Bronze Tiger

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Bronze Tiger
Bronze Tiger, from the cover to Checkmate #7, art by Cliff Richards.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceRichard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #1 (May 1975)
Created byDennis O'Neil (writer)
Jim Berry (artist)
Leopoldo Duranona (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoBenjamin "Ben" Turner
Team affiliationsSuicide Squad
League of Assassins
Justice League Task Force
Justice League
PartnershipsRichard Dragon
Lady Shiva
  • Master martial artist and hand-to-hand combat
  • Chi manipulation and sensing
  • Mystic talisman that allows him to transform into a bi-pedal primal tiger for enhanced physical abilities and traits befitting a tiger.

Bronze Tiger (real name Benjamin Turner) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character is depicted as an African-American being among the most skilled martial artists in the DC Universe. He is also frequently affiliated with the League of Assassins, the Suicide Squad, and is a love interest of the superheroine Vixen.

Born and raised in Central City, Benjamin studied martial arts to temper his rage but instead turned to a life of crime until rehabilitating. Eventually, the character would work for various intelligence agencies and encounters the League of Assassins, whom kill his wife and brainwash him into their ranks as the "Bronze Tiger", eventually being recognized as one of the League's grandmaster martial artists. His brainwashing is eventually reversed and he served in the Suicide Squad as second-in-command to Rick Flag. In more modern stories, the character is either depicted as a freelance assassin or vigilante.

Bronze Tiger appeared as a recurring character on The CW Arrowverse show Arrow, played by actor Michael Jai White. In season seven he became an ally to Oliver Queen and renounced his criminal ways and is the father of Connor Hawke.

Publication history[edit]

Bronze Tiger first appeared in Dragon's Fists, a novel by Dennis O'Neil and Jim Berry which starred Richard Dragon.

Bronze Tiger's first DC Comics appearance was in Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #1 (April/May 1975).[1]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

Ben Turner comes from an upper middle class black neighborhood in Central City. When he was only 10 years old, he saw a burglar attacking his parents, and he proceeded to kill the man with a kitchen knife.[2] In an effort to control the rage inside him, Turner turns to martial arts (and eventually, crime). After some time, Turner decides to travel to the far East in order to finally come to terms with his demons.[3] There, he meets the O-Sensei, and studies under him, together with later recruit Richard Dragon. The meeting between Turner and Dragon serves as the start of the series Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter. Some time after they are approached by Barney Ling, from the organization known as G.O.O.D. (Global Organization of Organized Defense), and their (reluctant) working for Ling served as the basis for the Kung Fu Fighter series.

A flashback in DC Comics Presents #39 (1981) shows Richard Dragon discovering that Turner has been brainwashed into becoming the Bronze Tiger by Professor Ojo, then used by Barney Ling (who turns out to be a traitor). Dragon and Turner prove to be equals in the fight, which only ends when Ling is accidentally knocked out a window.

League of Assassins[edit]

Later, in Suicide Squad #38, Turner's further career is shown, wherein he and Dragon are hired by King Faraday to work for the C.B.I. (Central Bureau of Intelligence). Assigned to take down the League of Assassins, Dragon and Turner are discovered by the League, who kill Turner's fianceé, Myoshi, and proceeded to brainwash Turner. Turner was rid of his demons by channeling them into the identity of the Bronze Tiger, a masked assassin working for the League.[1][3]

During this time, he also trains the assassin David Cain's daughter, Cassandra, together with other members of the League. As the Bronze Tiger, Turner developed a fearsome reputation in the world, his identity remaining a secret to everyone but the League.

As the Bronze Tiger, Ben was feared around the world, and the Sensei was smart enough to ensure that Ben hardly ever took off the mask, sending him on a new mission as soon as he finished another. For a time, his identity was secret and he became one of the most wanted criminals, the Bronze Tiger being a professional assassin, killing on three continents.

Learning of Bronze Tiger's true identity, King Faraday set up a rescue squad of Rick Flag and Nightshade. They retrieved the Tiger, and he was deprogrammed by Amanda Waller, who would later run the Suicide Squad.

Suicide Squad[edit]

Cover to Suicide Squad #65, illustrated by Geof Isherwood, Robert Campanella and Tom McCraw.

Waller later recruits Turner for the Suicide Squad, setting him up to become the team's leader, but he ends up the team's second-in-command under Rick Flag.[1] On the team's first mission the Tiger faces Ravan, whom he cripples but refuses to kill. Turner develops a relationship with Vixen, while a member of the Squad's support crew, Flo Crawley, nurses a crush on him. Meeting Ravan again later, Turner convinces him to join the Squad, and the two become an effective fighting duo.

The Suicide Squad was mostly populated by villains, but the Tiger is one of the Squad's 'good' members, meant to balance out the cast of characters. He often enforces Waller's rules, such as forcing various Squad members to wear devices designed to force good behavior. A Bronze Tiger solo story appeared as a Bonus Book in Suicide Squad #21 (December 1988).[4]

The nigh-corrupting nature of the Squad eventually leads to Rick Flag's departure and seeming death in a nuclear explosion. Turner becomes the leader of the team, a role in which he excels, often disobeying direct orders to save the lives of his team (even if they were "expendable"). The Squad member Duchess, in reality the Apokoliptian soldier Lashina, betrays the team and takes many, including Flo, to Apokolips. Flo does not survive the kidnapping.

Turner is eventually confronted by his superiors about his actions, and in the ensuing meeting Turner's mind snaps.[5] He flees, traveling back to the East (leaving Vixen in the process), where he spends some time as a janissary.

Eventually Amanda Waller reforms the Squad and again recruits Turner. In the interim Turner has become a deeply troubled man, one who distances himself from Vixen and was constantly egging on Ravan to confront him. In a mission shortly after the team had reformed Vixen is hurt, which unlocks Turner's feelings for her once more. He mostly returns to his old state of mind. Vixen laters leaves the team, telling Turner she no longer loves him but wishing him well.

In the team's last mission, the Squad struggles to free a small island nation from the tyranny of its seemingly immortal ruler. The team must pass through a forest known for causing hallucinations. While the others experience their own mind-trips, Bronze Tiger faces himself. Defeating himself, and thereby exorcising his demons, Turner once again becomes a complete person. The tyrant is later defeated by Waller.[6]

Shortly after leaving the Squad, Turner is part of Bruce Wayne's search for Jack Drake (father of Tim Drake) and Shondra Kinsolving, who had been kidnapped.[7] He teams up with Green Arrow and Gypsy, a member of the short lived Justice League Task Force. Gypsy becomes romantically involved with Tiger. He later becomes her mentor in the martial arts.

In a story arc of the Batgirl title in 2005 Cassandra Cain begins a search for her birth mother, who she believes is Lady Shiva. She tracks down Turner in Detroit where he has opened the "Tiger Dojo". Both are able to come to terms with Turner's involvement in Cassandra's training and he expresses his pride at her becoming a hero. Bronze Tiger meets with Batman shortly afterwards. He has to stop a group of villains and avenge his master.

World War III and beyond[edit]

In the World War III event, Bronze Tiger is shown to have retired, but is coaxed back into action by Amanda Waller.

In Checkmate (vol. 2) Bronze Tiger rescues Rick Flag from a secret Quraci prison, where Flag had been imprisoned for four years. Notably he is seen wearing a variant on the costume he wore while with the League of Assassins, complete with a tiger head mask (according to writer Nunzio DeFilippis he wears the mask to prove it no longer has any power over him[8]). Afterwards, Amanda Waller appears at the Tiger Dojo, revealing to Ben that she leaked the information about Flag's whereabouts. She then enlists their aid in tracking down a supposedly rogue Suicide Squad team, a team which in reality was being run by Flag and Turner at Waller's behest.

In Countdown #39, Bronze Tiger is among the Suicide Squad members trying to bring in Pied Piper and The Trickster.

In a recent appearance in the mini-series Gotham Underground, Bronze Tiger is among the members of the Suicide Squad arresting Two-Face, Mad Hatter, Hugo Strange, and Scarecrow. While frisking Scarecrow, he is gassed by the escaping villain, revealing a previously undiscovered fear of insects.

Bronze Tiger appears in a Blackest Night-related one-shot entitled Blackest Night: Suicide Squad #67 (part of a series of one-shots operating as extra issues to long-since canceled ongoing series). He works with fellow Suicide Squad members Count Vertigo and Rick Flag to bring down a Mexican drug lord. When the Secret Six attempt to break into Belle Reve prison, Bronze Tiger squares off with Catman to see who is the superior feline-themed martial artist.

The New 52[edit]

In The New 52 (a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe), Bronze Tiger appears as a member of the League of Assassins.[9]

Skills and abilities[edit]

Possessing no inherent superhuman abilities, Bronze Tiger is a master martial artist with lightning-fast reflexes,[10] having studied and trained with numerous martial arts masters in the DC Universe including Kirigi, O-Sensei, and Sensei. While specializing in Taekwondo,[11] the character is said to have mastery in several other forms of martial arts: Boxing, Hapkido, Jeet Kune Do, Silat, Jujutsu, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Savate, Vale Tudo.[5][10][11] Due to his martial arts mastery, he is regarded among the most deadliest fighters on Earth, being on par with fellow assassin and combatant, Lady Shiva.[12]

In addition to his combat capabilities, he is also considered a capable field leader who draws the resources around him and uses them to his best advantage.[11] He is also skilled at chi-manipulation, able to use it to speed up his healing and recovery time, sense chi, and is apt enough to teach others these skills

Other versions[edit]

Amalgam Comics[edit]

Bronze Panther is the ruler of Wakanda and is named B'Nchalla; an amalgamation of the Bronze Tiger (DC) and the Black Panther (Marvel).[13]

Injustice: Gods Among Us[edit]

Bronze Tiger appeared in Year Five of the comic based on the video game of the same name. He is seen with Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Black Mask, Scarecrow, Man-Bat, and Mad Hatter who gang up on Damian Wayne and uses his skills to knock him out. Deadman then possesses Bronze Tiger to knock out the rest of the criminals as well as himself.

In other media[edit]


  • Bronze Tiger appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series, voiced by Gary Anthony Sturgis. Formerly Master Wong Fei's best student and protector of a small village, this version displays a great amount of pride as a martial artist. In the episode "Return of the Fearsome Fangs!", he helps Batman battle the Terrible Trio in a reluctant partnership after the three killed their Sensei. Following the fight, Bronze Tiger decides to reopen Wong Fei's school. Bronze Tiger also makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the episode "The Siege of Starro!" Pt. 2, as one of several heroes possessed by the titular alien before he is eventually freed from Starro's control.
Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger in the CW's Arrow
  • Ben Turner / Bronze Tiger appears in the live-action series Arrow, portrayed by Michael Jai White.[14] In addition to being a martial artist, this version wields two sets of gauntlets with three claws, or Tekkō-kagi, that make him a formidable warrior capable of deflecting arrows fired at close range. Additionally, he has a son named Connor. Introduced in the season two episode "Identity", Turner forms an alliance with China White and a Chinese Triad to conduct a series of raids on transports with medical supplies for Starling City's hospitals in exchange for him being able to fight and kill Oliver Queen / Arrow. On one of the raids, Queen manages to incapacitate Turner through the use of an electrified trick arrow. In the episode "Tremors", Turner escapes from prison with the help of an arms dealer, who hires him to steal a prototype earthquake device. Turner retrieves it, but is defeated by Queen and Roy Harper. Upon his return to prison, Turner is approached by Amanda Waller with a proposal to work off part of his sentence.[15] In the episode "Suicide Squad", A.R.G.U.S. releases Turner to participate in a mission with the eponymous team to kill a wanted man called Ghoulem Qadir, which he eventually succeeds in. As of the season seven episode "Due Process", Turn has become an inmate of Slabside Maximum Security Prison. Initially an ally of Danny Brickwell and Derek Sampson, Turner betrays the former during a prison riot and aids Queen when he offers to give Turner a chance at redemption. In the episode "Training Day", Turner reveals that he witnessed the death of criminal Ricardo Diaz and, in exchange for a visit with his son, reveals that Diaz's killer was Emiko Queen. As of the season finale "You Have Saved the City", Turner has been released from Slabside and helps Team Arrow battle Emiko and the Ninth Circle.[16]


  • An alternate universe version of Bronze Tiger appears in the animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters, voiced by Arif S. Kinchen. This version is an amalgamation of Bronze Tiger and the Cheetah. He, Blockbuster, and Livewire fight their universe's Justice League until he is defeated by Bekka / Wonder Woman.
  • Bronze Tiger appears in the animated film Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, voiced by Billy Brown. This version was a former CIA agent who became a vigilante after his fiancée was murdered by a former member of the League of Assassins. In the present day, Turner is recruited by Amanda Waller's Task Force X program and sent for a mission to retrieve a mystical "Get Out of Hell Free" card by any means necessary. Throughout the mission, Turner proves to be the most moralized of the squad members as he vowed never to take an innocent life and develops animosity towards assassin and leader Deadshot. After the latter walks away from a failed mission to see his daughter, Waller appoints Turner as the new leader of the squad. When Professor Zoom's henchmen kidnap and recruit Killer Frost, Turner leads the squad in tracking their kidnapped teammate, only to be severely injured by an explosive trap set up by Zoom. In response, the squad drops him off at the hospital before Deadshot reassumes leadership and leads them in continuing the mission without him. Despite his injuries, Turner returns during the squad's final confrontation with Zoom, sacrificing himself to distract the speedster long enough for Deadshot to kill him. Before he dies, Turner makes peace with Deadshot, who gives him the "Get Out of Hell Free" card in return.
  • Bronze Tiger appears in the animated film Batman: Soul of the Dragon, with Michael Jai White reprising the role.[17]

Web series[edit]

Bronze Tiger appears in the animated web series Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons, voiced by Delbert Hunt.[18] This version is depicted as an amoral mercenary who is far more villainous than his comics counterpart and works for H.I.V.E. under the command of fellow mercenary, Jackal. Together, they ambush Deathstroke at a warehouse after the former arrives in search of his kidnapped son, Joseph. During the fight, Deathstroke severs Bronze Tiger's arm before setting the warehouse ablaze and leaving him and Jackal for dead, though Bronze Tiger manages to drag the latter to safety. Over the course of the following decade, Bronze Tiger receives a robotic, prosthetic arm and participates in the Kasnian civil war for five years, assisting both sides. He encounters Deathstroke again when the latter comes to him for information on H.I.V.E. The two fight once more until Deathstroke severs Bronze Tiger's prosthetic arm and forces him to give up the location of H.I.V.E.'s base. Once he gets the information, Deathstroke leaves aboard an advanced fighter jet and fires a missile at Bronze Tiger's base, destroying it and seemingly killing him and his men.

Video games[edit]


Bronze Tiger received a figure in wave 18 of DC Universe Classics line in 2011.[19]


  • Bronze Tiger appears as a member of Black Mask's gang in the DC Animated Universe comic book series, The Batman Adventures.
  • Bronze Tiger makes a cameo in the Batman: Arkham Unhinged comic "Operation: Kill Joker", during a flashback when Deadshot joined the Suicide Squad.
  • The Arrowverse incarnation of Bronze Tiger appears in the non-canonical digital comic Arrow: Season 2.5. He and the Suicide Squad are tasked with eliminating the extremist sect, Onslaught. While fighting Onslaught in Kahndaq, the squad captures one of the extremists and tortures them for information on Onslaught's leader, Khem-Adam. Once they get the information, the Suicide Squad storm Khem-Adam's stronghold, though Bronze Tiger is killed by the Onslaught leader. Deadshot carries Bronze Tiger's body away to bury him in his home country.


  1. ^ a b c Beatty, Scott (2008), "Bronze Tiger", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, p. 60, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1
  2. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. pp. 65–66. ISBN 9780345501066.
  3. ^ a b As all revealed in Suicide Squad #38 (1990), written by John Ostrander (plot) and RGreenberger (script).
  4. ^ Suicide Squad #21 at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ a b Suicide Squad #38 (February 1990)
  6. ^ Suicide Squad #65 (1992), written by John Ostrander and Kim Yale
  7. ^ Knightquest: The Search story arc in the Batman books
  8. ^ "Not a mistake. We decided he'd be in the mask for a reason. Ben wears it to show that, to paraphrase from The Man In The Iron Mask, he wears the mask - it doesn't wear him (at least, not anymore)." - Nunzio DeFilippis Comic Book Resources Forums, October 24 2006
  9. ^ Red Hood and the Outlaws #21
  10. ^ a b Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  11. ^ a b c Who's Who in the DC Universe #9. DC Comics. 1991.
  12. ^ Scott, Melanie (2019). DC ultimate character guide (New ed.). New York, New York. ISBN 978-1-4654-7975-4. OCLC 1089398386.
  13. ^ Bronze Tiger at The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  14. ^ "Newsarama | GamesRadar+".
  15. ^ Narcisse, Evan (February 21, 2014). "EXCLUSIVE: AMANDA WALLER UNLEASHES THE SUICIDE SQUAD ON "ARROW"". Comic Book Resource. Archived from the original on 2014-02-28.
  16. ^ Gelman, Vlada (June 4, 2019). "Arrow Promotes Joseph David-Jones to Series Regular for Final Season". TVLine. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  17. ^ "1970s-Set 'Batman' Animated Movie Reveals Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 12 August 2020.
  18. ^ ""Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons" - Double-Cross Slade Wilson? [Trailer]". 6 October 2019.
  19. ^ OAFE - DC Universe Classics 18: Bronze Tiger review

External links[edit]