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"Even though S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to turn on all the power, we were able to eliminate seventeen Inhumans worldwide."
Watchdogs to Ellen Nadeer[src]

The Blackout Attack was a terrorist attack orchestrated by the Watchdogs in order to blame the Inhumans while simultaneously eliminating several Inhuman assets.


"The government is keeping secrets, things we don't know until cities fall out of the sky. The Avengers, more like them every day, protected, hidden. Not anymore! We want this information released, a list of who they are, where they are or you will have war on your hands. We are the Watchdogs. You will obey."
Watchdog Alpha[src]

Following the Inhuman Outbreak, the number of Inhumans on Earth dramatically increased in a time where more and more people became distrustful towards enhanced people, especially because of the damages caused during the battles involving the Avengers like the Battle of Sokovia. Radical hate groups appeared across the world and spread hatred against the Inhumans and all others showing signs of superpowers or supernatural abilities.

One of these hate groups, known as the Watchdogs, was particularly virulent against the Inhumans. They took up arms and devised spectacular actions like the Attack on the ATCU Storage Facility[3], raising more and more support and eventually rallying politicians to their cause like Senator Ellen Nadeer. Growing more bold every day, the Watchdogs were able to plan massive attacks against the Inhumans and soon prepared for their next operation: a series of blackouts across the United States of America, which they would operate so that people would believe a fictitious movement known as the Inhuman Resistance was responsible for it.[4]


Miami Blackout

The Watchdogs as Inhumans announce the Blackout

"The blackout in Miami was just the first. We will continue to attack you, city by city, hour by hour until our voices are heard."

The Watchdogs launched their first attack in Miami, cutting power in large parts of the city and causing an helicopter to crash in a building, which was witnessed by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Yo-Yo Rodriguez. After watching the video statement made by the so-called Inhuman Resistance, Jeffrey Mace ordered Phil Coulson, Leo Fitz, and Alphonso Mackenzie to fly the Zephyr One to Miami and investigate whether the blackout was due to an Inhuman or something else. Upon arriving, they tried to drive to the hotel where Rodriguez was attending a bachelor party, but their car was stopped by the EMP devise used by the Watchdogs, disabling much of their equipment including Phil Coulson's Prosthetic Hand and forcing them to finish the journey by foot.

Rodriguez tried to convince her friends not to leave the hotels where they were. Arriving on the ground floor, they were soon confronted by several Watchdogs who threatened to shoot at them if the Inhuman they were looking for was not delivered to them. Darryl denounced the magician Mertz as a possible target for the Watchdogs. Although Mertz firmly denied being an Inhuman, he was beaten up by the Watchdogs and when they threatened to kill him, Rodriguez used her super-speed to steal the weapons. However, she was denounced by another partygoer.

While the Watchdogs were on the verge of killing Rodriguez, she was rescued by the arrival of Coulson, Fitz and Mackenzie. The four S.H.I.E.L.D. agents fought the Watchdogs, and although one of them tried to take Rodriguez's friend Maria as a hostage, the terrorists were ultimately defeated. S.H.I.E.L.D. arrested the Watchdogs and Coulson ordered his colleagues to search them for answers. Coulson interrogated Briggs and figured out that the Watchdogs had tried to frame the Inhumans for all the blackouts and that the Watchdogs had access to the registered Inhumans' whereabouts.

Meanwhile, Fitz managed to pinpoint the location of the EMP's source. The four S.H.I.E.L.D. agents went to a building indicated by Fitz and located the EMP. Rodriguez used her super-speed to distract and disarm the Watchdogs, enabling S.H.I.E.L.D. to take down all of them. Power was finally restored in Miami thanks to their efforts and it enabled S.H.I.E.L.D. to find a solve to the nationwide attack. [4]

Los Angeles Blackout

Robbie Reyes during the blackout in Los Angeles

"You know what happens to people during a blackout? They think they can get away with whatever they want."
"That nothing can stop them."
Robbie Reyes and Daisy Johnson[src]

Los Angeles was the third city to be hit by the Watchdogs. Gangs of thugs soon invaded the streets, breaking and stealing everything they found. Gabe Reyes was confronted by several of them, but he was found by his brother Robbie and Daisy Johnson, as the Hell Charger was one of the few cars still able to drive. As one thug taunted them, Robbie used his powers to dramatically heat the hood, burning the bandit's hands. The other thugs attacked them and when one tried to hold Gabe at gunpoint, Quake used her powers to take him down. Robbie and Quake defeated the thugs and left to the Reyes Residence. Eventually, power was restored in Los Angeles thanks to S.H.I.E.L.D., and Gabe told Quake to stay away from his brother as he considered her a bad person.[4]

Washington, D.C. Blackout

"We just lost part of D.C."

Another blackout occurred in Washington, D.C., which notably cut the power in the Radcliffe Residence, where Holden Radcliffe and Jemma Simmons were trying to cure Melinda May from her ghostly disease. Following the attack, the Watchdogs, still posing as Inhumans, gave the world a second warning, prompting Matthew Ellis to envisage sending troops to take down the Inhumans before S.H.I.E.L.D. manage to solve the crisis.[4]

Other Blackouts

"We now control seven cities. If you do not end the registration of Inhumans in twenty-four hours, we will blackout seven more."
―The Watchdogs posing as Inhumans[src]

Though the Watchdogs attack was primarily based in the United States of America, four other cities around the world also underwent smaller blackouts: London, Moscow, Buenos Aires and Athens. However, a larger global threat was ultimately averted by S.H.I.E.L.D.[4]


Jeffrey Mace announces S.H.I.E.L.D. as a legal organization again

"There's an old friend back in town, here to deal with this threat and any other threat that comes our way. And last night, that old friend turned all the lights back on, saving countless lives. And that old friend is S.H.I.E.L.D."
Jeffrey Mace[src]

Phil Coulson convinced Jeffrey Mace to use S.H.I.E.L.D.'s success against the Watchdogs to announce the relegitimization of the agency. Therefore, Mace gave a press conference and publicly revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. had worked all along to thwart the Watchdogs' plan. This would enable the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to act in the open. However, the anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. and anti-Inhumans Senator Ellen Nadeer was infuriated by the failure of the Watchdogs, who she was secretly backing and funding, and decided to take further actions against her enemies.[4]