The Confessor (Brian Kinney)

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The Confessor (Brian Kinney)
© Juke Box Productions


Status: Active
Real Name: Brian Kinney
Origin: Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #4-9
Base of Operations: Astro City
First Appearance: Late 2001

Personal Data

Aliases: Formerly Altar Boy


Appearances (in Publication Order): Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #9

Astro City #1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12

Event Timeline


The Confessor (Brian Kinney)

"I don't have all the advantages my mentor did. So I make my own." -- Brian Kinney, the Confessor


Brian Kinney's Ambition to be a Super Hero

Before coming to Astro City, Brian Kinney had been brought up by his single father, a rural doctor. The elder Kinney, always compassionate, treated everyone in the small community who needed his help, even those who were too poor to pay their medical expenses. As a result, he was perceived by some as a sucker who could be taken advantage of, and Brian grew up in miserable economic straits. Brian came to greatly resent his father for this, and he vowed to become someone people respected when he grew up. He vowed to become a superhero.

He spent years preparing for this goal, learning martial arts and doing research, lots of research. When he reached young adulthood in 1997, he took a one-way bus ride to Astro City. Hoping to be taken under one of the city's many heroes' wing, he took a job at the superhero bar Bruiser's. Its owner, K.O. Carson, sensed Brian's goal and referred him to another establishment,Butler's. This was a more refined eatery, and Mr. Carson knew Brian would be more likely to meet the type of heroes he needed, at a time and situation where they would be more open to recruiting. Thus Brian came to the attentions of The Confessor.

During his time as Altar Boy, in large part through the Confessor's mentorship, Brian came to understand that being a superhero was about helping others, not whatever acclaim or respect that might result. He came to understand that his father, regardless of how others viewed him, had been a hero in his own right.

The Training of the New Confessor

After the Confessor's death, Brian chose to carry on his mentor's identity and name. He spent four years training all over the world before he was ready. When he returned to Astro City, the criminal element soon realized the masked interloper they thought dead was back, every bit as frightening and skilled as his reputation had always suggested.

Making New Friends with Old Allies

After learning of Winged Victory being accused of masterminding super-villain attacks, Brian stealthily breaks into her main headquarters, Samothrace One, but is caught hacking the computer systems by her "caped boyfriend" Samaritan who presumably keeps tabs on the school. Brian astounds the superhumanly swift and nigh invulnerable hero by not only keeping out of reach for several seconds but also effectively mounting a counter-attack, striking at special pressure points on Samaritan's body. When this proves insufficient Brian, while explaining that he will hunt down any means of evening the odds, pulls out a coin-sized item that upon contact causes the energy that empowers Samaritan to erupt and immobilize him.

Immediately confronted by Winged Victory, Brian assures her he believes she is being framed and that he is there to uncover the truth. He apologizes to Samaritan who tells him to "think nothing of it." Brian shows them that he has found within Samothrace's computer systems, falsified but convincing records of on-going communications between Winged Victory and various well-known and not so well-known villains. Using human logic and complex heuristics-based computer algorithms, he has started composing a list of suspects. Winged Victory is impressed by the list and she and Samaritan offer to contribute, the latter revealing some of the capabilities of his Zyxometer which intrigues Brian.

Wondering what Winged Victory thinks of it all, Brian monitors through her own security cameras as she invites E.A.G.L.E. onto the premises and takes to the air, leaving it in their hands.


Mr. Smartie Notes: More history to come...


The current Confessor has no vampire related powers, instead using voice modulators and tricks to inspire fear in the hearts of evil-doers. Brian Kinney is also trained in martial arts, possesses keen detective skills, and maintains a rigorous physical training schedule, including four years of elite fighter training around the world before assuming the full guise of the Confessor.

He also possesses computer hacking skills on a level that would make him among the world's most advanced, showing technical knowledge sufficient to qualify for highly advanced security systems positions.


Brian has profited well from the wealth of information, and the collection of unique items(both the good and the bad) assembled by his predecessor over his extended life span.

ConfessorDataLooper.jpg ConfessorHealingUniform.jpg ConfessorRunicTattoo.jpg ConfessorIfritDoom.jpg ConfessorSpeedShift.jpg
  • A new uniform, possibly organic in nature, able to heal itself when damaged.
  • A runic design (tattoo?) emblazoned on his upper body. It glows in a manner reminiscent of the original Confessor's cross emblem, possibly providing certain supernatural powers or protection.
  • Brian's visit to Samothrace One reveals enhanced athletic skills and possibly superhuman speed, the abilities to cling to surfaces and to negate part of Samaritan's powers of nigh invulnerability. These are most likely bestowed rather than inherent, for example by the new uniform or the runes.
  • High tech devices for masking security devices.
  • Tools and weapons to even the odds against specific superhuman targets, including the "Ifrit's Doom" for disrupting Empyrean Fire and beings empowered by it.


  • Brian's eyes glow even more noticeably than his mentor's.
  • Brian's cape appears to defy gravity while he is clinging to surfaces.
  • Samaritan vulnerability to Brian's blows may be due to the proximity of the Ifrit's Doom. The device would ironically also affect its initial developer, Samaritan's old foe Infidel.

Speculations, Theories

  • A number of the items the current Confessor has acquired for subduing superhumans may have been originally intended to be used by villains against heroes.
  • The new uniform may be supernatural in nature and the runes the means of safely utilizing it.