T. James Harrington II and Brian O'Brien were school chums who goaded each other into the world of Mystery Men. Jimmy and Brian were both from obscenely wealthy families and had attended the same prep schools and collage playing football and polo together. They became lawyers together, but when Brian went to New York City to practice and eventually become district attorney Jimmy returned home to run the family business. Soon enough Jimmy moved to the big city and got back in touch with Brian. The two, having become both disgusted with the legal system and more than a little bored fell into masked crime fighting. They were the first and seemingly on a whim inspired an entire generation of heroes. Jimmy was killed by Mayor Kozer under the alias of Big Shot who stole his mask and wore it as a trophy. Brian would eventually kill the Big Shot.
In what would prove to be a repeating cycle in his life after the death of Harrington O'Brien became more violent in his approach to fighting crime, and more reckless. He would eventually encounter a down on his luck former boxer named Brady who would provide a more level-headed counter to O'Brien's headlong habits.
Pat Brady left the employ of Brian O'Brien because he felt his boss was getting too uncontrollable and there wasn't anything he could do about it. Brady would in time take up driving a cab which would lead him to The Swami and becoming the Silver Streak. O'Brien, now without the steadying influence of Brady, continued to get more and more heedless in his pursuit of criminals which lead to him ending up full of lead on the docks. O'Brien walked into an ambush where he was shot multiple time and barely crawled away to an abandoned house where Olivia “Butch” Buchanan was squatting. Butch spent the next few months nursing O'Brien back to health in the mistaken belief that he was a gangster and she would be his moll. They would join the Crime Crusaders Club with Black Canary and Wildcat amongst others,
Butch would again provide that calming influence on O'Brien until the begining of World War II when O'Brien volunteered for the Army and died fighting in France.