Deathwatch derives his strength and vitality from the absorption of death energies. He often extracts this energy by employing a violent method of telepathy with his victims, deriving sustenance from their dying moments. This telepathy also allows him to induce extreme pain in his enemies, which proved to be very useful for interrogations.
Deathwatch can lift roughly 10 tons, possesses regenerative abilities and he is a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant, acrobat and strategist.
Deathwatch's true origins are shrouded in mystery, though he is known to be a part of an extradimensional demon race called the Translords. At some point he began to make pacts with humans, draining part of their life force so he could grow stronger and pass through the dimensional barrier to Earth. Once he arrived, he rewarded his servants by imbuing with superhuman powers; Snowblind, Hag, and Troll were among these followers. Sometime later, Deathwatch, Hag and Troll encountered the demonZarathos, although the details of this encounter are unrevealed. Deathwatch built up a large criminal empire by using underlings like the pseudo-vampire Blackout to do his dirty work. He also coerced various police and journalist to serve his needs. At some point Deathwatch assumed the name of Stephen Lords and sought to overthrow the Kingpin Wilson Fisk, of his position of Crime Lord of New York.