Johnny Gallo's mother died when he was very young, leaving him with his burgeoning genetic mutation and an emotionally distant father, who appeared to blame him for her demise. Gallo was later recruited by retired vigilante Dan Lyons, a.k.a. the Black Marvel, into a group of teenage superhumans called the Slingers. Lyons provided Gallo with the costume and identity of Ricochet which was briefly adopted by Peter Parker (Spider-Man) during a time when Parker operated as four different heroes to evade bounty hunters while Spider-Man was falsely accused of a murder. Shortly after, Gallo learned that his mother had been killed by the superhuman criminals Nanny and the Orphan-Maker. Following a confrontation with the malicious entity Mephisto, the Slingers disbanded. Gallo eventually resurfaced as a member of The Loners. Initially an outreach group intending to help former teenage vigilantes to reclaim their place in society, the Loners recently resolved to become Los Angeles' resident superhuman protectors, funded by former Avengers associate Rick Jones.