Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack, Mephisto, Yama

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Jabroniville
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Re: Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack

Post by Jabroniville » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:03 am

Interesting stuff yet again- a "Tonto" knock-off, but with with a lot more pathos and darkness to him. And a "Kid Partner" thing like Robin, complete with the same "Boy Hostage" reputation, but with an ACTUAL blood relation to the cast!

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Re: Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack

Post by Woodclaw » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:08 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:03 am
Interesting stuff yet again- a "Tonto" knock-off, but with with a lot more pathos and darkness to him. And a "Kid Partner" thing like Robin, complete with the same "Boy Hostage" reputation, but with an ACTUAL blood relation to the cast!
Yep that pretty much sums it. While Kit outgrew his reputation as "boy hostage" in recent years, it still happens sometimes. I have to say that it's somewhat justified, because Kit is literally all that Tex has left.
Tex's father, Kenneth Willer, died when the future ranger was barely 15 trying to defend his home from a a group of Mexican bandits. His older brother Sam kicked the bucket a few years later, killed by the town boss.
The most tragic death was Lilyth's, who died of smallpox after two arms dealers sent a load of infected blankets as a "gift" to the Navajos hoping that Tex would die in the resulting epidemic. At the time Tex wasn't in the reservation because little Kit (not even 2 years old) had a nasty cough and his father took him to a medic living at the Saint Anita's mission.
About a decade and a half later, Lilyth's father, chief Red Arrow, passed away in his sleep.

So, as you can imagine, Tex is extremely protective of his son, up to the point that Kit often tries most of his stunts just to poke his dad a bit.
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

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Re: Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack

Post by BriarThrone » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:43 am

I love the builds. I hadn't ever heard of these characters. It's fascinating to learn about foreign comics.

On the other hand... ugh, the "weaponized pox blankets" myth. It pops up a lot, even in American textbooks, but, uh... germ theory wasn't even a thing yet. The idea that they knew the blankets were contagious contradicts every record of period medical knowledge. That wasn't how they thought disease worked.

Sorry to grumble. The fact that it is historically inaccurate doesn't matter to the story. That particular bit of historical revision always gets to me, though.

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Re: Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack

Post by Woodclaw » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:12 am

BriarThrone wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:43 am
I love the builds. I hadn't ever heard of these characters. It's fascinating to learn about foreign comics.

On the other hand... ugh, the "weaponized pox blankets" myth. It pops up a lot, even in American textbooks, but, uh... germ theory wasn't even a thing yet. The idea that they knew the blankets were contagious contradicts every record of period medical knowledge. That wasn't how they thought disease worked.

Sorry to grumble. The fact that it is historically inaccurate doesn't matter to the story. That particular bit of historical revision always gets to me, though.
No problem each one of us has some history bit that gets us. Keep in mind that Bonelli was already over 65 when he wrote that particular story and he was, above everything else, a writer. He often stretched the confines of history to fit his characters. Also it wasn't until halfway through the '80s that this kind of information became widespread enough to allow this kind of considerations. Although that particular story was barely a few years after the American Civil War and Pasteur's experiments, not to mention almost a decade after the Broad Street pump, so the germ theory was already circulating.
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Re: Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack

Post by Jabroniville » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:20 am

Huh- so Lilyth died? I didn't realize that, though she's hardly mentioned in any of these stories.

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Re: Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack

Post by Woodclaw » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:04 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:20 am
Huh- so Lilyth died? I didn't realize that, though she's hardly mentioned in any of these stories.
Yeah. I was saving that bit for later, but to give you a rundown of Tex's timeline.
  • He was born around 1840 near the village of Bitter Spring, Texas.
  • His mother died when he was younger, we know very little of her, but apparently she was instrumental in shaping Tex anti-racist views (some hints suggest that she probably an Apache woman).
  • When Tex was roughly 15 years his father, Kenneth Willer, died trying to protect their ranch from Mexican raiders. Tex avenged his father, then left home signing off his part of the ranch to his older borther Sam.
  • Tex joined a travelling rodeo show and, a couple of years later, received news of Sam being killed by a local boss. The killed the boss, but became an outlaw.
  • After returning to Texas he befriended two young horse wranglers, "Damned" Dick Daiton and Rod Stenton. Together they tried to create a herd, but failed.
  • It's the Civil War. Rod enlist with the Confederates, while Tex and Dick move north trying to stay out of it. After saving a Unionist soldier they are dragged into the war as scouts for the 3rd Kentucky Cavalry. This commitment ends after the battle of Siloh Church, when they find a dying Rod among the fallen.
  • For a few years Tex roamed the frontier as an outlaw and vigilant, until a certain Mr. Marshal contacted him and offered him a full pardon if he joined the West Rangers agency. Tex accepted an met Kit Carson.
  • During his second mission, Tex squared off against a spy and stage magician called Steve Dickart, who later became his nemesis, the warlock Mephisto. Unfortunately, Tex was accused of killing a U.S.Army officier and was able to survive only thanks to Carson masterminding his escape.
  • After cleaning his name, Tex started investigaing a weapon smuggling ring, masterminded by two merchants from Denver John Brennan and Fred Teller, that was arming the Navajos. After being captured by the Navajos, he fell in love with Lilyth, chief Red Arrow's only daughter and was adopted into the tribe. After the end of the mission he resigned from the rangers, feeling that there was too muich red tape.
  • Around this time Tex met Tiger Jack for the first time.
  • About a year later, Kit was born.
  • A year and a half later, Tex took Kit to the Saint Anita's Mission, hoping that the local doctor could cure the baby of a nasty cough. Meanwhile Brennan and Teler sent pox infected blankets to the reservation. The resulting epidemic claimed the lives of many Navajos, Lilyth was among the last victims.
  • Roughly 3 years later, Carson asked Tex to moonlighting for the rangers again and go to Canada to nail a group of smugglers that killed one of their old pards.
  • 7 more years later, Kit is now a teenager and Tex took him to a "grand tour" across the frontier, shortly after their return to the reservation Red Arrow passed away and the council of elders appointed Tex as their new chieftain.
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#38 Bonelli - Mephisto

Post by Woodclaw » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:47 pm

Mefisto.jpg
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"Fools! You thought you could escape the power of the great Mephisto." (Mephisto during one of his usual rants)

Mephisto
Steve Dickart

Power Level: 8; Power Points: 131; Hero Points: 1

STR: -1 (8), DEX: +2 (14), CON: +0 (10), INT: +4 (18), WIS: +4 (18), CHA: +3 (16)

Skills:Deception 5 (+8), Expertise (Charisma, Stage Magician) 4 (+7), Expertise (Intelligence, Arcanist) 6 (+10), Insight 2 (+6), Intimidation 5 (+8), Language 1 (Hualpai, Spanish; Native: English), Perception 3 (+7), Persuasion 2 (+5), Sleight of Hand 8 (+10), Stealth 4 (+6)

Feats: Benefit 1 (organizational ties, the Hualpai), Deep Ties (he really hates Tex), Defensive Roll 2, Distract (Deception), Dodge Focus 5, Equipment 2, Fascinate (Deception), Fearsome Presence 4, Improved Initiative 1, Minions 14 (small band of fanatics), Ritualist, Set-Up, Skill Mastery 1 (Deception, Sleight of Hand), Taunt, Trance

Powers:
Mesmerism (Array 16; PF: Alternate Power 2; 33pp)
  • Base Power: Hypnotic Gaze (Mind Control 8; Extra: Duration 2 [Continuos], Effortless; Flaw: Sense-Dependent [sight])
  • AP: Master of Illusions (Illusion 8 [all senses]; PF: Progression 8 [2500 ft. radius]; Flaw: Phantasm)
Equipment:
HQ: Hideout (Size: Medium [building]; TOU: +10; Features: Concealed 1, Isolated, Living Space, Security System)
4ep in mission specific equipment

Combat: Attack +4 (Grapple: +3); Defense +5 (+0 Flat-footed); Initiative +6

Saves: Toughness +3 (+1 Flat-footed), Fortitude +4, Reflex +2, Will +8]

Totals: Abilities 26 + Skills 20 (40 ranks) + Feats 36 + Powers 33 + Combat 8 + Saves 8 + Drawbacks 0 = 131

Complications
  • Debt (to the Dark Prince): Most of Mephisto's powers seem to came from a pact with various demonic entities, chief among them the Dark Prince, He Who Has A Thousand Faces and a Thousand Shapes.
  • Hatred (Tex): Over the years, what started as a simple deside fro revenge turned into a all-consuming obsession that even kept Mephisto's soul on the brink of hell.
  • Mad: Mephisto swings between "simple" megalomania to Joker's level of insanity.
  • Obsession (power): Aside from killing Tex, the only thing that interest Mephisto is power, nothing else matters.


:arrow: Any rogue gallery of Tex's foes has to start with his most implacable and diabolical foe: Steve Dickart, better known as Mephisto.

:arrow: Mephisto was introduced in the 3rd issue as a stage magician that worked at El Paso with his sister Lily as an assistant. In truth they were both spies working for "certain groups" within the Mexican goverment that were hoping to push the border with the U.S.A. norther in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Thank to Lily's beauty and charm, the Dickarts were able to frame Tex and escape to Mexico. Carson masterminded his friend's break out and Tex chased Mephisto and Lily to Mexico. At the end of the story the two were sent to Fort Tampico, apparently destined to be hanged.

:arrow: It took a long time for Mephisto to return, but when he did he was a completely different man. Gone was the spy and magician, now Mephisto was a full fledged warlock with incredible psychic powers, but time had taken its toll: he was rail thin, with wild hair, crazy eyes and a pointy beard like his literary namesake. Using his powers, Mephisto enslaved the Hualpai (a native tribe that lived south of the Navajo reserve) and sent them against the Navajos, capturing Carson and Kit. Tex led a counterattack, but Mephisto destroyed his own base, apparetly burrying alive Carson and Kit. This, of course, broke Tex, who became obsessed with finding their bodies, meanwhile Mephisto hypnotized the pards forcing them to become bank robbers, hoping that Tex would be forced to confront them and kill them with his own hands. In the end things went south, thanks to the help of several marshalls Tex was able to force Mephisto into the desert and Tiger Jack shot the warlock, causing him to drop from a cliff.

:arrow: Years later, Mephisto resurfaced. A wandering Tibetan monk named Padma found him broken in the desert -- apparently hatred kept him alive -- and healed him. The two founded a secret society to help the Asian immigrants in a small town, but Mephisto had other plans. When the pards started converging on him from different paths (an attempt to prevent him from finding them) he managed to capture Kit, while his agents nabbed Carson and Tiger. Unfortunately Mephisto turned on Padma and tried to kill him. The monk survived and started haunting his old ally with allucination that drove Mephisto mad.

:arrow: The, apparent, final appearence of Mephisto happened years later in Florida. After escaping from the asylum with his cellmate Baron Jean De Lafayette (who was convinced of being the incarnation of Baron Samedì), Mephisto started working with a group of Voodoo fanatics and added their rituals to his growing repertoire. Mephisto showcased many new abilities and tried to use his illusions to force the Seminoles into an alliance, but failed. This time Tex decided to go down full force on his old foe and banded together the Seminoles and the army. A massive salvo of artillery levelled Mephisto's hideout, while the Seminoles butchered his minions that tried to escape throught the Everglades.

:arrow: Unfortunately, the old warlock survived, for a while. With his back broken and his time running out, he was able to pass his powers to his son (more on him later) and for many years he guided his heir from the afterlife.

:arrow: Few months after the death of Bonelli senior, Mephisto made his trimphal return in issue #501, thanks to his sister. After many years of prison, Lily left the U.S.A. and moved to France, where she married a wealthy Russian nobleman -- Count Boris Leonov. During a seance, Lily was able to contact the soul of her brother, whose hatred for Tex had kept him at the brink of Hell. Feeling the incredible psychic power of Mephisto, the Indian medium, master Narbas, offered to try and resurrect Mephisto, unfortunately this ended up with Mephisto taking over the body of the old Indian. This time Mephisto played it safe, gathering resources from some old allies and staying way out of sight until the last possible moment. He almost managed to drove Tex insane, but the ranger outsmarted him at the last possible moment.

:arrow: After escaping with his life, Mephisto disappeared once again, his last appearence foreshadowed a future rematch when he would join forces with his son.

:arrow: Mephisto is a spectacular foe, the stories centered around his exploits really breaks the mold of the classic western adventures and dwelved deep into horror. Bonelli and Galep took a lot of inspiration from Walt Disney, Mephisto pretty much used the entire playbook of Queen Grimhilde from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and his look is very similar to the Queen transformation into the hag.

:arrow: Like many comic book magicians, Mephisto's powers are undefined, except for one detail: he can't cause direct physical damage with his magic. Because of this limitaion he usually hide behind his minions and he never take on Tex and the pards directly. Still, he has done incredible thing: astral projection, mind reading, telepathy, prolonged mental control, weather control, illusions and dimensional travel are all parts of his arsenal. What saves him from becoming a swiss army knife character is that 99% of his tricks are severely dependnt on ritual preparations and external conditions, his magic grows and fades with moon and most of it is strictly dependent on his making sacrifices to demonic entities.
Last edited by Woodclaw on Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack, Mephisto

Post by Jabroniville » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:39 am

Very neat! An evil warlock is exactly how you make a "Western" story unique. He seems like such a unique character type for that genre. I also like how he can't just wave his arms around and do anything, too. And that his appearances seem rather sparse compared to American super-villains.

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Re: Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack, Mephisto

Post by Woodclaw » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:56 pm

Jabroniville wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:39 am
Very neat! An evil warlock is exactly how you make a "Western" story unique. He seems like such a unique character type for that genre. I also like how he can't just wave his arms around and do anything, too. And that his appearances seem rather sparse compared to American super-villains.
Yep, the reason is that Bonelli senior was very protective of Mephisto, as long as he lived no one else was allowed to work on the character.
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#39 Bonelli - Yama

Post by Woodclaw » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:38 pm

Image

"It's the hour of my revenge! The revenge of Yama, son of Mephisto!" (Yama's grand introduction at the end of his debut story arc)

Yama
Blackie Dickart

Power Level: 7; Power Points: 118; Hero Points: 1

STR: +1 (12), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +2 (14), INT: +2 (14), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +2 (14)

Skills:Deception 4 (+6), Expertise (Charisma, Circus artist) 4 (+6), Expertise (Intelligence, Arcane) 6 (+8), Insight 3 (+6), Intimidation 6 (+8), Perception 3 (+6), Ride (+5), Sleight of Hand 5 (+8), Stealth 3 (+6)

Feats: Attack Focus 2 (ranged), Connected, Defensive Roll 2, Distract (Intimidation), Dodge Focus 3, Equipment 1, Fascinate (Intimidation), Fearsome Presence 4, Improved Initiative 1, Ritualist, Skill Mastery 1 (Intimidation, Sleight of Hand), Sneak Attack 1, Startle, Taunt, Throwing Mastery 2

Powers:
Mesmerism (Array 14; PF: Alternate Power 1; 29pp)
  • Base Power: Hypnotic Gaze (Mind Control 7; Extra: Duration 2 [Continuos], Effortless; Flaw: Sense-Dependent [sight])
  • AP: Master of Illusions (Illusion 7 [all senses]; PF: Progression 7 [1000 ft. radius]; Flaw: Phantasm)
Equipment:
  • Dagger (+1 piercing damage; crit 19; 10' [thrown])
  • Derringer (+3 ballistic damage [lethal, full power]; crit 20; 20'; conceable)
Combat: Attack +5 (+7 ranged; Grapple: +6); Defense +6 (+2 Flat-footed); Initiative +7

Saves: Toughness +4 (+2 Flat-footed), Fortitude +5, Reflex +5, Will +7

Totals: Abilities 26 + Skills 18 (36 ranks) + Feats 24 + Powers 29 + Combat 16 + Saves 9 + Drawbacks 0 = 122

Complications
  • Debt (to the Dark Prince): Like his father, Yama stroke a deal with many demonic entities to gain power.
  • Enemy (El Morisco): After the Egyptian scholar Ahmed "El Morisco" Jamal helped Tex to thwart his plans Yama decided that he's next on his "to kill" list.
  • Hatred (Tex): Yama took up his father's mission of revenge.
  • Obsession (wealth and power): Similar to his father, Yama's only desire after killing Tex is accumulating wealth and power.
  • Split Personality: After failing to destroy Tex and the pards for the third time, the demons ripped Yama's powers out of him, causing him a bout of depression and to develop a split personality.


:arrow: The Son of Mephisto (Tex #120-122) is one of the most spectacular and, deservedly, beloved story arcs of the entire run of Tex. It is often considered the highest point of the supernatural stories of Tex and introduced Yama who, unfortunately never lived up to his spectacular debut. In my book what makes The Son of Mephisto a memorable story is that Tex and the pards are completely unaware of Yama until the very end. The story runs for rougly 350 pages, but the pards only see Yama around page 320. They know his name, but they have no idea of who or what he is until the very end. During the entire arc the reader follows two intertwining storyline, alternating the focus between Tex and Yama. This was a typical trick of Bonelli senior that used it as a way to prevent the story from becoming stagnant, but in The Son of Mephisto it reached its full potential, thanks to the fact that the pards had no idea who they were facing.

:arrow: Blackie "Yama" Dickart was the suddenly introduced offspring of the old warlock, but this was (fortunately) addressed in universe. Years before, after escaping from jail, Mephisto lived for a while with a travelling cricus, continuing to work as a stage magician, but also getting into a relationship with the local soothsayer, Myriam. Despite posing as one, Myriam had actually some very weak psychic powers and helped Mephisto develop his own. After he started to push himself way beyond the border of sanity, Myriam tossed him out, but she was actually pregnant. Years later after the cannons of Fort Myers leveled his hideout in the Everglades, Mephisto reached out to the Dark Prince one last time to pass his powers to the blood of his blood. At the time Blackie was still travelling with his mother and he was a circus knife thrower of remarkable skill, with little to no arcane knowledge.

:arrow: After accepting his father's legacy and burning all the bridges with his mother, Blackie travelled to the Everglades and contacted some of his father's old allies. From the ruins of his father's old hideout he started working his revenge, sending little warnings and illusions to the pards, but always careful to make so that they seemed the work of Mephisto. After witnessing some of these manifestations the old medicine man of the Navajos created the silver bracelets to gave the pards a fighting chance, which also forced Yama to rely on indirect strategies. Tex and the pards actually took the bait, the went down hard on the voodoo fanatics that helped Yama and kept chasing them, straight into the ruins of Mephisto's old hideout. Here Yama pulled a spectacular reveal, burrying the pards alive inside the old dungeon. Unfortunately he didn't finish them off right away but, true to his father's dying wish, left them to root. This gave the pards a meager fighting chance, they used all their ammunitions to blast a small passage open and escape, but they weren't able to get their hands on Yama. To lure them into the dungeon, Yama had burried another man with them, a voodoo practitioner called Thomas. Filled with Anger Thomas returned to his compatriots and set out to kill Yama and destroy his lab, now set on a small ship, but this angered the Dark Prince that send a storm that swathed the ship across the Gulf of Mexico.

:arrow: Yama survived and -- apparently guided by the ghost of his father -- to reach the Yucatan peninsula. Here he started creating a new cult, by tricking a group of indios to think he was the incarnation of Kukulkán and allying himself with General Mendoza the local and very corrupt governor, who helped him enslaving the indios and using them to mine diamonds. Warned by an old friend -- the former desparado Montales -- Tex and the pards arrived, but fell right into a trap. Tiger Jack gets captured and Yama destroyed his silver bracelet, negating one of the pards' mosr powerful tools against him. Unfortunately, Zamora's brutal regime drove the indios to revolt and this gave the pards a chance to strike. Cornered Yama tried to escape through the temple, but fell in a underground river.

:arrow: Years later we discover that Yama survived, a minor demon called Aryman (similar to a human faced bat) saved him from the river and brought him to the upper layer of hell, to face the ghost of Mephisto. After his father gave him a much needed scolding, Yama set out to try to take down the pards again. This time his plan invoved an multi-pronged attack, using several group each one working to mask the efforts of the others. After the pards took down the initial assault of what was left of the old voodoo cult, Yama tried to ally with a group of alleged heirs of the ancient Aztecs. El Morisco, an old scholar and friend of of Tex and Carson, entered the picture, provinding the pards with some rings that replaced the old silver bracelets (although they lacked the nullify field effect), thanks to his knowledge of both Aztec and Egyptian magic. Despite all his allies and the help of his father's ghost Yama failed again and, during the final confrontation, he was apparently burned alive by the dark powers he served.

:arrow: It took over 30 years before any writer find a good way to bring Blackie back. The revelation was that the Dark Prince actually punished him by ripping his arcane powers out of his body. This sent Blackie on a downward spiral, he returned to his mother and to his old life as a carny artist, but also started drinking, more or less the shell of the man he once was. He was also plagued by nightmares, rewatching again and again the moment of his last defeat. One fateful night he finally understood what really happened and marched into a weird tornado, convinced that it contained his old spirit. Myriam tried to stop him, but she died trying. The tornado indeed contained Yama's old spirit and, once again he set out for revenge. This time he decided to play it very safe: in the past he had done all the mystica heavy-lifting (like Mephisto), but now he recruited 4 very powerful wizards as his lieutenants. Nicknamed the Four Horsemen, these wizards put all their mundane and mystical means against the pards, but in the end Tex came through. Feeling his old enemy incoming, Yama had a seizure, as the personality of Blackie tried to reassert itself. One of his minions, under telepatic instructions from Mephisto, took him to safety.

:arrow: So, here we are... Yama is really a character that most fans of Tex love to hate. His debut was a masterpiece, quite possibly the most beloved story arc ever, but not even Bonelli senior was ever able to recapture that initial feeling. Personally I think that the error was that most stories tried to showcase how Blackie was similar to his father, rather than showing how different they were. Mephisto, for all his power, was like a horror show, he laughed like a maniac, summoned illusions and played the role of the evil wizard to a T. Yama was, initially, more down to earth, he planned ahead, played a game of cat and mouse with the pard, trying to outsmart them, rather than overpower them. Unfortunately this element was lost in later appearences.

:arrow: Right now Mauro Boselli, the lead writer of teh series teased that Yama and Mephisto will return in 2019, my guess is that the storyline starting this december (the anniversary issue) will feature them.
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Re: Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack, Mephisto, Yama

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:42 am

Very cool bio again, Woodclaw. Sounds to me like this character has a particularly bad case of "Overshadowed by his debut" syndrome, where no follow-up story can match the quality of his debut. It'll be interesting to see what becomes of him, especially if he actually teams up with his father.

I'm loving that some of my terminology has extended to the rest of you- "Suddenly-Introduced Child" and all :).

So why did Yama just abandon his mother and go following the daddy he never knew? Just an innate douchiness in his personality?

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Re: Warehouse W - Bonelli Comics: Tex, Carson, Tiger Jack, Mephisto, Yama

Post by Woodclaw » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:37 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:42 am
Very cool bio again, Woodclaw. Sounds to me like this character has a particularly bad case of "Overshadowed by his debut" syndrome, where no follow-up story can match the quality of his debut. It'll be interesting to see what becomes of him, especially if he actually teams up with his father.

I'm loving that some of my terminology has extended to the rest of you- "Suddenly-Introduced Child" and all :).

So why did Yama just abandon his mother and go following the daddy he never knew? Just an innate douchiness in his personality?
The in-universe reason was that Blacky felt that following in his father's footsteps was quick way to wealth and power. After many years working his ass off as a carny artist, all that Blacky wanted was a shot at a better life. So when Mephisto contacted him, showing that there was a way to get power (and wealth) beyond his wildest dreams blacky was hooked. To her credit, Myriam tried to stop her son, but to no avail. Granted, by the looks of thing she never seemed like a carrying mother in any way shape or form.
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

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