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Deacon is a major figure in Astro City's criminal underworld. Born Deke McManus, he originally served under Josef Andros Platapopoulos, better known as the Platypus, in the 1970's, and was responsible for cultivating ties between Platypus and Pyramid, culminating in Pyramid loaning Platypus the use of their assassin Jitterjack. This turned out to be a ruse by McManus to seize control of Astro City's underworld, as the deranged monster indiscriminately slaughtered the foot-soldiers of every gang in the city. In the ensuing chaos, McManus killed Platapopoulos, and thus began his reign of terror.