Christopher "Chris" Nord was born in East Germany. His early history is clouded in mystery, though there are whispers that his parents were scientists for the Nazi regime. He also had an older brother, Andreas Nord. A mutant, he possessed the ability to absorb kinetic energy through impact with little to no harm.
An idealist, he fought against the communist regime during the height of the Cold War, joining a West German black ops unit named Cell Six. On a mission in Italy, he was injured by a rival assassin codenamed the Confessor. While recovering, he met an Italian nurse, Ginetta Lucia Barsalini, whom he fell in love with and married. Over the next three years, Cell Six's field agents were eliminated one by one, except for Nord. Nord realized the truth; Ginetta was a spy. Threatening to shoot her, he demanded to know her employer. Saying he didn't have the guts to shoot a defenseless woman in cold blood, she lunged at him with a knife, causing him to shoot her in self-defense. Dying, she revealed to him that in killing her, he had killed their unborn child as well. Long after this incident, Nord continues to be wracked with guilt about the betrayal and still seeks answers as to whom Barsalini was working for. This watershed moment left Nord cold and distrusting of everyone, especially women.
Fueled by the betrayal, Sgt. Nord became one of the most efficient covert operatives in Germany. In the 1960s, his exploits caught the attention of the CIA, who offered him a spot in the clandestine Team X. He agreed, and at this time, changed his name to David North. As a part of Team X, he was one of several mutant operatives the government experimented on and utilized. Each member unknowingly received false memory implants, and North received an aging suppressant culled from Logan's mutant healing factor. North's immediate team consisted of three field agents: North, Logan (who later became Wolverine), and Victor Creed (who later became Sabretooth). The mutant teleporter John Wraith, also referred to as Kestrel, served as the team's intelligence man and extractor. It was at this time that North began wearing his signature yellow and black faceplate. On a mission in East Germany, both Creed and Logan were badly injured. Rather than follow protocol and leave them, North dragged them to the extraction point. Cornered by Andreas Nord, now an assassin, North saved his teammates the only way he could; killing his own brother in cold blood. Because of this incident, Logan holds North in very high regard. Another mission saw the three agents try to take down the Russian super soldier Omega Red in Berlin. They succeeded in stealing the carbonadium synthesizer, which was necessary for the Russian to control his death factor pheromone. Taking down the psychopathic Omega Red, however, was not as easy. In the chaos, Creed panicked, killing Janice Hollenback, the CIA mole they were attempting to rescue. The team then escaped by jumping from a ten-story window. The synthesizer was thought lost, and a rift formed between Creed and Logan due to Creed's actions on the mission. Unbeknownst to the agency, Logan had recovered the synthesizer and hid it. North suspected as much at the time, but did not know for sure. By the early 1970s, Team X was summarily disbanded. However, the team's agents were captured by Weapon X to be used as test subjects. When Logan underwent the adamantium bonding, he went on a murderous rampage, allowing North and the others to escape. Around this time, North inexplicably lost his powers. Undaunted, North continued to work in espionage as a mercenary using the trade name Maverick. The inspiration for the name came in a conversation where North boasted that he neither trusted nor needed anyone, to which Logan responded, "A regular maverick, eh?".
Decades passed and Maverick developed a reputation as one of the best hired guns available. Maverick compensated for his lack of powers with meticulous planning and a reliance on the latest technology. His suit consisted of fiberglass armor, a padded kevlar lining, and airtight seals that allowed him to seal the suit for further protection. His mask contained a limited oxygen supply as well as infrared scanning and target systems. The suit's offensive capabilities were tailored to his missions' needs. He worked for private parties and governmental agencies alike, taking several contracts from retired Major Arthur Barrington, the man who had brought North into the CIA. When Omega Red captured Wolverine as well as several of the X-Men in Berlin in an effort to locate the carbonadium synthesizer, Maverick was sent in by Barrington. Maverick helped free the captive X-Men, and tracked Sabretooth to Omega Red. With the X-Men's help, he obtained the device from Wolverine, and hid it once again. Maverick aided the X-Men in combat against Sabretooth, Omega Red, Fenris, and Matsu'o Tsurayaba. During the course of this incident, Maverick murders Dr. Abraham Cornelius (one of the men responsible for turning Wolverine into who he is) in cold blood. Barrington later sent him to acquire the Xavier Files, profiles of the powers and weaknesses of various mutants, which were compiled by the X-Men's founder. Maverick battled and killed Dr. Alexander Ryking and his superhuman ally. Maverick's enemy Warhawk exploded in the ensuing clash, seemingly destroying the files. Maverick was later hired by the US government to protect Aldo Ferro, a former Weapon X member. Former Team X alumni sought Ferro out after Mastodon died when his age suppression factor reversed. Unbeknownst to Team X, Ferro was the second Psi-Borg, and was responsible for the planting of false memories during their time with Weapon X. Betrayed by Ferro, Maverick then sided with his former teammates Wolverine, Sabretooth, Silver Fox, and John Wraith, and Ferro was seemingly killed in the subsequent battle. Maverick next sought to kill Sabretooth to make him pay for his numerous crimes. Against his better judgment, he joined forces with the X-Men to merely capture Sabretooth, setting in motion what became a failed attempt by Charles Xavier to rehabilitate the serial killer.
Maverick swiftly contracted the Legacy Virus, a terminal disease that only affected mutants. This development brought about the random return of his powers, but also a loss of energy and horrible scarring all over his body. At first, he tried to convince Wolverine to kill him, but Wolverine would not, and Maverick decided to make the best of it, and "fight the good fight." His health declining, he traveled the world from safe house to safe house, using his savings to procure treatment for his infection. During this time he recruited a very unstable Wolverine to help him rescue the mercenary Deadpool from a mysterious organization. The group had attacked Maverick, almost killing him, but he had made it to the X-Mansion and spent several days in a coma, healing. It was thought Deadpool's blood would supply a cure for the disease, but after a very violent adventure it was discovered this was not the case. While in New York, he saved a fellow Legacy Virus positive mutant, teenager Chris Bradley and his family from an attack by the Friends of Humanity, an anti-mutant group. The FOH retaliated by firebombing Bradley's home, spurring Maverick to use his connections to relocate the Bradley family to Florida under aliases. He also got Chris medical treatment, and set his parents up with new jobs. He then left for Canada. While there, former KGB agent and mutant telepath Elena Ivanova found him, demanding he help her track down Sabretooth, who had killed her mother during his Weapon X years. Before he could answer her, they were attacked by Omega Red, who had tracked Ivanova to Maverick in hopes of recovering the carbonadium synthesizer. With the help of John Wraith, they succeeded in keeping the device away from the villain. Saved by Maverick, Ivanova felt that she owed him, and stuck by his side despite his icy demeanor. They traveled together for a time. The Legacy Virus then took hold, killing North. Ivanova used her powers to resuscitate North. To his surprise, the virus seemingly went into remission, and his powers not only returned, but were enhanced. The kinetic energy his body absorbed could now be released as beams of concussive force or heat, or used to increase the strength of his physical attacks. His revival also cleared his mind of Weapon X's memory implants. He would later realize that the Legacy Virus made his new powers inconsistent, at times making his powers a danger to himself. Trouble soon found them in the form of Russian mob boss Ivan Pushkin. Sending his goons Hammer and Sickle to kidnap them both, Pushkin used Ivanova's powers to brainwash Maverick into killing Major Arthur Barrington, claiming it was Barrington who had set up Barsalini's betrayal all those years ago. In reality, Barrington was to deliver testimony at an inquest that would have been damaging to Pushkin's business interests. Attacking but not killing Barrington, Maverick quickly regained his senses. While he blinded the left eye of Sickle with his own weapon, Hammer finished the job and eliminated Barrington. Meanwhile, Chris Bradley ran from home, missing his girlfriend in New York. The FOH tapped his friends' phone and when he reached New York, they again tried to kill Chris. Maverick, Ivanova, and Wolverine saved him and his friend. Ivanova then used her abilities to make the FOH and Chris' girlfriend think he'd died in the scuffle. Both shaken by the life threatening events of the past few days, Ivanova and North's relationship, platonic up to this point, became physical. The following morning, Ivanova still expressed the desire to go after Sabretooth. Maverick harshly warned that an assault against Sabretooth was a fool's errand, and implied she'd slept with him to coerce him to aid her goal. Angered, Ivanova left Maverick that night to continue her vendetta. A regretful Maverick traced Ivanova's steps and found her in the nick of time as she was rendered comatose by the mutant psychopath. Maverick stopped Sabretooth from delivering the killing blow, and left a badly injured Ivanova in the care of the Bradley family. Maverick then renewed his vendetta with Ivan Pushkin, desperate to avenge Barrington's death. Pushkin retained the Confessor's services to spring Sickle from jail, then go after Maverick. The Confessor defeated Maverick and brought him to Pushkin, who held him captive, still having hopes of coercing Maverick to work for him. However, Maverick would have none of it, freeing himself and then stopping Pushkin from stealing a huge payload of high tech weaponry from A.I.M. In the midst of achieving this goal, Sickle gained a measure of revenge, gouging out Maverick's left eye and stranding him in the Swiss Alps.
The Weapon X project was soon reinvigorated, and having brought Sabretooth and Wraith back into the fold, they were sent to recruit Maverick. Wraith lured an unwitting Maverick into a rendezvous. Maverick refused to join, and a battle ensued. After believing to have defeated Sabretooth, Maverick came to learn of his new healing factor which had been enhanced once again. Sabretooth caught him off guard, impaled him and then threw him off the roof of a 20 story building onto a car parked on the street below. Taken to Weapon X near death, Malcolm Colcord again offered him the chance to join, as he could still be saved. This time, he reluctantly agreed, rationalizing it by saying he couldn't "fight the good fight" as a corpse. He was healed and then upgraded with explicit intent of assassinating Wolverine. He has no scent, makes no sound thanks to a vibranium suit, possesses an enhanced healing factor, and a corrosive was added to his concussive blasts that hinders a foes' healing factor. In addition, he was equipped with a wide array of weapons, from wrist-mounted plasma blasters, to an adamantium-coated knife. He was the agency's most potent weapon. As the world believed that Maverick was dead, a victim of Sabretooth's, Nord sought to keep it that way. He dyed his brown hair black and adopted a new alias, Agent Zero. After sending him on a few simple missions, the Director tried to break his will by sending him to kill his friend and former teammate Wolverine, a mission he purposely botched. Feeling guilty for joining the enemy, he contemplated suicide daily. His hatred for his teammate Sabretooth still ran deep, as he tried yet again to kill him, only to be stopped from dealing a fatal blow by the Director. During a mission, Agent Zero encountered a new Maverick, who unbeknownst to Zero, was the same mutant he'd befriended years earlier, Chris Bradley. Bradley had infiltrated a mutant terrorist group called Gene Nation in an effort to destroy them from inside. Bradley had wanted revenge on Weapon X for 'killing' North. To achieve that goal, he received training in black ops from Cable and assumed the Maverick mantle. Zero, believing this new Maverick was a terrorist, shot and killed him, only to find the truth as Bradley lay dying. Returning to the base after this occurred, Zero found Weapon X had disappeared without a trace. Maverick then picked up Bradley's fight, attacking Gene Nation strongholds across the world and also searched for answers as to what happened to the program. It was revealed the reason that Zero doesn't know what happened to Weapon X was because he was being brainwashed by a fellow Weapon X member under orders from the Director, as Zero had become increasingly harder to control. Zero had gone after Gene Nation because of Weapon X's instruction. Without realizing it, Zero served as executioner at Neverland, a mutant concentration camp set up by Weapon X. But just as soon as Weapon X bothered to reveal these truths, they put him under again, and Zero went on, none the wiser.
Agent Zero lost his powers on M-Day, as a result of Scarlet Witch's actions during the House Of M. It has been revealed that he is among the mutants who have been depowered. North is seen residing in a center for former mutants and once again using the Maverick alias. Wolverine sought him out for information on carbonadium, reuniting the two and Jubilee. However, Omega Red soon attacked the building, looking for the carbonadium synthesizer. Maverick stole Weapon X files and sold them on the black market. In an effort to cover up his involvement in Kick-starting the Strikeforce X program from Wolverine, he killed the man whom he sold the files to.
Powers and Abilities
Nord currently possesses no superhuman abilities. Like most of Earth's mutant population, he lost his powers as a result of the aftermath of M-Day.
- Kinetic Absorption: Nord's primary mutant power was the ability to absorb the energy caused by a kinetic impact. While this power did have limits, Nord could survive a 10 story fall, powerful blasts of energy, and being struck with superhuman force without being injured.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Upon joining the Weapon X Program, Nord was artificially granted a slight healing factor by the program similar to the ones possessed by Wolverine and Sabretooth, though far inferior to theirs. As a result, he could fully heal from mild to moderate injuries faster and more extensively than a normal human. This healing factor also made him highly resistant, if not immune, to most diseases and toxins. It also greatly suppressed Nord's natural aging process, causing him to age much slower. However, after contracting the Legacy Virus, Nord burned out his artificial healing factor and his power to absorb the energy of kinetic impact was reduced considerably.
- Kinetic Absorption and Energy Control: After the Legacy Virus went into remission, Nord's kinetic absorption power mutated to greater limits and the energy he absorbed had to be channeled into powerful blasts of concussive force or heat. He could also purposely channel the energy to increase the force of his physical blows. After absorbing his peak level of energy, Nord's punches and kicks were 10 times stronger than normal. It isn't known if Nord could channel the energy for the purpose of lifting great amounts of weight.
- Anti-Healing Factor Corrosive Blasts: After Nord was forced to join the latest incarnation of the Weapon X Program, he underwent a procedure that altered his kinetic absorption ability. After absorbing the energy of kinetic impacts, Nord could now channel the energy into blasts of corrosive energy due to an acidic enzyme that was secreted from the tips of his fingers. This enzyme was specifically designed by the Weapon X Program that, aside from its naturally acidic properties, could counter act an enemy's accelerated healing capabilities. The process of self-healing was actually reversed so that the more an opponent's body tried to heal injuries inflicted by the enzyme, the worse the injuries became. Nord also retained his ability to channel the energy for the purpose of increasing the strength of his physical blows.
- Scent Suppression: Due to the procedures he underwent at the hands of the Weapon X Program, all discernible scent was removed from Nord's body.
Even without his mutant powers, Zero is a proficient hand-to-hand combatant, a phenomenal marksman, and an expert in covert operations and demolitions. He also has vast experience with computers and communications equipment.
As Maverick, Agent Zero wore a suit of body armor that contained airtight seals and a mask containing a limited oxygen supply.
Just prior to losing his powers, he wore a Vibranium-weave body armor that rendered him completely silent as he moved. The armor also refracted light, which in total darkness rendered him nearly invisible to conventional methods of detection.
When last seen, he had no weaponry. Prior to being depowered, Agent Zero carried a wide array of weapons:
- Wrist-mounted plasma blasters
- pistols with Adamantium ammunition
- Adamantium-coated knife
- Sniper rifle loaded with "Anti-Metal" ammunition
Despite the fact that Maverick's Identity is secret, it is known to certain officials in U.S., Canadian and German governments.