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Adam Austin was a successful writer. He was a slender man with thin hair and heavy eyelids. He had a goatee and typically wore eyeglasses and smoked a pipe.

One of Austin's most successful projects was the Midnite Mirror series, in which characters based on Dick Tracy and his allies and enemies were depicted with opposite allegiances (such as Tracy being a crime boss and Flattop being a detective).

The Hangman Strikes[]

When the Midite Mirror series was adapted into a film, the production was plagued by the killer calling himself The Hangman. One of the Hangman's victims was Adam Austin's agent. Austin had received threats prior to the murder and was bothered by the killing, but he was reluctant to shut down production of the film. He had also made a point of avoiding interacting with Dick Tracy and other real people depicted in his story, as he did want such interactions to influence his writing.

Austin was on location with the production on the evening when Dick Tracy set a trap for the Hangman. During the filming of the final scene, the Hangman hijacked the production's helicopter and attempted to kill Tracy (who had secretoy replaced the film's star). The Hangman was killed during his confrontation with Tracy. Adam Austin announced that he would donate all of his profits from the film to the families of the Hangman's victims.

Austin Returns To The City[]

Adam Austin came back to Dick Tracy's City for a special screening of the Midnite Mirror film at the Lyric Theater. During his time in the city, he met and befriended the fugitive Sprocket Nitrate (who was using the alias "Susan"). Sprocket and Austin saw each other on several occasions, and developed a budding romance. Austin invited Sprocket to come to California with him.

At the screening, Sprocket's brother Silver Nitrate was arrested, but he told police that Sprocket had already left town. Sprocket prepared to start a new life with Adam.

It is not known if Adam Austin has learned Sprocket Nitrate's true identity or any details about her criminal past.

Austin Returns To The City Again[]

Some time later, Adam and Sprocket (still going by "Susan") returned to city while Adam was promoting his new book. Sprocket became embroiled in the case of Audie and Madsen, but Adam was unaware of her involvement.


  • Adam Austin and Lafayette Austin are brothers. It is not clear which of them is older.
  • Adam Austin's hair color has been depicted as both grey and brown.
  • "Adam Austin" was a pseudonym that was occasionally used by popular comicbook artist Gene Colan.