After the deaths of Quincy McIver and Buggy Stokes, Gwen McIver met with the Mama Mabel and Pistol Pete in order to negotiate for her husband's share of assets of Harlem's Paradise. Stokes just laughed and refused her offer.
One night, Gwen and her son, John was attacked by Mabel and her gang. They threw molotov cocktail made with Bushmaster Rums into the house. McIvers attempted to make their escape. Despite John's plead for his mother to escape first, Gwen made her son get out of the house. She didn't escape in time as John watched his home burn and crumble before him.
Two years later, John McIver remained under the care of his uncle, Anansi and his aunt Ingrid Mackintosh and moved to the Trenchtown neighborhood. One day, while assisting his family by selling vegetables, he was approached by Pistol Pete. Unaware of the danger and not recognizing him, McIver was caught unaware as his assassin shot him in the stomach in retaliation for what his father did to Buggy Stokes.
Determined not to let his nephew die, Anansi carried John McIver to the mountains to seek the aid of Maddah Myrie who might be able to heal him. Once brought inside, the healer began using Nightshade in an attempt to heal the dying McIver. As he inhaled the smokes of the burning roots, McIver began rapidly healing from his gunshot wounds. Miraculously, McIver was saved from death and his hidden powers revealed. The assassination attempt and his mother's murder from two years prior has left McIver with a burning desire for vengeance against the Stokes.