As a private investigator without peer, there seemed like there was no problem that Fred Bender could not solve through a little research, but when he grows tired of tracking down insurance frauds and other such mundane matters, he turns his attention towards the secrets of life itself.
When Fred’s investigation uncovers the existence of Phil Seleski, the hero known as Solar, and Buck McHenry, a former Geomancer, he tracks Buck and approaches him about learning the mysteries of the universe, but he refuses to speak with him.
Fred next pursues Phil and begs him to show him the powers of the Man of The Atom, and once he relents and gives him a small demonstration, he relents and finally convinces him to show him the physical manifestation of the quantum continuum – the ‘’backstage of reality’’, as Phil calls it.
This turns out to be an error on Phil’s part, as Fred steals a piece of his power and uses it to wreck havoc. After Phil tracks Fred, he is eventually able to get the best of him because of his greater experience and, somehow, removes the powers from his body. Furious at what happened, Phil strands Fred in the middle of the Death Valley desert without any powers.
It takes Fred days to crawl out of the desert, an experience that drives him insane, and while his burning hate for Phil is the only thing that keeps him going, he retains his acute sense of observation. One night, Fred observes Master Darque ride through the night sky atop a snake, and aware that he can give him the power he seeks to take revenge on Phil, he makes his way out of the desert and seeks out Darque in New Orleans.
Though he sees Fred as a tool, Darque has a use for him that gives Fred the power he seeks.
In an arcane ceremony, Darque exchanges every cell in Fred’s body with the forces of the Darque power to destroy Phil and use him as a portal for an otherworldly demon – in reality Erica Pierce – to come into the world, but the Secret Weapons ultimately disrupt his plan.
Calling himself Dr. Eclipse, since he now possesses power that eclipses that of his enemies, Fred lives on to spread his dark evil all over the world.