Black Terror

The Black Terror is a fictional comic book superhero who originally appeared in Exciting Comics #9, published by Nedor Comics in January 1941. Some Black Terror stories were written by Patricia Highsmith before she became an acclaimed novelist.[1] The character has been revived by various publishers over the years, including AC Comics, Eclipse Comics, America's Best Comics, and Dynamite Entertainment.

His secret identity was pharmacist Bob Benton, who formulated a chemical he called "formic ethers", which gave him various superpowers. He used these powers to fight crime with his sidekick, Tim Roland, together known as the "Terror Twins".

Black Terror
Exciting Comics 9
Cover to Exciting Comics #9. Art by Elmer Wexler.
Publication information
PublisherNedor Comics
America's Best Comics
Dynamite Entertainment
First appearanceExciting Comics #9 (Jan. 1941)
Created byRichard E. Hughes
Don Gabrielson
In-story information
Alter egoBob Benton
Team affiliationsSMASH
AbilitiesSuper strength
Limited invulnerability

Publishing history

Cover of The Black Terror #9, February 1945

The character first appeared in the Golden Age of comics in Exciting Comics #9, published in January 1941 by Nedor Comics. He was one of that publisher's most popular superhero characters, continuing until 1949.

AC Comics

In 1983 AC Comics revised the Black Terror, starting in their Americomics title. In it, now-retired Bob Benton (called Mark Benton in this version) returns to action after an attempt to shake him down for protection money leads to the death of his wife. He would operate as an over-the-top vigilante, now just called the "Terror".[2] Later, most likely due to trademark issues, he became a criminal enforcer known as the "Terrorist".[3]

Alter Ego

In Roy Thomas' Alter Ego mini-series from 1986, several Golden Age characters were used, but renamed. The Black Terror (renamed "The Holy Terror") made an appearance.[4]

Darkline Comics

Bob Benton made a single appearance in the fourth issue of Darkline Comics' Dark Adventures. In the script by Vic Peterson and art by Thompson O'Rourke, Benton's exposure to his secret formula has made him ageless and sleepless, and he begins a new war on crime under the name "Terror Knight."[5]

Eclipse Comics

Eclipse Comics did a three-issue mini-series "revival" of the Black Terror in 1989. In this series, the character is an undercover FBI agent operating against organized crime who would dress up like the Black Terror for certain operations. He had no superpowers or any connection to the original character.[6]

America's Best Comics

The Black Terror, along with other heroes from Nedor Comics, were revived by Alan Moore in 2001 in his series Tom Strong, published by America's Best Comics. This revival set the characters on a parallel world called Terra Obscura, which was also the title of the resulting mini-series.

In Tom Strong #11, Moore and co-creator Chris Sprouse more fully introduce the idea of Terra Obscura being a parallel Earth, "but in our own dimension. In our own galaxy." In this issue, Tom Strange is revealed to have run across the Milky Way for 30 years to reach Strong for help in stopping an alien menace that killed or imprisoned most of the science heroes of Terra Obscura. Strong himself theorized that the duplicate Earth "must be due to some near-inconceivable fluke of mathematics, of statistical probability."[7]

The parallel Earth, as revealed by Strange, was formed much as our own, except that once Earth had completely formed, something large collided and combined with it — a vast spacecraft. The pilot of the spacecraft survived in the Moon, until awakened by astronauts on July 20, 1969. It apparently followed them back to Earth, where it began construction of a ship to return home — by converting the entire Earth into a spaceship. In the process, it was engaged in battle by the members of SMASH. It killed some members, and trapped others in suspended animation for 30 years, until freed by the combined efforts of Tom Strong and Tom Strange.

In Tom Strong #12, it is revealed that the Black Terror had been killed in battle with the alien. However, Benton, a polymath, had transferred his consciousness into a computer program called Terror 2000.[8]

In the Terra Obscura series, the Terror 2000 program institutes a crime prevention program in Invertica City, wherein technologically produced versions of the Black Terror (referred to as the Terror) fight crime. A corporation running the program tries to sell it to other cities in the US. Eventually, the Terror transfers its consciousness into the now deceased Tim and tries to acquire power from the returning Captain Future's spaceship. He is defeated by a time travelling version of his original self, the Black Terror.[9]

TLW Comics

In 2004, legendary comic artist George Tuska (who drew the Black Terror in the 1940s) joined small press publisher TLW Comics, and had an older Bob Benton, now retired, appear in the comic Rival. In 2006, Tuska and TLW produced two stories featuring the Black Terror with his new partner, Terror Girl, a creation of Tuska and writer Brien Cardello. Terror Girl is still being published by TLW today.[10]

Image Comics

The Black Terror is seen in the Mike Allred illustrated "Stardust the Super Wizard" story in Image Comics' Next Issue Project #1 (also known as Fantastic Comics #24, January 2008). He can be seen with many other notable Golden Age characters, including Daredevil, Miss Masque, the Green Lama, the Face, the Phantom, the Fighting Yank, and Samson, who headlines the book. He also made a small appearance on the cover and in some panels of Savage Dragon #141 (November 2008).

Wild Cat Books

In June 2008, pulp publisher Wild Cat Books released Legends of the Golden Age, a prose anthology featuring new stories of the Black Terror and Lev Gleason's Daredevil.

Dynamite Entertainment

Black Terror was one of several public domain Golden Age characters to appear in the comic book series Project Superpowers, by writer Jim Krueger and artist Alex Ross.[11] He was also the first in the series to get a spin-off series, written by Krueger with art by Mike Lilly.[12][13] In the Black Terror series, which began in November 2008, the Terror leads a one-man assault on the White House in search of his lost partner, Tim. The series was cancelled at #14 in 2011. The character appears in the 2013 Masks series along other pulp heroes.

Metahuman Press

The 2009 Metahuman Press serial Out for Vengeance uses both the Black Terror and Black Fury as a basis for the character. He maintains the traditional secret identity and costume. The series is set in the modern day and involves Robert Benton suddenly finding himself young and semi-amnesiac in the city of New Salem.[14]

Heroes Inc.

The webcomic Heroes Inc. started in 2009 and takes place in an alternate reality where the allies of World War II lost the war. In present day, the American Crusader gathers DNA from Golden Age heroes in order to create a new generation of heroes. One of these Golden Age heroes is the Black Terror (now going by the alias Duncan Boone), who is currently on death row for first degree murder.

Curse of the Black Terror

In February 2011, Broken Soul Press launched a webcomic called Curse of the Black Terror. The comic is described as a superhero/noir story. The webcomic follows a re-imagined version of the Black Terror. Writer Curtis Lawson has stated that the story keeps the original Black Terror's history mostly intact and that his new Black Terror is a Legacy Hero. This new Black Terror features a new costume, but the same powers as the original. His identity has not been revealed. The visual re-design of the Black Terror in this webcomic was the work of artist Kundo Krunch.

Moonstone Books

In 2011 Eric M. Esquivel and Ander Sarabia created a version of The Black Terror called "The Blackest Terror"[15]", who is more of an urban revolutionary, obsessed with social justice, than a status-quo-enforcing superhero. Theirs is the first version of Robert Benton to be portrayed as an African-American. Blackest Terror also appears in their book Thor: Unkillable Thunder Christ, also published by Moonstone Books.[16]


In 2017 Daniel Wayne, created a novelization of the Black Terror titled "DeadSkull". The book appears by chapters in the author's blog. Instead of being a pharmacist, Bob Benton is a Medical Doctor and friend of Tim Roland, who at first is the watcher who takes care of his city.


  1. ^ Alter Ego #111, July 2012
  2. ^ Americomics #2, June 1983
  3. ^ Nightveil #2, 1985
  4. ^ Alter Ego #1-4, 1986
  5. ^ Dark Adventures #2, 1987
  6. ^ Black Terror #1-3, 1989
  7. ^ Tom Strong #11, 2001
  8. ^ Tom Strong #12, 2001
  9. ^ Terra Obscura Vol. 1 #1-6, Vol. 2 #1-6, 2003-2005
  10. ^ "TLW Comics". Facebook.
  11. ^ Brady, Matt (July 18, 2007). "Ross and Krueger on Superpowers". Newsarama. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007.
  12. ^ "Mike Lily: Black Terror, Exclusivity and More". Newsarama. July 9, 2008.
  13. ^ "Alex Ross & Jim Krueger on The Black Terror". Newsarama. July 30, 2008.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2009-07-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ Rogers, Vaneta. "New/Old Heroes to Challenge 'White, Right' Status Quo". Newsarama. Newsarama.
  16. ^ The Blackest Terror #1, 2011

External links

Aaron Bell

Samuel Aaron Bell (April 24, 1922 - July 28, 2003) was an American jazz double-bassist.

Bell was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on April 24, 1921. He played piano as a child and learned to play brass instruments in high school. He attended Xavier University, where he began playing double bass, and graduated in 1942. He served in a Navy band during World War II, completing his service in 1946.

Bell was a member of Andy Kirk's band in 1946 but left to enroll in graduate school at New York University in 1947. After completing his master's degree, he joined Lucky Millinder's band and gigged with Teddy Wilson. He later received a doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia University.

In the 1950s, Bell appeared on Billie Holiday's album Lady Sings the Blues, and played with Lester Young, Stan Kenton, Johnny Hodges, Cab Calloway, Carmen McRae, and Dick Haymes. In 1960, he left Haymes' band after being offered a position in Duke Ellington's orchestra opposite drummer Sam Woodyard. He left Ellington's orchestra in 1962, and went on to play with Dizzy Gillespie before taking a series jobs on Broadway as a pit musician. He and Ellington collaborated again in 1967 on a tribute to Billy Strayhorn.

Bell was a resident artist at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City from 1969 until 1972. At La MaMa, he wrote music for Ed Bullins' one-act plays, produced as Short Bullins in 1972, and for William Mackey's Family Meeting. His music for Bullins' plays also went on tour with the Jarboro Company, named after Caterina Jarboro and directed by Hugh Gittens, on their 1972 Italy tour. During this tour, the company performed Bullins' one-acts and Richard Wesley's Black Terror in Milan and Venice.Bell gave a performance of his original compositions, including the pieces he wrote for those plays, on March 19, 1972, as part of the Music at La MaMa concert series. He also wrote the music for the Cotton Club Gala, which was originally produced at La MaMa in 1975 and was revived and directed by Ellen Stewart in 1985.He taught at Essex County College in Newark, New Jersey from 1970 until 1990. In the 1970s, he toured with Norris Turney, Harold Ashby, and Cat Anderson. In the 1980s, he returned to the piano. Bell retired from active performance in 1989 and died in 2003, at the age of 82, in the Bronx.

American Crusader

The American Crusader is a fictional character, a superhero who originally appeared in Thrilling Comics #19 (Better Publications, 1941). The character was revived in the Modern Age in Femforce #59, by AC Comics, and in Tom Strong #11, by Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse.

André Gerolymatos

André Gerolymatos is a Greek-Canadian Professor of History and holds the Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC Chair in Hellenic Studies, and Director of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies at Simon Fraser University. He also serves as the Director of the Hellenic Studies Program and as a co-director of the Terrorism, Risk, and Security Studies Professional Master’s Program. As an expert in modern Greek history and international affairs, Dr. Gerolymatos served on the Canadian Advisory Council on National Security from 2010 to 2012. Dr. Gerolymatos received his MA in Classics and PhD in History from McGill University.

Gerolymatos is the author of a number of books on Greek history, including 2004's Red Acropolis, Black Terror: The Greek Civil War and the Origins of Soviet-American Rivalry, 1943-1949, which argues that the Greek Civil War was the first engagement of the United States in the Cold War. His most recent books are The British and the Greek Resistance, 1936-1944: Spies, Saboteurs, and Partisans from Lexington Books and An International Civil War, Greece, 1943-1949 from Yale University Press.

Azaghal (band)

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Captain Future (Nedor Comics)

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Dan Brereton

Daniel Alan "Dan" Brereton (born November 22, 1965, in the San Francisco Bay Area) is an American writer and illustrator who has produced notable work in the comic book field.

Daredevil (Lev Gleason Publications)

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De Hems

De Hems is a café, pub and oyster-house in the Chinatown area of London just off Shaftesbury Avenue. It made its name purveying oysters and now sells beers from the Low countries such as Grolsch and Heineken with Dutch food such as bitterballen and frikandellen.It is on the site of the Horse & Dolphin coaching inn which was built in 1685 and had been owned by bare-knuckle boxer Bill 'The Black Terror' Richmond in the early 19th century. This was rebuilt in 1890 by the accomplished pub architects, Saville and Martin, for the publican, Mr Crimmen. It was renamed The Macclesfield, being in Macclesfield Street, and was soon leased by a retired Dutch sea captain called "Papa" De Hem who ran it as an oyster-house, charging a shilling and fourpence ha'penny for a serving.It was patronised by fin-de-siècle literati such as the poet Swinburne, who travelled 10 miles daily to eat oysters at the long marble bar, and George Sims who wrote a quatrain in praise:

The rhyme alludes to the common proverb that it is only safe to eat oysters when there is an R in the name of the month — after the hot summer months from May to August. The grotto referred to was The Shell Room upstairs, created from the discarded oyster shells which decorated its walls — some 300,000 at their peak. Only a few now remain but the bar now claims to sell a similar number of pints of Oranjeboom each year.

In the early 20th century, literary figures such as Clemence Dane continued to purchase the establishment's oysters, stout and champagne for their theatrical celebrations. In the 1920s, it became the hangout of gangsters too. When World War I started, patriotic Papa De Hem gave his staff £50 each to return to their threatened country. During World War II, after Holland actually fell to the German invasion, Dutch resistance exiles then met regularly at the pub which became their unofficial headquarters. Another patron at that time was the notorious spy, Kim Philby, who was friendly with the chef, who wore a tall white hat.In 1959, it was renamed De Hems in honour of the captain and then, in the 1960s, it became popular with music industry people such as Alan Price, Georgie Fame and Andrew Oldham, manager of the Rolling Stones. At the turn of the new century, the venue hosted a comedy club — the Oranje Boom-Boom Cabaret — which included the debut of The Mighty Boosh.In the early 21st century, De Hems was popular as a place to celebrate and follow the successful Dutch football team. During the 2010 World Cup, hundreds of fans had to be turned away and manager Sian Blair had to hire a security staff of seven bouncers for the occasion. The upstairs and downstairs bars each accommodated a hundred cheerful revellers for these big matches.In July 2015, the venue began hosting a new comedy club, Linde Boom Boom Comedy Night,.

Liberator (Nedor Comics)

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Mike Lilly

Mike Lilly is a comic book artist known for his work on books such as Annihilation Conquest, Quasar, Vampirella, Nightwing, Batman, Detective Comics, Marvel Knights, Punisher, Catwoman, Green Lantern, X-Men Unlimited, and Dungeons & Dragons.

Ned Pines

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Project Superpowers

Project Superpowers is a comic book limited series published by Dynamite Entertainment beginning January 2008. It was co-plotted by Jim Krueger and Alex Ross, with scripts by Jim Krueger, covers by Alex Ross, and interior art by Doug Klauba and Stephen Sadowski for issue #0, and Carlos Paul for the remainder of the series. Ross is also art director, which includes sketched pages, color guides, and redesigns of most of the characters.The series resurrects a number of Golden Age superheroes originally published by companies including Fox Comics, Crestwood Publications, and Nedor Comics, many of whom are in the public domain, including the protagonist, Fighting Yank.

Richard Wesley

Richard Wesley (born July 11, 1945) is an American playwright and screenwriter. He is an associate professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in the Rita and Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing.

Wesley was born in Newark, New Jersey, to George and Gertrude Wesley, and grew up in the Ironbound section. After finishing high school, he studied playwriting and dramatic literature at Howard University and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1967.He is married to author Valerie Wilson Wesley. As of 2000, he was a resident of Montclair, New Jersey.

SMASH (comics)

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Scarab (Nedor Comics)

The Scarab is a fictional superhero from the Golden Age of Comics. He first appeared in Startling Comics #34 (July 1945), published by Nedor Comics. The character was later revived by writer Alan Moore for America's Best Comics.

Standard Comics

Standard Comics was a comic book imprint of American publisher Ned Pines, who also published pulp magazines (under a variety of company names that he also used for the comics) and paperback books (under the Popular Library name). Standard in turn was the parent company of two comic-book lines: Better and Nedor Publishing Collectors and historians sometimes refer to them collectively as "Standard/Better/Nedor".

The Range Rider

The Range Rider is an American Western television series that aired in syndication from 1951 to 1953. A single lost episode surfaced and was broadcast in 1959. The Range Rider was also broadcast on British television during the 1960s, and in Melbourne, Australia during the 1950s.

Torment (band)

Torment is a Peruvian black metal band formed in 2004 by Satanael (guitar, vocals) and Raksaza (drums). They are renowned for introducing noise music into black metal in their early albums. This band is also infamous for the drummer's involvement in some National Socialist black metal bands.The band self-released their first demo "Black Holocaust" in 2004. After this they signed with the Peruvian label Sad Spirit Productions for the release of the "Pale Proud Slaughter" demo in 2005 and the "Satanic Black Terror" EP in 2006. In 2007 the Chinese label Funeral Moonlight Productions edited a compilation album entitled "Black Terrorism" containing all their previous releases. In 2008, the Canadian label Funeral Rain Records produced the band's first full length called "Hircus Emissarius".

U.S. Jones

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