Babel is a paranormal, a sort of altered human who gained his powers during the White Event, an incident that set the New Universe apart from standard reality. His expression of paranormal power is psionic in nature, and has given him several enhanced linguistic capabilities. This potent power allows Thame to speak in his native tongue, but be understood by listeners in their own language - no matter what that may be. This power isn't limited by the number of people present, nor any vast number of different languages spoken by his 'audience'.
Thame Panagitis was a college professor and linguistics expert in the sixties when he was approached by K.G.B. defector Alexei Ruyanev, who had a proposition for him. This proposition was the unification of the entire Earth into one single political body.
Thame liked this idea.
He joined up with Ruyanev to form the Medusa Web, a paramilitary force that was funded by a large number of corporate interests. This group had the goal of uniting the governments of the earth against a singular foe: the Medusa Web.
This would bring the earth together like never before, and keep it in one piece in the coming chaos that Ruyanev predicted would come about. He was more right than he knew. In the summer of '86, the White Event occurred.
This astronomical occurrence granted two people out of one million paranormal abilities; that's a lot of folks on a planet with 5.5 billion souls. Incidentally, Thame was one of those people, developing the power of communication to the utmost extreme.
His language-based powers, augmented by his own linguistic studies, made Thame (who'd taken the Medusa Web code name of Babel) the best choice for leader of the Web, and that is exactly what he does. He leads the paramilitary force now, and usually oversees all its military actions.
So was the case when he was approached by the U.S. government, who had a problem with several paranormal teens, those known as the so-called Psi-Force. The government wanted them gone, not caring how, so Thame decided to take them in and make them Medusa Web agents.
Over several weeks, his operatives tried to capture the Psi-Force kids, and eventually got half of them. The American government went back on its deal, however, keeping the captured youths for themselves. When he made a stink about this, Babel and the rest of the Web were all deported.
After that, Babel decided to be friendlier to the youths, and tried to recruit them again, though this didn't work. He eventually got them into the Web's folds, though, after he rescued all of 'em from the Siberian Project, a Soviet paranormal laboratory.
This battle cost him several of his own agents, but he managed to gain the trust (sort of) of Psi-Force, and they joined the Medusa Web on a contract basis. Babel then used Psi-Force and the Medusa Web to fulfill his goal of world unification, right after the War.
This was the third World War, throughout which Babel and his groups were quite active, though they didn't participate in the 'meat' of the action (as presented in the four-part War mini-series). His activities after the War have not yet been catalogued...