Roland Desmond became the second Blockbuster after a severe illness forced him to be treated with experimental steroids. In the wake of a detonation of the Dominator's gene-bomb in Earth's atmosphere, Roland was wracked with seizures and rushed from prison to a hospital. Steroid treatments reacted with his genetically altered cell structure to enable him to become a hulking creature like his brother. Unlike, Mark, however, Roland had control of his transformations—and his mind. The new Blockbuster soon lost his ability to revert to normal but was captured before he could do anything about it he had ran wild in the Southwest, but Batman and Starman brought his rampage to an end.
Desmond became obsessed with elevating himself greatly above his debilitated intellect. After a stint with an anti-Suicide Squad in Suicide Squad # 63-66 and a short prison stay in Outdiders # 9, Roland accepted a deal from the inhuman Neron to gain the intellect that his brother had possessed. The pact with Neron granted him a genius-level intellect, and Desmond embarked once more on a career of crime and destruction. Now a cunning criminal mastermind, he began his revived criminal career by causing chaos in the town of Manchester, although his schemes were foiled by the speedster Impulse. He then prepared to establish a base of power in Washington, D.C. Opposed by Steel, the city's resident hero, Roland realized "that I would be better served finding another city" in Steel # 32.
The metropolis in question would be a cesspool south of Gotham named Blüdhaven, home of Mark and Roland's elderly (but devious) mother.
Desmond then moved to his mother's home town. He forced the crime lord Angel Marin out of power and took over the city's criminal rackets. Roland's plan was to build a criminal empire in the 'Haven, that would eventually enable him to extend his dominion over Gotham, Star City, Metropolis, and New York's underworlds. For that purpose, he bought the corrupt elements of the city's Police Department, most notably the Police Chief Redhorn and Inspector Dudley "Deadly" Soames (who would later become Torque ).
Blockbuster quickly built his envisioned criminal empire in his new home, staying behind the scenes even as Nightwing (Dick Grayson, the former Robin) moved to town. Roland and Nightwing finally met face-to-face in Nightwing # 7-8, igniting a war that continued for a long period of time. Despite his swift and vicious consolidation of power, Blockbuster's hold on Blüdhaven's organized crime was nevertheless weakened by the repeated interventions of Nite-Wing, an insane vigilante who massacred many of his lieutenants; and Nightwing, who, with the computer crimefighter known as Oracle's help, foiled Desmond's plans at every turn. Furious at the ongoing developments, Blockbuster launched a hunt for Oracle.
Along the way, Blockbuster has also had run-ins with Young Justice and Encantadora.
His first priority, however, was still completing the hunt for Oracle. Oracle, who'd been following Roland's every move ever since his rampage halted by Batman and Starman, responded by bankrolling her own operations with funds electronically stolen from his own cache in Birds Of Prey # 3. The hunt failed, and Blockbuster eventually turned his attention to a thorn that had become larger in his side, Nightwing.
Desmond's primary goal became the elimination of the young vigilante. He placed a contract on Nightwing's life, employing the services of several assassins, including Lady Vic, Stallion, Brutale, the The Trigger Twins, and Shrike.
Death of BlockbusterEdit
As a further result of his initial transformation, Desmond later developed albinism and recurring chest pains. Roland's chest pains eventually led doctors to conclude that he had a terminal heart condition and required a transplant. The discovery of a sentient ape named Grimm from Africa's Gorilla City seemed to be the miracle that Blockbuster was hoping for, (as revealed in Batman Annual # 23). Grimm proved incompatible with Roland but Blockbuster made a deal with the evil ape to arrange a guide to Gorilla City in the hope of finding a match. He was indeed restored to (comparative) health by a heart transplant from one of the apes of Gorilla City, and was consolidating his control over Blüdhaven and contemplating a takeover of Gotham City, when he was shot and killed by the new Tarantula, Catalina Flores.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
All Blockbuster's have super human strength, agility and endurance. They have a high degree of resistance to physical and energy attacks.
After selling his soul to Neron, Roland Desmond gained super intelligence.
- Though the first Blockbuster was a foe of Batman, Roland is notable for being one of the bigger names in Nightwing's rogues gallery.