While working on an arctic scientific expedition set up into some Atlantean ruin, Severs murdered his colleague to steal his discoveries and retrieve Atlantean technology on behalf of the Secretary, his superiors in the United States. While trying to remove a strange artifact shaped like a hand attached to a dead Lemurian, his squad was confronted by Namor the Sub-Mariner and Captain America. Refusing to leave without the hand, Severs had his own hand cut off by Namor, using Captain America's Shield. The alien hand instantly merged into Severs' body, replacing the severed limb, giving him a sense of innated understanding and some sort of foresighting skills. He then fled to the undersea kingdom of Lemuria, where he made his home.
The alien hand made him deaf, blind and mute; he could only breathe and speak through it.
Later on, he was hired by Dell Rusk, the Secretary of Defense of the United States to question Captain America in order to turn him into a killer. He eventually succeeded, as Captain America, to prevent him from using his mind control powers on Namor and Hana, ripped the alien hand off his body, thus ending his life.