Black Heron is a female anthropomorphic heron in the 2017 Continuum.
A martial artist, robotics engineer, and chemist, Black Heron was a criminal foe of S.H.U.S.H. At some point in the 1960's, following an incident wherein Heron attempted to carve her face into Mount Neverrest, she was captured and imprisoned by the organization.
Heron was freed by Bradford Buzzard, a disgruntled S.H.U.S.H. employee searching for a partner with whom to conquer the world and impose his whim on it. Together, the two founded F.O.W.L. and began their bid at world domination, although they constantly bickered, chiefly on the point of whether or not they were supervillains - Bradford claiming that they weren't, and Heron insisting that they clearly were.
Heron built herself a secret lair, complete with miscellaneous robot guards and booby-traps. At some point in the 1960's, she stole an alchemical formula for Gummiberry Juice from an auction sale, planning to use it to create an army of invincible bouncing soldiers. Then-S.H.U.S.H. agents Scrooge McDuck and Bentina Beakley travelled to the island to get it back and stop her evil scheme. In the ensuing battle, the only copy of the formula and Heron's batch of juice were destroyed, leaving hypermnesic Bentina Beakley as the only person on Earth who knew the formula. A fire was started in the battle, and, while McDuck and Beakley escaped unscathed, Heron's lair was destroyed and she lost her right arm in the explosion.
Years later, after creating a cyborg arm for herself, Heron learned of the existence of the Papyrus of Binding, an ancient artifact with the ability to alter reality, and of Scrooge McDuck's plans to retrieve it. Together with Bradford, she disguised herself as one Scrooge's personal pilots and followed him to the Papyrus's hiding place, but was nearly defeated in battle by Scrooge, alongside his niece and nephew. After Bradford used the artifact to remove himself from the scene, Heron, now alone, captured the young ducks, threatening their lives as ransom for the parchment. Scrooge, however, sent the artifact into hiding with the stipulation that it could only be found by a direct descendant of his. Heron was forced to release her captives to ensure that the Papyrus could one day be found; following this, she fled.
In an attempt to retrieve the parchment, Heron somehow obtained a sample of DNA from Scrooge and used it to create a clone, which she codenamed "April". Before the clone could be utilized to summon the Papyrus, however, it was stolen by Bentina Beakley, who went on to raise it as her own granddaughter.
For decades, an increasingly-unhinged Heron schemed for revenge, slowly rebuilding her lair. Finally, in 2018, taking advantage of a temporary weakness in the security of McDuck Manor, Black Heron kidnapped Beakley and brought her back to the lair, intent on getting the formula out of her and then murdering her. Beakley, however, was rescued by her granddaughter, now going by Webbigail, and a still-sprightly Scrooge McDuck; once again a fight broke out, and Black Heron ended up falling, seemingly to her death, into the sea, with only her detached robotic arm left behind.
However, Black Heron was not dead, and soon returned to work for the modern incarnation of F.O.W.L., building herself a new robotic arm. Looking to recruit more members for the villainous organization, she broke a small-time criminal out of prison and built him a prosthetic beak, and Steelbeak was born. She also got to work on an Intelli-Ray, which, utilizing the power of the mystical Third Eye Diamond, could both increase and decrease a being's intelligence. After testing the ray on several lab animals (inadvertently creating the Rescue Rangers), she devised a plan to use the ray against Scrooge to drain his intelligence and leave him defenseless.
Having been warned by Bradford Buzzard that Scrooge was in Funso's Funzone (really a cover for F.O.W.L.'s base), Heron sent Steelbeak to use the Intelli-Ray against him. After the chicken bungled the plan, she berated him, angering him enough to turn the Intelli-Ray on her, leaving her with no intelligence.
Later, Steelbeak having thoroughly failed to use the ray on Scrooge, Black Heron's intelligence was restored by Bradford, who chastised her for creating the ray, reminding her of F.O.W.L.'s real plans and telling her that she was not allowed to make any more such devices.
Following Bradford's outing as the head of F.O.W.L. to the Duck family, Heron rescued him from their clutches, inadvertently revealing his affiliations to an even wider range of people by arriving in a helicopter with the organization's logo clearly visible on the side.
Along with several other F.O.W.L. agents, Heron travelled to Istanbird, where they endeavoured to retrieve the legendary Split Sword of Swanstantine. While the other agents split off to face various members of the Duck family, who had also arrived in search of the sword, Heron engaged Scrooge in a lengthy duel. Although she and the others failed to gain possession of the sword, they did accomplish their true mission: to retrieve a feather from Webbigail Vanderquack. Heron used the feather to create two new clones, codenamed "May" and "June".
As F.O.W.L.'s ultimate plan, to rid the world of all magic and adventure by tossing it all into a modified Solego Circuit rigged to erase things from existence completely rather than send them to another dimension, neared completion, Heron sent the clones to infiltrate McDuck Manor and steal any artifacts located there. This drew the suspicion of the Ducks, all of whom arrived, by various contrivances of fate, at the Lost Library of Alexandria, F.O.W.L.'s true base.
Following a series of battles between F.O.W.L. and the Ducks, the papyrus was finally retrieved by Heron's clone minions. As she and Bradford stood by, Scrooge was forced to use the artifact to sign away all future adventures as part of a deal with them, who swore to throw his family into the Circuit if he refused. To demonstrate the truth of his words, and his dedication to his goal of eliminating any unpredictable elements from the world, Bradford shoved Heron into the vortex. Far from seeming at all put out by this development, Heron simply noted as she fell that she was glad Bradford had finally embraced his villainy, before she was erased from existence.
Behind the scenes
Black Heron (who has no known counterpart in the Prime Universe, although it has been suggested that she may have been partially based on Anna Matronic) is a pastiche of James Bond villains, complete with a "cool-looking" island lair. Her robot arm is comparable to that of the henchman Tee-Hee from the James Bond film Live and Let Die, though it is much more technologically advanced and polyvalent, bearing significant similarities to John Silver's arm in Treasure Planet.