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Little is known about Lamprey's life before his appearance as one of the members of the criminal Institute of Evil. Often clashing with the heroes of the Squadron Supreme, Lamprey was later subjected to the mind-altering behavior modification device used as part of the Squadron Supreme's "Utopia Program." As a result of the behavior modification, Lamprey accepted the Squadron's offer for him to join the team. After a short time with the Squadron, he was contacted by the ex-Squadron member Nighthawk to reverse the behavior modification, and once freed, he joined Nighthawk's team of super powered crusaders, the Redeemers to fight the influence of the Squadron.
Within a month, the Redeemers openly opposed the Squadron, and their confrontation turned to violence. Lamprey proved to be highly bloodthirsty, to the shock of even his own teammates. He drained the energy from Blue Eagle's wings, causing him to plummet to his death, and killing one of Lamprey's fellow Redeemers, Pinball on impact. During the battle, Lamprey absorbed power from Hyperion, Power Princess, and Whizzer. At the end of the battle, Lamprey died when trying to absorb all of Doctor Spectrum's energy from his power prism, and exploded in the air. Much of Lamprey's body was never recovered.
McGuiggin had the power to absorb energy or superhuman powers from virtually any source, and could alter his physical properties, such as his strength, durability, speed, and stamina, accordingly.
McGuiggin also had the ability to fly under his own power, without absorbing the ability of someone else.
Lamprey usually had the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engaged in moderate regular exercise, but by absorbing the strength of others, he could boost his strength to superhuman levels, even up to Class 100 level.
Although he could absorb great amounts of energy, there was a limit to Lamprey's absorbtion ability, and he could be overloaded, with dangerous effects.
Lamprey was created as a possible pastiche for DC Comics' Parasite.
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