Sunspot Roberto da Costa

Roberto da CostaSunspot

Sunspot channels solar energy to become a powerhouse of unbelievable strength, helps the X-Men, and runs a multi-billion dollar company.

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Growing up in a wealthy Brazilian family, Roberto da Costa forges a career as a skilled soccer player until his explosive mutant nature manifests during a match. He soon joins the New Mutants, and as Sunspot, serves with the team, learning more about his powers and participating in many adventures.


Soccer Star

The son of Brazilian millionaire Emmanuel Da Costa and his American archaeologist wife Nina, Roberto “Bobby” Da Costa had a privileged life but saw his parents grow apart, with Emmanuel increasingly disapproving that Nina’s expeditions take her away from home for extended periods. Bobby had a happy childhood despite this tension, and his coaches were grooming him for the Brazilian Olympic soccer team when his life changed at the age of fourteen, during a championship soccer match for his school team in Rio de Janeiro. A racist member of the opposing team, Keller, attacked Bobby, catalyzing Roberto’s latent mutant ability to absorb solar radiation and metabolize it as superhuman strength, temporarily turning Bobby’s form jet black as he hurled Keller dozens of feet away like a rag doll. Though his fellow players and the crowd panicked and fled as a result of Roberto’s altered appearance, his girlfriend, Juliana Sandoval, rushed to his side.

This incident drew the attention of cyborg Donald Pierce, renegade White Bishop of the Hellfire Club, an elite international social club whose Inner Circle secretly plotted world domination. Having left the Circle, partly because his own anti-mutant bigotry made working with its mutant members distasteful, Pierce now sought to kill all mutants. Failing to abduct Bobby, Pierce’s mercenaries instead kidnapped Juliana.

The telepathic founder of the mutant X-Men, Professor Charles Xavier, AKA Professor X, then secretly infected with an alien Brood egg which influenced him to gather mutant hosts for Brood implantation, learned of Pierce’s plan to kill Bobby and sent his colleague Moira MacTaggert and the young mutants Xi’an Coy Manh, AKA Karma, and Danielle Moonstar, AKA Mirage, to save Bobby. Bobby agreed to meet with Pierce’s men in return for Juliana’s release, but the cyborg mercenaries refused to free her and tried to kill Bobby. Fighting them, Bobby exhausted his power too soon, leaving him vulnerable, but Karma and Mirage intervened, and in the ensuing clash, Juliana sacrificed her life to save Bobby from being shot, throwing herself in the bullet’s path and dying in his arms. Wracked with guilt that Juliana had died because of him, Bobby vowed vengeance on Pierce. He joined the other young mutants in tracking down Pierce, who was soon defeated with Xavier’s aid. Bobby and the others accepted Xavier’s offer of training, moving into Xavier’s Mansion to become the New Mutants, with Bobby codenamed Sunspot.


Solar Power

Sunspot’s cells absorb solar energy which he can metabolize and store for various purposes, including superhuman strength (lifting 50 tons) and endurance. He can only use his superhuman strength by consciously willing himself to do so, or by growing angry enough that his superhuman energies are released automatically. Originally, Sunspot required direct sunlight for this ability to work; however, as he has matured, his capacity for storing energy has increased until he can now keep his body empowered for extended time periods even at night or within an enclosed space. 

Following enhancement of his powers, Sunspot can rechannel his absorbed energy as concussive force blasts, heat sufficient to melt bullets, or thrust for flight; these feats all use up his stored energy more rapidly, though, so he primarily relies on his strength. Though still vulnerable to bullets or blades, his physical resilience to impact is somewhat augmented while using his powers, allowing him to strike objects with his full strength without fracturing his own limbs. 

When Sunspot metabolizes absorbed energy, his skin turns jet black, as does any non-unstable molecule clothing he is wearing, and his body is surrounded by an aura of small black spots. This is because even though Sunspot is always automatically absorbing available solar radiation, the absorption process is stepped up considerably when he is actively using his superhuman strength, demonstrating that he is absorbing energy from across the entire electromagnetic spectrum at a rapid rate.

Sunspot is a talented businessman, a confident leader, an Olympic-level athlete, a gifted soccer player, a competent pilot and a skilled hand-to-hand combatant with some training in swordsmanship. He is multilingual, speaking fluent English, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese, and has a working knowledge of Classical Latin and Askani. His costume sometimes has a built-in image inducer, allowing it to take on the appearance of street clothes.


Evil Enemies

Sunspot comes up against many foes, including the mutant sorceress Selene, the telepathic Amahl Farouk, AKA Shadow King, and the mutant-hunting robotic Sentinels. He also comes up against Hellfire Club agents and when his father becomes involved with them, it strains their relationship. Bobby secures one of the club’s Inner Circle positions but only to bring them down from the inside.

Bobby also becomes telepathically controlled by the terrorist and protoplasmic mutant Reignfire, who shares his appearance. Though the connection is disrupted, Reignfire attempts to reforge it through force. Their shared appearance also negatively affects his immigrant status in the United States.


X-Friends and Corporate Allies

While at Xavier’s school, Sunspot joins the New Mutants, and becomes best pals with teammate Sam Guthrie, AKA Cannonball. Their relationship suffers a rocky road when Bobby has an affair with Sam’s girlfriend Tabitha Smith, AKA Meltdown, but they ultimately make peace over this betrayal.

Bobby leverages his wealth and business savvy to become the head of the X-Corporation. He later buys and takes over the scientific society and enclave of evil Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.). He renames it Avengers Idea Mechanics and ousts some of the old guard to turn it into a scientific global rescue squad with his New Avengers team. He eventually rebrands the organization to R.E.S.C.U.E. and recruits Dr. Toni Ho, AKA Iron Patriot, who eventually takes over his position.




170 lbs.







Universe, Other Aliases, Education, Place of Origin, Identity, Known Relatives, Powers, Group Affiliation
  • Universe

  • Other Aliases

  • Education

  • Place of Origin

  • Identity

  • Known Relatives

  • Powers

  • Group Affiliation

Outshining History

Within days of joining Xavier’s school, Bobby and his teammates fought the mutant-hunting robotic Sentinels, then battled nightmarish visions secretly inflicted on them by the Brood-infected Xavier. Soon after, the X-Men, who had been missing in space, returned; aware of the Brood, they swiftly overpowered the novice New Mutants, then confronted Xavier, ultimately freeing him from the parasite’s control by transplanting his brain into a cloned body. During a subsequent class outing to Manhattan, Bobby and his teammate Rahne Sinclair, AKA Wolfsbane, were abducted by mobsters and injected with a mutagenic serum that enhanced their powers beyond their control. They were rescued by their teammates alongside Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, and the urban vigilantes Tyrone Johnson, AKA Cloak, Tandy Bowen, AKA Dagger, whose own powers had been triggered by the same serum. Cloak and Dagger’s abilities seemingly purged the drug from Bobby and Rahne’s bodies; however, unknown to all, this forged a link between the four, as the serum interacted with Bobby and Rahne’s mutant DNA to trigger a gradual ongoing mutation. 

Later, the New Mutants fought alongside the motorcycle-riding heroes Team America against Kenuichio Harada, AKA Silver Samurai, and Ophelia Sarkissian, AKA Viper, during which mission Karma was abducted by Xavier’s disembodied telepathic foe the Shadow King; her teammates only knew she had vanished, their searches proving fruitless. Ultimately believing her dead, Bobby felt tremendous guilt over not being able to save her.

In case Karma’s unidentified assailant attacked again, Xavier sent the New Mutants to accompany Nina Da Costa on an Amazonian expedition; however, Emmanuel sought to stop the trip, afraid it might uncover his plans to exploit the region’s natural wealth; the Hellfire Club’s Black King, Sebastian Shaw, wooing Emmanuel as a potential Inner Circle member, first had Nina kidnapped in Rio de Janeiro by the mercenary Axe, but the New Mutants swiftly rescued her. Still unaware of Emmanuel’s machinations, Nina and the New Mutants set off down the Amazon, but Hellfire Club agent Castro wrecked their boat; lost in the jungle, the New Mutants discovered the hidden city of Nova Roma, where they picked up new member Amara Aquilla, AKA Magma, and battled the ancient mutant sorceress Selene before returning to Rio. Having learned of Emmanuel’s actions from Castro, Bobby angrily confronted his father and rejected his inheritance, in turn prompting Emmanuel to join the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle as its White Rook, further distancing himself from his son. Returning to Xavier’s school, Bobby and the others briefly fell under the mental control of the Entity, Xavier’s evil side, who used them to fight the X-Men and their allies the Micronauts before being freed. Spurred on by new teammate Illyana Rasputin, AKA Magik, Bobby and the New Mutants then invaded the rival Massachusetts Academy to rescue the young X-Man Kate “Kitty” Pryde, clashing with the Academy’s own mutant trainees, the Hellions. Subsequently, Bobby and Wolfsbane suffered a resurgence of the mutagenic drug, briefly stealing Cloak and Dagger’s powers before Magik restored them to normal.

Meanwhile, the Shadow King, using Karma’s body as his host, had taken over the Gladiators, mutant arena fighters; the Hellion Empath, seeking revenge against Xavier for a recent humiliation, “sold” Sunspot and Magma to the arena. The pair were kidnapped and briefly press-ganged into fighting with the Gladiators in the Arena before their teammates rescued them and confronted the Shadow King, freeing Karma.

The Norse God Loki Laufeyson, AKA Loki, another X-Man foe, dragged the junior team into his revenge attempt, when his ally Amora, AKA Enchantress, abducted the New Mutants to Asgard; under Asgard’s more powerful sun, Sunspot found his powers boosted. The New Mutants soon defeated Amora, and then when the X-Men came to rescue them, the combined teams confronted Loki before returning to Earth. Shortly after this, the temporarily reformed villain Max Eisenhardt, AKA Magneto, became the School’s new headmaster, covering for an absent Xavier. Unhappy with this, Bobby contemplated quitting the team. While Bobby was away visiting his mother in Brazil, his teammates were slain and then resurrected by the powerful Beyonder; traumatized by the experience, they briefly fell under the White Queen, Emma Frost’s control after Empath used his emotion-manipulating powers to influence Magneto and brutally abuse two of the school staff, Sharon Friedlander and Tom Corsi. Learning what had happened in his absence, an enraged Sunspot convinced his friends to kidnap and terrorize Empath as payback for his misdeeds. When the Technarch Magus, father of alien New Mutant Warlock, attacked the team, Magik inadvertently teleported the group through time to evade him; while some, including Sunspot, ended up in the Sentinel-ruled future of Reality-8720, others, including Cannonball, found themselves in Reality-87050, where an older Sunspot led the Hellfire Club and mutants had subjugated humanity. Both groups were soon rescued and reunited, and the Magus subsequently defeated.

After accidentally injuring Sam, a guilt stricken Bobby ran away from the school, accompanied by Warlock, and joined the teenage Fallen Angels gang, with whom they visited Earth-78411 (“Dinosaur World”) and the extradimensional Coconut Grove. Coming to terms with his mistake, Sunspot decided to return to the New Mutants; he and Warlock caught up with them during their battle with the Ani-Mator and the anti-mutant Right, just before Ani-Mator killed their teammate Doug Ramsey, AKA Cypher. After opposing a demonic invasion of Manhattan, Sunspot and the New Mutants returned to Asgard to thwart the death goddess Hela’s plan to usurp Odin Borson, AKA Odin’s rule. 

Soon after, the New Mutants came under the tutelage of the mutant cyborg Nathan Summers, AKA Cable, who began molding them into a strike force; however, the External Gideon, suspecting Bobby might be an immortal mutant like himself, fatally poisoned Emmanuel Da Costa. Inheriting the family company, Bobby left the New Mutants to run it, giving Gideon, who had long posed as a friend of the Da Costa family, access to him; however, upon discovering he was not immortal, Gideon turned on Roberto and handed him over to Dr. Segismund Joshua for experimentation, who increased his solar absorption powers by almost 3000%, granting him the ability to project the energy he absorbed. Joshua also injected a sample of Bobby’s blood into Project 19, a protoplasmic mutant suffering cellular degeneration; Bobby’s DNA stabilized it into a human form identical in appearance to Bobby, and forged a telepathic link between them. Bobby was liberated by his former New Mutants teammates, now the strike-team X-Force, and joined their ranks, while Project 19 escaped and took the name Reignfire, becoming the new leader of the terrorist Mutant Liberation Front.

Eventually X-Force and the MLF clashed, and Sunspot was teleported away by Rayna Piper, AKA Locus; during his captivity Reignfire learned to control him via their bond and forced Sunspot to adopt the Reignfire identity. Confronted by X-Force, Reignfire had Bobby reveal his true identity to his shocked former teammates, claiming Locus had teleported him back in time to cover them having seen both Sunspot and Reignfire together. Cable, believing he was simply excising a second personality, used his telepathic abilities to sever Reignfire’s hold over Bobby, freeing him to rejoin X-Force. The connection with Cable resulted in Bobby absorbing knowledge of Cable’s Askani training, allowing Bobby to remain in an empowered state for extended periods.

Sunspot eventually struck up a romance with his teammate Meltdown, despite her still being in a relationship with Sam. When Sam found out, it greatly strained their friendship. Soon after, Reignfire resurfaced and, with Locus’ aid, captured Sunspot and his teammates. X-Force ultimately broke free, and in the ensuing clash, Reignfire sought to re-forge the link between himself and Sunspot by possessing Bobby once more. Aided by Dr. Joshua, Bobby was freed and he defeated Reignfire. Bobby ultimately made peace with Sam just prior to his relationship with Meltdown ending at her behest. 

The INS then arrested Bobby as an illegal immigrant, his student visa having long expired. Because he had been photographed in the company of the terrorist Reignfire, they refused to let his company arrange a green card, and deported him back to Brazil, where he was approached by Selene, who hoped to make him her servant; whether she had precipitated the INS action to facilitate this goal remains unconfirmed. She initially recruited him to foil the Deviant-run Damocles Foundation’s attempts to utilize Reignfire as the power source for a Celestial Gatherer, which Selene sought for herself. After X-Force destroyed the Gatherer, Selene blackmailed Bobby into joining the Hellfire Club by promising to grant Juliana a second lease on life. Seeing himself with no other choice but to believe Selene’s ultimately false promise, Bobby became the Club’s new Black Rook, the titular opposite to the rank his father once held, though he secretly intended to bring down the Club’s Inner Circle from the inside.

When other parties defeated Selene, Bobby regained his independence, sorted out his INS problems, and became head of the X-Corporation’s Los Angeles branch, where he aided Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm’s X-Men in battling mutant predator Elias Bogan. He also briefly rejoined X-Force before a clash between Cable and Sam saw him angrily quit the team. Bobby and Sam subsequently joined a new Mutant Liberation Front who allied with X-Force to defeat the Skornn. 

When Sebastian Shaw regained control of the Hellfire Club and appointed himself its Lord Imperial, he promoted Bobby to the rank of Black King in an effort to counter the Club’s new White Queen, Courtney Ross (possibly extradimensional tyrant Sat-Yr9 impersonating Ross). After Shaw was incapacitated in a fight with Donald Pierce, Bobby became the Club’s new Lord Imperial. Shaw soon recovered, but grudgingly acknowledged Bobby’s dominion, at least publicly. When a device Shaw had stored in the Club’s Manhattan mansion fried the minds of two staff members, Bobby chastised Shaw for keeping a dangerous artifact on club premises without informing them, but Shaw insisted the machine, left to him by his father, was not club business. Unhappy to find Shaw did not know the equipment’s purpose, Bobby ordered Shaw to investigate and report back directly to him. After Shaw left to do so, Bobby made it clear he intended to expel Shaw, telling the other members present to suggest nominations, as the Inner Circle would soon have a vacancy; however, Shaw was not the only one who found Bobby’s new role troublesome. While Shaw was absent on his fact-finding trip, Cannonball, perhaps mindful of Reality-87050, visited his friend to tell him becoming Lord Imperial had been a mistake, while Donald Pierce gathered together several former students of the recently closed Xavier Institute; masquerading as Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops, Pierce told them Bobby was gathering a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants based out of the Club, its membership consisting of many former New Mutants. Willing to believe this lie because of Bobby’s Hellfire ties, these young X-Men attacked Bobby, Magma, Cannonball and Dani Moonstar before Pierce’s deception was exposed.

Feeling they had left their youngest generation vulnerable and without guidance, the real Cyclops asked Dani and Bobby to become instructors to the young X-Men, and told Bobby that the Lord Imperial position was wrong for him, merely making him a target. Agreeing, Bobby apparently resigned from the Inner Circle, and with Dani, set up training facilities for their new protégés in Grace Cathedral on San Francisco’s Nob Hill. Under their direction, the young X-Men fought a new Krakoa the Living Island; depowered the Y-Men, fought a small army of petty crooks empowered by mutant tattooist Leon Nunez; recaptured Pierce when he escaped; and battled the mutant Neo. 

When alien Skrulls invaded Earth, Sunspot joined the other X-Men in defending San Francisco. While Karma and Dani investigated reports of a young mutant endangering Westcliffe in Colorado, their former New Mutant teammate Magik arrived at the X-Men’s San Franciscan headquarters, warning Bobby and Cannonball that their teammates were in danger. Sunspot, Magik, Magma and Cannonball re-formed the New Mutants to rescue Dani and Karma, and discovered the mutant in Westcliffe was David Haller, AKA Legion, his mind more shattered than before, and commensurately more powerful. During this time, Bobby’s former New Mutants teammate Cypher was resurrected and controlled by vampire-like Eli Bard. The team helped free Cypher and he rejoined Bobby and the team as himself.

Bobby soon joined the Avengers with Sam but left their ranks when he refused to hunt down his friends, including the Illuminati, when the Avengers and X-Men fought. Earth next faced an incursion where it was about to collide with another reality’s earth, so Bobby used his wealth to purchase A.I.M. and his first act was to remove their Scientist Supreme. He used A.I.M.’s resources to investigate the impending incursion and assembled his own Avengers squad that included Eden Fesi, AKA Manifold, Cannonball, Marcus Milton, AKA Hyperion, Thor Odinson, AKA Thor, and Aikku Jokinen, AKA Pod. Ultimately, he helped smooth over the conflict between the Avengers and X-Men, and offered A.I.M.’s resources to help protect Earth. 

Bobby’s A.I.M. on went through another rebranding, due to harboring hacktivist Rick Jones and it creating tension with S.H.I.E.L.D. His organization was soon folded into S.H.I.E.L.D. as American Intelligence Mechanics, and Bobby started leading the U.S.Avengers but instead of his typical Sunspot alias, he went by Citizen V. When the U.S. government was taken over by the terrorist organization Hydra, Bobby was shot in the head by an A.I.M. agent. The injury affected his powers but didn’t kill him. While imprisoned by Hydra, Bobby’s U.S.Avenger ally Toni Ho helped created a headband that helped control his powers, preventing them from causing harm to himself or others. After Hydra was defeated, and a new administration took over, Bobby left his role at A.I.M., leaving Ho in charge. However, he maintained his leadership position with the U.S.Avengers, and soon teamed up with the Avengers and Avengers Unity Division when the world was sent outside of its solar system in a game between Elders of the Universe. During this time, he removed his headband to let loose his powers and keep a World-Engine in power to keep the Earth from coming apart, though it took years from his life. Unsure of how much life he had left, he quit the team and started going by Citizen X.

Bobby soon regained control of his powers and helped the X-Men again as Sunspot. He soon battled the Frost Giants during the War of the Realms led by the Dark Elf of Svartalfheim, Malekith. He fought alongside fellow X-Men Cyclops, Jamie Madrox, AKA Multiple Man, Hope Summers, Wolfsbane, Dani Moonstar, and Alex Summers, AKA Havok, Karma, and Jono Starsmore, AKA Chamber. When they reunited with Ilyana Rasputin, AKA Magik, a mystical stone prevented her from using her powers and when Bobby touched it, he exploded. Dani sensed his presence in the aftermath and he told her that he loved her, calling her his sister.

When the sovereign island nation-state of Krakoa was established for mutants, Bobby was brought back to life thanks to the Five, a handful of mutants with the power of resurrection. He joined the nation as a citizen. He missed his friend Sam, who had gone on to live in Shi’ar space with his family, so he joined the New Mutants to visit him with the space pirates known as the Starjammers. The Starjammers ended up looting a transfer station, causing Bobby and the New Mutants to get arrested by the Shi’ar. Sam and his wife Isabel Kane, AKA Smasher, helped get them all pardoned but they had to help the Shi’ar for their misdeeds. They escorted Cal’syee Neramani, AKA Deathbird, to the Shi’ar throneworld of Chandilar, where she would train her niece Xandra in ruling, with Bobby flirting with her throughout the trip. However, Bobby and the New Mutants soon faced dissent when the Shi’ar Death Commandos attacked, hoping to install Kallark, AKA Gladiator, to the throne. After they defeated the Death Commandos and successfully escorted Deathbird to Chandilar, the New Mutants had a happy reunion with Sam and his family. Sam invited Bobby to stay with them in space and he agreed, happy to be close to Sam and Deathbird.

Bobby later joined Storm and Magneto on Mars, where mutants had terraformed it, dubbing the planet anew as Arakko. Bobby opened a bar, the Red Lagoon. In his time there, he battled Gabriel Summers, AKA Vulcan, many times, and discovered a plot where Abigail Brand was attempting to undermine Shi’ar politics. He fought with Storm in the Genesis War and soon felt guilty over the losses at the third Hellfire Gala when the mutant-hating Sentinel Nimrod attacked. In the aftermath of the attack, Bobby returned to Earth, hoping to find his missing friend Cypher.

Essential Reading
An original New Mutant and a determined Avenger, Roberto Da Costa, AKA Sunspot, has defended mutantkind and humanity with his remarkable solar powers. A personal superhuman sun, Roberto can convert solar energy for durability and strength, plus project thermal heat to emit concussive blasts or even fly. Grab his complete comics history!