Living a sheltered life in Greenwich, Eric grew up colorblind and ignorant to the prejudices of skin, until the day his best friend Woodrow Van Chelton moved out and Eric convinced himself that he left because he was black.
As a bitter teenager, Eric applied to West Point Military Academy, which rejected his request due to his being one black over their quota. Ultimately, his father pulled the necessary strings to get him into the academy, much to the chagrin of his white schoolmates. Shortly after joining the academy, Eric discovered that he suffered from a debilitating, almost fatal, heart condition that, had it not been for his father’s intervention, would have resulted in his dismissal from the academy. Eventually, however, the truth about his condition was uncovered and he left the army after a court martial.
Following his father’s death, Eric donned the identity of Quantum. No longer blind to skin color after Woody left, Eric holds a resolute belief in that people can only be good (white) or evil (black), and for him there is no such thing as shades of gray.