Title: Black Terror (2019-) #1
Words: Max Bemis
Art: Matt Gaudio
Published: September 25, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: “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! Join Max Bemis (Moon Knight, Foolkiller) and Matt Gaudio (John Wick, Bettie Page) as they take you for a ride through the life of superhero and all the weirdness along the way.”
The mantle of being a superhero is more of a burden that a gift. Trying to live a normal life as an ex-superhero is worse. Bob Benton can no more escape his demons than he can escape his destiny, and if fighting crime is in his blood, then so be it, even if there is a whole organization in place just to stop him. He’ll be fine, as long as he doesn’t run out of valium.
This isn’t the first time the downside of superpowers have been explored, but with Black Terror, Max Bemis puts the audience inside the mind of a deeply troubled individual who happens to have superpowers. A “self-created chemical” gave him those powers, but right now it is the valium he practically inhales that helps keep sanity. Here, Max Bemis puts the trauma and regret in the foreground and jumps forward with a mass conspiracy that this hero is clearly not prepared to fight.
The Bottom Line
Black Terror is a fascinating twist on the usual caped vigilante formula. Despite his wish to just be normal, Black Terror cannot avoid what he has become and will have to suffer the consequences of what amounts to the debilitating affliction and chronic addiction of superpowers.