Raised by his father after his parents divorced, Brian followed family tradition and became a cop, graduating from the police academy with record scores. Rapidly promoted, he was in line to be a captain when he was ambushed, shot in the head and left comatose. His father, Captain Phillip DeWolf, was first on the scene and overcome with grief; he removed Brian's body, carrying it home where wealthy friends Max Vorster and Karl Bonn help him invest in a revitalizer to restore his son and grant him superhuman psionic powers. However, Phillip's backers turned out to be criminals, and the angry Phillip fell into the revitalizer as it activated, linking his mind to Brian's, enabling him to control Brian's comatose body. Phillip's sanity quickly deteriorated due to the revitalizer's effects; he retired from law enforcement and used Brian as an avenging Wraith to attack criminals the law could not touch, but soon extended the Wraith's missions to enemies that only existed within Phillip's mind. Afraid his former backers could expose him, Phillip sent Brian to bomb Vorster's house and Bonn's bank, killing both men and numerous innocent bystanders. Spider-Man
and Iron Man investigated the bombings, as did Brian's sister Jean, now a police captain at Phillip's old precinct. Acting independently all three discovered Phillip's involvement, and with the aid of Doctor Stephen Strange
and a SHIELD designed telepathy-blocking alpha-jammer, Phillip and Brian were exposed and arrested. Phillip was placed on trail, but overcame the jammer sufficiently to convince a technician to unplug it. During an escape attempt, he and Brian were accidentally electrocuted, and Phillip gained the Wraith's power plus the ability to place his consciousness within his son's body. Iron Man and Spider-Man stopped Phillip and the Wraith and Strange used his mystical and surgical knowledge to remove the bullet which kept Brian comatose. This broke Phillip's control (and apparently ended his access to Brian's powers). Brian was judged innocent of all crimes, while Phillip was sentenced to a long prison term.