James-Michael Starling was the final human facsimile of the Protar race. His purpose was to replace his creators after adapting to another culture on another planet. The Protar were at an evolutionary halt, and with this project they would be able to live on in some form. He was sent to Earth and raised by robot parents. Shortly after his parents were destroyed in a car accident, James-Michael received treatment at a clinic in New York. He was taken in by a nurse at the clinic and her female photographer roommate. Enrolled in a junior high school in Hell's Kitchen, James-Michael found life in the big city tougher than he was used to in his remote mountain home.
Unknown to him, the Protar were coming to Earth to destroy him because of a power he unintentionally inherited from another biological life-form created by them. Omega was given great power by the people he was chosen to live amongst, and as in his programming, the power was transferred to James-Michael. When the Protar tried to stop this from happening, Omega learned of James-Michael's existence and went to Earth to protect him. Omega saved James-Michael from a Protar assassin, but the event activated the power within the boy. The two felt a strange connection between them but could not explain it. James-Michael would again use his power to put down the serial killer called Wrench after Omega was shot. After one of his friends was killed at the hands of several bullies within the school, James-Michael decided to head back to his parents' home. Another student at the school, Dian, chose to go along with her friend. In the meantime, Omega had been killed by Vegas police when he went there to win money to relocate James-Michael out of Hell's Kitchen.
Days later, the two women who had been like surrogate mothers to James-Michael convinced the Defenders to look for him. The Protar also did not give up their search, and finding James-Michael simultaneously as the Defenders led to all out war. James-Michael was saved when Ruby Thursday tampered with the lifeless body of Omega, hoping to unlock his secrets. She triggered something and the two swapped places. The Defenders, now joined by Moondragon, soon found James-Michael and rescued him from Ruby's clutches. Moondragon discovered the truth about James-Michael and his connection to the Protar, but the results were almost catastrophic when revealed to the boy. Refusing to accept what he really was, James-Michael threatened to destroy the planet. Dian pleaded with him not to, and he complied since he was unwilling to hurt her. He turned his power on himself and perished. Moondragon took James-Michael and Omega's bodies into space where they were seemingly incinerated within a sun.