Noh-Varr was born a member of the of the Kree race, in an alternate dimension, to decorated military officers Captain Glory and Star Splendor. In his teenage years, the young Kree joined his parents as members of the 18th Kree Diplomatic Gestalt aboard the ship, The Marvel. Like the rest of the crew on The Marvel, his genes were spliced (in his case with cockroach DNA), providing him with enhanced abilities.
The crew of The Marvel completed diplomatic missions for the Kree, their most notable achievement being negotiating a ceasefire between the Kree and the Skrulls, which ended a thousand years of war. During their travel home, the crew encountered a trio of space gods manipulating space-time, resulting in Noh-Varr’s ship being shunted into macrospace. Lost in the multiverse, the crew of the Marvel travelled from reality to reality, searching for a way home. [Marvel Boy (2nd series) #5]
During this time, the young Noh-Varr formed a romantic relationship with crewmate Merree. Unfortunately, it was short-lived. As The Marvel closed in on their homeworld, crossing reality after reality, they were shot down as they passed through reality #616, bringing the ship down and killing everyone but Noh-Varr.
As the sole survivor, the young Kree found himself the captive of Doctor Midas, an alien-obsessed billionaire who was responsible for shooting down The Marvel. Midas desired the cosmic energies generated by the ship’s engine. However, even though it had been downed, the ship was still able to protect itself and teleported itself to safety for repair. Midas’ scientists studied Noh-Varr relentlessly using inhuman, sadistic techniques but were nevertheless unprepared for his genetic modifications that allowed him not only to withstand the torture but escape his imprisonment. Worse, the escaping Nov-Varr blew up Midas’ headquarters in revenge before his departure. [Marvel Boy (2nd series) #1]
The Marvel, directed by its artificial intelligence, Plex, had relocated to New York City and Noh-Varr made his way there. Although Plex advised the young Kree to keep a low-profile, Noh-Varr was enraged by his treatment by humankind and wanted to lash out. With Plex’s help, he blasted an expletive across whole city blocks, an impulsive message of defiance. This, however, drew the attention of SHIELD, who sent their agents to arrest him. With his exotic technology and advanced abilities, he managed to escape capture. [Marvel Boy (2nd series) #2]
Soon after, Nov-Varr discovered something had escaped from The Marvel’s Concept Dungeon: Hexus, a planet-conquering corporation. Initially, Noh-Varr refused to act, wanting to punish humankind for killing his family. Plex, however, convinced him of his responsibility to protect a vulnerable world from a threat his people had accidentally unleashed. Wanting to clean up his mess, Noh-Varr fought his way through Hexus’ headquarters while, Plex released all their trade secrets, killing the living corporation. [Marvel Boy (2nd series) #3]
Battered and injured after his encounter with Hexus, Noh-Varr was easy prey for Midas’ prize assassin, his daughter Exterminatrix. She hunted him relentlessly, driving him into a trap and Doctor Midas’ clutches. Exterminatrix, however, had a complicated relationship with her father and impulsively rescued Noh-Varr from Midas’ before he could kill him. Together, the pair fled to Noh-Varr’s ship, where Noh recuperated while getting to know his new ally. While he still didn’t trust the woman, whose real name was Oubliette, he shared his story with her. Oubliette, in turn, showed him the “horrifically scarred” face she hid beneath her mask. When Noh-Varr confirmed her face was in fact scar free, and her father had been lying to her all these years, it cemented their bond.
Doctor Midas and his agents discovered The Marvel soon after and the pair fled and fought off one of his powerful monsters: a Mindless One that could wipe a person from reality with a look. Meanwhile, Midas seized control of the ship and immediately set about bathing in the comic energies of the ship’s core, while his men attempted to kill Plex. With some effort, Noh-Varr and Oubliette managed to defeat the Mindless One and used its severed head to blast the now cosmically empowered Midas into another dimension. Although Midas was defeated, Noh-Varr was still captured by a platoon of SHIELD soldiers, who also seized Plex and The Marvel as well. Hauled off to the Cube, a maximum-security prison for supervillains, Noh-Varr was not concerned. Instead, he proudly proclaimed it would become the new capital of his Kree Empire. [Marvel Boy (2nd series) # 4-6]
Noh-Varr’s actions in New York drew the attention of a clandestine group of leaders amongst the superhero community, the Illuminati. The group wished to dissuade Noh of his notions of conquest and direct him towards a life of heroism. Much like the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, each member of the group appeared before the Kree youth via Charles Xavier’s telepathy, each with messages. Namor brought violence and threats, Xavier and Black Bolt informed if of his people’s history with the Inhumans and their legacy in protecting the Earth, and Reed Richards and Iron Man told him of Captain Marvel and his potential for heroism. Ultimately, Noh-Varr was left in his cell to ponder his fate, with a cryptic message from the Illuminati to “earn his freedom.” [New Avengers: Illuminati #4]
Unfortunately for Noh-Varr, the Cube’s warden had different plans in mind for the young Kree. He killed Plex, cutting Noh-Varr off from his hive-mind connection with the living computer, leaving the boy in a fugue-like state. The warden filled the void with his own voice, dominating Noh-Varr and moulding him into his personal weapon.
It wasn’t long until the warden’s new weapon was called into use. A superhero Civil War had broken out between heroes who believed in complying with recently passed Superhero Registration legislation by registering with SHIELD and following the government’s line, and those who didn’t. SHEILD came to the Cube’s warden and requested Noh-Varr’s services in capturing a group of rogue superhuman teens known as the Runaways. He was deployed soon after and, despite the surprise appearance of the Young Avengers, he easily bested the majority of the young heroes, before being retrieved by the warden. Inevitably, the warden’s young prisoners rebelled and he called upon his weapon once more. However, this time, the combined forced of the Young Avengers and the Runaways managed to defeat the Kree warrior.
However, the Young Avenger’s Vision recognized Noh-Varr wasn’t under his own control and, through unknown means, purged him of the warden’s influence. The Kree teen was left behind in the Cube and promptly took control of the facility, turning the tables on his tormentor, and once again claimed it would be the capital of his new Kree Empire. [Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways #2-4]
Noh-Varr held true to his claim this time, and used his technology and the nanovirus in his saliva to take control of the guards. He uploaded the last remaining fragments of the Plex alien supercomputer into the Cube’s systems and used it to create an omni-wave throughout the prison, which made the guards and prisoners compliant. He saw the prisoners as the first soldiers in his army, and actively tried to aid their rehabilitation. Despite his confidence, he still desperately called out to the Kree for aid. However, when Kree legend Captain Mar-Vell mysteriously returned to Earth, Noh-Varr wondered whether he would be an ally or an enemy.