Zombies tend to be popular. So are hired killers and anti-heroes. Combine the two and you’re bound to get somewhere.
That was probably the theory behind Terror Inc.
Terror’s story began centuries ago. He was a tribesman who went out to deal with a demon bear, as tribesmen threatened by demon bears tend to do. Good news for him was he was victorious. The bad news was also that he was victorious.
See, demon bears never go down without a curse, and this one was no different. Terror, then known possibly as Schreck, or as something else because the Schreck name was one he used for a while, gained the demon’s powers. What were those powers? Well, spiky growths coming out of his face for one. Green skin? Oh yeah, that too. And his body started rotting away while he wasn’t quite dead. Those powers all sucked, and he was quickly banished from his tribe.
But wait, you say, how did a guy who was already rotting manage to, you know, make it to modern times and interact with such Marvel heroes as Deadpool, Wolverine, Daredevil, and the Punisher? Well, it seemed the demon bear had one other power, too. It could acquire parts from other organisms. An arm is falling off? Take one off a recent corpse! And, as an added bonus, any skills or memories attached to the new part were something Terror himself could use. That meant seeing the last sights of an eye or fighting with the skills in a martial artist’s fist. The skills were largely temporary, but then again everything about this guy was temporary.
Schreck first appeared in a comic from Marvel’s Epic line, which were more creator owned. He was a “shadow,” an immortal being that lived on an Earth with no superheroes. That was in 1988, and his creator D.K. Chichester was asked by Marvel if he’d like to bring his creation over to the mainstream Marvel universe as a means of jumpstarting some of their old horror titles. Chichester agreed, and the character was redubbed “Terror” in 1992. Where Schreck had been an enforcer for some bad guys in his original incarnation, Terror would be a hit man for hire type, going around and killing bad guys that needed killing and grabbing some replacement parts as he went.
That horror line never really materialized in the way Marvel was hoping, and man did they try. Chichester wrote a couple different Marvel titles, like being the regular writer on Daredevil and doing a guest run on Wolverine, and he made sure to stick Terror in those story lines as much as possible. I remember the Wolverine issue distinctly because Terror came in with, what he said, were five fingers off a recently deceased cartoonist that helped him do some sort of police sketches of some character Wolverine had spotted. I remember it mostly because the issue, probably done months in advance, came out around the same time Peanuts creator Charles Schultz passed away. Um, ew.
For whatever reason, Terror didn’t catch on the way other supernatural anti-heroes did. I can’t imagine why…wait, yes I can. His powers are gross.
Where is Terror today? Well, as a killer for hire, it makes sense that he got hired by Deadpool to be part of that character’s “Mercs for Money” team. Deadpool had originally conceived of the bunch being the “Heroes for Hire” until a lawsuit from Luke Cage and Iron Fist changed his mind. So, Terror can now be seen assisting Deadpool with a group that includes anti-terrorist Solo, sometime Avenger Stingray (that one makes no sense), and fellow Misplaced Hero Slapstick.
But for the meantime, he’s still out there, forever looking for replacement parts.