Benjamin 'Benny' Beckley
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Ben Beckley has powers based on the superhuman physiology of Comet Man, though they may very to some degree. He can project concussive or disintegration blasts from his hands, sufficient to incinerate a human. He has telekinesis, which he uses to fly (at great speeds), or to levitate other objects or beings. He can project a portion of his own subconscious into the mind of another human or into an animal. He can then read the memories of that being, experience any sensations that being does, and also influence the thoughts and emotions of that being, directing its behavior. He refers to this as "thought pitching." He also apparently has an increased capacity for feeling emotions.
He has some degree of superhuman durability, though its extent is undefined, and he may also possess superhuman healing. He may also be able to generate force fields around himself and may possess superhuman strength. He may be able to teleport in a similar fashion to his father.
Ben is not yet a teenager, and it is likely that his powers will increase markedly with time. Even at his young age, his powers are sufficient to engage his father in direct combat.
(Comet Man#1) - Ben was the son of a pair of astronauts working on the Edmond Project. He was alongside his mother when they watched his father's space mission to gather data on a comet (see comments). They watched in horror as the "comet" suddenly changed its path and incinerated Stephen Beckley and his ship. Unbeknownst to Ben and Ann, the Comet was actually a ship of the alien Max, who reformed Stephen, but used a template for his alien race (the Fortisquians), granting him the powers of a comet man. When Stephen returned to Earth, his previously unknown brother (the Superior) engineered the separate capture of Stephen and the rest of his family. While Stephen was taken for testing, Ben and Ann were forcibly abducted (and still ignorant of Stephen's survival) and taken to a separate compound in Langley, Virginia.
(Comet Man#2) - Ben remained very withdrawn, but Ann attempted to break both herself and Benny out. However, in the process, she touched some high tension wires that electrocuted her. Ben saw her fry right in front of him--seemingly watching the death of his last surviving parent.
(Comet Man#3) - As Stephen had escaped from the Bridge, the Superior instructed his men to attempt to duplicate the powers they had analyzed from him, in his closest genetic match, his son, Ben. The young child began to undergo an intensive stimulation and testing process, which continued without end for days. Ben quickly became too weak to continue: though the scientists had some success, Ben began to become severely anemic. The Superior volunteered himself as a blood donor, identifying a connection between the two by their relatively rare blood type: B-.
(Comet Man#4) - Dr. Fishler summoned the Superior to show him that their agonizing treatments had caused severe internal damage and brought Benny to the brink of death. The Superior instructed him to initiate one more treatment, knowing that if it failed the boy would die. He figured that at worst they could learn something from an autopsy.
(Comet Man#5) - With the last procedure having failed, Benny lay at death's door. His father managed to locate Benny and use his powers to revitalize him, allowing him to spark the changes that the scientists had been attempting to bring about. Glowing with power and maddened by his recent traumas, Ben attacked his father, burying him under a huge pile of equipment. When Fishler entered the room, Benny soared across the room, impaling him with his fists. Benny then flew down the hall, shattering the Bridge's facility. Stephen recovered and called out to Benny, who then became even angrier, until he was overwhelmed by his emotions and collapsed into an inert state.
(Comet Man#6) - As he headed off to save Max from an attack by the Superior's agents, Stephen Beckley had Benny sent to his sister to care for. Rosemary took Benny in, but her husband, Lou, was unable to cope with Benny's withdrawn state and wanted him to be sent for special treatment.
(Marvel Comics Presents#51/2 (fb) - BTS) - After Rosemary and Lou split up, Rosemary began dating Jon Gallagher. She eventually moved to his estate in Connecticut, bringing Benny along with her.
(Marvel Comics Presents#50/2 - BTS) - Stephen returned to Earth to search for Benny.
(Marvel Comics Presents#51/2) - Stephen learned of Benny and Rosemary's location from Lou. He flew to Gallagher's estate and was reunited with Benny, who was still in a highly withdrawn state.
(Marvel Comics Presents#52/2) - Stephen used his thought-casting power to help to bring Benny back to reality. When Max came to visit, he identified Gallagher as the Superior. Enraged, Benny flew at the Superior and started choking him, but he managed to swat Benny away.
(Marvel Comics Presents#53/2) - When Stephen attacked the Superior, Benny encouraged his father to kill the man responsible for so many of their problems. Stephen stopped short of killing the Superior, but Gallagher then pulled a gun on them. Suddenly, however, Gallagher found himself turning his gun back on himself, and he blew his own head off. Stephen initially suspected Max, but it soon became clear that Benny had used his psychic powers to force the Superior to kill himself.
(Captain Marvel V#7 (fb) - BTS) - Benny apparently ran away from home, relocating to Los Angeles, California.
(Captain Marvel V#7) - Benny annoyed a group of school kids by sitting in their basketball basket. When another student, Kelly, used her reality transforming powers to turn her former boyfriend into a tree, another student pulled a gun on her. Benny unleashed a blast that incinerated Ian, the human tree, scattering the rest of the kids. While Benny and Kelly walked across the highway, getting to know each other better, two others sensed Benny's presence. Benny's father, Stephen, locked onto his power signature and flew to him. At the same time, Captain Marvel (Genis) had a powerful vision of Benny bringing about the end of...everything. Genis decided that Benny was too much of a threat to live and so he flew to Benny as well.
When Stephen approached Benny, he attacked his father, unleashing blast after blast upon him, and putting him on the defensive. Before long, however, Genis arrived and turned the tides, threatening to destroy Benny. Comet Man flew to Benny's defense, while at the same time Rick Jones--who was linked to Genis' mind--convinced Captain Marvel not to kill Benny. Genis allowed Stephen to fly away with Benny. Presumably, Stephen took Benny back to the Comet Ship to train him in the safe use of his powers.
In the world of Earth X, Ben became the Skull and used his vast mental powers to nearly take over the entire world.
First Appearance: Comet Man (1987) #1
View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
#2 Captain Marvel (2000)
- 'Benny Beckley to Crazy Eight'
#7 Comet Man (1987)
- 'Night of the Comet, Man'
#1 Marvel Comics Presents (1988)
- 'The Coming of the Comet Man'#2
- 'Try to Set the Night on Fire!'#3
- 'When the Truth is Found to be Lies!'#4
- 'The Damage Done!'#5
- 'All Your Love's in Vain!'#6
- 'The Rest is Silence'
#51 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
- 'Face-Off/Bad Blood!/The Other Way Out/...The Straight Approach!'#52
- 'The First Cut is the Deepest!/Reunion/Last Resort/Kids Will Be Kids'#53
- 'Animals Under the Skin/Final Jeopardy/Brotherly Love/Heads I Win, Tales You Lose'
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