Little is known of the subject prior to her becoming the superhuman known as Black Velvet. She is thought to have been a Harlem prostitute, captured among a group of inner-city underclass subjects kidnapped nationwide in 1972 and used as subjects in the experiments of Dr. Lewis Oscar Croft (crossref EAGLE file 1WMG1223CSG). No data has been recovered on those experiments, but anecdotal and hearsay testimony indicates that they were genetic and mutational experiments aimed at developing super-powered enforcers for underworld figures including the late "Ace" Reynolds of Astro City, Damon Black of Los Angeles and Oswald "Massacre" Morton of Detroit. Most experimental subjects were killed, whether the experiments were successful or unsuccessful, since the aim was to pioneer techniques that could be used on male volunteers. A few subjects escaped, however, including the subject codenamed Black Velvet.
Accreted testimony and data indicates that the subject was put through painful and invasive experimentation designed to affect physical and metaphysical systems including her limbic, nervous and Kirlian systems. Note: The Kirlian system is not recognized by the AMA, but references to it in criminal scientific lore have been numerous in recent times. The overall intent seems to have been to affect her inner spirit, or soul, extracting it and altering or strengthening it in ways that would fuel super-powered activity. An intrusion on Croft's laboratory by Detroit paranormal hero Mister Badd and non-powered Astro City hero the Street Angel interrupted the experiment, however, and allowed the subject to break free.
Consumed by rage and madness, the subject battled the two intruders briefly, allowing Croft to escape and destroy most of his records before he was captured the next day. Mister Badd managed to restrain the subject long enough for the Street Angel to engage her in a dialogue, bringing her rational mind back into control.
Since then, however, she has named herself Black Velvet, and used ill-classified darkness powers in an apparent hunt to find and punish those who kidnapped her and aided in Croft's experiments on her, which left her skin chalk white and, according to testimony, her soul damaged or missing. She has been sighted in Detroit, France, Italy, Morocco, New York and Los Angeles, and recently seems to have set up operations in Astro City on a steady basis, partnering with the Street Angel.