Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, November 18, 2023


 As far as superheroes go, The Black Terror is a much better moniker than Super Pharmacy Guy, whic is what Bob Benton really is.  A druggist who loved experimenting with chemicals (don't they all?), Benton created (and inhaled) "formic ethers" a formula which gave him super strength and a limited form of invulnerability.  So naturally he became a superhero with a nifty black with gold trim costume that had a skull and crossbones on it -- an outfir bearing a strong resemblamce to that of the later comic book antihero, Marvel's The Punisher.  Since every superhero neds a sidekick and since Benton had a young assistant in his drug store named Tim Roland, the assistant put on an identical costume and becem...Tim (Coming up with a different name for his sidekick was not Benton's forte.)  Together, Benton and Tiom became the Terror Twins, fighting criminals, Nazis, and mad scientists whereever and whenever they found them.

Created by Richard Huighes (who went on to create classic character Herbie Popnecker) for Nedor Comics, The Black Terror premiered in Exciting Comics #9 (January 1941).  He proved to be so popular that he got his own quarterly title.  In addition to his own comic book, The Black Terror remained the lead feature for both Exciting Comics and America's Best Comics until 1949, when  Nedor pulled the plug on all three comics.  Nedor, being a lower tier comic book publisher, soon closed up shop and The Black Terror became a public domain character to be reused and reimagined by a long line of other publishers over the years.  (It wasn't until 2011 that Benton was portrayed as an African-American, now known as The Blackest Terror.)  One interesting fact: some of The Black terror stories were scripted by Patricia Highsmith before she became famous in her own right; alas, none of the tales in issue #17 are by her.

In this issue:

  • a shipment of a rare drug is used to ship radium, and a criminal gang intercepts the shipment
  • the villain Hypo has developed a spray that can bend the victim's mind to his will
  • the Terror Twins go after Snake and Packy, con men who have fleeced a small town
  • Steve Barry and Ploopie Carr (The Crime Busters) try to foil a jexelry store robbery
  • Donn Wonn practices his kissing on the poster of a movie star
  • Archaeologist Professor Punchy and George are digging in some ruins, find an ancient agg, and are surprised when it hatches
and the text stories:
  •  "Pot Luck"  Young Tad Hogan tries to escape from his evil guardian, who has just robbed a bank
  • "Big Game Hunters"  A pair of thieves try to rob a big game hunter and his son
  • "Bobby's Boat"  Bobby Grayson and Hank Dolan are trapped by a group of hostile Sioux Indians
Enjoy this issue.


  1. This is the first time I've heard about THE BLACK TERROR! I'll have to check this out.

  2. How fecund popular culture has been...was just looking at a 1968 TV GUIDE for (mostly) Boston (file open next to that of a P.S. issue, from the Fermans/Mercury, of similar if earlier vintage) much that is half-remembered/prized by enthusiasts...and some all but lost.