Bennett Brant was originally created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #11 - Turning Point, which has been reprinted several times. Co-writers Cullen Bunn and Rick Remender are responsible for his rebirth as the Crime-Master, originally another Lee and Ditko creation.
Bennett Brant owed a gambling debt to gangster Blackie Gaxton, which he earned attempting to pay for his mother's medical bills. With the help of Doctor Octopus, Blackie Gaxton kidnapped both Bennett and Betty as insurance against anyone preventing him from leaving the country. Bennett was double crossed when Gaxton refused to free him of his debts, and was fatally shot during a battle between Gaxton's gang, Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man. He appeared to die in that same issue.
Fist appearance as Crime-Master Venom Issue #1.
However, Bennett's body was recovered by a criminal organization who somehow brought him back to life, and chose him to become the new Crime-Master. It is revelaed in Venom #21 - Savage Six, Part 4: Best Laid Plans..., that the identity of the Crime-Master is a title passed from one individual to the next Bennett had the new Jack O'Lantern at his service. Jack O'Lantern revealed that Crime-Master hit him with knock-out gas when he was a kid on Halloween and began to raise and train him. He sends Jack to grab a doctor in Eastern Europe who has found a way to weaponize Antarctic vibranium. Venom arrives and has it out with Jack, resulting in the death of the doctor and Jack being horribly disfigured. This puts Venom on Crime-Master's radar as he learns his true identity. Jack kidnaps Betty Brant as Crime-Master forces Venom to hand over a shipment of vibranium he just recovered. Venom turns it over as Crime-Master reveals he has five minutes to get to Betty before she blows up. Crime-Master discovers Venom left a bomb on the shipment just in time.
After the events of Spider-Island, Crime-Master sends Jack to bring Flash in from his father's funeral. His new mission for Venom is to recover an unknown package from Las Vegas. He sends Jack along for the ride. Venom reaches the package which turns out to be the Toxin symbiote. Venom loses control and tries to destroy the symbiote. Jack recovers it and informs Crime-Master of the situation. Crime-Master tells him to run. Jack manages to calm him down and heads back to Crime-Master. During the Savage Six storyline, Brant's identity and origin are revealed to Betty. She shoots her brother to save Flash, and Bennet's body fell into a vat of chemicals.