A man after his own heart, Darren Cross suffers from a heart condition that leads him to go to any lengths to survive, including murder.
Sick at Heart
After spending half his life building the Cross Technological Enterprises (CTE) conglomerate, Darren Cross developed a degenerative heart condition. Refusing to be sidelined by his condition, Cross designed a nucleorganic pacemaker that, when perfected by CTE research staff, was implanted into Cross to circumvent his disease. The pacemaker worked too well, however, and ultimately began enlarging Cross’ circulatory system, mutating Cross into an eight-foot-tall, pink-skinned superhuman. When the mutation’s strain began eroding Cross’ heart, he kidnapped surgeon Dr. Erica Sondheim and forced her to perform multiple successive heart transplants using homeless people as heart donors. Horrified at Cross’ murderous ruthlessness, Dr. Sondheim secretly transplanted Cross’ original, damaged heart back into his body as Scott Lang, AKA Ant-Man, arrived, seeking Dr. Sondheim’s expertise to save his daughter Cassie’s life. Waking to defeat Ant-Man, Cross prepared to harvest Ant-Man’s heart but suffered a heart attack during their subsequent battle.
Darren has superhuman senses, sufficient to hear and see insect-sized targets, and interact with them with precision. He also has enhanced strength and a regenerative healing factor, which allows him to recover from potentially life-threatening injuries within moments. After being transplanted with Cassie Lang’s Pym Particle-saturated heart, Cross’ size uncontrollably changes, often in relation to his mood; presumably growing larger when angry and smaller when calm.
Ant-Man is Cross’ most persistent foe, due to the circumstances surrounding Cross’ heart transplants, and especially when Cross uses his daughter Cassie Lang’s heart in one of them.
While Dr. Erica Sondheim helps Cross during his multiple heart transplants, she finds his ruthless nature appalling. She ultimately betrays him by covertly implanting his damaged heart back into his body.
Cross’ only true allies are his close family members. First, there’s his son Augustine, who takes over his company and keeps his father in stasis until the time is right to revive him. Then there’s Cross’ cousin William Cross, AKA Crossfire, a high-tech freelance subversive who often plots to destroy the Super Hero community.
Cross also hires out his allies, such as Elihas Starr, AKA Egghead, or coerces his allies to help him, like Dr. Erica Sondheim.
Placed in stasis moments after his collapse by his son Augustine, who took over CTE in his father’s absence, Cross remained in suspended animation for years, until Augustine kidnapped and forced Dr. Sondheim to revive Cross using Cassie Lang’s heart, which was saturated with size-controlling Pym Particles, to compensate for Cross’ enlarging heart. Revived, Cross battled Ant-Man, but was unable to control the size-changing abilities granted to him by the transplant; uncontrollably shrinking to a small size, Cross escaped with Augustine while Ant-Man rescued Cassie, who was given a heart transplant by Sondheim.
Cross later took control of CTE, and met with the enigmatic Power Broker to discuss investing in Power Broker’s supervillain-contracting Hench application; Cross then stole the concept to create his own Lackey app. But the Power Broker got word and manipulated Cassie, now Stinger, into helping him plant a virus in CTE’s servers. Cross, his son, and their ally Crossfire cornered Stinger until her father Ant-Man came to the rescue. In the following fight between them all, Augustine was severely injured. Cross had Ant-Man arrested and then hired Egghead to steal Ant-Man’s helmet which was in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody on one of their Helicarriers. They infiltrated it, with Crossfire joining the bunch, and once they found Ant-Man’s helmet, they found a miniaturized lab inside the helmet which Cross believed held the answer to save his son. While there, they came upon the Yellowjacket armor which used Pym Particles to power it. Egghead surmised that it would not only heal Cross’ son but make the wearer a quantum weapon. Seeing an opportunity for more power, Cross wears the armor instead, no longer thinking of his son.
Meanwhile Cross, Egghead, and Crossfire were transported to Lang’s court hearing and Cross decided to use this moment to enact his revenge. Using the armor, Cross grew to normal size and with Egghead and Crossfire, the pair attacked the courtroom which was full of superhumans including lawyer Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk. While She-Hulk took care of Crossfire, Ant-Man fought Yellowjacket but couldn’t hold his own and it wasn’t until Cassie as Stinger forced Cross to ingest a Pym-Particle power dampening pill that Cross was defeated.