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Joseph Flintheart Tracy was the second biological child of Dick and Tess Tracy. He was originally shown as a baby, but soon grew into a young man with dark hair.

Birth and Early Life[]

Joe was apparently conceived in 1978 during the return of Big Boy and his One Million Dollar Open Contract on Tracy. After Junior's wife Moon Maid was killed in a car bomb meant for Tracy, Tess and Honey were sent to California with Vitamin Flintheart until the Big Boy/Apparatus case was cleared. When Tracy joined Tess that New Year's following Big Boy's death on Christmas, she presented him with a gift, a blank baby photo album. It took Tracy a moment to figured out that Tess was pregnant. Tess told Tracy that she was staying in California because that's where the doctor she was seeing was located.

Tracy returned to California (after dealing with the Computer Killer and the return of Mumbles) and the family went to visit their daughter Bonnie in Washington State. During an outing in the Native American reservation where Bonny taught, Tess and Vitamin were carjacked by a scrawny hack guitarist named Bony and his girlfriend Claudine. Vitamin drove at gunpoint but Tess used her skills as a policeman's wife to get the gun away from them, but was about to go into labor. Vitamin convinced Claudine to help deliver the baby but Bony was about to hit Vitamin with a rock. Vitamin shot the gun to get the attention of the police somewhere in the woods where Tracy was introduced to his son. Joe was named after the two men who saved his and Tess's lives, Bonnie's friend Joe Sampson and Vitamin.

On their way back to the city, Joe's big sister Bonnie gave him a baby carrier for the trip, which served as the way for Quiver Trembly to be able to sneak a gun on board the plane. Quiver was dealt with and Junior, Sam Catchem and Lizz got to meet the newest member of the family.

Childhood[]

Joe grew up protected from violence and was close with his niece Honey (who was a few years older than him). He saw his father and Vitamin in the Hollywood wax museum during Tracy's Whistle Stop tour.

Joe was also present when The Land O' Plenty theme park was opened (designed by his big brother Junior at the behest of B.O. Plenty). Unbeknownst to Joe and Tess, Tracy had been replaced by Putty Puss and was put on display in Vitamin Flintheart's wax museum in the diorama of one of his most famous death traps. Joe was the one who noticed that the "wax" Dick Tracy seemed to be crying, which led to Tracy's discovery and Putty Puss' eventual capture.

Joe joined his niece Honeymoon's revived Crimestoppers Club. It was also revealed that Joe had been given a 2-Way Wrist Radio by his father.

Joe would eventually adopt a descendant of the dog Tracy had with him on the force in the 1940s (Mugg) named Muggsy. Joe later witnessed dogs being captured and beaten by people dressed as dog catchers. He and the Crimestoppers helped in catching the dognappers Bernard St. Cloud and Teri York, at some personal risk.

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In 1991, Joe got into a fight with a schoolmate who was peddling pills. This led to Tracy discovering Little Boy's network of drug dealers in schools city-wide.

During the mid-1990s, Joe adopted a more sardonic attitude, peppered with frequent slang, and referring to himself as "Cool Dude". His family called him by this name as well. Joe helped his father decipher the statement of the disc jockey Wildbreath, whose program Joe enjoyed.

During this time, Joe was often rebellious and disrespectful. He also briefly adopted the habit of smoking. However, he retained some positive traits, such as when he showed gratitude and compassion for Lug Sweeney. Lug had been wrongfully suspected of committing acts of sabotage at the local shopping mall, and Joe provided Lug with a place to hide until he could prove his innocence after Lug saved Joe from being electrocuted by a malfunctioning pinball machine.

Young Again[]

A much younger-looking Joe was present at the arrest of Phishface, along with his nieces Honeymoon and Jewel.

Joe later debated the merits of vigilantism and the implication of real-life "superheroes" with his father during the case of Black Piranha and Cinnamon Knight.

Notes[]

  • Joe Tracy's age has been the subject of a "retcon" by the creative team of Mike Curtis and Joe Staton. While
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    he was shown to be in his early teens during the mid-to-late 1990s, Joe has since been depicted as a pre-teen, approximately 8-10 years old. A joking reference was made to the "Cool Dude" period in November of 2013
  • Joe Tracy was named after Captain Joseph Patterson, the man who had owned the features syndicate that employed Chester Gould upon the creation of Dick Tracy.
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