William "Bill" Polk was the son of a sheep-herder in the American Old West, during a time when sheep ranchers and and cattlemen were fighting in an undeclared war over grazing rights. When Bill's father was murdered, everyone assumed the deed was done by the elder Polk's cattle-ranching rival, Mallon. But Bill discovered evidence that Mallon was innocent and set out in search of the true killer, a man known only as Claggett.
Bill's quest took him to a ranch in Texas, where he honed his skills and joined a rodeo. When he grew bored with the rodeo circuit, he joined the army as a scout, then took up prospecting. When bandits bushwhacked him and stole his gold, he tracked them down and captured all three. Bill turned the bandits and was offered a job as deputy sheriff. He declined, stating that he preferred to travel, but not revealing his search for Claggett. When Bill traveled, acting as a freelance deputy to sheriffs all over the west, he apparently did not give his real name. People soon began calling Bill "The Wyoming Kid," but other also knew him as "Johnny Jones."
Bill took the job as sheriff of Saddlehorn for a brief time, but when he resigned to once again pursue his father's murderer, a grateful railroad magnate named Randolph Hughes deposited money in banks around the west so that the Wyoming Kid would always have fund to draw upon.
- 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.
- The designation of the Wyoming Kid as an Earth-One character in the pre-Crisis multiverse is somewhat arbitrary, as his stories straddled the Earth-Two and Earth-One eras, and he never met any established characters from either universe. However, the Wyoming Kid was mentioned in the Nighthawk story in Western Comics #76, and Nighthawk is Earth-One, so we have placed the Wyoming Kid on Earth-One too.
- The Wyoming Kid was established as a New Earth character in DC Universe Legacies #3.
- Western Comics
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe Vol 1 26 (Wyoming Kid biography page)
- 107 Appearances of William Polk (New Earth)
- 2 Images featuring William Polk (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about William Polk (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: William Polk (New Earth)