Robert Benton was the captain of a pirate ship called the Black Terror during the early to mid 1600s, well known throughout the Caribbean for his crew's daring and brutal raids on commerce ships. In 1632 Benton acquired a treasure map that was alleged to lead to the greatest treasure man could know, on an island in the middle of the Daras Triangle, a hellish oceanic area. Though his crew was reluctant to venture into the cursed area, Benton spurred them onwards with his leadership and the promise of treasure beyond anything they could imagine. Upon arriving at the location however, after the ordeals of the Daras Triangle, the crew of the Black Terror found the island to be only a small, rocky marker with no signs of habitation or previous human occupation. All that was found on the island was one small cavern, which after much exploring was found only to lead to a shaft that presumably connected to the ocean, as it was filled with seawater and deeper than any of them could swim.
The crew of the Terror mutinied, angered by the trials they had been through for a hollow promise, abandoning their captain on the island to die. Benton stayed on the island for four days, living off fish he managed to snare with his ingenuity and pools of rainwater that had collected on the island. However, at the end of the fourth day Benton was driven deep into the cavern by a wild storm, hoping to avoid the crashing waves that battered the island. Unfortunately for him, one wave of titanic proportions swept over the island, flooding into the cave and surging down into the shaft, taking Benton with it. In pitch blackness, disoriented and under the water, with no idea of which direction was up, Benton swam furiously, following the shaft wall and hoping against hope that he was swimming up rather than down. Benton's lungs raged with fire as he strained his body, emerging from the water just on the brink of unconsciousness. He staggered out of the shaft and collapsed, becoming overcome by his ordeal.
When Benton awoke, he found that he had emerged from the shaft into a foreign area. This was not the cavern on the island, but he knew he hadn't ended up in a branching tunnel of the shaft either. Against all odds and completely in the face of logic and natural law, Benton was certain he was far below the water level, yet the water from the shaft had not filled the cavern he now stood in. It did not take Benton long in his explorations to discover why this might be the case, as he stumbled upon a coiled serpent so large that it defied the imagination. To this very day Benton is only vaguely able to describe what it is he encountered, often saying that it simply beggars belief. Whatever the beast looked like, it was a sleeping creature, and Benton warily approached it. When he laid his hands upon the great beast, Benton felt a great rush of air around him, as the spirit of the beast, left to slumber for aeons under the water, entered his body. Becoming imbued with the spirit of the great Primordial Overlord of the Ocean, the Leviathan, Benton gained immense strength and power, as well as oceanic control, becoming an overhuman of the highest level.
Benton used his newfound abilities to escape the island, and rode the waves back to civilization. His first act was to track down the Black Terror and his mutinous crew, destroying them in a ferocious rage. He draped the jolly roger of the ship around himself, declaring himself to be the sole inheritor of the name and legend of the Black Terror. After this event Robert Benton, now calling himself the Black Terror, utilized his great powers to become the Pirate Lord, presiding over all pirates in the oceans of the British Empire. Though records of his specific activities during the next two hundred years are scarce and often contradictory, it is known that Benton was quick to anger and quite often merciless in his wrath, commanding great storms to do his bidding in destroying merchant ships and British Navy vessels. In 1692 town of Port Royal drew the ire of the Black Terror, though to this day it remains unknown as to whether it was the British Navy, the Dutch East India shipping company or the safe-harbored pirates of Port Royal who antagonized him. Whoever it was that the Black Terror decided to cast his wrath upon, the results of the anger were devastating, as a tsunami and a hurricane beset the port without warning, obliterating the town and killing the vast majority of the 6,500 inhabitants.
In 1722 the Black Terror was reported to be using the legendary sword Tizona, a weapon once used by the Spanish folk hero El Cid, in combat against a band of slave smugglers, and is presumed to have continued using the fabled blade until he donated it back to Spain in 1794.
In the mid 1800s the Black Terror is recorded as having been seen operating in the Orient, primarily in China and Japan. It is during this time period that the Black Terror first encountered Fujin, a ninja who possed the spirit of the Primordial Overlord of the Sky, Ziz. The battle that occurred between the Black Terror and Fujin was of near-mythic proportions and has since entered the mythology of the Orient. This was not to be the last battle between Fujin and the Black Terror though, as this first encounter has since seen them become mortal enemies to each other.
During the early 1900s the Black Terror became something of a patroller of the oceans, undertaking heroic activities at an individual level, and with the spread of the media during this time period the Black Terror's strength and good deeds became common knowledge. He was able to voice his opinions and disseminate them amongst the people of the world, further ingraining himself into the culture of the world.
In World War I the Black Terror appointed himself as the guardian of peace upon the oceans, preferring to simply ensure that no side was able to engage in combat rather than pledging an alliance to any particular nation. His voice was that of a public dissenter, a man who spoke out against the war but also against the various governments involved in it. It was during this time that he became particularly famed as an anti-authoritarian figure and a hero to many in a sense beyond that of simply preventing ships from sinking or capturing smugglers.
During World War II the Black Terror again chose not to actively intervene on behalf of any one nation, but did voice his disapproval of the actions of the Axis nations. He was forced into combat against the Axis during the later half of the war, after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused Fujin to fight for the Japanese forces in the Pacific theatre. This time the Black Terror was able to somewhat subdue Fujin, although the Japanese overhuman was able to escape death. After the war, the Black Terror became the social embodiment of vigilante action and resistance to oppressive governments, but was never one to espouse full anarchy, as he recognized the contributions and necessity of government structure in a community but felt strongly guarded about tendencies of governments to become regimes over the people they should serve.
After the events of World War III, the Black Terror announced that he had seen far too much horror and bloodshed over the past sixty five years, and that mankind was becoming ugly beyond anything he could imagine. Citing a lack of adventure and nothing but horror as reasons for him to leave, the Black Terror then set out upon a voyage to sail 'uncharted seas' beyond 'the edge of the world' and disappeared from public view when he sailed away on the Flying Dutchman. Since departing for this voyage of adventure and recovery, the Black Terror has not been seen by the public.
The Black Terror's bold and fearless drive to take action against perceived wrongs, whether it be by individuals or by governments, was a key aspect of his public image, and it was expected that he would become the leader of a resistance movement against the oppression of the Mongol Empire after Allied defeat during World War III. However, the hopes of many were dashed by his departure, and a feeling of inevitable acceptance swept over many people after even the Black Terror was unwilling to act against the Mongols. However, his actions did continue to inspire a handful of individuals globally, people who supported his anti-authoritarian views and still held to the ideas that the Black Terror had presented even when he was gone. Many of these individuals donned costumes inspired by the Black Terror in order to fight crime and oppression as mysterymen. In particular, soon after the disappearance of the Black Terror five new Terrors entered the public spotlight, performing heroic deeds or fighting the Mongol empire. The emergence of these new Black Terror imitators would become known by the nickname of the War of the Terrors.
The oppressed masses seized upon these new heroes, and whilst many dismissed them as simply imitators to the great hero rumors spread that the Black Terror had returned, altered and renewed by his adventures beyond human understanding. At least one of the heroes, El Terror Negro, vehemently denied any claims that he was a returned Black Terror, but the other four heroes embraced the rumors and tried to use the idea that they were the returned Black Terror to add greater weight to their actions and words to the public. The five heroes fought over the title, but eventually resolved to denounce themselves as Black Terror and instead the five Terrors founded the Terror Underground, a global resistance movement against the Mongol Empire and evil in general.
The Black Terror has become a pop-culture icon, his iconic pirate image and his skull-and-crossbones logo entering the public cultural awareness in new was, often appearing as graffiti or on clothing as emblems of support for the ideals the Black Terror tried to embody.
Powers and Abilities Edit
Imbued by the spirit of the slumbering Leviathan, Primordial Overlord of the Oceans, the Black Terror has mastery over the ocean and everything related to it. From the Leviathan itself the Black Terror inherits immense strength, able to lift up to 400 tons, great durability, able to take hits from anything below a direct artillery strike without even minor injury, and inexhaustible stamina and endurance, able to operate without sleeping or tiring indefinitely, and is eternally in his physical prime as a result of his empowerment. Benton is now an avatar of the ocean and as such can survive without danger underwater for as long as he wishes, even in the deepest depths and highest pressures, and is able to control the oceans within his sphere of influence, generating raging waves and staggering tsunamis at whim, and just as easily calming a stormy sea. It is not just the water he controls but all aspects of oceanic weather, able to conjure up titanic storms and hurricanes, waterspouts and thunderclouds with little effort.
Benton is also blessed with all the knowledge of the ocean, a vaguely-defined ability that allows him to sense the happenings both above and below the ocean surface, and track down oceanfaring vessels and animals with uncanny ability. He also has an intrinsic knowledge of the currents and how altering weather patterns can create unintended flow-on consequences, as well as complete understanding of marine biology, both animal and plant. This same oceanic knowledge allows Benton to 'command' sea creatures to do his bidding, though this is less of a telepathic communication and total comprehension of animals in a manner of talking to them as it is a bending of their instincts and mental faculties to simple goals designated by Benton.
Though Benton is no faster a swimmer than would be expected from someone with his phenomenal strength, he is able to travel at high speeds under the water by manipulation of the oceans around him, and can reach speeds as great as the fastest fish of the seas, at roughly 60 knots, and can maintain such speed for long lengths of time, though over-water transportation is often quicker.
The Black Terror is a highly skilled swordsman, capable of engaging in combat with a variety of bladed weapons. His centuries of existence have allowed Black Terror to gain solid academic grounding in a variety of areas, and he has kept up to date with modern scientific breakthroughs. A master navigator, helmsman and pilot, Black Terror can sail even the most unruly boat through the worst weather, and his leadership skills are second to none, able to inspire his followers and crew into acts of greatness with a few simple words.
None revealed so far.
A legendary cutlass, crafted from orichalcum and unearthed from the buried ruins of Atlantis. At one point, the Black Terror also wielded Tizona, the legendary sword of El Cid, which had the supernatural property of instilling fear into opponents, but he has since returned it to Spain, donating it as a relic of national heritage.
An enchanted compass that points towards whatever Benton desires most.
The Black Terror is able to travel by riding waves that he controls, effectively surfing his way across oceans and water straights. At other times Benton has been known to ride the waters on a giant sea creature in his thrall, whether it be a shark, a great whale or even legendary creatures of myth, such as a kraken or a plesiosaur. During the late nineteenth century, Black Terror tracked down and commandeered the Flying Dutchman, a ghost ship manned by a phantom crew and able to sail over land on a mysterious thick green mist. He now uses this ship as his primary method of transportation and his mobile home away from the Daras Triangle.
Pets & Animal CompanionsEdit
Benton once had a parrot, but due to his immortal nature he has long outlived the parrot. In the mid-nineteenth century the Black Terror acquired a phoenix during an adventure in the Orient, and has named it Sparks.
None revealed so far.
This character is based on the public domain character Black Terror, but only as a source of inspiration. The skull and crossbones on the costume reminded Vagrant of the Jolly Roger, a flag flown by pirates, and inspired him to remodel Benton as an immortal pirate with oceanic abilities.