Synopsis: Bob Benton has settled into his “boring” life of being a pharmacist. A daily routine, a co-worker he has a crush on…these are the things that keep him happy. But creeping below the surface are his memories of being a hero. Struggling against his urges to fight crime, he is suddenly sent down a path he thought he had left behind, wanting…needing to be a vigilante, ready to once again punch crime in the face and become the Black Terror!
Review: Black Terror is one of the many Dynamite characters that I have very little knowledge of beyond his role in Project Superpowers. So from that perspective, it is great to see him getting his own comic once more if not only to educate me about the sort of character he is.
The story is set in the 1970s, which is twenty years after the super-heroics of Project Superpowers and their involvement in the 2nd world war and its aftermath. Bob Benton, who used to be the Black Terror is living as much of a normal life as he can. But due to his powers, which were brought about by chemicals he cannot age. He goes through life doing the day to day chores of being a pharmacist. His only diversion a crush that he has on a co-worker and the valium he takes to keep the edginess at bay.
Most of this issue is focused on Bob’s internal dialogue as he remembers his life as a superhero and secretly yearns to be able to resurrect his altar ego. The Black Terror. Until one night he dons the costume once more and as he does an old enemy a secret organization of supervillains becomes aware of him.
Matt Gaudio artwork is pretty good in this issue, but much of it is located in the pharmacy, which is rather stark, clinical and white. That said though. I really loved the opening page, which revealed some nice visual flashbacks to compliment the internal dialogue of the protagonist.
The most fun sequence of panels comes when Bob decides to follow a perp home and climbs up a tree to get quite an eyeful as he sees the perp unlock a cupboard, which seems to have a bit of S&M gear hung on the cupboard doors as well as some rather nasty looking torture devices.
This is a really solid first issue, which gives you insight into the Black Terror as Bob’s internal dialogue tells us what he was and is all about. Some aspects of these monologues put me in mind of Rorschach and his ongoing commentary from the Watchmen comic. I’m not too sure if that is what writer Max Bemis was going for. But the character’s hardline on crime and criminals certainly feels a little like that in terms of the complexity of Bob’s motivations. This becomes more apparent when he admits as much too himself as he does to the readers that he going through withdrawal through having denied his true calling as Black Terror.
Overall. A really solid first issue, which has left me wanting to learn more.