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Jesse Black Crow was born a member of the Navajo, but sought out his fortune in New York City. Like many Native-Americans at the time in New York, Jesse became a scaffolding worker, unafraid of great heights One day, while working 20 stories up, scaffolding gave way and Jesse plunged to the ground. He survived the fall, but was paralyzed from the waist down. Jesse received a vision from the spirit of the Earth showing him the plight of the Native American people as he lay unconscious in the hospital. The Earth Spirit endowed him with mystical powers so that when needed, the spirit transformed Jesse into, Black Crow. As Black Crow Jesse re gained the use of his legs, was super-humanly strong and agile as well as possessing the ability to transform into a crow or even a bolt of lightning.

The Earth spirit first sent Black Crow to challenge Captain America to a trial by combat because, as a symbol of modern America, his death would appease the spirit. After a dynamic battle, Captain America made a gesture of appeasement to the Earth spirit. This created a spiritual bond between the two American heroes.Some weeks later, Black Crow appeared at Captain America's bedside. The Captain had been poisoned by the Red Skull and was on the brink of death. In honor of their bond, Black Crow enhanced Captain America's will to live and the poison burned out of his system.

Some time after that, Black Crow battled the malevolent Native American spirit, the Cat, in Yosemite National Park, but no clear victor emerged. The Cat’s influence had disrupted and provoked Hawkeye of the Avengers, who was in Yosemite for training. Black Crow insisted that he was chosen to defeat the Cat and warned Hawkeye not to interfere. At first, but it was not until they worked together that the Cat was vanquished. Some time later, Black Crow interceded into a conflict between Spider-Man and the Puma. He put Spider-Man and Puma through a mystical dream-time to resolve their differences, and then extracted Puma's knowledge of Spider-Man's secret identity.

Black Crow would also go on to aid heroes such as Daredevil, Red Wolf and Doctor Strange. But finally Black Crow came full circle back to Steve Rogers. In his last known appearance, Black Crow appeared to Captain America telling him that he was going to die within 24 hours.

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