Byth Rok was a self-styled "Master Thief" from the planet Thanagar. Unlike others of his trade however, Byth stole not for profit, but for the thrill of the challenge. On Thanagar he learned of a scientist named Krotan who had developed a Changeling Pill that would allow others to alter their physical form. Byth broke into Krotan's laboratory and consumed the pill. After committing a series of crimes, he fled Thanagar and took a ship towards the planet Earth. The Thanagarian authorities assigned police officers Katar Hol and his wife Shayera to track Byth down and bring him to justice. They pursued him to the planet Earth, but had difficulty capturing him as Byth used his new powers to continuously evade capture. Transforming himself into a Thanagarian Brontadon, Byth attempted to steal the entire Bi-State Tunnel in Midway City as well as some twenty million dollars in cash. Katar and Shayera (better known as Hawkman and Hawkwoman), fought with Byth and were able to weaken him by striking at the twin brains of his Brontadon form. As the battle concluded, Byth was rendered unconscious and was arrested.
While in prison, Byth learned the ingredients used to create the Changeling pill. During visiting hours, he used sign language to communicate with one of his allies Jarl, and instructed him on how to smuggle the ingredients into the prison. Jarl began writing letters to Byth in prison, but the seals on the envelopes were coated with the chemicals required to duplicate Krotan's pill. After collecting enough samples, Byth regained the ability to alter his shape and escaped custody by transforming into a Vandalusian Driller Mole. Byth reunited with his fellow thrill-thieves and began another series of daring robberies. Masquerading as Dragonflies, they staged an elaborate robbery at the Medal Mint on Thanagar. Hawkman and Hawkgirl learned of Byth's escape and tried to bait him into a trap using the highly coveted Gem Trees. Byth learned of the trap however and used a Trance-Gun to distract the Thanagarian authorities enabling him the chance to rob the tree of its gemstones. Hawkman and Hawkgirl tracked Byth and his cronies to the Sea of Scythia where they fought with him inside of a cave. Byth took the form of a Thanagarian Mirage Bird, but Hawkman was able to defeat him and Byth was taken back into custody.
- Alien Physiology: As a Thanagarian, Byth Rok possesses several gifts that are common to members of his race, but set him apart from normal humans. A Thanagarian's life span is significantly greater than that of a normal human being. A Thanagarian is also physically heartier than the average Earth human. They are stronger, with greater stamina and a greater resistance to pain. Thanagarians also possess enhanced senses.
- Enhanced Vision: Byth's eyesight is more acute than a normal human and his range of vision is similar to that of a bird.
- Enhanced Hearing: His auditory senses are also particularly acute and he can perceive sounds with greater clarity than the average human.
- Metamorphosis: After consuming the Changeling Pill, Byth developed the ability to alter his phsyical form at will. He could shape-change into almost any other person or animal whether they were indigenous to Thanagar or originated on an alien world. There appears to be no physical restriction in terms of mass or volume when it comes to Byth's shape-shifting talents.
- Thievery: Byth Rok is considered by many to be the greatest thief on all of Thanagar.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- 19 Appearances of Byth Rok (Earth-One)
- 2 Images featuring Byth Rok (Earth-One)
- Quotations by or about Byth Rok (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Byth Rok (Earth-One)
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