The mutant Black Swan was raised in the Bavarian Alps as an assassin, his aristocratic family's profession for roughly 300 years. The Swan gained a reputation as a top gentleman assassin, and a snob intolerant of rudeness. Hired alongside Taskmaster and Canadian mercenary Tyrell Farsa to take down revolutionaries in Zaire, the Swan took care of his part of the assignment before returning to the drop point. Angered by Farsa soiling one of his silk handkerchiefs, the Swan used his powers to damage Farsa's mind, leaving him permanently unable to take care of himself.
The Swan accepted a contract to assassinate the heads of the Four Winds crime cartel, which he intended to use as his "swan song" to cap his illustrious career. However, the hit was accidentally interrupted by the mercenary Deadpool ("Wade Wilson"), who was publicly given credit for the kill. Desiring revenge for this public embarrassment, the Swan teamed up with Nijo, brother of Minamiyori (South Wind) who was killed in the hit, to destroy Deadpool's reputation permanently. Tricking Deadpool into entering his German castle, the Swan implanted a psonic "virus" in his brain, causing Deadpool to allow himself to be beaten almost to death by the Swan before returning to America with his memories of the last several hours wiped clean. Using Nijo to monitor Deadpool's activities, the Swan was increasingly angered to learn that his mind virus was not destroying Deadpool's career as quickly as he had hoped. Relearning who had attacked him, a mentally deteriorating Deadpool confronted Nijo and the Black Swan in his castle. Deadpool witnessed the Black Swan kill Nijo, before he used a bomb threat to force Swan to cure his schizophrenic assistant Ratbag (Eric Nicieza), Swan fought Deadpool ransacking his mind to gain the bombs deactivation codes. However, the Swan pushed his powers beyond their previous limits, enabling Deadpool to access his mind as easily as he accessed Deadpool's, who then overpowered the Swan and threw him into a lit fireplace grill before the bomb went off, seemingly killing both men.
However, it was later learned the Swan survived by instinctively coping Deadpool's healing factor into himself, Black Swan soon realized his powers had also scrambled the abilities of himself, Deadpool and the dead Nijo, merging them and his facial scarring into Nijo's revived corps and leaving Deadpool a seemingly shell of his former self. Swan found he was unhappily burdened with Nijo's strict sense of honor, while Nijo, taking the name of Agent X/Alex Hayden, had Swan's marksman skills, and violent intolerance for rudeness. Tracking Hayden to Los Angeles, the Swan arrived with Deadpool in tow, intending to switch everyone's abilities back to their rightful owners. Linking all three minds together, the Swan restored everyone's rightful abilities, but quickly absorbed everyone's power into himself, greatly increasing his own abilities. Drunk on his new found power, the Swan briefly held his own against Agent X, Deadpool, Outlaw (Inez Temple), Taskmaster and business associate Sandi Brandenberg, before they overwhelmed him. Agent X forced the Swan to reabsorb his scarred face before the others shot him to death. Fearful that the Swan's healing factor could kick in once more and resurrect him, the five had the Swan's corpse stuffed, and then took it on vacation with them.