Benjamin Beckley would end up being a key part of the Celestial plan for propagation on the planet Earth. According to Uatu the Watcher, one of the many genetic manipulations would be for one individual to have the ability to control all members of it's race. This was a fail safe put into place by the Celestials so that the manipulated race would be easier controlled.
Benny by accident or design would become that fail safe, for when Black Bolt released the Terrigen Mists into Earth's atmosphere Benny was granted the ability to control anybody he could visibly see. When Benny's powers awoken, the psychic backlash caused the death of virtually all the telepaths on Earth.
Benny would grow up to be a angry and troubled teenager, balking at authority figures and would eventually seek therapy. It has been identified that Benny's first used his powers to kill his parents, and his psychiatrist Doc Samson. At some point Benny began amassing an army of people under his thrall. Calling himself the Skull an adopting an emblem that was a variation of the Punisher's symbol (instead of a white skull however, this one was colored red.) He would begin taking over all of California.
During his conquest of California he took over superhumans such as Sunspot, Domino, Sandman, Woodgod and others, took the newly mutated Iron Maiden as a consort/body guard and was carried around in the body frame of MODOK (presumably killed with the other telepaths during the Skull's psychic birth.) After terrorizing Daredevil's circus, the Skull and his Army were attacked by Namor the Cursed who was getting revenge on the army for harvesting fish from the oceans, the Skull would then put Namor under his control.
Confronted by Captain America who demanded that the Skull let his slaves go, the Skull instead took control of Cap's partner Redwing, and ordered his slaves to attack (all the while begging Cap for help.) The Skull would then refuse to take control of Cap, considering him a washed up old loser, unworthy for his greater vision. This would come back at the Skull at a later date.
As the Skull traveled across America, taking over all who he met, Cap recruited an army to fight against the Skull's forces once they had reached New York. Once the Skull reached the city, he destroyed the Iron Avengers, the alien Hydra, and assassinated President Norman Osborn. He also took control of Osborn's Enforcers and Venom (May Parker).
Cap would launch his attack against the Skull with an army of heroes from all over the world, however their initial strike was a failure, most of the heroes involved taken under the Skulls thrall, Cap himself being rescued by Spider-Man. Cap would then mount a counterattack using Alicia Masters-Grimm's clay Marvels as foot soldiers. Realizing that the Skull couldn't take control of inanimate objects, and playing on the possibility that the Skull wouldn't try if he believed his attackers were inanimate, Cap disguised himself as a clay Marvel version of himself. The ploy worked, and Cap managed to sneak up on the Skull and break the boys neck, ending his menace and freeing all under his control. Cap would then personally bury the boy, not knowing his real name he dubbed him "John Smith" and spoke of his struggle with the original Red Skull as he buried him.
Benny's essence would end up in the Realm of the Dead, in a pre-adolescent form living with his father Comet Man. Both believing they're really alive and those not present in the realm to be dead, Comet Man lived a life of retirement of super-heroing and hoped heroes would not come to influence his son.
However this ideal afterlife would not last, and Captain America (now a member of Mar-Vell's Avenging Host in the realm of Paradise) would come seeking Benny's power. Believing that Benny could make those in the Realm of the Dead believe that they are dead (and those cross over into Paradise), Cap and Thanos would travel to the Beckley home and awaken Benny's latent memories and powers. Benny would lash out at Cap for killing him in the land of the living, however his father (even though decapitated) would convince his son to stop and forgive Cap.
Instead of using Benny for his intended purpose, 4-D Man would arrive and take Cap, Thanos, Comet Man and Benny to Paradise to free those who are living in their idyllic paradise realms, which in retrospect appeared less than perfect. This was just on time to stop an invasion initiated by the Kree army. After the heroes of Paradise defeated the Kree, and Reed Richards took over the role of Eternity, Benny and his father would remain in Paradise. Their present activities are unknown.
Powers and Abilities
It is unknown if Benjamin Beckley had any powers on Earth-9997 prior to being exposed to the Terrigen Mists. However Comet Man mentioned that his son was once manipulated by his enemies, and it is entirely possible that any such abilities gained from said experience could possibly mirror his Earth-616 counterpart.
After being exposed to the Terrigen Mists, Benny gained the ability to take anyone he meets his slave. Apparently, Benny only need to have visual sight of his intended target and also aware that they are a human being. His slaves are not mindless, and can have independent thought, and speak their mind. It appears that the Skull only controls their motor functions or makes them incapable of disobeying his commands.
This is a near flawless form of mind control as it seems to have little side effects that other forms of mind control have. Those under his control have no loss in skill or cognitive ability. The only recorded incident where the Skull's powers had a negative impact on is the Sandman who was slowly losing his ability to keep together. There appears to be no way to resist the Skull's power, as nobody was able to shake his control.
The only way people can be freed from the Skull's control are by the Skull's own will, or by his physical death.
The birth of the Skull's powers also killed all of Earth's telepaths, however it is unknown if this is a lasting effect or if it was only due to his psychic birth. As yet there is no documented proof of what would happen as Earth's only two remaining telepaths were shielded from the Skull's power until after his death.
In the Realm of the Dead, Benny had the same powers, but did not realize them until he was reminded that he had them. Like all those in the Realm of the Dead Benny would remain in a perpetual state where he would not age. Like all denizens of the Realm he is immortal and cannot be killed.
Presumably the same as a youth his age and in regular shape.
The Skull cannot take control of inanimate objects, and was incapable of taking control of such entities as the Iron Avengers or the clay Marvels. This weakness can be exploited by those who choose to disguise themselves as an nonliving being, as it appears that if the Skull doesn't believe you're living he won't try to take control of you.
Benny would travel around in the empty hover-chair once piloted by MODOK. To cross the United States, the Skull and his army traveled by steam engine locomotives.
- 19 appearance(s) of Benjamin Beckley (Earth-9997)
- 6 mention(s) of Benjamin Beckley (Earth-9997)
- 3 image(s) of Benjamin Beckley (Earth-9997)