Black Bolt was born to two of Attilan's top geneticists, Agon, head of the ruling Council of Genetics, and Rynda, director of the Prenatal Care Center. Subjected to the mutagenic Terrigen Mist while still an embryo, Bolt was born with strange powers surpassing even the Inhumans' norm. As an infant, he demonstrated certain energy-manipulative abilities which he could not yet control, particularly that of producing quasi-sonic energy of great destructive potential. To protect the community, he was placed inside a sound-proofed chamber and given an energy-harnessing suit. There he was schooled in the art of controlling his powers until the age of nineteen, when he was permitted to enter society.
A month after being awarded his freedom, Black Bolt discovered his younger brother Maximus in the process of making a treacherous pact with emissaries of the alien Kree. Attempting to stop the Kree ship before it escaped, Bolt used the forbidden power of his quasi-sonic voice to knock the ship out of the sky. When the ship crashed to Earth, it landed on the parliament, killing several key members of the Council of Genetics, including his parents, Agon and Rynda. The reverberations of his brother's shout affected Maximus's sanity and suppressed his nascent mental powers. Despite his guilt and silent protests, Black Bolt was obligated to accept the mantle of leadership of the Inhumans at age twenty.
Black Bolt's first crisis in leadership came when his cousin Triton was briefly held captive by humans. Learning of Triton's encounter upon his escape , Black Bolt decided that the Inhuman' island of Attilan was in imminent danger of discovery by humanity. Black Bolt scouted out possible sites to which to move, and settled upon the remote Himalayan mountains. After the great migration, Black Bolt faced his second great crisis when his now mad brother Maximus unleashed the Trikon, three of the Inhumans' worker drones who were transformed into energy-beings. The Trikon enabled Maximus to wrest the rule of the Inhuman from his brother and send Black Bolt and the other members of the Royal Family into exile. For the next few years, Black Bolt and his kinsmen wandered Asia, Europe, and finally America, in search of Medusa, his betrothed mate, who had been separated from the others during the battle with the Trikon. Eventually Black Bolt was reunited with Medusa and the Royal Family returned to Attilan and resumed the crown.
Black Bolt led the Inhumans through some of the most turbulent times in their history, including several more attempts by Maximus to usurp the throne, revolts by the worker class, attacks by human renegades, the kidnapping of Medusa, the destruction and rebuilding of Attilan, the revelation of the Inhuman existence to humanity, and several more relocating of Attilans. Following the traditionally lengthy period of betrothal, Black Bolt and Medusa were wed.
His role as king of the Inhumans was been tumultuous. The first major crisis occurred when he and Medusa conceived a child. Medusa bore the child in defiance of the Genetic Council who felt that Black Bolt's bloodline was too dangerous to pass on. The Council nonetheless took the child to examine, and forbade parental contact. Black Bolt was torn between his love of family and his duty to respect the Genetic Council, and it was only when the Council was revealed to be using his son in a plot against him that he finally turned against the Council. With that, he also gave up the crown as king of the Inhumans. For a while, they lived away from Attilan, but returned in times of need.
By the time the Avengers and the Fantastic Four returned from Counter Earth following the Onslaught crisis, Black Bolt was re-instated as monarch without much further explanation, but was subsequently exiled after Attilan's forced adventure with Ronan in space. He returned again to the moon with his Royal Family after being banned from Earth, and again it seemed that the rest of the Inhuman population soon rejoined them there and reaffirmed his role as king without much ado.
There was very little exploration of the ongoing inequities and injustices of the caste-bound Attilan society during this time, and Black Bolt seemed to turn a blind eye to much of it. It could be that as a product of that environment, he accepted the status quo as a given: this would make him a benevolent yet flawed ruler. Given his exposure to the outside world (and his own stand previously against the genetic Council), this seems unlikely. Given his ever changing status as ruler, he likely saw limits to any further changes that he could realistically make to the social fabric at this point (after all, it was only not so long ago during his reign that the Alpha Primitives were emancipated). He was a great leader in ensuring the survival of Attilan against threats from outside and in; perhaps he was biding his time, awaiting a period of stability before again turning his considerable leadership skills to issues of social justice.
More recently, Black Bolt declared war against the US in order to recover stolen Terrigen Mist crystals. During that incident, Maximus managed yet again to usurp his throne.
Black Bolt was ambushed by the Skrull Empire, while unaware and surprised and was then taken captive by the Skrulls and held prisoner aboard the Skrull Battleship Ryb'ik. The Skrulls planned to use his quasi-sonic scream as the their deadliest and most powerful weapon. A Skrull began impersonating Black Bolt. During this time, the Hulk, embittered over being placed into exile on the planet Sakaar, returned to this star system and attacked the Skrull impostor who he believed was Black Bolt because of his role in the Hulk's exile. Even though this "Black Bolt" was able to knock the Hulk back at first, the Hulk got back up and savagely beat him up. Hulk enslaved him with a slave disk and forced him to fight as a gladiator. Later, the Illuminati discovered the Skrull impostor among them. Black Bolt was rescued by Medusa and the Inhuman Royal family, and returned to Attilan to co-rule with Maximus.
He then took aggressive counteraction against the Skrulls, and deployed Maximus-designed inventions to tap into his quasi-sonic powers for military purposes. The city of Attilan became a weaponized vessel that tracked down and destroyed the fleeing Skrull ships, as well as some Shi'ar vessels trying to intercept. He breached Kree defenses and forced Ronan and the Kree to pledge allegiance to him.
The Inhumans had plans to lead a benevolent future with the Kree. Crystal was promised to Ronan to further unite the Kree and the Inhumans even offered the Terrigen Mists to enhance the evolution of the Kree. However, the Shi'ar declared war on the Kree.
At the very climax of the War of Kings, both Black Bolt and Vulcan are killed and the Shi'ar surrender to the Kree Empire, despite heavy losses on both sides, leading to the Realm of Kings.
Recently he returned and joined the Universal Inhumans.
Powers & Abilities
Ambient Particle & Electron Harnessing
Black Bolt's primary superhuman ability is the power to harness electrons. The speech center of his brain contains a unique organic mechanism that's able to generate an unknown particle that interacts with the electrons he absorbs to create certain phenomena that are determined by his mental control.
Black Bolt's most devastating offensive weapon, and one of these phenomena based upon the particle interaction, is his actual voice. A whisper can level a city, cause distant dormant volcanoes to become active once more, shake entire continents apart and generate tremors on the far side of the planet. A hypersonic shout has been said to generate enough force to destroy planets. Due to the constant and extreme danger posed by his voice, he has undergone rigorous mental training to prevent himself from uttering even the smallest sound, even while asleep. Recently it has been shown that Black Bolt's scream is tied into his emotions, especially anger. This in turn would mean that the power of his scream would depend on his emotional state in at least some way. It would explain the somewhat significant difference of the power released by his quasi-sonic scream. While at in a calm state, a simple whisper from Black Bolt has destroyed entire mountain ranges and cities in seconds in the past, but while under more strenuous circumstances, it was stated that a single syllable would be capable of annihilating more than half a planet. The full extent and damage of Black Bolt's scream is unknown, but based on the fact that it is caused by particle interaction and electron manipulation, it is theoretically infinite, destroying both the Sentry and the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange with one sound wave on a parallel Earth.
Particle & Electron Channeling
Black Bolt wears a metallic, fork-shaped antenna upon his brow that allows him to focus and channel his powers in more directed and less destructive ways. This antenna monitor's the speech center of his brain and allows him to direct quantities of the unknown particles to create controlled phenomena, such as enhancing his physical strength beyond his normal limits. He can also channel all the available energy he has into one arm for a single, massively powerful punch called the Master Blow. The exertion from this, however, taxes his ability to employ the energy to its full power for a short time.
Particle & Electron Manipulation
Black Bolt can also direct the unknown particle outwards without the use of his vocal chords. He can route the particles through his arms and create small yet vastly powerful blasts of concussive force. He can also form a field of highly active electrons around his body with a wave of his hand. This field can deflect projectiles like the mass of a large meteor. Black Bolt can also create enough iteration between the electron and particle energies to generate fields solid enough for him to travel over.
Matter & Energy Manipulation
Through an unknown method, Black Bolt has shown numerous times that he has the ability to manipulate matter and energy to an unknown degree. He has shown the ability to transmute the elements, turn water into ice, create multiple toys out of thin air as nothing but a mere baby by re-arranging the molecular structure. He has destroyed a Solar Flare powerful enough to annihilate the Earth, created black holes, and was able to block the powers through his abilities and in turn denied them the access to their abilities.
Black Bolt has incredibly powerful telepathic abilities as evident when he was able to easily resist the mental abilities of his powerful brother, and on different occasions, use his own abilities to overpower and take control over Maximus' mind.
Black Bolt can also harness the unknown particles his brain generates to interact with electrons to create anti-gravitons that enable him to defy gravity. By emitting a jet of rapidly moving particle / electron interaction by-product while enveloped by anti-gravitons, Black Bolt has been shown to fly faster than a 1000 miles per hour for a period of 10 hours, to fly beyond escape velocity, and keep up with Nova, the human rocket who can fly at speeds above light. The anti-graviton field also serves to protect Black Bolt from the detrimental effects of rapid movement through the atmosphere although it's not needed.
Like all Inhumans, Black Bolt's natural physiology grants him a number of superhuman physical attributes but because of the genetic tampering at birth, Black Bolt's physical abilities are significantly superior to the other members of his race.
Black Bolt, like all Inhumans, is superhumanly strong. According to his bio, under normal circumstances, he is able to lift about 1 ton. However, he can augment his physical strength by channeling the necessary particle energy through his body. At his peak, he is able to lift up to 60 tons.
Black Bolt can run and move at speeds that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete, as he has been able to catch directed miniature missiles even when attacked from below and unaware with ease, move at a speed so great he is invisible to the human eye, move at such a speed he can travel vast distances before a human can finish processing a thought, and has been able to catch and beat Quicksilver with ease. He can augment his speed to unknown level.
Black Bolt's Inhuman musculature generates less fatigue toxins than the musculature of a normal human, even the finest human athlete. At his peak, he can exert himself for several days before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him. He can augment his stamina to unknown as well as his other physical abilities with his powers.
Black Bolt's body is incredibly resistant to all forms of physical damage. Black Bolt is resistant to great impact forces, such as falling from a height of several stories that would severely injure or kill a human being unharmed. He has been repeatedly struck by beings with vast superhuman strength such as Hulk, Namor, Gladiator etc. and remained unharmed. Black Bolt is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, such as the cold in space without any discomfort, the heat from re-entry without any discomfort, and even the heat from a Solar Flare powerful enough to significantly damage the planet without any damage at all. Black Bolt can augment his durability to unknown limits.
Black Bolt's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. He has shown inhuman and amazing maneuverability and agility in the air, capable enough of combating numerous air crafts, and dodging various projectiles from multiple directions. Black Bolt can augment his agility to unknown levels.
Black Bolt's reflexes are beyond those of the finest human athlete, and he can augment his reflexes to unknown levels.
Like all Inhumans, Black Bolt has a natural lifespan that is at least twice the average lifespan of a human being.
Black Bolt is able to communicate non-verbally, although Medusa often will act as a translator for him. He is also a master of hand combatant, although even though the slightest sound, even the smallest sigh directed towards most all individuals, even those possessing great physical attributes, is enough to destroy them.