Professional criminal William Taurens fails to capture test subjects for his employer and becomes the test subject Man-Bull, the feral beast with a vendetta against Daredevil.
Grab the Bull by its Horns
William Taurens starts his criminal career in adolescence, receiving convictions for arson, assault, manslaughter, and other felonies. He and fellow criminals Itch and Freak-Face are recruited by the mysterious Professor to abduct people as test subjects for an experimental strength-enhancing serum based on mutated bull enzymes. The Professor himself was employed by the time-traveling Mr. Kline, this being one of Kline’s several endeavors to alter present-day events that would affect his future era. When Matt Murdock, AKA Daredevil, thwarts Taurens’ attempt to abduct young couple George and Dia Alec, Taurens is forced to become the Professor’s test subject, mutating into a humanoid bull dubbed the Man-Bull. When Itch drugs and captures Daredevil, Man-Bull vengefully attacks the hero and leaves him for dead. Man-Bull then tracks down and successfully captures the Alecs, returning with them as the Professor reports his results to Mr. Kline. Having befriended the couple earlier, Daredevil recovers from his wounds sufficiently to renew the battle, ultimately tripping his increasingly enraged opponent into colliding with a building, at which point Man-Bull reverts to human form and is arrested.
Strong as a Bull
Man-Bull is superhumanly strong due to augmented efficiency in his muscles and skeleton; his strength fluctuates occasionally, enabling him to lift at least ten tons and at times as many as fifty. He is highly resistant to injury, enabling him to survive small-caliber bullets at close range. His long, durable horns can penetrate most construction materials, which, combined with his durable skin, enables him to smash through most structures without injury. His adrenaline levels can rise during combat, inducing extreme rage, making him even more dangerous. At various times, his intellect reverts to nearly bestial levels. Although, formerly able to change from mutated to human form and back via a serum, there is no evidence this is still the case.
In the Bullpen
Man-Bull blames Daredevil for his transforming seeing that Hornhead prevented him from capturing the test subjects necessary to please his employer. He goes down a path of vengeance. While going up against him, he battles Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, and even takes his bestial rage out on San Francisco. He faces off with other heroes such as Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man and Julia Carpenter, AKA Spider-Woman (later Arachne), typically suffering defeat.
During a dark time in his life when he couldn’t transform back into a human, he seeks help from Bruce Banner, AKA the Hulk, but he didn’t get the help he wanted and instead battles his despair. His deterioration and desperation leads him to seek help through Villians Anonymous (Vil-Anon) to overcome his violent tendencies.
Super Villainous Allies
Teaming up with several other Super Villains, he forms the Death Squad and later joins the Frightful Four, committing crimes since that’s the life he came to know. But after joining Vil-Anon, he’s approved to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. as a temporary agent to combat a national crisis. Though he falls back into his immoral ways, consorting with criminals.
Imprisoned in the Manhattan House of Detention, aka “The Tombs,” Man-Bull regained his mutated form and power when Itch fired a capsule of the Professor’s serum into his cell. Easily escaping and still dedicated to revenge, Man-Bull accompanied Itch to San Francisco, where Daredevil had temporarily relocated alongside Black Widow. After fighting both heroes and hospitalizing Daredevil, Man-Bull met with the Professor, who had also relocated following Daredevil’s defeat of Mr. Kline. Not allowing his lack of a sponsor to deter his own criminal activities, the Professor provided a supply of his mutating serum for contamination of the city’s water supply, believing Man-Bull would then extort the city for a fortune in exchange for an antidote; however, his mind twisted by his bestial nature, Man-Bull’s true intent was to mutate the city’s populace and simply leave them in such a state, to suffer as he imagined he was suffering. Having recovered sufficiently for a rematch, Daredevil faced Man-Bull at San Francisco’s harbor and again took advantage of his foe’s battle fury by goading him into charging, then tying him to an anchor and allowing him to sink in the bay, his uncharacteristically devious plan unfulfilled.
Surfacing and again regaining human form, Man-Bull fled to Chicago, where reactions to his boorish behavior prompted him to imbibe his transforming serum once more to better bully those around him. Man-Bull fought local heroine Greer Nelson, AKA Cat (later Tigra), but her agility countered his strength. On impulse, he freed a herd of steers, driving them into a stampede. The Cat nevertheless struck him unconscious, causing him to revert to human and nearly perish beneath the steers’ hooves. Hospitalized after this incident, Man-Bull again resumed mutated form; however, either because of advanced mutation or simple lack of more serum, he could apparently no longer revert to human. Returning to California, he had a chance encounter with Mark Scarlotti, AKA Whiplash, and Christopher Colchiss, AKA the Melter, in San Diego and teamed with them to form the Death Squad.
Having no better plan than to defeat a visiting Iron Man and reap the imagined glory of such a victory, the trio invaded a comic book convention to rob it and attract his attention, but Iron Man happened to be in attendance and immediately gave them the battle they craved. Although briefly distracted by the appearance of the Black Lama, who hoped to entice the Death Squad into his so-called War of Super-Villains, Iron Man defeated all three criminals and turned them over to the police.
Escaping custody and returning to his old stomping grounds in New York, Man-Bull robbed Phillip Diamond’s Jewelry Exchange, an experience that stressed Diamond enough to induce a heart attack and later die from a recurrence of the condition. Charged with murder for the first time and chained in the courtroom, Man-Bull was defended by Daredevil’s alter ego, attorney Matt Murdock; but despite Murdock’s argument that no murder had been intended and his client was thus guilty only of manslaughter, the jury decided against him. Rendered even stronger than usual by his rage, Man-Bull snapped his chains and escaped the courtroom to wreak havoc in the city. Shortly afterward, fellow Daredevil foe Manuel Eloganto, AKA Matador, convinced him to steal the priceless Golden Bull statue. The Matador enticed Man-Bull with promises of profit and island seclusion but actually planned to double-cross him and abscond with the statue alone. Confronted by Daredevil during the theft, Man-Bull inadvertently destroyed the statue; pitying the monstrous miscreant, Daredevil allowed him to depart, but Man-Bull could think of no better use for his freedom than to attack the Matador, a clash that ended with both men in the Brooklyn Bay.
Surviving his second such sinking, Man-Bull was then incarcerated at Ryker’s Island, whether for the Golden Bull heist or not, but provoked a riot that drew Daredevil to the prison. During the crisis, the Owl’s henchmen escorted Man-Bull to their employer, who hired him to abduct scientist Brent Kerwin. Although the Owl sought treatment for side-effects of his own mutating serum, Man-Bull’s desire for a cure took precedence; however, neither man benefited when Daredevil rescued Kerwin from Man-Bull, whose rage betrayed him yet again as he crashed into a building.
In subsequent years, Man-Bull was transferred from prison to prison. Becoming one of the first inmates at the Vault, he briefly escaped, but Julia Carpenter, AKA Spider-Woman (later Arachne), defeated him in Denver, Colorado and turned him over to pursuing Guardsmen. Again escaping, he mutated into an even more bestial form that severely stunted his intelligence. Wandering the American Midwest and preying on cattle, he encountered the Hulk whose mentality was then dominated by the human-level intelligence of “Joe Fixit.” Disgusted by what he perceived as the Man-Bull’s resemblance to his own more animalistic incarnations, the Hulk drove the scavenger away. Taking the name “Savage” from the Hulk’s remarks, Man-Bull raided a nearby farm. When the Hulk confronted him, Taurens pleaded with him to teach him how to resume human form at will. Upon learning the Hulk had no such knowledge to share, Man-Bull tried to cloak his remaining human persona in hopes that the angry cattle farmers would kill him, but ultimately betrayed himself with his own despair.
Man-Bull’s deterioration continued as he grew thicker fur and a tail but lost the ability to speak; it was in this state that the Wizard recruited him into a short-lived incarnation of the Frightful Four alongside Peter Petruski, AKA Trapster, and Bram Velsing, AKA Dreadknight. Traveling to the Calgary Stampede rodeo, the foursome tried to abduct a local scientist whose services the Wizard desired, but they were opposed by Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, the Rangers and fledgling Super Hero Turbine, the scientist’s daughter. Although barely understanding his situation, Man-Bull matched Spider-Man blow for blow, but a distraction from the performing bicyclists called the Right Riders drew his dim attention long enough for Texas Twister to ensnare him with Spider-Man’s webbing. His fellow felons fared no better, and Man-Bull was arrested and returned to the Vault, where his mutated form stabilized, and his intellect eventually rose back to human levels.
Man-Bull has since joined Vil-Anon along with several other superhuman criminals, trying to overcome his violent tendencies via a twelve-step program. Later, he was among the superhuman criminals authorized as temporary S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to raid an Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) facility during a national crisis. Either released in exchange for such service or simply escaping yet again, he resurfaced in New York where he fought Ben Grimm, AKA the Thing, and consorted with fellow criminals, suggesting his reformation efforts had taken a setback. He was subsequently one of many superhumans abducted and drugged by the insane Alyosha Kravinoff, AKA Kraven; although most of the prisoners escaped while Kravinoff was fighting Frank Castle, AKA Punisher, Man-Bull was knocked unconscious, one horn broken off by Maxwell Markham, AKA Grizzly, in the fray.
Man-Bull was later captured and subsequently escaped the Raft along with other Super Villains, thanks to an empowered Cain Marko, AKA Juggernaut. He joined Basil Elks, AKA Basilisk, and Eliot Franklin, AKA Griffin, on a bank robbery but Heracles, AKA Hercules, intervened only to discover a fourth in their party, Hecate. She sicced the resurrected Kyknos on him and Man-Bull fled along with Basilisk. Hercules ultimately tracked them both down and convinced them to help against his foes. They trick both Hecate and Kyknos by seemingly turning Hercules to stone, allowing Hercules as a sort of Trojan horse to defeat them.
He ended up in and out of prison, still stealing when he could, getting shot by Frank Castle, AKA Punisher, and turning into more of a Minotaur after encountering Emerald Warlock. Hecate and Wanda Maximoff, AKA Scarlet Witch, helped him get back to normal beastly self, only for him to be hunted by Kraven. He has survived many ordeals and eventually became a patient at the Ravencroft Institute.