Benedict, named so after Benedict Arnold, was created by Madame Masque to serve in her Inner Guard, her personal army of robots who would protect her from those she believed were out to get her. Benedict, armed with several lethal tendrils, was tasked with protecting Madame Masque from her ex-lover Iron Man and his allies in the Avengers.
Benedict was created by Ben Raab and Mike Deodato Jr. and first appeared in The Avengers #398.
Introduced in some of the final issues of The Avengers, Benedict served as a new villain who battled against the Avengers and kidnapped their newest member Madame Masque. The Benedict storyline was left unfinished due to the urgency of the Onslaught crossover and the Heroes Reborn reboot. Five years later, Kurt Busiek decided to resolve the Benedict story in a crossover between the Avengers and Thunderbolts books titled Nefaria Protocols. Busiek's stories saw a lot of elements twisted and re-interpreted by retcons about the nature of Madame Masque and her association with the Avengers. It was here where Benedict was revealed to have been made by Madame Masque alongside several other robotic agents. Benedict very briefly appeared in the Iron Man: Hypervelocity miniseries.
Major Story Arcs
Not long after the Avengers had inducted Madame Masque as a new member for helping thwart Iron Man's murderous rampage, Avengers Mansion was infiltrated by Benedict who had been sent to spy on the team. Quickly subduing and defeating Crystal, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Thor and Wasp individually from the darkness, Benedict himself was witness doing so by Madame Masque who opted to instead flee rather than face the villain.
Madame Masque's attempts to evade fighting Benedict proved fruitless when the robot noticed her and began attacking her. As Madame Masque battled Benedict, Hawkeye arrived and intervened and helped drive Benedict off and away from Avengers Mansion.
With only Hawkeye and Masque having seen the actual attacker, the rest of the team instead threw accusations of betrayal from within around. With Black Widow accusing Masque of perpetrating the attacks, others suspecting Giant Man was responsible and the notion that the entire thing may have been orchestrated by Scarlet Witch using her probability altering hexes being raised.
Journeying to Giant Man's lab beneath Avengers Mansion, Black Widow and Masque were attacked by Benedict. Despite Black Widow remaining adamant that Masque was a traitor and part of the attacks, Masque threw herself in the line of fire to save Black Widow from Benedict's tendrils. Benedict departed with Masque in tow and threw a gold coin Black Widow's way.
Madame Masque resurfaced residing in the butte in the Nevada desert, controlling the mafia families in Las Vegas from the safety of her concealed fortress. Having apparently never left her sanctuary in years, she had instead deployed various doppelgängers over the years, one of whom had joined the Avengers forcing her to send Benedict after her rebellious poser.
When the Grim Reaper and his Steelskulls tracked down Madame Masque to Nevada, the Avengers also arrived and so did her father Count Nefaria. Masque deployed her Inner Guard to battle against all of the arrivals, deeming them all enemies who wished her harm. In an all-out free-for-all between the various factions in the desert, Benedict battled against Iron Man until Count Nefaria decimated the ranks of the Inner Guard. With most of her servants obliterated, Madame Masque ordered the surviving Benedict back to her base to retrieve the "Nefaria protocols". Nefaria responded by ordering his mind-controlled slaves Atlas and Wonder Man destroy Madame Masque's hideout and the two powerhouses brought the entire mountain down with Benedict still inside. As the fortress collapsed, Benedict was buried underneath the rubble and presumed destroyed.
Barely functional following the destruction of Masque's base, Benedict eventually managed to free himself and was seen among several other robots battling Iron Man at a party being held in a submerged ship at the bottom of the sea.
Powers and Abilities
Benedict possesses several cybernetic tendrils which serve as his primary weapon to assault and ensnare his enemies. The tendrils are incredibly durable and strong and were even able to constrict and restrain a resisting Thor. Benedict's tendrils are also able to communicate with computer systems when in contact and he was able to control the Vision's body this way. The tendrils are also capable of wiping a person's memory or shutting down their nervous systems upon contact. Developed for stealth, Benedict is also able to render himself, his tendrils and anyone within his grasp intangible. He also has an advanced built-in radar detection system which greatly enhanced his field of vision.