Roberto first manifested his superhuman mutant powers when, at the age of fourteen, he was playing in a championship soccer match for his school team in Rio de Janeiro. Motivated by racial hatred, a boy named Keller and another member of the opposing team knocked Da Costa to the ground. The hot-tempered Da Costa retaliated by tackling Keller, who began brutally beating him. It was then that, without being aware of what was happening to him, Da Costa first manifested his superhuman strength. His body and clothing temporarily turned black in the process, and he inadvertently hurled Keller away from him. Confused and frightened, Da Costa sought help, but both the other players and most of the spectators panicked and fled. However, his girlfriend,Juliana Sandoval, who had been watching the game along with Emmanuel, stood by Roberto in his time of need.
Roberto's powers came to the attention of Donald Pierce, the renegade White Bishop of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club. Pierce sought to murder any superhuman mutants he could find. Pierce's mercenaries failed to abduct Roberto, but kidnapped Juliana instead. The mutant telepath, Professor Charles Xavier, founder of the X-Men, had learned of Pierce's plan to kill Roberto and sent his colleague, Dr. Moira MacTaggert, and the young superhuman mutants, Karma and Psyche, to help da Costa.
Roberto agreed to meet with Pierce's men in order to obtain Sandoval's release, but the mercenaries refused to free her and intended to kill both of them instead. During a fight one of the mercenaries fired at Da Costa, who had returned to normalcy again, but Juliana leaped in front of Da Costa, taking the fatal bullet herself. Anguished with guilt that Juliana had died protecting him, Da Costa vowed to take vengeance on Pierce. Bobby joined Karma, Prof. Xavier, and another young mutant, Wolfsbane, in tracking down Pierce and they succeeded in defeating him.
His first appearance was in Marvel Graphic Novel #4 and was created by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod.
Originally a member of the New Mutants, Roberto has gradually accepted a more adult role with the various X-related teams and eventually even joined the Avengers.
Major Story Arcs
Da Costa agreed to stay with Prof. Xavier and received training in the use of his superhuman powers as a member of the New Mutants, even when it was later discovered that Professor had originally created the because the had been possessed by a Brood Queen egg inside of him seeking young mutants for future embryos. In the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, the New Mutants were tutored by Professor X and trained in the use of their powers in the Danger Room. A founding member of the New Mutants, Bobby was a mainstay of the junior team for most of its existence and became best friends with his teammate Samuel Guthrie (Cannonball).
Meanwhile, Bobby’s father was contacted by the Hellfire Club and became a member of its secret Inner Circle under the alias of White Rook. He was the only person in the Inner Circle without superhuman powers. His performance in that role was almost unnoticed.
Sunspot and Wolfsbane were injected with the same drug that gifted Cloak and Dagger with their powers. Unable to control himself, Bobby attacked the X-Man Colossus until the New Mutant Magik returned the powers to the original owners. Empath of the Hellions turned Bobby and his teammate Magma over to the Gladiators, where they were forced to battle for entertainment by his former teammate Karma.
Asgard and the X-Men
Later, during a trip to Asgard, Bobby gained a job as security in a tavern. After lifting Volstagg over his head, he befriended the Warriors Three. Bobby seriously entertained the idea of staying, as heroes were honored and worshiped in Asgard and he was hated and feared as a mutant on Earth.
After their adventure in Asgard, the New Mutants found themselves under the guidance of a new teacher, Magneto, a fact that Bobby had a hard time dealing with. After reading Professor Xavier's personal files on himself, speculating that he could one day turn evil due to his arrogance, Bobby took a brief leave of the school.
While watching the Wildways, Bobby was captured by Spiral and Mojo, and mentally controlled by Psylocke into joining a new show, the Bratpack. After a brief battle with the New Mutants, Psylocke was freed from her mind control and freed the others as well. The New Mutants later battled the X-Men after they had been turned to the X-Babies by Mojo, until they were broken of their brainwashing and defeated the spineless one, Mojo.
During a friendly soccer game, Bobby accidentally gave Sam Gurthrie a concussion. Believing himself to be danger to his team, Bobby ran away. After living on the streets, Bobby saved a runaway mutant called Chance from a group of thugs. When Bobby's powers failed, Chance abandoned him and fled with an alien girl called Ariel. Bobby was rescued by Warlock, who tried to convince Bobby to return to the New Mutants, but Bobby felt he was not worthy to rejoin the team and wished to be left a pariah. Warlock suggested that they stick together.
Bobby decided to become a villain and rob a church, but found himself unable to go through with it. The pair were found by a duplicate of Jamie Madrox and Siryn, who attempted to return them to the New Mutants. A cyborg called Gomi propositioned Bobby to join the Fallen Angels, a group primarily made up of adolescent mutant thieves organized by the mutant criminal called the Vanisher. Among his recruits were the young mutant Boom Boom, Gomi and his two cybernetically-enhanced lobsters Bill and Don, Chance, Ariel, the duplicate Madroxes, and Siryn.
Vanisher teleported the Fallen Angels to the Valley of the Flame on Dinosaur World, where they were joined by Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur. After Devil Dinosaur accidentally crushed Don the lobster, Gomi spoke of not leaving friends after an accident or tragedy, which struck a cord with Bobby and he began to second-guess his decision to leave the New Mutants. After all of the mutants' powers temporarily went out-of-whack due to Chance, Ariel suggested that they all leave and teleported them to the Coconut Grove, her home planet. The inhabitants of the Coconut Grove and the leader, Unipar, captured the Fallen Angels, intending to experiment on them in order to continue their evolution, but the Angels worked together to defeat them and returned home.
Bobby and Warlock returned to the New Mutants in time to aide the them against Cameron Hodge and The Right. During the battle, Doug Ramsey jumped in the path of a bullet intended for Wolfsbane, killing him. Magneto ordered the children never to use their mutant powers without his permission, a fact that Bobby immediately defied and stated that Magneto didn't give them their powers and they could use them as they pleased.
The mutants did not stay under the care of Magneto, as Cannonball and Mirage decided to move the team out from under Magneto's thumb. Magneto claimed the X-Men and the New Mutants were to be his army against the coming war between humans and mutants, however Magneto allowed the New Mutants to leave, stating that, in time, they would find his ways right and Bobby would be the first to join him. Bobby and the New Mutants were introduced to X-Factor and began to live on Ship, merging with the X-Terminators.
Sunspot was contacted by mutant businessman, Gideon, after his father died. Gideon persuaded Sunspot into joining him, claiming to help him manage the family fortune. Gideon was actually a member of a group of mutants known as the Externals, who believed themselves to be immortal. Gideon believed that Sunspot was also an External, but after several harsh tests and experiments, Gideon was proven wrong. The tests overloaded him, giving a side effect that gave Bobby the ability to produce concussive blasts of heat and light. He was saved by his former teammates of the New Mutants that had reformed as X-Force. Sunspot joined the team. When Gideon experimented on Sunspot, he was able to copy his powers and give them to a test subject. The result was Reignfire.
Reignfire became the leader of the Mutant Liberation Front, a mutant terrorist group. Reignfire gave hints that he was really Sunspot during the M.L.F's confrontation with X-Force. At that time, the real Sunspot had went into a transport portal while battling the M.L.F.'s Locus. In their next encounter, X-Force's leader, Cable, telepathically restored Sunspot's memories. It turned out that Reignfire actually switched places with Sunspot through a telepathic link. Sunspot finally regained control.
Sunspot was later blackmailed by Selene, the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club into joining. She told him that Gideon's Damocles Foundation was attempting more experiments similar to the one that created Reignfire. Selene and X-force went to stop him, but found out that Selene wanted the process for herself, and subdued the team. Selene then offered to resurrect Juliana if Bobby joined the Hellfire Club. Bobby agreed, but Selene only partially kept her word. She resurrected Julianna's spirit, and put it in the body of a comatose patient. Sunspot served as the Black Rook, keeping it a secret from his friends. Sunspot also became the head of the Los Angeles branch of X-Corporation, a search and rescue organization for mutants.
Sebastian Shaw approached Sunspot as Lord Imperial of the Hellfire Club, offering him the Black Knight position in his Lords Cardinal. He convinced Sunspot to accept by telling him that he was trying to change the club for the better. Donald Pierce soon challenged Shaw again, leaving Pierce decapitated and Shaw hospitalized. Sunspot then claimed the Lord Imperial position, hoping to use the club for a force for good.
At the beginning of the Young X-Men series, Sunspot was revealed to be the new leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants by Cyclops. He is joined on the team by his former New Mutants comrades Cannonball, Danielle Moonstar, and Magma. In a battle with the X-Men, Sunspot is injured when Wolf Cub slashed his chest and face. It is revealed that Donald Pierce is pretending to be Cyclops using an image inducer, in order to have Sunspot, the new Lord Imperial, killed.
Rejoining the New Mutants
Karma and Moonstar have gone missing after searching for a possible new mutant. Cannonball forms a team to find them, composed of former New Mutants. They find that Legion is behind it, and the team fights him. After losing to Legion (several times), it is Moonstar that saves the day. The team stays together after this. Recently, his old friend Doug has been brought back to life.
Roberto and his newly assembled team are commanded by Cyclops to infiltrate Cameron Hodge's facility and take down the Right. Cipher, Warlock, Magma, Karma, Sunspot, and Dani Moonstar enter the building and attack hundred's of Right soldiers (the creepy ones with the smiley faces). The battle seems to be going in their favor until Cameron Hodge joins the battle. Karma attempts to posses Cameron and in doing so allows him to track her. In the fight Karma loses her leg to one of Cameron's talons. Cypher realizes that the New Mutants are going to fail if something drastic isn't done. He asks Warlock to take Cameron's life force using his techno organic virus. Warlock saves the day by defeating Cameron.
Later during the Nimrod invasion of Utopia, Sunspot is seen fighting Nimrods in the tunnels below San Francisco. He is part of a small team consisting of Husk, Boom Boom and Avalanche that have been assigned to stop the Nimrods from entering through the tunnels.
Roberto and the Aguilar Family
Roberto met the Aguilar family. As he befriends Christina Aguilar, they went to a walk but a branch fell down on them. Sunspot saved her, but her engagement ring was lost. Roberto told her that her fiance would marry her even if the ring was lost, as long as they love each other. Christina introduced Roberto to her family which accepted him even if he was a mutant. However, Euphy did not like him unlike the other members of the family. Though they have arguments, Sunspot stays calm. One night during a dinner, an anti-mutant group attacked. Sunspot discovered that its boss was wearing Christina's engagement ring. He took down that team and was able to retrieve the ring. The family thanked him for the act of heroism that he had done. Christina offered him to stay with the family, but Sunspot refused, because he did not want the family to get into his issues, and didn't want to cause further damage to the family's relationship. Mr. Aguilar understood the situation and told Christina about it.
Joining the Avengers
After the conflict between the Avengers and the X-Men, Captain America decided that his team, the Avengers should have done more to help mutants instead of allowing the world to hate them. As a result, he asked for various mutants to be part of the ranks of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, as well as forming a team of Avengers lead by Havok. Along with Cannonball, Roberto is asked by Captain America to join the Avengers on stand-by. After Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Thor are captured on Mars, the stand-by team is activated by Captain America and dispatched to rescue their team-mates and defeat Ex Nihilo.
Time Runs Out
Eight months into the future, Sunspot is seen (with a little teleporting help from Eden Fesi) visiting his best friend Sam on Chandilar. Sam and Izzy Kane are shown to have had a baby. Bobby asks them to return to Earth, and they both agree. It's revealed that Bobby has bought out A.I.M. and incorporated them into his own company - Da Costa International. His new science team has rebuilt the Auger on the Savage Land, and they prepare to send Hyperion and Thor Odinson (now unworthy of his hammer) out into the multiverse to battle the 'Great Destroyer' who apparently set the events of "New Avengers" in motion. Meanwhile, Bobby plans on staying behind to "fix the Avengers".
Evolution: A side effect of the experiments Gideon preformed on Sunspot, cause a rapid acceleration of his mutant gene. This change also causes his mutant gene to continuously evolve, making all his powers and abilities stronger as time passes. The constant evolution of his mutant gene also gives him new powers/abilities.
Solar Radiation Absorption: Sunspot absorbs solar energy and can utilize it for physical strength. The cells of a normal human body convert energy from foodstuffs into a form of energy usable by the body. This energy is stored through converting molecules of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) in the cells into adenosine triphosphate (ATP); the energy is released when necessary by breaking a chemical bond in the ATP molecules, converting them back to ADP. Apparently Sunspot can store solar-derived energy in his cells through the same, or a similar method, and release it when necessary to enhance his physical strength. His body is cloaked in darkness because he drains all the ambient light from his skin.
Solar Re-channeling: Sunspot has the ability to re-channel the solar energy which his body absorbs, by which he takes the solar energy and uses it for a variety of related purposes.
Flight: Sunspot has the ability to fly by propelling himself through the air, by force of will, by generating thermal updrafts. Bobby has also refined this ability to be able to hover in the air without leaving a heat trail, and can reach speeds of up to 150 mph maximum without over exerting himself.
Enhanced Strength: When Sunspots cells are powered by solar energy he has the superhuman ability to augment his physical strength. The original limits of his strength was that of 25 tons. Since then however his strength has increased to 50 tons. Before his super human strength could only be accessed when he was in his solar powered form but Roberto has been seen using his strength when out of his darkened form. The limits as to how much strength he is able to access outside of this form are unknown.
Limited Durability: Sunspot team mates would remind him that he was super strong, but not super durable. Although Sunspot has not been seen able to deflect bullets, his limited durability does provide his body the needed protection to be able to lift the massive weight, that his super strength allows him to. Recently, Sunspot has been seen able to withstand the impact of a eighteen-wheeler moving at 100 mph, and remain nearly unharmed.
Thermokinesis: Sunspot has the ability to project heat in intense waves when he absorbs and re-channels solar energy from any part of his body to raise the temperature. Roberto can also absorb heat into his body to lower the temperature in his immediate area. He can also project and absorb heat directly into/from people, causing intense discomfort at their fluctuating body temperatures.
Thermokinetic Concussive/Energy Blasts: During Sunspots time with X-Force he was kidnapped by a supervillain named Gideon who performed various experiments on him. Gideon exposed Sunspots body to massive amounts of solar energy in order to test the limits of his solar absorption. After these experiments Sunspots body was overloaded with solar energy and he later gained the ability to fire blasts of heat and concussive force.
Limited Photokinesis: Sunspot has the ability to project light in intense waves when he absorbs and re-channels solar energy, and absorb ambient wavelengths.
Dark Solar Plasma Blasts: Sunspot has the ability to project concussive dark plasma energy blasts from his hands, with about 20 tons of force behind them at their most powerful.
Fire and Heat Immunity: As is the norm with most pyrokinetics, Sunspot is immune to all forms of Heat and Fire as they simply add to his abilities and his mutant metabolism is able to simply convert these two forms and augment his abilities. This includes heat powers that are directed at him as well as heat that is present because of weather conditions. Sunspot has also been seen with the ability to absorb the energy that fire gives off and has remained unharmed while walking through it.
Athlete: Roberto is a very skilled soccer player, and used to play for his high school soccer team.
Businessman: Since becoming the CEO of Da Costa International, Roberto develop skills for business and finance. Roberto is the Son of Brazilian millionaire Emmanuel Da Costa, and inherited his father's fortune when he died. He also became CEO of his father's company, Da Costa International.
Combat (Unarmed/Armed): As part of the X-Men, Sunspot has been trained by the likes of Wolverine and other mutants in combat. Since joining the Avengers, Sunspot received further training. He's further honed his skills by fighting/training against strong opponents such as Captain America, Black Panther, and Daredevil.
Multilingual: Roberto speaks English, Spanish, and is fluent in Portuguese. He's also fluent in the future language of the Askani.
Pilot: Roberto is a trained Pilot.
Known Relatives: Emmanuel (father, deceased), Nina da Costa (mother)
Place of Birth: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Adventurer, CEO of Da Costa International, and recreational soccer player
Education: Xavier's institute for High Learning graduate
Weight: 170 lbs (77 kg)
Sunspot is a Brazilian from Harlem. He blames the X-Men from living separately from second class mutants like himself. He also had hatred for Magneto and his Brotherhood because of the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge. He later joined Emma Frost's Academy of Tomorrow, but, was confused because of his grades. Emma then told him that his grades do not state how gifted he is. When Polaris was apprehended for her case, Northstar, Cannonball, and Sunspot worked together to free her. However, it only caused trouble. Since the team only relies on Sunpot's knowledge about New York, they got lost. While lost, Sunspot was out of the fight from the X-Men. Sunspot, along with most of the Academy of Tomorrow, was killed by the Madri during the Ultimatum Wave.
Age of Apocalypse
Sunspot is a member of the X-Ternals , who steal money from Apocalypse and give it to the poor. Magneto ordered the team to go to Shi'ar territory and steal the M'Kraan Crystal .
Sunspot is a member of the Marauders.
Sunspot was a member of the X-Force who was about to be under the control of the Skull. When the Skull was killed, he was freed.
He is a mutant who fought against Galactus to defend the planet.
Sunspot was a member of the New Warriors.
Sunspot was a member of the New Mutants.
Sunspot's name is listed in William Stryker's files on Lady Deathstrike's computer.
Sunspot appears in the film as one of the future X-Men, portrayed by Adan Canto. During a battle on Russia, the Sentinel Sunspot is fighting uses the powers of Iceman to withstand his plasma blasts, walks towards him and chokes him to death. However, the deaths of Sunspot and the others are prevented by Bishop traveling back in time a few days. During the climax, a Sentinel he is blasting uses the powers of Emma Frost to adapt to his powers, while another one tries to attack him from behind. Sunspot blasts it, but it adapts by using the powers of the mutant Rockslide (who doesn't appear nor is mentioned on any movies, but according to the developers, the powers in question are his), and almost squashes him with a double handed hammerfist. However, at the same time, the diamond Sentinel slices off one of his arms and grabs him by the neck, but Sunspot desperately blasts it back, until the stone Sentinel sends him flying with a kick towards a third Sentinel, which uses giant claws to impale him and rip his heart out. He is restored to life after the timeline is altered. In the movie, Sunspot's powers are almost completely identical to those of the Human Torch and Sunfire.
- Sunspot appears in the second season of X-Men: Evolution. This version of the character is a member of the New Mutants who undergoes training with the X-Men. He is 17 years old, he is also known to be an over achiever and show-off, and was a Brazilian who was admitted to the Institute by Professor X's request. He often get into fights with Berzerker. During the X-Men's last mission against Apocalypse, Sunspot, along with other mutants, were sent to Mexico to battle Magneto, who was Apocalypse's Horseman at that time. He was voiced by Michael Coleman.
- Sunspot was featured in ToyBiz's X-Force action figure line back in the 90s.
- Sunspot has been featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Sunspot was featured in Diamond Select's Minimates line as part of the New Mutants box set.
- Sunspot was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends line as part of the Strong Guy Build-a-Figure wave.