Benny Beckley was a young boy from a happy home. His Mom and Dad were the directors of the Edmund Project which worked with NASA and MIT to study comets. It was during one of these studies that Benny's father was seemingly killed when his space ship exploded.
Later, Steven Beckley came back to Earth now as Comet Man to find his family only to be tricked by David Hilbert an agent of BRIDGE. Hilbert then forcibley escorted Ann and Benny to a Goverment Detention Center in Virginia. There Hilbert planned on studying and experimenting on Benny Beckley to see if he had the same powers as his father. Ann tried to escape with Benny, but was killed by an electrical fence when running away from a helicopter. Bennty witnessed her death. Comet Man managed to teleport to his son's location, but only to witness him die in an experiment by BRIDGE. Steven manged to revive Benny by transfering some of power into him. This was how Benny got his powers.
Benjamin Beckley would end up being a key part of the Celestial plan for propegation 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 fale 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, bawking 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 psychiotrist Doc Samson. At some point Benny began amassing an army of people under his thrall under. Calling himself the Skull an adopting an emblam 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 super-humans 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 wit hthe other telepaths during the Skulls 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 travelled across America, taking over all who he met, Cap recruited an army to fight against the Skulls 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 heros 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 rescured by Spider-Man. Cap would then mount a counter attack using Alicia Masters-Grimm's clay Marvels as foot soldiers. Realizing that the Skull couldn't take control of inadimate 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 burry the boy, not knowing his real name he dubbed him "John Smith" and spoke of his struggle with the original Red Skull as he burried him.
Benny's essance would end up in the Realm of the Dead, in a preadolecant form living with his father Comet Man. Both beleiving 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-Vel's Avenging Host in the realm of Paradise) would come seeking Benny's power. Beliving 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 memroies 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 idealic 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.