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- "And nothing bad ever happens when you work with something called 'Darkforce'."
- ―Phil Coulson
The Darkforce, also once called Zero Matter, is a form of unstable and powerful cosmic radiation made of pure negative energy.
The Darkforce is a theoretically transdimensional element that first manifested on Earth in the 1940s, when a mysterious anomaly occurred in the wake of an Atomic Bomb test by Isodyne Energy that fermented into a portal. A military team that had been witnessing the event were sucked in by the portal, as were all their supplies and vehicles. The portal then vanished, and the only thing left behind was a cluster of Darkforce, writhing around in the spot that the portal had appeared.
The Darkforce found itself in the possession of Isodyne, and was given the label "Zero Matter". The scientist Jane Scott touched the substance and became frozen solid afterwards. Actress and genius inventor Whitney Frost coveted the Zero Matter, seeking to use its otherworldly properties to her own ends. Through her husband, Calvin Chadwick, Frost believed that the Zero Matter could be used to push humanity to higher levels of advancement. Unfortunately, Chadwick's benefactors, the Council of Nine, lost interest in the operation and ceased all funding on utilizing the Zero Matter.
Refusing to let this slide, Frost went to Isodyne Energy with the intent of stealing the Zero Matter for herself. However, Strategic Scientific Reserve Agent Peggy Carter and Isodyne scientist Jason Wilkes, perceiving the Zero Matter as too dangerous to be left in Isodyne's hands, arrived at the same time with the same intent. Frost and Wilkes clashed over the Zero Matter, but in the struggle, the canister containing the force fell and broke open. The Zero Matter subsequently unleashed a pulse of energy that left Frost infected with Darkforce energy and Wilkes invisible and intangible.
Frost soon learned that she could turn a person into Darkforce energy, then absorb that person into her body, as she accidentally did with the film director Kenneth; however, a side effect was that the black scar on her face grew after an absorption. The Darkforce caused a desire in the two individuals to intake more; Wilkes desired it to become tangible while Frost wanted the substance to feel invulnerable. Both sought to drain the body of Scott of her infection, but Frost reached the location first and successfully absorbed the corpse's Darkforce. Desiring more, Frost sought an Atomic Bomb to replicate the creation of the rift, but was unsuccessful due to Carter, Edwin Jarvis, and a select team of SSR agents.
At risk of fading away permanently, Wilkes designed a machine that would restore himself to tangible form, but required a sample of Zero Matter to stabilize himself. Carter recruited Dottie Underwood into stealing a sample from Frost at Chadwick's campaign party. Following the acquisition of the sample, Wilkes is able to make himself solid again. Frost used her Darkforce abilities to take control of the Council of Nine; she orders Vernon Masters to retrieve the nuclear rods Carter stole. She then used Darkforce to torture Underwood, learning of Wilkes' predicament.
Breaking into Howard Stark's mansion, she attempted to draw the Zero Matter out of Wilkes, but he resisted and gained more Darkforce to step outside his containment unit, before being knocked out and kidnapped. Frost is able to coerce Wilkes into getting the location of the nuclear rods from Carter, and once Masters had acquired them, began to recreate the Isodyne experiment, successfully reopening the rift into the Darkforce dimension. To Frost's fury, the rift drew Wilkes into itself. Subsequently, Wilkes was returned after Carter and her team used a Gamma Cannon designed by Stark to close the rift.
Frost later used all sorts of painful instruments to extract the Zero Matter from Wilkes, but the latter actively resisted. When Carter later freed Wilkes, ultimately he could not hold it, as Zero Matter exploded from his body, restoring himself to normal. Frost then absorbed all the Zero Matter into herself and became more obsessed with letting more Zero Matter into the world. Carter and Daniel Sousa infiltrated her house and copied her research, so Howard Stark,Aloysius Samberly and Wilkes could create a rift generator.
Upon opening the rift at Stark Pictures, Frost immediately sensed it and was drawn to the rift. Stark then fired the Gamma Cannon at Frost, expelling the Zero Matter from her body and back into the rift. However, Carter and her allies could not shut down the rift generator remotely, forcing Daniel Sousa to try shutting it down manually. His life was saved by Jarvis and Samberly, who loaded the weapon's gamma core into Stark's flying car, which flew into the rift and detonated, sealing it. Despite the resolution of the crisis, to Carter's annoyance, Stark desired to study Darkforce to make a profit.
In the 21st century, the Darkforce became the subject of interest to Doctor Abner Croit and his assistant Marcus Daniels. The scientists led an experiment to harness the electrical power of the Darkforce. During a lab accident, the Darkforce granted Daniels the power to absorb any form of energy, thus empowering him. This allowed him to manipulate brain and heart electrical impulses, killing his victims with just one touch and turning him insane with power.
After Agent Phil Coulson imprisoned Marcus Daniels at the Fridge, S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists performed experiments on him that strengthened his power over the Darkforce. Upon release from the Fridge, Daniels used Darkforce energy to battle a splinter team Coulson put together to recapture him. Daniels' manipulation of Darkforce energy ultimately was not strong enough to absorb the energy released by the Gamma Power Reserve created by Leo Fitz and Bruce Banner, and Daniels was killed.
- "Fitz and I believe the General has the ability to manifest a form of sentient Darkforce, able to shift its density at will."
- ―Jemma Simmons
Following Terrigenesis, General Androvich was able to manipulate Darkforce, creating a sentient "shadow" that followed his own will. He used it during a plot to manipulate the Russian government into creating a sanctuary state of the Inhumans, killing the Prime Minister's attaché Yuri Krupin and intended to use it in killing the Prime Minister Dimitri Olshenko himself.
- "Zero matter is always drawing energy into itself. It'll always be the coldest object in the room because it is literally devouring any nearby energy."
- ―Jason Wilkes
Darkforce is an extra-dimensional substance that, in its pure form, absorbs all ambient energy, reducing the temperature of the surrounding area. It resembles a viscous, black liquid, and has the properties of a Perfect fluid, according to Jason Wilkes, a scientist in the 1940's who observed its properties. Darkforce has such a strong attraction to itself that it can defy gravity and destroy matter to reconnect to the larger mass.
In its impure form, Darkforce has different properties, depending on the person manipulating it.
|Intangibility and Invisibility||Jason Wilkes was exposed to the Zero Matter in an accident at the Isodyne Energy Headquarters that gave him the abilities of intangibility and invisibility.|
|Matter Absorption||Whitney Frost, who was exposed to the substance in the same explosion as Wilkes, developed the ability to transform an object into Darkforce before absorbing the transformed object into herself.|
|Energy Absorption||Marcus Daniels learned how to manipulate Darkforce to not only absorb ambient energy, including life force energy, but he was able to emit the substance as focused blasts; however, he had limits to his absorption capability, which Phil Coulson was able to use advantageously.|
|Shadow Manifestation||General Androvich's Inhuman ability enables him to project Darkforce manifestations in the form of his sentient shadow, which shifts its density at will.|
|Appearances for Darkforce|
In chronological order:
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.02: A View in the Dark
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.03: Better Angels
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.05: The Atomic Job
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.06: Life of the Party
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.07: Monsters
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.08: The Edge of Mystery
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.09: A Little Song and Dance
- ↑ Agent Carter: 2.10: Hollywood Ending
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.19: The Only Light in the Darkness
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.13: Parting Shot