Born into wealth, the man known as Mister X became fascinated with death as a child when he saw a woman hit by a car. The experience triggered his latent telepathy, forming a bond with the dying woman. He subsequently spent years attempting to recapture the thrill through other pursuits but finally sought out death again when he placed his pet dog into an oven. He slew his appalled parents shortly thereafter, beginning a life dedicated to the killing arts.
In an effort to become the greatest killing machine in history, X traveled the globe to train with various combat teachers, slaying each of them after surpassing their skills and scarring himself in a ritual fashion for each life he took. Destroying all records of his life, X then vanished from public view to embark upon his next goal of slaying fighters who professed to be the best. Eventually, he learned of the mutant adventurer Wolverine and sent his operatives to test Wolverine's battle prowess. Subsequently defeating Wolverine himself, X sought his signature in order to achieve the title of "The Best There Is," then invited Wolverine to join him in a new muter avant-garde. Enraged, Wolverine broke free and engaged X in a savage battle, loosing control in a berserker rage. The fight was interrupted by X's super-strong bodyguard Blok who, much to X's annoyance, knocked Wolverine unconscious. feeling that the fight ended unfairly, X released the unconscious Wolverine with a note promising a rematch. Soon after X secretly aided Wolverine against the clandestine Weapon X Program, not wanting them to interfere.
X's rematch with Wolverine came weeks later when both entered the annual Bloodsport Tournament on the island nation of Madripoor of which X was the reigning champion. Both fought their way to the championship bout with X killing Headhunter and attempting to kill Taskmaster before being stopped by the referee whom he killed in his stead. During the championship bout, Wolverine (who was fighting under the alias "Patch" at the time) realized that X was a telepath who used his abilities to anticipate opponents moves. After Wolverine succumbed to another berserker rage, X began loosing the fight, yet managed to win the Tournament in the process because of the rules of the fight. Wolverine was just about to kill X but he was again saved by Blok and escaped.