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Brief HistoryThe original Rattler was Heath Benson. He was a highly skilled athlete, specializing in gymnastics and aerial maneuvers. He was extremely agile and had above average strength without actually being superhuman. He had some skills with a gun. Heath was originally an acrobat but got injured during a performance and retired. He re-emerged as the ringmaster of a new circus. His body had in time recovered from its wounds and Heath got back in to shape. He kept both facts secret. He created a secret identity for himself as the Rattler.
As the circus traveled, Heath would raid several towns and ranches as the Rattler. He could rob his targets and swiftly return to his work with the circus. He managed to defeat Rawhide Kid in their first encounter. The Kid managed to follow his trail to the circus, finding out its only known acrobat was Whirlo. The Kid challenged Whirlo to aerial combat and came out on top. Only to face the real Rattler next. He again won and unmasked Heath.
Heath later managed to escape from prison but kept a low profile. In his absence Whirlo decided to assume the Rattler identity, figuring any crimes committed by him would be blamed on Benson. However his scheme was uncovered by the Two-Gun Kid.
In 1876, Benson resurfaced as member of a new gang of extraordinary criminals, led by Iron Mask. They eventually faced the time-traveling West Coast Avengers. Benson managed to use his agility to get a hold of Tigra. Only to have her turn the tables and rip him to shreds with her claws. She used his unconscious body to knock out Hurricane.