The man known only as the Locksmith grew up fascinated with locks and mechanisms. By the time he was a teenager that fascination had grown into the greatest escape act on the West Coast. But after years of fame, he was suddenly playing to empty houses. The Locksmith believed that his greatness was eclipsed by the increasing appearance of superhumans, and he embarked on a plan to capture superhuman beings and keep them imprisoned so that regular humans could be free to strive and achieve without being overshadowed.
With his savings, the Locksmith purchased a building and converted it into a prison. He devoted his time to custom-making locks and mechanisms that would neutralize superhuman powers. At some point, he partnered with the enigmatic Ticktock. After several years, the two of them began to capture the superhumans. In particular, they followed the activities of the original Spider-Woman, capturing the superhumans and costumed criminals she defeated by using stage illusions to snatch them without her noticing. Finally, after capturing dozens of superhumans, the Locksmith captured Spider-Woman herself.
Eventually, by uniting the efforts of the other prisoners, Spider-Woman managed to free herself and others. Confronting the Locksmith and Ticktock, Spider-Woman defeated the villains and invited the assembled superhumans to her apartment for a celebration.