Early life and moving to the Xavier Institute
David Alleyne is introduced as a naturally intelligent boy, but who finds upon becoming a teenager that the answers to his exams and assignments begin appearing in his head whenever he is in the same room as his teachers. He begins to realize that he is a mutant with the ability to know anything that the people nearby know. Feeling this made him a cheater, and knowing the knowledge would fade, David becomes driven to study even harder. He takes college-level courses while finishing high school and attempts to keep his mutation a secret until the anti-mutant hate group "Purity" outs him to his parents and attempts to attack him. David is rescued by the librarian at his school, the former New Mutant Karma, and her lover Danielle Moonstar. David decides to attend the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning and is made roommates with Josh Foley, who he is initially hostile toward due to Josh's past as an anti-mutant bigot before he discovered his own mutant powers. He is placed on Dani's squad of students, called the "New Mutants". His fellow teammates are Surge, Elixir, Wind Dancer, Wallflower and Wither (who later joins the Hellions Squad and is replaced by Icarus). Dani initially appoints David as team leader, but he declines in order to give the position to Wind Dancer. She turns out to be a bad team leader, causing David to unofficially take charge with great success. David and Sofia then decide to become team co-leaders. Prodigy later learns that his mental blocks can be removed, allowing him to permanently retain the knowledge he absorbs, but he first experiences a telepathic illusion created by Dani and Emma Frost of a possible future based from that decision. In it, David excels by gaining the knowledge of the most important and intellectual individuals in the world, bringing a near-utopia to the globe, albeit at the hidden cost of genocide and the killing of his friends and the X-Men. The illusion ends with Surge, his wife, overloading her powers, killing them both in order to stop him. The illusion causes him to reject having his mental blocks removed and causes him to ignore his feelings for Noriko and avoid her. However, she later confronts him, stating that what he saw was only an illusion of his worst fears, and David begins a relationship with her.
Power loss and the New X-Men
the "Decimation" storyline following the events of House of M, David is one of the many mutants who loses his powers because of the Scarlet Witch. Planning to leave the school, David reveals that he built a "Danger Cave" to replace the destroyed Danger Room before he lost his powers. The facility allows his teammates to train by reliving former X-Men missions. David's parents and Cyclops decide that it would be safer for David to remain at the mansion since William Stryker is targeting depowered mutants as well. When Stryker attacks the mansion, David saves the Stepford Cuckoos and is wounded by one of the Purifierers. He joins the New X-Men later when they leave to fight the mutant-hunting future Sentinel, Nimrod. David proves useful to the team when he attacks the robot with the heavy artillery. After returning to the mansion, he is invited to join his girlfriend Surge in running the New X-Men squad, giving them free rein to add more members at their will. In the "Quest for Magik" storyline, the demon Belasco senses Magik's returned presence due to her temporary revival during House of M, but cannot locate her and fails to magically revive her (instead creating the dark, soulless form of Illyana called Darkchilde, whom he banishes in disgust). Sensing her presence on the students at the Institute due to their involvement with her in the "House of M" reality, he incapacitated the X-Men and sucks the students into Limbo, including David, whose eyesight was healed to normal vision by Josh using his newly acquired medical expertise. Belasco interrogates David about her whereabouts, but since none of the students remember the House of M reality, he is confused and tells her that she is still dead. Enraged, Belasco kills David by ripping out his heart. Some of the students break free and attack Belasco, while Josh manages to immediately regrow David's heart with his powers, bringing him back to life. While the students battle against Belasco, David realizes that his weakness is telepathy, having put special helmets to block the telepathic powers of Stepford Cuckoos and Martha Johansson. David directs X-23 to free the Cuckoos, who launch a telepathic attack on Belasco. Though initially successful, the Cuckoos are forced out of Belasco's mind, but he is ultimately defeated by Pixie and Darkchild. The students are later returned to Earth by Darkchilde, when she seals off all entrances to Limbo.
Regaining knowledge and skills
Prodigy and Surge's relationship comes to an end soon after. Learning of David's near-death experience in Limbo, Surge fears for his safety and attempts to force him to leave the school by kissing Hellion in front of him. David prepares to leave, but is confronted by the Cuckoos, who offer to remove his mental blocks as thanks for saving them during Stryker's attack, restoring all the past knowledge and skills he absorbed when he had his powers. Though he can no longer absorb other people's knowledge, he now possesses the collective knowledge and skills of every individual he absorbed before the onset of Decimation, including Beast's vast medical and technological expertise and the elite fighting skills of several of the X-Men. Using Krav Maga martial arts picked up from Wolverine and Shadowcat, he displays his new found assets by besting Hellion in combat, fully aware that the kiss had just been a ploy. He then breaks up with Surge and is appointed as a substitute instructor by Cyclops. In the X-Men crossover event X-Men: Messiah Complex, the X-Men, the Marauders, Predator X, as well as the anti-mutant Purifiers all race to recover the first mutant child born since M-Day, who was kidnapped from her hometown. Thinking the Purifiers may have the baby, Surge leads the New X-Men in a mission against to attack the Purifiers' base and recover her. Prodigy declines participation and stays behind at the school, viewing the mission to be largely out of vengeance against the Purifiers for their murdered schoolmates than to truly locate the baby. While the New X-Men are away on their mission, the school is attacked by O*N*E Sentinels controlled by Cassandra Nova's nano-bots. Prodigy assists Beast in the hospital wing stabilizing the severely injured students and faculty. He later repairs Cerebro with the Cuckoos, who state that they find the structure of his brain fascinating.
After the events of Messiah Complex, the X-Men disband and later reform in San Francisco. Prodigy relocates with the X-Men to assist Beast in setting up Cerebro. He continues to work with the X-Men, though he is no longer on any active teams, instead running the new Danger Room and assisting the X-Men during the Skrull invasion and the take over of San Francisco by Norman Osborn and his Dark X-Men as well as joining the rest of the mutants to the Mutant island Utopia where he assists Cyclops with maintenance.
Cyclops leaves Prodigy in charge of surveillance the island's resources after a barrage of attacks by Bastion. Beast and Prodigy access a dome placed over Utopia and San Francisco and come to the conclusion that the dome is able to send over hundreds of thousands of Nimrods over to kill the X-men and remaining mutants, causing him to break down emotionally.
Powers and Abilities
Psychomimetic (formally): Subconscious form of telepathy, which allowed him in proximity with another person, to scan and internalize the knowledge and skills of others, giving him the ability to duplicate any non-superhuman talent. He acquired mental and physical abilities, be it knowledge over a subject, a foreign language, or mastery of a fighting style. However, he was unable to retain that knowledge. When the person left the room, Prodigy no longer retained information. This power was always on. He was also able to predict attacks in order to avoid them.
Although depowered, David later regains access to all the skills and knowledge that he absorbed when he was still a mutant. This was made possible when the mental blocks in his mind are removed by the Stepford Cuckoos. He can now recall the fighting abilities and scientific knowledge of many of the X-Men including Beast's medical knowledge, Forge's and Professor Xavier's expertise in various subjects, and Wolverine and Kitty Pryde's exemplary martial arts, etc. Considering that he had some contact with nearly all the X-Men, students, visitors, and various other people over the course of his life before he lost his powers, the exact limits of his collective abilities and knowledge are unknown.