Though Warren Worthington III's bigoted parents claimed to love their son they could not cope with his visible mutation (a huge pair of wings) and had him raised by servants on a secluded private estate. They considered risky surgery, but when Warren's father heard of the Xavier Institute, he hastily unloaded his problem son, paying Charles Xavier to become Warren's legal guardian. Warren's arrival at the Institute caused a stir. Teammate Rogue felt that an "angel" in their midst might be a sign. This feeling was shared by religious pro- and anti-mutant groups who demonstrated outside within days of his arrival, having read about him from Beast's website. Feeling like an outsider, and mistaking his female team mates' stares for disgust rather than admiring glances, Warren flew away. Storm convinced him to return, and he informed the demonstrators that he was not a religious figure, merely a mutant, ending their interest. Now codenamed Angel, Warren asked Wolverine to teach him combat skills,. The first time they sparred, Angel panicked, unprepared for combat. Though he felt ill suited for battle, he soon went through a baptism of fire, overcoming his fears to help his team mates fight a Sentinel robot. When serial killer Sinister invaded Xavier's school, Angel proved his mettle, confronting him solo and successfully disarming him before Sinister regained the upper hand with his hypnotic power. Rogue finally subdued the villain, and Sinister's assault failed.
Angel soon formed strong friendships with his fellow X-Men, covertly playing Captain Eagle to Nightcrawler's Dread Pirate Bluetail in secret Danger Room adventures, and taking charge in group training sessions. When some of the team was sent to Genosha to investigate the veracity of murder charges against the mutant Longshot, Angel reluctantly joined Dazzler's unauthorized trip to Krakoa to rescue the convict. Electing to remain alone by the jet, he was captured and badly injured, forcing his friends to come to his rescue. Upon returning home, the group was berated by Xavier, who threatened to expel the ringleader. The still-recovering Angel took the blame, earning Dazzler's thanks, and they soon began dating. When the couple tried to prevent a breakout from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Triskelion, Dazzler was severely injured by Deathstrike, and left comatose. Angel, at Professor X's behest, has infiltrated the Academy of Tomorrow, on the understanding he can rejoin the X-Men should Dazzler awaken.