— Blackburn while being interrogated during The Great Destroyer
Staff Sergeant Henry "Black" Blackburn is a character in Battlefield 3's single-player campaign. He is a playable character and the main protagonist in the story.
Henry is a Staff Sergeant in the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of the United States Marine Corps, serving in squad Misfit 1-3. He is deployed in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan and Tehran, Iran in the war effort against the People's Liberation and Resistance in 2014, and is also the one who kills the game's main antagonist, Solomon.
He, and Dimitri "Dima" Mayakovsky are the main protagonists of the story in Battlefield 3's single-player campaign, and Blackburn is the player-controlled character in the vast majority of the missions in the game, spanning with 7 out of the 12 missions.
He is first seen in the in medias res introduction to the single player campaign, where he jumps on a New York City subway train that has been hijacked by the PLR. He storms each car on the train, until he enters the last one where he is ambushed by Solomon.
The game then moves 8 hours backwards in the story to the point where Henry Blackburn is being interrogated by two CIA officers, Gordon and Whistler in a CIA office near Hunterspoint, Queens. Blackburn is in custody after killing his commanding officer Quinton Cole inside Kaffarov's villa after he threatened to shoot him and Dimitri Mayakovsky, who had revealed Solomon's plans to set off two nuclear devices in Paris and New York City.
Blackburn is interrogated by the two agents, summarizing his involvement in the war for them, and how he became aware of a nuclear bomb plot. The agents also wish to know what faction threatens the city with nuclear devices. Henry explains the events of the war from his first mission until the last one.
Not much is known about Henry's personal life except for some facts revealed during the game's loading screens stating that Henry was born in Buffalo, New York. His father's name is Michael Blackburn who fought during the Vietnam War, and according to Henry he would have random outbursts by the traumatized effects of the War. His mother's name is not known, and he also has a girlfriend/fiancee named Charlene. His grandfather George Blackburn fought in the European Theatre of World War II.
- His voice and character model are portrayed by English actor Gideon Emery.
- Blackburn's rank is Staff Sergeant, as indicated by the HUD text at the beginning of Operation Swordbreaker.
- Blackburn's squad's callsign, as heard from radio chatter throughout the campaign, is Misfit 1-3.
- Blackburn is a Designated Marksman, as he is the squad member who carries sniper rifles such as the Mk11 Mod 0 in Operation Swordbreaker and the M40A5 in Night Shift.
- This is also briefly emphasized by Christian Matkovic in Operation Swordbreaker while he gives the AT4 to Blackburn, by mentioning to him "You're the best shot".
- In Fear No Evil, when the player plays as Jonathan Miller, Blackburn can be seen fully for the first, and only time in-game.
- Despite being a Staff Sergeant and the highest ranking Marine of Misfit 1-3, he is not in command of the squad. Ironically, everyone else of lower rank is usually giving orders to Blackburn.
- In the "Fault Line" trailers, Blackburn is sleeveless and both of his arms are completely visible. However, this is only visible when he engages the PLR insurgent while trying to disarm an IED. In the final version however, his sleeves are rolled up to his elbow.
- He wore black USMC Engineer gloves in the trailers, but the color has changed to the standard USMC Combat gloves (Brown/Black) in the actual game.
- Blackburn receives several injuries and accidents on his missions, though they do not affect his combat capability or the gameplay. The scripted injuries are;
- He is covered by rubble in an earthquake in Iran (Operation Swordbreaker)
- The bus he was going to cross was hit by an RPG (Uprising)
- While manning an HMMWV Humvee turret, a PLR shot the vehicle with an RPG (Uprising)
- The Misfit and Haymaker squads were ambushed by the PLR with an RPG hitting a flammable tank (Operation Guillotine)
- Jumping through a window and falling two stories (The Great Destroyer)
- Jumped on a running train (The Great Destroyer)
- Grazed by a bullet from Solomon's .44 Magnum in a train window (Semper Fidelis and The Great Destroyer)
- The stolen police car driven by Montes collided with Solomon's stolen SUV (The Great Destroyer)
- When Miller fails to cover Blackburn in Fear No Evil, the Mission Fail screen will pop up and say his nickname "Black was Killed" instead of a formal "Blackburn was Killed".