The Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – B
We continue our tour through the alphabet, with a different cool comic book item each day, from A to Z!
Today we look at one of the cooler supporting characters in the DC Universe.
Ben Turner, the Bronze Tiger, first showed up in Dennis O’Neil and Jim Berry’s novel, Dragon’s Fists, starring Richard Dragon. Along with Dragon, Ben made the transition from novel to comic in the late 1970s with Richard Dragon, Kung-Fu Fighter.
Ben and Richard were friends and two of the best martial artists in the world.
When Richard became an international agent for a global peacekeeping group, Ben joined him.
Sadly, at the end of the series, Ben was brainwashed by the bad guys into becoming the Bronze Tiger.
As the Bronze Tiger, Ben was one of the most feared members of the League of Assassins.
Eventually, he was rescued and his brainwashing was broken.
He then became second-in-command of the Suicide Squad, a team made up of mostly super-villains working for early release by the United State Government.
While with the Squad, Ben was able to use his skills often, especially against Ravan, who was a bit of as nemesis to Ben.
Ben eventually became the sole leader of the Suicide Squad, and began a relationship with his teammate, Vixen.
However, he still had a lot of mental issues to work through…
He basically has conquered his inner demons, but he’s still with the Suicide Squad.
He also recently co-starred in an episode of Batman: The Brave and The Bold as a former fellow martial art student with Batman. The two have to try to save their old teacher.
What I like best about Ben is the conflicts in his personality. When he was a child, his family was being robbed – the young Ben killed the burglar with a kitchen knife. The idea of being filled with so much rage scared him and his family, so he turned to martial arts as a way of controlling himself. That anger was later used by the League of Assassins.
So that’s an interesting facet of the man – he’s a really good guy, but he has a lot of inner demons, and he insists on working for the Suicide Squad as the only (or at least only one or two) GOOD member of the team, so a man who has problems with inner demons constantly surrounds himself with some of the worst scum out there, hoping that he can continue to find his inner peace amongst it all.
That’s a pretty darn cool idea for a character.
And hey, it’s also pretty cool that he can fight Batman to a stand-still.