Altar Boy

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Altar Boy
© Juke Box Productions


Status: Inactive
Real Name: Brian Thomas Kinney
Origin: Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #4 &5
Affiliation: partner with the Confessor
Base of Operations: Astro City in Old Town area
First Appearance: June 1997

Personal Data

Relationships: (father) Thomas William Kinney
(1931 - 1989)

(mother) Margaret Isles Kinney
(1954 - 1982)

Occupation: Student

busboy at Bruiser's, Butler's

Date of Birth: 1982
Civil Status: Single
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 150 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Dark Blue


Appearances (in Publication Order): As Brian Kinney

Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #4

As Altar Boy
Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Event Timeline


Altar Boy

The sidekick to the Confessor, Altar Boy bolted onto the scene in 1997 during the Enelsian Invasion, only to disappear after the Confessor's martyred death. He has not been seen since.



As a teenager, Brian Kinney came to Astro City to meet, hook up with, and (he quietly hoped) become a super-hero. He immediately found a job at Bruiser's bar but based on Brian's behaviour the first day of employment, the owner recommended him to work at a more prestigious eatery, Butler's. It was only a few days there before he had the chance to prove himself in front of many non-costumed heroes. In an attempted hostage situation, with Brian as the hostage, he took the opportunity to turn the table as it were and defeat the villain (Glue-Gun) without any assistance.

His action garnered the attentions of his rival workers and more importantly the vigilante super-hero known as the Confessor who made his interests immediately clear.

Thus fortune, fate, and a determined effort, blessed Brian with the opportunity to train with one of Astro City's more illustrious (and perhaps infamous) superheroes. One thing was certain, people respected the Confessor, and respect was the main thing that Brian felt was missing in his and his father's lives.

It was a magic summer for Brian as his apprenticeship lead to fast advancement and lots of action patrolling the streets and fighting criminals. Among his highlights were helping Crackerjack prove that an imposter had been committing crimes in the very guise of Crackerjack. In addition, he aided the Confessor with the capture of various criminals that ran the gamut from the colorful, resourceful Gunslinger, to simple, petty thieves. But that summer of 1997 turned tragic as first the citizens of Astro City turned on their super-empowered guardians, and then his mentor sacrificed himself to reveal the alien intruders threatening the safety of Astro City and the world.

The very brief career of the Altar Boy went dormant after that tremendous loss, but Brian did not lose focus on his goals. After four years of traveling and training, he took up the mission of his mentor, continuing his crime-fighting career by becoming the new force behind the mask and iconic imagery of the Confessor.


Although not possessing any powers, he received training in detective skills and fighting from the Confessor. He also has access to the vast array of resources that the Confessor had assembled over his long and cursed lifetime.


  • Protective surplice with a weighted hem to prevent it distracting him and a low-friction coating to prevent it being grabbed.
  • Loose-fitting costume with soft soles designed for acrobatics and stealth.
  • Hidden utility belt or pockets for storing useful items like flashlight and smelling salt.


Originally from Buchanan Corners


The last name of Kinney, might, just might refer to the Kinney National Company[1] which owned National Periodicals Publications (later DC Comics).