In 1602, David Banner was the personal, trusted assistant to King James of Scotland. After James discussed with him a dream he had that revealed the bizarre weather changes were God’s anger at humanity for allowing the witchbreed to continue to exist, Banner stood by as Grand Inquisitor Enrique’s servant, Petros, explained that Enrique would make it so that England would clamor for the blood of the witchbreed; but asked that James bring him Carlos Javier’s group of witchbreed, if they were ever captured. Petros then implied that Queen Elizabeth’s death might happen sooner, rather than later, and James implicitly agreed to his notions. Banner also stood by after the death of Elizabeth, which his master wrongly attributed to Enrique, when James blamed her death on Javier’s witchbreed, and sent the Queen’s old spymaster, Nicholas Fury, to capture them. Then, again when Petros came back and James balked at the suggestion that he owed Enrique anything.
When Virginia Dare and her Indian companion, Rojhaz, petitioned James to give money to the American colonies, Banner was there as James turned her down. Banner warned Virginia not to speak to the King in her disrespectful way, but James waved it away. Banner then read aloud a petition for the stay of execution of Doctor Strange, a cohort against the Crown, which promised that he would burn his magical books. But James explained that he wasn’t going to be killed a magician, but as a traitor. After the imprisonment of Peter Paraquagh, the former assistant to Nicholas Fury, James offered Peter the chance to redeem himself by working for the Crown again; then sent him across the sea to kill the traitor, Fury. Finally, Banner was asked to go with him, and he was given the chance to do his own work.
Banner was absent when Fury found the boat carrying Banner's men and murdered the lot of them, except for Peter who he offered his life to. Unbeknownst to Banner, Peter turned down the chance, and slipped away. Later, when Fury tricked the out-of-time Captain America and knocked him out to bring him back to close up the tear in their universe, Banner spied him through his telescope. He aimed a crossbow at him, explaining to Peter that it didn’t matter what Fury was doing; he had to die. But a dog–actually a transformed Virginia Dare–attacked him and ruined his shot. Banner yelled at Peter to get the dog off while they still had a chance at killing Fury, but Peter hesitated. Peter eventually called the dog off Banner, as it listened to him, but it was too late to kill Fury.
Once the band of heroes had opened the time rift and Fury brought Captain America back inside, the resulting explosion of energy sent waves of raw energy around the surrounding areas. Banner instinctively dove on top of Peter, yelling at him to get down, and covered Peter’s body with his own. Peter later woke up and found Virginia in her human form, then told her that he expected Banner to return to England and explain that Peter had allowed Fury to escape; then Peter’s life and the life of his aunt and uncle would be forfeit. But Banner was not bent on Peter’s destruction, as the energies released had changed him into something monstrous, gray-skinned, and very powerful.