Ryder's earlier history remains a mystery. However it is apparent that he has had a run-in with Nick Fury somewhere along his travels. Ryder was among the people who ate from a cow that was a Skrull in disguise. Most of the others that ate this met died or either went mad. This could be the origin of "Mad Cow" disease. In Ryder's case this was the beginning of a new life. After eating the meat he gained the ability to shape-shift and see through the Skrulls' disguises. Ryder’s chosen display of power was to turn his dreadlocks into Gorgonesque snakes.
He would become the founding member of the Skrull Kill Krew. The African-American Ryder’s first unlikely partner was Moonstomp, a skinhead from the U.K. They quickly brought in Dice, a seventies type surfer dude, and Riot, a statue of liberty-spike sporting punk-rock-girl with a proclivity for giant armored insectoid forms. The fifth member of the crew was Catwalk, a former model who favored feline shapes. The team spent their last months on Earth using their powers to eliminate Skrulls, a sort of vengeance by way of genocide plan. The Skrull Kill Krew live to kill all Skulls on-site. Ryder proved to be a very skilled combatant; he was even able to catch the shield of Captain America. He also made a sworn enemy out of Baron Strucker by breaking the cigarette holder that was given to him by Adolf Hitler.
Ryder was also approached by Tony Stark to join the Fifty State Initiative.