Born into a rich Nassau county family, Candy Southern grew up making influential connections like old family friend General Argyle Fist of the US Army. She particularly close to fellow Long Island teenager Warren Worthington, until he moved away to attend boarding school. Unknown to Candy, Warren was a mutant, who secretly grew wings from his back that enabled him to fly while at school. Warren became the super hero Avenging Angel, later a founding member of the heroic mutant X-Men as the Angel. the team was mentored by respectable intellectual Charles Xavier, secretly a mutant telepath, and the group's early members were all students at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in their civilian identities. Angel's fellow X-Men included Cyclops (Scott Summers), Iceman (Bobby Drake), Beast (Hank McCoy), and Marvel Girl (Jean Grey). Warren and Scott were rivals for Grey's affections at first, but Warren eventually gave up romantically pursuing Jean.
Candy moved to New York after convincing her parents to let her get an apartment there. Employed at the United Nations Building and taking courses at Archer College, she had a chance encounter with Warren at the Monkee's Paw nightclub just after he had a finally abandoned his crush on Grey. Candy and Warren got reacquainted over soft drinks and compared notes on their years apart, piquing Candy's curiosity regarding Xavier's School. Warren tried to discourage her interest in the school, but he was immediately charmed by Candy and intent on seeing her again. Called away on urgent X-Men business, Warren quickly arranged a second date by inviting Candy to Bobby's birthday party at the Coffee A Go-Go cafe, where Candy met Bobby, Scott, Jean, Hank, Bobby's girlfriend Zelda Kurtzberg and Hank's girlfriend Vera Cantor while they all watched oddball performance artist Bernard the Poet. The party was literally and figuratively crashed by biker gang Satan's Saint, who rode into the cafe on their motorcycles pursuing a grudge against Zelda, but Warren and his classmates used their combat training and subtle applications of their powers to subdue the bikers without exposing themselves as the X-Men.
Warren and Candy soon began dating steadily, though Warren's social life slowed down as he spent more time with his ailing father. A worried Warren almost turned down a date with Candy to stay home with his parents, but his father insisted he go out, so Warren and Candy went dancing. As they drove home, Warren heard a radio report of his father's murder. Crazed with grief and rage, guilt-stricken over being away from home and irrationally blaming himself and Candy for the tragedy, Warren spurned Candy's attempts to confront him, stormed off and captured his father's killers, who worked for the light-wielding criminal Dazzler. Angel soon learned the Dazzler was secretly his uncle Burt Worthington, who had tricked Warren's father into getting involved in smuggling, then killed him before he could inform authorities. Dazzler took Candy hostage to use against Warren, but Angel still destroyed his uncle's criminal operation. Angel flew Candy and Burt to safety as Dazzler's lair blew up, but he dropped the both when Burt attacked them in mid-air. Recovering quickly, Angel only had time to catch one of them and chose Candy, assuming the Dazzler died.