Over ten years ago, Dr. Kevin Trench was attacked by the invisible Camouflage Cadre and rescued by a man called Nightwatch, who drove the Cadre back through a time portal before dying. Trench discovered his rescuer was an older version of himself. When his lover Ashley Croix's plane was hijacked by A.I.M.
, Trench donned the Nightwatch's super-powered battle-suit and confronted the hijackers, but the inexperienced Trench triggered an explosion, killing all aboard. Guilt-stricken, Trench exiled himself and the apparently indestructible battle-suit to a remote island. Croix, who had changed planes at the last minute, later married industrialist Damon Morelle and bore his son, Nolan, whose illness required frequent skin grafts. Financed by the secretive cabal Fold, Morelle initiated Project: Sharkskin to cure Nolan via a nano-technological bodysuit, destined to become Nightwatch's battle-suit.