Bill Waring was a meek and harmless law student who was a victim of bullies. He never did much about this, but when his father was killed by a mobster named Darwin Dram for giving evidence to the D.A. about an alliance between the Mob and a prominent local politician, Bill swore vengeance. He traveled around the world, learning the proper skills to avenge his father and kill criminals. The Challenger learned jiu-jitsu in Japan. He learned chemistry in Tibet. He learned nerve control in India, so that he was immune to pain. He learned swordsmanship in Paris and marksmanship in Germany. He learned how to fly in England. He learned how to box. He learned every imaginable skill which might help him in the war against crime. Then he returned to America and avenged his father.
In his next recorded adventure, the Challenger investigated a series of murders, and discovered that the Strangler was compelled to kill by the light of the moon and disguised himself as a police officer to get close enough to his victims. Ironically enough, while battling the Challenger, the Strangler was strangled to death when he got tangled up in telephone wires. Next the Challenger witnessed as the deformed boxer known as the Ape was tricked into a life of crime. Abandoned by the mobsters, a bullet creasing his skull caused the Ape to go mad. After bringing the mobsters to justice, the Challenger took down the Ape.
Next, the Challenger went up against the League of Crime four criminals who were masters at a specific skill. Taking them on all one-by-one, the Challenger eliminated them using their own techniques against them. After this, the Challenger exposed an insurance fraud scheme perpetuated by Sy Lewis a crooked insurance agent who attempted to scare his clients to death and cash in on their life insurance claims. In his last recorded '40s adventure, the Challenger brought down mobster Lon "The Lizard" Draga, who attempted to eliminate all the people responsible for his most recent stint in jail. While protecting the last victim on Draga's list, the Challenger drowned the mobster in a frozen lake.
In 1943, the Challenger was among a number of heroes who were slain by the Cosmic Cube wielding Red Skull and impaled on a massive wall. However, the Cube was recovered by Private Paul Anselm who resurrected all the slain heroes who aided 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 wipe out the Challenger's memories of the event to preserve history.
Through unexplained circumstances, the Challenger "bounced forward" in time to the present day. Finding himself without assets, having been presumed dead, he inquired with the law firm Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway about reversing his will. The firm put him in contact with the superhero Captain America, who had found himself in a future era due to suspended animation, for advice and assistance.
After Civil War
After the Civil War, he was listed as a potential recruit for the Initiative, and later became part of the federal government's 50-State Initiative of superhero teams, joining the Montana team Freedom Force.
Through Indian nerve-control training, the Challenger has gained the ability to render himself immune to pain at will.
The Challenger has trained in virtually every terrestrial form of hand-to-hand combat, and is skilled in the use of innumerable weapons. He is an Olympic-level athlete, a skilled detective, disguise artist, chemist, pilot, climber and swimmer.
Often carries a rapier or a pistol. He is also highly skilled in the use of any other weapons at his disposal.
- This golden age Challenger is the same as the initiative Challenger. This is confirmed in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #2 (Hardcover), in the Challenger entry. He was 'bounced forward in time' to the present in the Dan Slott written issues of She-Hulk.
- 12 appearance(s) of William Waring (Earth-616)
- 4 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of William Waring (Earth-616)
- 1 mention(s) of William Waring (Earth-616)
- 2 mention(s) in handbook(s) of William Waring (Earth-616)
- 7 image(s) of William Waring (Earth-616)