowd, Eddie connected with a hopeful hero calling himself Pulsar Master of Sound, who offered to get him into said Project.

Just a tip: never trust a guy who not only writes his superhero name out in full on his costume, but also includes the tagline to his superhero name. Did the Flash's costume say "Fastest Man Alive" on it? Does Batman have "The Dark Knight" written on the band of his black Fruit of the Looms? Nah.

Despite my skepticism, it seems that Pulsar was as good as his word, though Eddie's three-day screening process proved him psychologically unsuitable for genetic modification, which given the sketchiness of Luthor's Everyman Program says a lot. Though more likely, he was rejected owing to his affection for and experience as sidekick to known Metropolis hero—and therefore thorn-in-the-side to Lex Luthor—Blue Devil.

Note: The full story of Kid Devil's Faustian bargain is introduced and told in [TEEN TITANS No. 42]. What follows is the skinny.

Crestfallen, having burned through the last of his inheritance acquired through his aunt Marla's estate, Eddie Bloomberg was destitute and, consequently, a perfect sucker for the demon lord Neron's wishweaving sinisterness. Neron arranged the delivery of a demon stick (a candle made of his own blood) to abject Eddie, who, after talking it over with kinda pal Zack Zatara (stage magician, Homo Magi descendent, and [Zatanna's] cousin), decided to rolls the dice and takes his chances.

In a turn surprising, perhaps, to nobody who knows him, Eddie entered into a Hellish contract with Neron for his very soul and allegiance in return for a modified, demonic-power-infused corpus. The deal, so tantalizingly brokered, stipulated that should Eddie's faith in Blue Devil, Dan Cassidy, ever fail, the now seventeen year-old Eddie would become protégé to Neron on his twentieth birthday. Eddie, who still believed whole-heartedly in his childhood idol, considered this deal a no-brainer. But much like the dupes who fall for the shysterism of known-hucksters in the vein of Kevin Trudeau (yes, I just compared Kevin Trudeau to a Hell-spawned demon), Eddie was unawares that Neron was being less than forthcoming.

With glee, the demon informed our young hero—after, of course, closing the deal and baptizing in Hellfire the new, demonic form of Kid Devil—that Blue Devil had been, albeit indirectly, responsible for the helicopter death of Eddie's beloved aunt (see [UNDERWORLD UNLEASHED]). Eddie was, for the time being, unconvinced, but Blue Devil and his new team, the Shadowpact, were thought to be dead at the time (see [SHADOWPACT No. 3]), and Eddie could neither validate nor disprove this claim.

In the meantime, our newly-powered, honest-to-goodness Kid Devil reapplied for Teen Titans membership and one year after the afore-mentioned Crisis, Eddie, was somewhat provisionally on board.

It was during this period that our young hero finally caught up to Blue Devil, who it seems had been doing his damnedest (no pun intended) to avoid his erstwhile gopher from his Hollywood days. Copping to his bargain with Neron, which resulted in the perishing of Marla Bloom, Blue Devil effectively sealed the fate of Kid Devil, whose trust in his mentor was now irrevocably shaken. (again, [TEEN TITANS No. 42]).


Notes:

1. The flakiness of Eddie's parents was at best implied during the term of the BLUE DEVIL series, but was not explicitly introduced into his backstory until years later during Eddie's turn as Teen Titan. See [TEEN TITANS No. 42] for a full recap of Kid Devil's life and times up to the point of that issue.


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