Even before Dr. Randall Dowling was granted metahuman abilities by extradimensional beings, he was dangerous. He came to light around World War Two, and was the driving intellectual force behind much of the secret scientific work in the United States.
One of his projects was Science City Zero, a kind of concentration camp for political dissidents and undesirables in the United States. People imprisoned here were subject to indescribable tests to discover the limits of bio-engineering and metahuman abilities. Most of the subjects of Science City Zero died there, but a few survived.
He was also behind the Artemis Project - a secret space program that was started in 1959 and was meant to go to the Moon in 1961. On the way to the Moon, however, Dowling and his three crew members - William Leather, Jacob Greene and Kim Suskind - found an... anomaly.
They were drawn through The Bleed - the infinite space between universes - and out again into orbit around an Earth of incredible technological advancement and high paranoia. The denizens of that Earth offered to give Dowling and his crew metahuman abilities in exchange for their "preparation" of their Earth for the coming invasion. Dowling agreed, and they returned home transformed.
They became The Four, and worked for fifty years to suppress the advancement of the Earth.
Dowling's already formidable mind had gained a new trick - he could "stretch" his mind, allowing him to leave a piece of his consciousness in the mind of anyone who got within one hundred feet of him. This allowed him an amazing level of control over the most powerful people in the world.
Dr. Dowling was recently killed by Elijah Snow, the founder of *Planetary*.