Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, September 9, 2017


Since this is the early Forties, it should not come as a surprise that comic book super-hero The Black Terror was Caucasian.  It should also be no surprise that his civilian identity strongly resembles that of Clark Kent, right down to the glasses, strong jaw, and bluish hair.  Like Superman with Clark Kent, nobody seems aware that The Black Terror and druggist Bob Benton are one and the same (although The Black Terror does wear the tiniest of Domino masks, one that (just) covers his eyelids and brows).  A big difference between Superman and The Black Terror, though, is that Clark Kent is "mild-mannered" while Bob Benton is "meek."  Oh, and superman came from another planet while The Black Terror got his powers through inhaling "formic ethers," with which he had been experimenting.

The Black Terror wears a full black costume trimmed with gold and a black/red reversible cape.  Across his chest there is a large white skull and crossbones.  As with so many super-heroes, The Black Terror has a young side-kick, his assistant at the drugstore, Tim Roland, whose costumed super-hero name is "Tim."  (Okay, so neither one is that great at choosing their super-hero names.)  Tim wears the same costume as The Black Terror except smaller in size.  The two were collectively known as the "Terror Twins."

Bob Benton has a girlfriend -- Jean Starr, who is secretary to the town mayor.  Jean is unaware that Bob is The Black Terror.

The Black Terror first appeared in Exciting Comics #9 (May 1942) and became a very popular hero in the Nedor/Pines/Standard/Better stable, also appearing in America's Best Comics and in his own title.  All three comics died an ignominious death in 1949, with the company itself going belly-up a few years later.  

Many of the company's character fell into popular domain.  Since then he has appeared in (in various guises and at various times) for AC Comics, Alter Ego, Darkline Comics, Eclipse Comics, America's Best Comics, TLW Comics, Image Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Metahuman Press, Heroes Inc.,  Curse of the Black Terror, and Moonstone Books,, as well as in prose from Wild Cat Books and Deadskull.


As for this issue,
  • Goebbels tweaks Goering about his lack of success in doing harm to America.  Goering then orders Trupp, his best agent in America, to step up his efforts.  Trupp knows he can do nothing effective until he eliminates that darned Black Terror.  Always prepared, the Terror Twins attend a local airshow and foil Trupp's plans.
  • Jean and the mayor travel to vichy in an effort to rescue American journalists held by the Gestapo and are, themselves, captured and taken to Germany.  The Terror Twins then launch their own rescue mission.
  • Dr. Metz (as evil as they come) has a formula that can give Japanese soldiers the appearance of Caucasians.  Once again it's time for the Terror Twins to act!
Also in this issue,
  • Steve and Ploppie, recent college graduates, open "The We Do It Boys" agency and become The Crime Crushers.
  • A three-page "funny" story about Bob the Hobo and the girl who got away.
  • Three short text stories:  "Money on Ice" by Donald Bayne Hobart,  "Kidnap Clue" by Richard Stanton, and "Arthur's Salvage" by Kerry McRoberts.
All in all, a pretty good issue.


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