Orphaned while still a toddler, Alex was absorbed into Nebraska's state foster care system never knowing whether or not his brother--his only surviving family--ever pulled through the coma in which he'd left him. He was adopted soon afterward by a family that had recently lost a son, and made a replacement of sorts; even his name was changed--at least at home. When his mutant powers manifested early in adolescence, leading to the destruction of half a high-school gymnasium, nobody raised much outcry when he was quietly spirited away by researchers offering a great deal of money. While a "ward" of the laboratory, he made the acquaintance of others, gifted like himself ... only one of whom lived to see the Brotherhood's liberation of the facility. He now follows his rescuers with near-fanatic devotion, a dedication eclipsed only by his loyalty to his fellow survivor.