The Vagabond was just one of many costumed operatives active during World War II who were recruited into the United States military. The purpose was to enlist such individuals in order to publish propaganda in the form of comic books that were commissioned by the United States military and published by Timely Comics. These comics were used to convince Americans to support the war, and increase enlistment. Like many heroes recruited in this fashion, the Vagabond's fictional exploits were few. For most of these early heroes it was due to their deaths in combat.[1]

Presumably, much like the Young Allies,[2] the fictional exploits of the Young Avenger may be based on actual events. For the sake of clarity, however, this article differentiates between the two.

Solo Adventures

Pat Murphy (Earth-616) 001

Pat Murphy unmasked

The Vagabond was possibly one of the most unorthodox costumed crime fighters that was active during the 1940's. He was really police officer Pat Murphy, an officer of the law in the town of Middleton. In the winter of 1941, he was one of the many officers assigned to try and capture human smuggler Walter Carstairs, by any means possible. Murphy decided to take some extreme liberties with those orders by creating an alter ego -- a well spoken hobo named Chauncey Throttlebottom the III. He located Carstairs' hideout, a shady dive called the Paradise Inn and got a job as the bouncer. "Chauncey" was introduced to the Carstairs, learning that he had been posing as an FBI agent he killed previously. The Vagabond foiled Carstairs plot and helped rescue his fellow officers Kelly and Grogan, the first of many times that Murphy would pull their fat out of the fire as the Vagabond. Never once did Kelly or Grogan suspect that the Vagabond was really their colleague Pat Murphy.[3]

When Kelly and Grogan were assigned to learn who was responsible for planting explosive lightbulbs over the city, forcing a blackout, Murphy followed after them as the Vagabond. Sure enough, Kelly and Grogan were captured by Orrible Oress and his gang, who were the crooks responsible. The Vagabond rescued his two partners and battled Oress to the death, sending the crook falling to his doom from the top of his windmill hideout.[4]

In his next adventure, Murphy was assigned to solve the theft of a million dollars stolen by criminal Repulsive Rudolf in 1922, some twenty years after the fact. As the Vagabond, he found that the case connected to sightings of the "Mad Monk" at Malamoor castle. This case was being investigated by Kelly and Grogan who were attempting to learn why Repulsive Rudolf's thugs were snooping around the castle and why the Mad Monk was trying to kill them all. The Vagabond once more solved the case, revealing that the Mad Monk was none other than Repulsive Rudolf himself, who was hidden in the castle by his brother who owned the property.[5]

Sometime later, the Vagabond began hitching between cities -- apparently giving up his civilian identity and taking on the persona of a hobo permanently -- While thumbing for rides, he happened to be picked up by a trucker hauling a load of expensive perfumes. These perfumes were targeted by the mobster known as Egg-Head who sent his men to steal them. The Vagabond helped prevent this theft, leaving the men tied up in a tree. Egg-Head freed his men and sent them to eliminate the Vagabond and steal the perfume. Both the attempts on the Vagabond's life and their second attempt to steal the perfume ended in failure. The Vagabond literally threw bottles of perfume at the crooks, disorientating them long enough for the Vagabond to beat them into submission. The hobo-hero left the crooks in the trucker's custody to collect a reward. Wanting no thanks or recompense for his heroics, the Vagabond walked off to continue his tramping across the country.[6]

In December of 1943, the Vagabond was among a number of heroes who were slain by the Cosmic Cube wielding Red Skull and impaled on a massive wall.[7] The Skull was defeated, however, by the combined efforts of the Invaders and the time displaced New Avengers and Mighty Avengers. When the Skull was defeated, the heroes used the Cube to resurrect the slain heroes and wipe out the their memories of the event to preserve history[8].

Crazy SUES

Pat Murphy (Earth-616) 003

Vagabond as a member of the Crazy S.U.E.S.

Drafted into the US Army and assigned to the Crazy S.U.E.S,[1] a group of costumed adventures-turned-soldiers, he fought alongside them at Guadalcanal against the Imperial Japanese Army.[9] During the course of the conflict, the Vagabond was shot down by enemy fire and died from his wounds.[10]


The Vagabond is a skilled fighter, even with the false belly (See equipment)


When operating as the Vagabond, Pat Murphy wore a costume to disguise his identity. It consisted of tattered clothing, a red haired wig, make-up applications to make him look clownish and unshaven, glasses, and a fake paunch that made him appear to be overweight.

The Vagabond should not be confused with Butch Brogan, also known as the "Fighting Hobo".

Discover and Discuss


Like this? Let us know!