Characters such as Batman have proven time and time again that you don’t need superpowers to be a superhero. Batman has also shown us that having an extensive amount of privilege and money also helps. Most characters do not have this luxury; what they have instead is a butt-load of training and lots of determination. That’s the case of today’s featured character: The Bronze Tiger.
Making his grand entrance in Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #1 back in 1975, Benjamin Turner grew up in Central City—the home of Barry Allen aka The Flash. Turner grew up in what was described as an upper middle-class Black neighborhood and seemingly lived a good life. Things changed at the age of 10 when something dark was awakened within him. When Turner was 10, he awoke to find his parents being assaulted by a burglar. It was at this moment he instinctively grabbed a knife and stabbed the man repeatedly until he died. The issue here isn’t that he saved his parents’ lives, it was that he enjoyed killing the man. In order to instill discipline within himself and to quail his murderous ways, he turned to martial arts at the age of 13. This would not be enough to sate his awakened anger. Recognizing the path he was beginning to travel down would lead him to jail, and as he grew older he began to travel around the world in search of guidance. He would find this guidance in Japan from legendary master martial artist O-Sensei.
After rigorous training Turner would eventually become an operative for the organization known as G.O.O.D. (Global Organization of Organized Defense) and further into his career he would come to work for the C.B.I. (Central Bureau of Intelligence). It would be his work with the C.B.I. that would bring about the Bronze Tiger. One of his last assignments he would receive with the C.B.I. was to go undercover and take down the League of Assassins. This would result in a heavy loss for Turner and he would be brainwashed by the organization. Forced to undertake the guise of The Bronze Tiger, Turner acted in the name of the League of Assassins as one of their most feared assassins.
Turner would eventually be deprogrammed from the brainwashing he endured. Maintaining the mantle of The Bronze Tiger, he would eventually join Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad, operating as second-in-command and even join the short-lived Justice League Task Force. Through the multitude of training he has received from both O-Sensei and the League of Assassins, Benjamin “Bronze Tiger” Turner is regarded as one of DC Universe’s greatest martial artists—on par with the likes of Lady Shiva, DC’s deadliest human character.
Brandon Blackmon was born and raised in Clinton, NC. After high school, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology. He attended Pfeiffer University where he received a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is currently a licensed marriage and family therapist. Brandon is a proud blerd (Black nerd) and a firm advocate and believer that representation matters in all forms of media.