The Boy Wizard

Real Name

Joe Strong

First Appearance

Joe Strong, The Boy Wizard (1916)

Original Publisher

George Sully & Company

Created by

Vance Barnum


Joe Strong's parents were both circus performers. His mother, Janet Strong, did horse riding tricks under the pseudonym of Madame Hortense. His father, Alexander Strong, performed magic using the nom de guerre, Professor Moretti.

Joe Strong was orphaned at around the age of five, his father, one Professor Strong. Alexander Strong contracting pneumonia possibly related to his performance of a water trick. Joe's mother died shortly after when complications arose from injures incurred from falling off her horse.

The circus people were kind to Joe. Mr. Beeze, the manager of the circus, realized the environment wasn't suitable for a young orphan, and placed and advertisement to find a pair of adoptive parents for Joe. Mr. Amos Blackford and his wife adopted Joe. The Blackfords return to the town of Bedford with their new foster son. The couple were old-fashioned and harsh in their views of Joe's circus performer heritage, discouraging his interests in that direction.

As he grew, Joe was a daring young man of pronounced skill and intellect. He learned horse and magic tricks, though hidden from his foster parents. After assisting in a rescue a magician named Professor Morello from a burning fireworks factory, Morello is impressed to discover Joe is the son of Professor Moretti. Joe decides to run away from the Blackford home. While he is gone, two men. Denton and Harrison, break into the Blackford home, accidentally knocking over a lantern, starting a fire. Amos Blackford thinks Joe started the fire, while his wife thinks surely not. Still, it leaves a black mark on the missing Joe Strong.

Oblivious to the burning of the home, Joe seeks out Morello to begin his career as a magician. He improves his skills over time, and is soon amazing the paying audiences.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Joe Strong, the Boy Wizard; or, The Mysteries of Magic Exposed
  • Joe Strong on a Trapeze; or, The Daring Feats of a Young Circus Performer
  • Joe Strong, the Boy Fish; or, Marvelous Doings in a Big Tank
  • Joe Strong on the High Wire; or, Motorcycle Perils in the Air
  • Joe Strong and his Wings of Steel; or, A Young Acrobat in the Clouds
  • Joe Strong and his Box of Mystery, or, The Ten Thousand Dollar Prize Trick
  • Joe Strong, the Fire Eater; or, The Most Dangerous Performance on Record

See Also

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