Real Name: Duc No Tranh
Identity: Known to Authorities
Occupation: Mercenary, Martial Artist Instructor, former government agent
Citizenship: Vietnam, with US Criminal Record
Place of Birth: Unidentified Village Near Buon Ma Thuot (aka Bang Me Thuot), Vietnam
Known Relatives: Unidentified Parents (Deceased), Wife, Minh Tranh (Son)
Group Affiliation: Formerly Initiative, Shadow Initiative
First Appearance: Daredevil #258 (V1)
Duc No Tranh’s life would be forever changed by the events of the Vietnam War with the arrival of US Soldiers led by Corporal Michael Janes, along with; Willie Lincoln, Josh Cooper, Chin Fong, Samuel Birulin and William Talltrees. Corporal Janes, who had been feverishly ill, and perhaps completely out of his mind, the last fragments of his humanity snapped by what he had endured, had allowed a situation to escalate out of control when raiding a small Vietnamese village. Janes had forced an old man down to his knees, and had been ranting about the Jungle Breathing. Willie Lincoln knew things were going too far and had wanted to do something to stop Janes. In the next moments, someone threw a grenade in the middle of everyone – it was unclear whether it had been a US Soldier or one of the Vietnamese – but Willie Lincoln acted as quickly as he could.
Willie Lincoln grabbed the grenade and threw it; but did not get it far enough from himself. Though he saved the others, the grenade’s explosion grievously wounded Willie, and permanently blinded him.
Duc No Tranh, who had been but a young child, witnessed it all. The grenade and the wounding of Willie Lincoln had been the final piece to allow Janes to snap. The others quickly followed his command. The US Soldiers mercilessly gunned down every villager within the village. Man. Woman. Child. Elderly. None were spared.
As they made their way to the helicopter evacuation point, carrying Willie Lincoln, it was Samuel Birulin who spotted the young Duc No Tranh running at them. A stray bullet from behind the boy struck him – a bullet from one of the Viet Cong hiding in the woods. But still Duc No Tranh crawled towards the helicopter and managed to jump and grab the side. The helicopter was unable to clear the trees, so Janes kicked the young boy in the face. The others tried to stop him, but Janes shoved them away and kicked again, and again, then crushed the boy’s arm under his heel, forcing the boy to let go, and apparently fall to his death.
But Duc No Tranh was not killed in that fall. Despite all the odds, Duc No Tranh survived.
Duc No Tranh spent years mastering the ability of martial arts and the use of sais, and eventually adopted the name The Bengal. He then traveled to the United States, where he ventured to San Antonio, Texas, where he found and murdered Chin Fong for his part in the massacre of his family and village. He tracked down Samuel Birulin in Seattle, Washington and murdered him as he was speaking to Willie Lincoln on the phone.
He went after Willie Lincoln next, but encountered resistance when Daredevil was there to stop Bengal. Fighting Daredevil several times, Bengal finally learned that Willie Lincoln had been blinded trying to get the grenade away, and save everyone (not just the US Soldiers). Bengal forgave him and moved on. He next tracked down Will Talltrees, who by this time had become the hero Red Wolf. Bengal tracked down and murdered Red Wolf’s wolf friend, Lobo, and nearly managed to kill Red Wolf as well.
Bengal then went after Janes, where he discovered that Janes had become a Catholic Priest, who had been tortured by his past in Vietnam. Night Thrasher and Silhouette of the New Warriors, also came to Janes defense. Seeing how bothered Janes was by the actions of his past, Bengal knew that Janes had suffered enough. Bengal then went after Gai No Don, convinced that he was a war criminal by the name of General Li Pan, who had supposedly issue the command to decimate his village originally. Night Thrasher was there to prevent Bengal from killing Gai No Don, and convinced him that he was not General Li Pan.
Bengal, now with no source of vengeance to seek, grew hollow. He was employed by Tombstone to become part of a mobster. It was there he had begun to fight Shang-Chi, but was taken down by a blast from Black Widow in the back.
Turning away from violence, Bengal sought to lead a normal life. He married an American Woman and together, had a son by the name of Minh Tranh. When the Initiative happened, Bengal was forced to join and was recruited by Henry Gyrich to be a part of the Shadow Initiative. As a part of the Shadow Initiative, under the leadership of Taskmaster, they had been attacked by Bloodscream and Roughhouse, up until Taskmaster explained that they had wanted to join Hydra once SHIELD was gone. However, once inside Hydra’s base, they turned on Hydra and managed to destroy the entire base and escape.
Under Norman Osborn’s leadership, he made it clear that he had no use for the Shadow Initiative. He had his own version of the Thunderbolts to do those kinds of missions. Osborn sent the Shadow Initiative into the Negative zone, where they fought Blastaar, Hardball, Condor, and Dragon Man. The Shadow Initiative suffered loses quickly when Slaughter Boy, Blackwing, and Johny Guitar were all killed. Firearms died shortly after dying at the gate of the Negative Zone during an attempt to escape.
When Norman Osborn disbanded the Shadow Initiative, Bengal took his family and opened a martial arts school in Brooklyn.
Weight: 175 lbs.
Hair: Black (Bald)
Other: The Bengal is an expert hand to hand combatant trained in various forms of martial arts. He is also an exceptional acrobat, skilled archer, and an tracker of near unparalleled skill. His weapon of choice is two sais, which he has on his person at all times. He is also extremely skilled with a bow and arrow and throw stars (shurikens).