Jack Mobley was a relatively successful computer programmer, but his career eventually started going steadily downhill after some hard times. Things only got worse with each job because of his tendency to blame his superiors and others for his problems. Although supportive of him at first, Jack's wife, Wendy, eventually couldn't cope with him either and left him, taking their daughter Gladys with her. Not long afterwards, Jack was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and was reported to have only six months left to live.
Both depressed and angry at the world, Jack's life seemed to have hit rock-bottom, but things only got worse when he was attacked by Lissik and Venev, two vicious alien parasites. Both Lissik and Venev fed off of Jack's spinal fluid and left him for dead, but he ended up being one of the rare people that gained superhuman abilities from their bite, rather than dying. Cured of his cancer, but having been transformed into a new and horrific appearance, Jack panicked and attempted to seek help. However, anyone he touched ended up turning into a grotesque monster because of his new abilities. Eventually, Jack made his way to his doctor, but when he proved to be less than helpful, Jack lashed out and ended up turning him into a monster as well. Jack's monsters soon brought panic to the streets, prompting the Justice League of America to investigate.
Jack fled to his ex-wife's house, in hopes of reconciling with her, but he was met with opposition from her new husband and he ended up killing with his new abilities. Shocked by what Jack had done, his ex-wife berated him, telling him that what he was doing wasn't going to change anything. Frustrated, Jack lashed out again and accidentally turned his wife into a monster, as well as his daughter when she grabbed hold of him to try and stop him. Overwrought with despair, Jack finally decided to take his frustrations out on the world by becoming a supervillain. Fashioning a costume for himself, Jack took the name Terrorsmith.
Terrorsmith was created by Bill Loebs and Greg LaRocque for the 1993 Bloodlines story arc.
Major Story Arcs
Only the Lucky Ones Die!
Armed with his new powers, Terrorsmith gathered a horde of his monstrous creations and sought to take down the JLA, who he blamed for his recent misfortunes. As it turned out however, even though Terrorsmith could transform people into monsters, he was actually unable to control them and so they fled rather than obey him when he ordered them to attack Wonder Woman. Having had enough of his failures, Terrorsmith simply resigned himself to his despair and defeat. Wonder Woman empathized with Terrorsmith after she had him explain what had happened to him. She then requested he surrender himself willingly, and took him to the JLA's headquarters in hopes of him aiding in their battle against the alien parasites.
While there, Terrorsmith's daughter managed to revert back to her human form, over-joying Terrorsmith. Wonder Woman then suggested that perhaps Terrorsmith's abilities weren't as cut-and-dry as he'd assumed. She believed that instead of simply turning people into monsters, he was actually turning them into what he expected them to be really like. Testing her theory, Wonder Woman was able to get Terrorsmith to re-empower Fire (who'd lost her powers recently) by having him focus on her heroic qualities, rather than the negative.
The JLA then went to battle the parasites, who they'd managed to lure with a fake rally. Together with several of the other parasite victims, like Krag, as well as Oberon and Maxwell Lord who'd both briefly been empowered by Terrorsmith, the JLA managed to cause the parasites to retreat. Terrorsmith disappeared after the battle however, and was last seen contemplating whether to use his abilities as a hero or a villain.
Life on the Run
Terrorsmith was later captured by Brainstorm, who wanted Terrorsmith to grant him superhuman abilities to replace those of his damaged helmet. Instead, Terrorsmith ended up turning Brainstorm and many of his goons into monsters, resulting in untold chaos and allowing Terrorsmith to flee. Brainstorm and his goons later reverted back to normal.
Powers & Abilities
After being bitten by two of the alien parasites, Jack Mobley went through a total physical transformation, greatly altering his physiology and subsequently giving him a very frightening appearance. This transformation made him faster and stronger than a normal human, as well as giving him fangs and claws.
The main power that Jack gained however, was the ability to empower and transform people into virtually anything he might want. Originally, this ability seemed to be limited to turning people into horrific creatures, which Jack thought was because he was turning people into their true, evil selves. This proved erroneous however, and it was later theorized by Wonder Woman that Jack was actually capable of turning people into what he expected them to be, meaning that he'd only been creating monsters so far because he'd assumed all people were monsters.
One of Jack's transformed victim usually takes on the form of their own worst nightmare, typically granting them enhanced strength, speed, and sometimes even a distinctive superhuman power. Unfortunately, the shock of the physical transformation could sometimes accidentally kill them. These transformations have so far been proven to be temporary, and Jack has shown to have little control over his own creations.