Nero was a scientist working for Stark Defense Corporation; along with his fellow scientist Si Ma, Nero was in charge of the Bio-Armor Project, a technological research firm personally owned by Stark Corporation's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard Stark.[2]

Under Stark's leadership, they had been instrumental in creating a bacterial body sheathe which would render an individual impervious to most conventional forms of injury, with Nero often volunteering himself to test the Bio-Armor's capabilities. However, when Stane Corporation's Chairman Zebediah Stane took control of Stark Defense Corporation becoming Chairman of the Board, he discovered he had no legal ownership over Bio-Armor projects, which were directly owned by Stark.[2]

Frustrated beyond measure, Zebediah Stane was determined to learn the secrets behind Stark's armor coating. He sent some men to track down and abduct Nero, bringing him back to an undisclosed facility. Stane applied one of his own inventions, a mind-reading skullcap called the Lid, to Nero's head. The machine violently ripped all information concerning the bio-armor's designs from Nero's mind, leaving him insensate. Nero survived the experience, but his intellect was reduced to that of a toddler.

Stane still had some mental control over Nero however. When he learned that Howard Stark used the bio-armor to save the life of his son Antonio, he tried to mind-control the addle-brained Nero into abducting the child for him. Nero resisted the mental summons long enough to scribble out a warning to Howard Stark. To prevent Stane from gaining complete control over him, Nero killed himself by stabbing himself in the ear with a pencil until it pierced his brain.

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