Origin (Standard Comics etc. approximately 1942-1946)
At first Bob Benton was a normal pharmacist working on an experiment with his assistant, Tim Roland, to make a tonic that could, as Bob put it, help "run down people." While working on the experiment Tim accidentally added something called "Formic Acid" which he was told came from red ants. After getting mad at Tim for adding the wrong chemical, Bob inhaled some of the resulting "Formic Ethers" and gained Super Strength and Invulnerability.
Seeing the potential of his newly acquired powers, Bob decided to do something he'd always day-dreamed about: use his strength to fight crime and evil. It is then that he became the nemesis of evil, The Black Terror.
Believing that Bob may need help to wage his war on crime, Tim took it upon himself to take the Formic Ethers and develop the same powers as the Black Terror. Together they were known as the Terror Twins and went on to fight threats both domestic and foreign throughout World War II.
Powers (Standard Comics)
- Superhuman Strength: Due again to the Formic Ethers he and Tim created.
- Superhuman Durability: Due again to the Formic Ethers he and Tim created.
- Advanced Agility and Stamina: Due again to the Formic Ethers he and Tim created.
The Black Terror was originally published by Standard Comics also called Pines, Nedor, Better and other names as well. By the 1980's other comic companies utilized Black Terror as the character fell into the public domain. Every company put their own spin on the Golden Age Superhero, some choosing to give him a brand new origin, while others retained his origin and furthering his stories and adventures.
Every new company ended up with a slightly different version of the superhero. In the 1970's Marvel borrowed elements of the the Black Terror when creating the Punisher. The Punisher took elements from the Black Terror costume wearing all black and a skull emblem as well as having a similar personality.
Eventually the different comic companies had their own unique version of the skull and crossbones caped crusader. There wass just about a version or a variant of the Black Terror in every comic book universe. They all seemed to share some base personality traits and all different. For example they all seemed to have a darker side like Batman.
AC comics has recreated reinvented and brought back many Golden Age Superheroes the Black Terror being one of them. Revised the Black Terror is Mark Benton instead of Bob Benton an older retired superhero who returns to action after the death of his wife due to organized crime in the protection racket. He is a more aggressive vigilante, and simply goes by the name Terror. Later in AC comics he becomes a villain as a criminal enforcer and changes his name to Terrorist.
Eclipse Comics wrote a few issues about the the Black Terror in the late 1980's. This Black Terror has no connection to the origin of the original character. He did not get superpowers and he fights crime with a pistol. This version of the Black Terror is also an undercover FBI agent who fights organized crime.
Powers (Eclipse Comics)
- None: This Black Terror is more like Batman as he has no superpowers.
Terra Obscura (America Best Comics approximately 1999-2006)
After years of service fighting common criminals alongside his teammates in S.M.A.S.H. (Society of Modern American Science Heroes or Society of Major American Science Heroes), Bob Benton is retired and happily married. Seeing an opportunity, some criminals tried to shake Bob down for protection money. Met with a refusal from the retired crime fighter, the criminals become disgruntled. After the criminals crossed the line and killed his wife, he decided to return to fighting crime so that no one would ever have to feel the sadness, anger and possibly guilt that he, so deeply, felt.
Instead of using the same tactics he used in S.M.A.S.H. this time he returned as an over-the-top vigilante with the name the Terror, later known as the Terrorist, due to his bare-knuckle beatings to any law breaker. After fighting crime as the Terror for some time he was killed in a battle with the alien from the moon (Tom Strong issue #11), but before he died he transferred his consciousness into a computer program called Terror 2000, a feat he accomplished due to his immense intellect.
Terror 2000 seemed to be a success, but because it didn't have a soul it developed into an evil killing machine that killed the now fully grown Tim Roland, the Terror's original sidekick. It also tried to obtain power from Captain Future's spaceship, but was foiled by a time traveling version of the Terror.
Powers (America Best Comics)
- Super Strength: Due again to the Formic Ethers he and Tim created.
- Invulnerability: Due again to the Formic Ethers he and Tim created.
- Advanced Agility and Stamina: Due again to the Formic Ethers he and Tim created.
- Polymath: A Polymath is a person, with superior intelligence in a significant number of different subjects. He was also very adaptive, quickly learning an enemy's attack style and using it against them.
- Time Travel: An ability which he rarely utilized.
Project Superpowers (Dynamite Entertainment 2008- present)
The Black Terror picks up where the Golden Age character left off. He graduated from Penn State in 1940, and eventually became the Superhero in World War II.
After the war, Bruce Carter, "CIA sanctioned” hero known as The Fighting Yank, started capturing all the world's heroes, including the Black Terror, from the war and new heroes who appeared, in the Urn of Pandora, believing that if he trapped all of the heroes of the war in the Urn the world would be rid of evil.
Fast-forward to the present day, and a now-elderly Fighting Yank is visited by the American Spirit who revealed to him that he was deceived and that instead of stopping evil, he had caused it to proliferate throughout the world. The American spirit then explains that in order to save the world he must again find the Urn of Pandora and free the heroes trapped inside. With the help of the Green Lama, the Fighting Yank found and broke the Urn, thus freeing the Black Terror and all of the other heroes that were trapped inside. The Black Terror is the first to emerged from the urn and fights with a vengeance instantly not knowing who the real enemies are. He is quickly informed of Dynamic Man and his evils. Dynamic Man was once one of his fellow heroes, and now he is a super-villain who controlled New York City with his amazing technology.
After a brief battle with Dynamic man, the Black Terror is teleported away by the Green Lama and told to begin the process of trying to adapt to this new world. His main objective, however, was finding the whereabouts of his lost partner, Tim Rolands the Kid Terror. In his search for his partner the Black Terror tries to come to grips with all the changes around him. He finds that things had dramatically changed in the world. The America he loved and served in was now a corrupt dictatorship. He reflects a lot on the past and makes some fundamental changes as a hero. One of these changes is how he sees himself as a hero. He originally wore the skull and crossbones as a symbol of poison. His occupation as a pharmacist got him to think of himself as poison to those who do evil. Now he thinks of himself as more of a vigilante swashbuckler. He is willing to break unjust laws for the greater good. He starts to think of his symbol as more of a pirate flag and a sign of rebellion. He also starts fighting with an actual sword. He also becomes much more impulsive and quick to respond without much planning. Lastly, he has lost his patience with those who commit evil but makes an exception for soldiers, police and bodyguards who work for the American Government. he believes that they are just doing their job and are being manipulated. He becomes much more concerned with the manipulators themselves and rottenness at that is at top.
He eventually believes that the American government has either captured or killed his partner. In a rage he storms Washington D.C. and attacks the White House. He quickly smokes through and defeats everyone he faces until he meets up against the patriotic heroes who were released by the Urn of Pandora. The patriotic heroes quickly beat the Black Terror and put him in a special cell with a few other heroes. In this cell he hears the Kid Terror may very well be dead. With his wits and anger he breaks free from his cell and quickly makes his way to the President of the United States: President West who has surrounded himself by the patriotic superheros. Undaunted, outgunned and outnumbered he fights the heroes in a seemingly loosing battle until the Green Lama, Samson, Masquerade and others including Kid Terror himself spontaneously join him in the battle. They quickly make their message and leave victorious.
The Kid Terror joined a superhero group of sidekicks and The Black Terror is left to fight solo. He soon discovers that the American Crusader is alive and has been used by the American Government to create an army of zombie like versions of the original hero. Furious he sets out to find him. All the time running into and fighting many different clones of the original American Crusader as well as the new Dynamic Man.
Powers (Dynamite Entertainment)
The Black Terror is one of Project Superpowers most powerful heroes, because of the Formic Ether's he and Tim created.
His Powers include:
- Superhuman Strength:The Black Terror is capable of lifting 70 tons. He has several impressive strength feats including; stopping a train weighing in excess of 90,000tons, lifting and tossing tanks in addition to other random lifting feats. The Black Terror's strength is great enough that he rivals even the Mighty Samson in strength. The Black Terror also has highly developed leg muscles which allow him to leap at least 100 feet in Earth's gravity and catch a speeding car from behind.
- Agility and Stamina: In addition to his immense strength, the Black Terror possesses superhuman agility greater than that of any professional Olympic athlete. His body produces less fatigue-inducing chemicals than a normal human, which grants him superhuman stamina, making him virtually tireless.
- Superhuman Durability: The Black Terror is also highly durable and has been shown to withstand the impact of high caliber rounds, falls from incredible heights and ambushes from very powerful villains including Dynamic man, Power Nelson and the Patriots.
Masks (Dynamite Entertainment 2012-Present)
Black Terror is a member of Masks with Green Lama and Black Bat.
The Canadian Legion (Arcana Studio 2009- present)
The Black Terror will also make an appearance in The Canadian Legion comics by Arcana Studio. In the CL universe Robert "Bob" Benton was a soldier during World War II who discovered a secret black book while raiding a Nazi stronghold. After the war was over he returned home to Detroit and found a nice quiet job as a pharmacist. But crime was erupting all around him and the Mafia was in complete control of his city. The "Formic Ethers" that Hitler's scientists had discovered were in fact dark matter particles. Using his genius level chemistry skills Bob was able to create a serum that gave him superpowers.
For many years he fought crime along Terror Jr, his sidekick and assistant and Tony Trent, who went by the name of The Face. At some point The Face betrayed the Black Terror and left him for dead inside Terror Jr.'s grave. To survive Bob ingested a concreted amount of dark matter particles, increasing his powers and mutating them.
The Black Terror makes an appearance in the Canadian Legion series as an older hero brought together for one last battle against the Proletarian.
Powers (Arcana Studio)
- Super Strength: With his powers increased, his strength has greatly increased to super-human levels.
- Invulnerability: This is Bob's greatest ability, the density of his skin and internal organs has increased to the level where he is practically indestructible.
- Healing: Slightly advanced healing system due to the changes within his blood.
- Polymath: A Polymath is a person, with superior intelligence in a significant number of different subjects. He had a fantastic talent for chemistry and biology.
- Dark Matter: At certain times when his powers were at their highest, dark matter would ooze from his hands. This could render an opponent unconscious if they inhaled the dark force vapors.