Pascal Horta was a notable painter until an automobile accident crushed his right hand, leaving him unable to paint ever again. Full of hopelessness he refused to have his hand amputated, willing to let the onset of gangrene kill him. However, his doctors suggested a unorthodox technique. His doctor arranged to have African-American killer "Strangler" Burns donate his hand for a transplant before being executed in the electric chair for his crimes. Desperate to once again be able to paint, Horta agreed to the operation and had the criminals hand transplanted onto his arm. Fearing of side effects, his doctor told him that if he would feel strange afterwards to see him right away.
Soon, Horta began painting images of death and violence. Believing that the hand of "Strangler" Burns was effecting his mind, Horta snapped and began calling himself the Black Talon. He then began targeting local artists. After murdering his victims he left a painting of their moment of death as his calling card to the authorities. His string of ghastly murders attracted the attention of Captain America and Bucky. The two heroes pieced together the Black Talons identity, however Horta attempted to throw them off by making it appear that he was another one of his own victims. He attacked the two heroes and explained his origins before attempting to kill them, however Captain America broke free and knocked the Talon out a window. The two heroes believed that Horta fell to his death. However, his fall was broken by a tree branch and fleeing into the night, the Black Talon swore vengeance on Captain America and Bucky.
Soon after, the Black Talon learned of explorer Dr. Martin Livingstone who had went missing searching for an undiscovered island rich in minerals. He allied himself with Nazi spy in order to locate this land so that its resources could be exploited for the Nazi war effort in exchange for being given his own piece of land in America once taken over by Nazi Germany. However this plan was thwarted thanks to the intervention of Livingston's daughter Dora, the Young Allies, Captain America and the Human Torch who captured Horta and his Nazi allies and turned them over to the authorities, securing the island of "New America" for the United States.
The Black Talon was criminally insane. He would claim that this was a side effect caused by "Strangler" Burns blood circulating in his system, however it's more likely the trauma of having his hand crushed, amputated and then replaced with the hand of an African-American (something that the racist Horta found disgusting) is the most probable cause for his insanity.
During his career as a painter and during his original murder spree, Horta often had various paints, brushes and other art supplies to paint his portraits. When a full on criminal he had an assortment of firearms. When allied with the Nazi's he had access to various traps and devices, he also had a giant spider named Teena (which was later killed) and a giant octopus at his disposal.
As the Black Talon, Horta used whatever weapons were available, commonly knives, guns, ropes and other conventional weapons.
Later Steven Rogers would have a nightmare where he would be attacked in a tomb by his foe the Black Talon and the Black Toad.
As it has recently been revealed that the adventures of the Young Allies were serialized into comic books and numerous aspects of their adventures altered for matters of security and to aid in American propaganda during the war, the account of the Black Talon's encounter with the Young Allies should be treated suspect. How much of this adventure is true, or if it indeed actually happened remains to be revealed.