Project Colony began as a classified operation conducted by the CIA during the time of the Cold War and consisted of the gathering of the smartest minds within the United States of America. Their mission was to develop new technologies with the goal of aiding their country in winning the Cold War and were provided an unlimited budget along with resources to achieve this task. Ultimately, they were successful and many technological achievements had the signature of Project Colony attached to them. In time, the membership in the group would expand but the victory of their government in the Cold War meant that the project was discontinued. Despite this being the case, the members of the group decided to continue to operate in secret by operating in cells and renamed themselves the Colony who sought to protect the interests of the United States of America on a global level. Among the many individuals that joined the Colony's ranks was David Palmer who firmly believed in the ideals of the Colony but the shifting nature of its membership meant that its goals began to be gradually distorted. As such, he became disillusioned with them but did not leave the Colony due to the secrets he knew of them and the fear of what the group would do to do him if he attempted to escape. However, he did hide the existence of his nephew, Raymond Palmer from the Colony as he knew that the child's intelligence would have made him a potential recruit for them.
This changed following the development of the Ant Farm which allowed the Colony to become aware of Ray Palmer after he became the superhero known as the Atom. Thus, the Colony became obsessed with the acquisition of the shrinking technology Palmer had developed and wanted to acquire the white dwarf fragment he used to achieve the process. By this point, the Colony had reverse engineered the shrinking powers of the Atom but the procedure ultimately led to the death of the subjects exposed. This was why the Colony sought the white dwarf fragment in order to stabilize the process but despite this being the case many members of the Colony fanatically made use of it despite knowing it would kill them. By this point, the Colony started targeting Raymond Palmer's father through their agents and also sought the location of David Palmer who had gone rogue.