Professor Jennifer "Spitfire" Swensen's father invented some robotic exoskeletons known as MAX armors intending them to be used in the construction industry. When Swensen's employer Fritz Krotze engineered his death after he refused to turn over the MK II MAX armor to him to be used for military purposes, Jenny stole the suit and, with the help of some brilliant college students known as the Troubleshooters, used it to try to bring Krotze to justice. They also fended off repeated attempts by forces who wanted to acquire the suits and use them as weapons, notably Krotze's employers, the terrorist organization known as The Club, who later had Krotze killed.
The MAX MK II suit was eventually destroyed and Swensen (who had the plans) coerced into working for the CIA as Codename: Spitfire, wearing an updated suit of MAX armor and partnered with the schizoid Jake Travest. Swensen and her MAX Armor were eventually absorbed into the United States Army.
On December 22, 1987, as part of her duties with the Army, Jenny was called to use her MAX Armor to investigate the destruction of Pittsburgh. At this point, all that was known was that an unknown disaster had struck the city. Jenny was the first person to get an accurate sense of the extent of the damage. She flew down into the crater, almost 14 miles below where Pittsburgh used to be, before seeing a mass of sludge at the bottom.
Jenny entered the sludge to take a sample of it and spotted a family of survivors, in a car that had fallen over the edge. While she attempted to rescue the family, some of the sludge (or "Pitt Juice," as it came to be known) was able to penetrate her airtight suit seals and contaminate Jenny.
When she informed her superior officer of the damage, he ordered the Pitt to be completely sealed off. He then ordered Jenny to go in and take more scientific readings. Jenny wanted instead to search the area for more survivors, but was ordered not to... so she decided to go AWOL, flying away in the MAX armor and searching for signs of life.
Some time later, she encountered a few paranormals who had breached the perimeter of the Pitt in order to search for friends. She was initially in conflict with the group, and accidentally destroyed one of Randy O'Brien's antibodies, before two other paranormals, Charlotte Beck (Friction) and Lenore Fenzl (Twilight), were able to use their paranormal abilities to bring Swensen's suit down. When they finally had a chance to talk, the group was able to enlist Swensen's aid in rescuing their friend Dave Landers (Mastodon), who was fighting for his life inside The Pitt.
That rescue damaged the MAX armor even more, and Swensen was regretfully forced to abandon it, as she didn't have what she needed with her in order to repair it. She travelled with the paranormals for a while, and led a team of the female paranormals in going after George Mullaney (Mutator), who'd been captured by a group of scavengers. An extended fight with the scavengers' paranormal leader, Pit Bull, delayed the women getting back to their makeshift camp, and by the time they arrived, the others had already been captured by the army.
Swensen went to the army base alone to check in and see if they were captured. As she'd recently been AWOL, the army was displeased with her, but the Central Intelligence Agency managed to get her remanded to them. By this time, Jenny had begun to suffer from her exposure to Pitt Juice. Her body was partially covered by a mass of shiny boils, and the rash was spreading.
The CIA brought in a paranormal named Stephanie Harrington who had healing abilities, in an effort to cure the infection, but Stephanie's touch accelerated the infection instead, and Jenny's entire body was now covered in a metal skin.
After her transformation, Jenny joined and lead the CIA's female paranormal task force. They were first sent out into Brazil, where they were assigned to locate a biological weapon. That weapon was actually a monstrous paranormal known as the Famileech, originally formed out of the family Jenny rescued from the Pitt, and the team barely escaped with their lives, at the cost of one of their own, Fenzl.
The CIA next assigned Jenny's group to monitor presidential candidate Philip Nolan Voigt. Their surveillance of him was discovered almost immediately, and he used his paranormal powers to mind control the women into doing his bidding. He also later had them attack Randy O'Brien and Dave Landers, to prove a point. Voight threatened to make the women commit suicide if his plans were interfered with again.
Jenny, her teammates, Randy, and Dave all lived in the same building after that as friends. Their program was suddenly terminated by the CIA, however, and Jenny had to face off against an assassin hired by her disgruntled former CIA handler.
Later, Jenny was fighting off some muggers and encountered a man in a superhero costume, calling himself Captain Manhattan. He was considering creating a team of paranormals to fight crime. Later, they met again when Captain Manhattan was lured into an ambush at the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. Jenny and her friends happened to be there, and they assisted him. It was there that Captain Manhattan, thinking on the spot, gave her the codename Chrome.
Jenny became smitten with Manhattan began to assist him in fighting the crime in New York City as Chrome. Still, she wondered if Captain Manhattan even saw her as a woman, considering her unusual appearance, and whether any kind of romance was possible.
When a man claiming to be able to cure paranormal abilities offered his services, the two investigated him together. He seemed sincere, and offered to cure both of them on the spot. Jenny considered it but wasn't ready at the time. She knew that Captain Manhattan might not be interested in her at all if not as a superhero partner... and yet she wanted to be a woman again. She attended the Cure's mass healing in New York while she made up her mind. Despite the fact that she stayed waiting for her turn at the Cure when her friends left, she must not have gotten the Cure after all, as she was later seen, as Chrome, helping Captain Manhattan defend their world against alien threats.
Organic Steel Body: After being exposed to the mutagenic chemicals found in the Pitt, commonly referred to as "Pitt Juice", Jenny's bodily tissues are now composed of an unnamed type of organic steel. In her new steel form, Jenny's bodily tissues are now twice as dense as her normal form and grants her various superhuman attributes.
- Superhuman Strength: Jenny's organic steel body possesses slight levels of superhuman strength. At her peak, Jenny is capable of lifting about 1 ton.
- Superhuman Durability: Jenny's organic steel body is much harder and is more resistant to physical injury than the body of a normal human. Jenny has shown to be able to resist penetration wounds from at least small caliber bullets and conventional knives. She is also withstand exposure to extremes of both temperature and pressure without sustaining injury and is immune to the effects of all known sedatives and narcotics.
- Negligible Body Functions: The mutagenic effect that transformed Jenny into her steel form has also had a unique effect on her body. In fact, Jenny's body no longer performs most of the natural functions a normal body would, with the known exception that she still has to breathe oxygen in order to survive.
Even without her superhuman powers, Jenny is a formidable hand to hand combatant and has a good deal of experience and training in the martial art of Tai Chi.
One trade-off of Jenny's superhuman form is that she now has a very limited sense of touch, with no delicate feeling. She's stated that she needs to be punched to even be aware she's been touched.
MAX Armor Mark IV: Jenny Swensen often flew an armored exoskeleton called the MAX armor. The suit greatly enhanced her strength, allowing her to lift over half a ton. It could also fly for extended periods, and contained its own life support systems. The suit contained a full array of sensors and its weaponry included missiles.
- 32 appearance(s) of Jennifer Swensen (Earth-148611)
- 2 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Jennifer Swensen (Earth-148611)
- 1 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Jennifer Swensen (Earth-148611)
- 5 image(s) of Jennifer Swensen (Earth-148611)
- 2 item(s) used/owned by Jennifer Swensen (Earth-148611)