Quagmire's history is largely unknown before he became a member of the super villain team the Institute of Evil. Like the rest of the Institute members, he was subjected to the behavior-modification process, and elected to full membership in the Squadron Supreme as a result. While with the Institute, he was apparently involved with his teammate Foxfire, though this relationship did not continue after their behavior-modification, and Foxfire became romantically involved with Doctor Spectrum.
After saving twenty factory workers from a gas leakage, Quagmire went into a coma. In the hospital, he was sucked into the hole in his brain that is a portal into the dimension from which his dark matter originates.
Quagmire eventually came through a portal into Earth-616, which formed near the Nexus of All Realities in the belly of the creature known as the Man-Thing. Quagmire's body passed through the body of the Man-Thing. This passage apparently reversed the effects of the behavior modification, restoring his old criminal, renegade personality. He battled the superhero Quasar and the sorceress Jennifer Kale. Quagmire was eventually contacted by the Chief Examiner while in The Vault, and was freed. Quagmire approached Quasar's associate Kayla Ballantine and forced her through the Chief Examiner's black portal. He battled a tiny antibody which secretly sought refuge inside his body.
Darkforce Tar Generation: Quagmire has the ability to tap into and manipulate the extra-dimensional Darkforce in the form of a thick, dark, viscous tar-like substance. Opening a dimensional interface with his mind, he seemingly projected the Darkforce from his fingertips, or could open the interface anywhere within thirty feet of him.
Quagmire could control the flow of Darkforce from a thin spray of globules to a thick torrent of oozing slime. Quagmire's darkforce manifestation was extremely adhesive: a sufficient quantity could immobilize even beings of significant superhuman strength. Quagmire could also apply small quantities of the darkforce to his fingertips and toes in order to scale walls and ceilings. Quagmire could shape the Darkforce into animated tendrils or whip them about his person in a psychokinetic tornado. The Darkforce generally behaves like quasi-solid liquid; human beings cannot breathe through it.
Quagmire was a good hand-to-hand combatant, and was skilled at both lock picking and sculpture-making.
Quagmire had the regular human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise.
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