Born developmentally disabled, Timothy Wilkerson's problems were attributed to the man-monster known as the Hulk (Bruce Banner) when he rampaged through a Canadian facility where Timothy's parents were visiting. His mother claimed Timothy suffered a massive stroke while in the womb due to this encounter, but he later discovered his birth defects were caused by a heroin addiction his mother suffered from while she was pregnant. General John Ryker ensured Mr. and Mrs. Wilkerson that he could make all of Timothy's problems disappear and spliced Timothy's DNA with that of the Hulk's nemesis, the Leader (Samuel Sterns), boosting Timothy's intellect to genius levels. As Prodigy, Timothy became an integral part of Ryker's Gamma Corps.
Although lacking in physical ability, Prodigy's mental prowess helped him create sophisticated weaponry, high-tech gadgets and even biological toxins; proving to be the team’s most valuable asset by concocting a poison to decrease the Hulk's power level, enabling Corps field leader Grey to snap the Hulk's neck. At the time the toxin was administered, Hulk's power levels were greatly increased due to his increased rage over his wife, Caiera's, death, and Hulk recovered quicker than expected. The Corps were defeated, their base in the Staten Island dump was destroyed and Ryker was arrested by SHIELD. Prodigy stayed with the Corps, and became a wanted fugitive, hunted by the US government.
The Corps went underground, and Prodigy constantly used his inventions to monitor the world for any signs of attack. Believing he was tracking Iron Man (Anthony Stark), Prodigy was actually trailing Norman Osborn in his Iron Patriot suit, who followed the trace back to the Corps' hideout. Osborn was greeted violently and was forced to defend himself, but Prodigy reached into Osborn's mind and had him on the verge of suffering a stroke. Grey permitted Osborn to speak, and the Corps was given a chance at redemption by becoming H.A.M.M.E.R. employees to hunt all unregistered superhumans Osborn classified as traitors.