Afflicted with a type of infantile paralysis Reed none the less vows to become as strong as he can and so develops his own brand of intense physical workouts which strengthens his upper body to Hercules levels.
However, his legs are still weak, and because of that, he must spend most of the time in a wheelchair. This situation leaves him despondent and unable to pursue a romance with Bonnie, a woman who obviously cares deeply for him, Bill however thinks her interest is out of mere pity, then after being humiliated in front of her, Reed throws himself into finding a way to truly overcome his condition.
Research leds him to unlock the secret of winged flight. Over the next two years of practicing jumping and landing, his legs are strengthened to that of a normal man's levels. Being wealthy, he has no need of money, but parties bore him, and he wants to do something worthwhile, so he becomes the the masked avenger The War Eagle.