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Name: Duc no Tranh

Alias: Bengal

Powers: Bengal has no superhuman powers. His strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability, and reflexes are peak human. However, Bengal is a martial arts master. He wears a tiger-striped costume to conceal his identity when he is hunting. He typically fights with paired Sai, bow and arrows, or shurikens.

First Appearance: Daredevil #258 (1988)

Biography

Duc No Tranh was a boy growing up in a Vietnamese village during the Vietnam War. During the war, American soldiers, including Red Wolf, Willie Lincoln, and the future Reverend Michael Janes, massacre his village and parents. The boy tries to climb aboard the Americans' helicopter, but was kicked off by Private Janes, despite the pleas of other soldiers on board. Years later, the boy became the costumed Bengal and travels to America for revenge on the soldiers involved in the destruction of his village. Willie Lincoln seeks Daredevil's protection who Daredevil defeats.

Bengal later attacks Father Michael Janes. He soon clashes with Silhouette and the other New Warriors over the fate of Janes. Bengal also fights Night Thrasher for the first time and their battle is ended by the Punisher. Bengal befriends the New Warriors, and he and Janes make peace with each other.

Despite this, Bengal still feels the need to avenge atrocities stemming from the Vietnam War. He comes to believe that Gai No Don, an acquaintance of Night Thrasher, was in reality, Li Pan, a Vietnamese general responsible for thousands of innocent deaths. Bengal battles security officers until he reaches Gai. He is confronted by Night Thrasher and Silhouette, whom Gai has hired. He is told Gai is not Li Pan. Bengal leaps out a window and escapes. Bengal later attacks the Poison Memories gang, a long time New Warriors enemy. He believes they have information on Li Pan. Again, Night Thrasher fights him. He is temporarily subdued and urged to move on.

Bengal is hired by Tombstone, an albino American gangster. Along with the man's employees, he confronts a loose collection of superheroes operating out of New York City. Bengal personally confronts Shang-Chi; both acknowledge they have heard of each other in the past. Before the fight can begin, Black Widow subdues Bengal with a 'stinger' blast and he is taken out. Several of Tombstone's allies were swallowed up by Cloak, one of the heroes, but is not clear whether Bengal was. Victims of Cloak usually face their worst fear before being dumped out, freezing and disoriented. After his employment by Tombstone, Bengal marries an unnamed woman and improves his English.

Since then, Bengal has truly reformed and has been around the Avengers Initiative academy training to better himself. Remaining with the school for awhile, Bengal temporarily joins the Avengers Resistance and helped defend against Norman Osborn's reign. Afterwards Bengal left the Academy and moved with his family to Brooklyn where he opened a dojo.

vs. Eye-Scream

While Bengal doesn't have any powers to speak of, he is still a hard fight for Eye-Scream. He is expertly trained in martial arts and stealth and is well skilled in the use of his sais. Eye-Scream could potentially dodge his assults by slithering around in his ice cream form and alternating with that and a half human/half ice cream form. A good trick for Eye-Scream is his reputation...most look at him as a joke and a pushover and he could use this to his advantage by letting the opponent underestimate him. Freezing cold blasts of ice cream to the face may not actually hurt, but I would def. think it would disorient him.

Comments

Bengal is a relitively obscure Marvel character, created by one of my favorite writers Fabian Nicieza. I first saw him in the pages of New Warriors and I loved his design and backstory. He was from Vietnam and as a child during the war, he was denied entrance to an escape plane by an American war helicopter that had destroyed his village. He trains hard and seeks revenge to those that killed the people in his village and damn, does he look cool doing it. He's actually progressed a lot further since the early 90s when he was created and appeared reguarly in the Initiative, which I actually hadn't read. I would imagine his Vietnam past is being quietly forgotten however as it would age him a bit to much. A shame, but I am glad to see he had a somewhat happy ending.