Jonathan Cobb had a modest child hood growing up in northern Virginia, until his family moved to Forest hills New York at the age of 9. Leading a mostly normal life, graduated from high school and went on to be a promising student in Empire State University. After graduating he began an internship for Horizon Labs. He eventually grew to be good friends with a lab tech at Horizon named Ethan Pierce.
During his time with Horizon Labs, the company acquired the government contract to study unknown technology recovered from Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). The scientists determined that the device was funneling a yet unknown extra-dimensional energy seeping into the universe. In an attempt to harness the highly potent energy, the Horizon Labs scientists began to conduct tests with the energy. John was invited to attend one of these tests, involving directing the energy onto living things, in this case, fungus. However before the experiment began, Pierce had accidentally been sealed inside the room with the device. Acting without thought and against orders of the other scientists, John ran into the room to pull his friend out. In doing so, he managed to disrupt the device causing it to discharge all of the energy into his body.
John was hospitalized for two months, with unknown injuries to all his bodily tissues. When he awoke he was informed that the energy from the device cascaded through every cell in his body and was expelled out in a violent explosion that killed the Pierce and left the device with irreparable damage. Not long after this, a biopsy of his tissue's revealed that every cell in his body maintained some of the unknown energy and, in essence, recharged themselves with every cellular division, pulling energy from the unknown dimension. He soon realized that this meant he could expel the energy, and with neural practice, on command. Scared and confused about his new powers, he left the hospital and stumbled through the streets of New York thinking of his close friend whom he had killed trying to save. Confused as to the meaning of having the powers John was about to collapse from the stress. However upon witnessing the selfless actions of another hero he decided that if he had the power, he would make up for the death of his friend, by protecting those who couldn't, in the same way he couldn't save Ethan.