Public Domain Super Heroes


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The Mucker

Real Name

Bill Byrne

First Appearance

"The Mucker" (in All-Story Weekly, October, 1914)

Original Publisher

Frank Munsey

Created by

Edgar Rice Burroughs


Born in the ghettos of Chicago, Bill Byrne grew up on the mean streets, and became "a mucker, a hoodlum, a gangster, a thug, a tough." He was a violent criminal with almost no morals at all, no respect for the law, and absolute disdain for the wealthy . After he was falsely accused of a Chicago murder, he ran to San Fransisco and from there, he was shanghaied into serivce on a pirate's ship. While on the ship, he was forced to become sober and learned to carry his own weight with hard labor. The ship ended up raiding a millionaire's yacht and kidnapping the rich man's daughter, Barbara Harding, for ransom. Billy brutally beat Barbara's fiance, Bill Mallory, and Barbara stood up to Byrne, calling him a coward. Barbara's opinion of him began to make Byrne re-evaluate his life and change his ways. Barbara and Byrne fell in love and had a number of adventures together in the South Pacific and Mexico. Byrne's name was eventually cleared and he returned to New York with Barbara and her father.

Byrne was a large man, a skilled boxer and a brutal street fighter. He was also a skilled rider and proficient with firearms.

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