Max Bemis, lead singer, primary composer and primary lyricist of the band Say Anything, has been carving himself out quite the career in comic books, with Moon Knight, Foolkiller, Polarity and more, but he recently told Bleeding Cool he was taking a break from Marvel.
Well, his latest comics project is to launch the new Black Terror comic book series from Dynamite, featuring the public domain pulp character of old. The comic book series, out in October, will be drawn by Matt Gaudio and Ruairi Coleman.
Dating back to the Golden Age, the Black Terror was created in 1941 by Richard E. Hughes and Don Gabrielson. Under the hero's stark costume is pharmacist Bob Benton, who developed a formula which granted him powers. Often joined by his sidekick Tim, the pair vowed to stamp out evil during the war. Creators as Batman artist and Joker creator Jerry Robinson and novelist Patricia Highsmith (Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley) contributed to his original stories.
In this series, Bob Benton aka the Black Terror, is living in the 1970s and contending with his post-war mental health as well as the rapidly evolving social landscape around him.
Each issue of the series acts as both the next chapter and a standalone deep dive into the Black Terror's life and the chaotic 1970s setting. Fans can expect to see Black Terror's infamous plain-named sidekick Tim, cult leaders, mobsters, experimental drugs and more. Bemis has described the title as a bit of an Alan Moore take on the Project Superpowers universe, but less depressing. Which for Bemis is really important.
Bemis says, "I loved working with Dynamite on our take on Atari's Centipede and they were kind enough to let my imagination run wild in terms of how I interpreted that world. They've let me go just as nuts with Black Terror, an awesomely designed and conceived vigilante who has never gotten a chance to venture into weirdness. If you're a fan of Swamp Thing or Sandman and making a "conventional" superhero go all wacky, but maybe want a bit more humor with your psychedelic, this is the book for you!"
Editor Kevin Ketner added, "I was going to head the route of ultimate cliché and declare, 'This isn't your grandfather's superhero!' but…it is. It's the same guy. Just in a different time and place, and we get to see him in a way that we haven't before. Probably in a way that will make people hope no one they are close to is secretly a crime fighting vigilante. It's bad for the knuckles. And everyone's mental health. All that being said, the best part about working on this book is that I pretty much wear a black shirt every day already, so adding Terror's skull and crossbones logo is not only easy, I can write it off as a business expense. Right?"