Public Domain Super Heroes
Black Terror

Real Name

Robert Benton

First Appearance

Exciting Comics #9 (May 1941)

Original Publisher


Created by

Richard E. Hughes & Dan Gabrielson


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.

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.

Black Terror First Appearance

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

Public Domain Appearances[]

  • America's Best Comics #1, 4-31
  • Black Terror #1-27
  • Exciting Comics #25-69


  • The Nedor comics were renewed by Popular Library, which was eventually bought out by Fawcett Books. When Fawcett went out of business, Popular Library was sold to Warner Bros. A number of different publishers, however, are currently/have been using these characters without any lawsuits from Warner Bros., so any action over them is (probably) unlikely. They are still, however, "use at your own risk" characters.
  • 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.
  • Black Terror stars in the Indiegogo comic Terror in the Trenches (2022) by Von Klaus and Monika Maccagni.

See Also[]