Adam Mann was raised by a single mother and never knew his father. As a boy, his head was filled with myths and legends of ancient gods through bedtime stories his mother read to him. As a man, he excelled in sports and went on to win more Olympic gold medals than any other athlete in history. His accomplishments were so great he was tested for the X-gene, but Mann was not a mutant. Gaining several endorsements, he made a financial fortune, and then built a business empire. He always suspected his father was an errant god like Hercules and began collecting ancient artifacts to harness their mystical energy, intending to amass so much energy that he could travel to places like Asgard or Olympus to find his father and slay him for abandonment.
When Steve Rogers gave the Thunderstrike mace to Kevin Masterson, son of the heroic Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson), and Kevin called upon its power, Mann detected a new energy source to collect. He sent his private strike force to retrieve it which they did after a brief battle with Kevin and his Asgardian protector, Gruenhilda. Mann connected the mace to his Mysticator, a generator that supplied him with God Force, and donned his golden armor, which filled him with the power of a living god, as Kevin broke into his home to reclaim the mace. Mann fought Kevin (as Thunderstrike), blasting him through the chest with an energy beam that seemingly killed him, but once Thunderstrike transformed back into Kevin, his wounds were healed. Mann pursued Kevin to regain the mace but was interrupted by the villainous Mangog, unintentionally summoned to Earth by the Mysticator. Mangog questioned both combatants as to whether or not they were gods, and Mann acknowledged this claim with pride; soon discovering his error as Mangog announced he detested the gods and devoured Mann, armor and all.
Mann's claim to be a descendant of the gods was never proven.