Dr. Lowell developed the Photogenesis Project for OsCorp, and discovered a way to give a human superpowers through photosynthesis. When Norman Osborn became enraged by Lowell, he tried to shut down the project and destroy all evidence of it, so Lowell used the process on himself. Developing great powers, Lowell set out across New York, but soon clashed with a variety of the city's heroes, including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and the X-Men. However, when he accidentally blasted a young neighbor girl who had befriended him he was overcome with guilt and turned himself in to the authorities.
Lowell served his time, but was divorced by his wife while in prison. On his release, a gangster, Lucky Lobo, tried to recruit Lowell, as did his former boss Norman Osborn's company. Lowell refused the offer from Oscorp, and with the help of Spider-Man, apprehended Lobo. Lowell then went into hiding, saying he just wanted a quiet life.