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Public Domain Super Heroes

Black Terror (Nedor)

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Black Terror
Blackterror

Real Name

Robert Benton

First Appearance

Exciting Comics #9 (May 1941)

Original Publisher

Nedor

Created by

Richard E. Hughes & Dan Gabrielson

Golden Age Origin

Black Terror Formic Ethers 1

Discovering the 'formic ethers'.

Black Terror Formic Ethers 2

Discovering the 'formic ethers' part II.

Pharmacist Bob Benton was being harassed for protection money. After he convinced the goons to give him one more day, they stormed out - knocking down teenager Tim Roland on the way. Feeling bad for Tim, Benton hired him as his assistant.

Black Terror

Black Terror and Tim

That evening, Benton and Tim were working on Bob's secret project - trying to develop a formula to help "run down people," as Bob puts it. Tim accidentally adds formic acid, which comes from red ants. The resulting "formic ethers" gave Benton super strength and invulnerability. He decided to use these powers to fight crime, starting with the goons who were hounding him. He sent Tim to a costume shop and then became the Black Terror.

After putting an end to their racket, Tim learned of a plot to crash a subway train. The Black Terror went to prevent the crash. Tim, thinking the Terror may need help, reproduced the experiment and developed the same powers as Bob. Tim showed up in the nick of time and the crash was prevented

The Black Terror and his sidekick Tim, together known as the Terror Twins, went on to fight threats both domestic and foreign during and after World War II. At one point the Black Terror was in love with Jean Starr, secretary to the mayor, who often tagged along on the Terror Twins' adventures. But she seemed to gradually disappear from his life after the war. In their spare time Bob Benton and Tim attended meetings of the Fibbers Club.

When visiting his college history teacher, Professor Ducayne, Bob Benton discovered that his ancestor had himself been the Black Terror in the 17th century. The reason why he had unknowingly taken on his ancestor's identity has not been revealed, nor has whether any of Benton's other ancestors became a Black Terror.

Rogues' Gallery

Allies

Golden Age Appearances

Black Terror First Appearance

Promotional image for the Black Terror's upcoming first appearance.Startling Comics

  • America's Best Comics #1-31
  • Black Terror #1-27
  • Exciting Comics #9-69

Notes

  • The ownership of the earlier Nedor comics which were renewed, including the Black Terror's origin, is somewhat unclear. Many of them were renewed by Popular Library, which was eventually bought out by Fawcett Books. When Fawcett Books went out of business Popular Library was sold to Warner Brothers, who owns DC. However, it is not known whether the copyright to the comics was part of these sales. At any rate, a number of different publishers are currently using characters who originated in these comics, and whoever actually owns them doesn't seem to know or care, so any action over them is highly unlikely.
  • Both Black Terror and Tiger Man have the secret identities of "Robert Benton".
  • In the Legacy of the Masque web series, the modern Black Terror, a descendant of Tim Roland, is played by Tyler Klunick.
  • Black Terror is played by John E. McLenachan in the 2010 film, Avenging Force: The Scarab.

Renewal Notes

Ref. for renewals: Catalog of Copyright Entries

See Also

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