Thomas Roland was always a gifted athlete. Even as a little boy, he excelled in any sport he tried. That was until his fourteenth birthday, when he collapsed in pain after blowing out the candles on his cake. The doctors at the hospital soon brought back horrible news: Tom suffered from a congenital nervous system defect. It was this "defect" that had made him such a wonderful athlete. His nerves and brain synapses all were working at 500% capacity compared to normal people. While this aided him in childhood, his body was now replacing the nerves with even higher efficiency connections as his body grew. Tom would now experience the world with ultra-sensitivity, every moment firing off every nerve in his body, each touch feeling like acid burning him, all light blinding, all smells and tastes overwhelming, and all sounds deafening.
His parents despaired, but a doctor approached them with a possible treatment. It was radical in that it would require killing 3/4 of Tom's nervous system with radiation therapy. There was a high chance of death. Considering that their child had no chance at a normal life without the treatment, the Rolands consented. Tom was placed in a small round tube for five hours a day for six weeks while radiation was fired into his synapses. The pain and fear involved made him dread the cramped tube, and by the end of his treatment he almost had a nervous breakdown.
In spite of the odds and the terrible ordeal, Tom survived. The procedure seemed to have worked: no longer was he overwhelmed by his senses. Relieved and thankful, the Rolands took their son home. Tom soon discovered the downside to his successful treatment, the loss of his natural athleticism. Now something of a klutz, Tom soon grew to accept this and went on with his life.
Soon Tom found that his skills were slowly beginning to return. He began participating in sports and, though not the athletic leader anymore, he was still good and definitely a player. His academic life also picked up. He found himself noticing details other missed and picking up on logical threads before everyone else. He became engrossed in science fairs, where he was able to tinker with things and make working models of complex machines. He also developed a love of literature, especially the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and he began to experimenting with Holmes' observation techniques. He was soon able to tell a lot about who a person was and what he had been doing with a glance.
One day in his senior year, some members of the football team were hanging out near the elevated train in Brooklyn. Someone dared the others to a game of train chicken: riding on top of the el, dodging posts wires and tunnels as long as possible. Although Tom didn't like the idea all the much, he agreed, caving in to peer pressure. Of the five guys who started, Tom was the only one to stay on more than a block. The others all jumped into dumpsters or got off on poles when the train slowed around a corner. The wind, the rush of adrenaline, the sense of danger all sent Tom over the edge. He loved it. He loved it so much he kept right on going, ignoring his friends pleas for him to get off before he got hurt.
The ride was long and wild. Through tunnels, over bridges, around telephone wires, Tom Roland stayed on top of the train. Soon he got bold and began doing flips and jumps. He found himself able to leap great distances and perform complex maneuvers without losing his sense of direction or coordination. He could run at great speeds and could feel when something was about to hit him. Then he realized that he was perceiving objects around him in three-dimensions and not two. He knew exactly how far an object was from him and how large it was. He could even tell what an object was shaped like on the side away from him. A little frightened and concerned, he finally ended the ride.
Not certain what was happening to him, he began his own investigation and soon found the truth: Tom Roland was a metahuman. His neurological disorder genes had masked his meta-gene during the doctors' initial exam when he was fourteen because the two were linked. The radiation treatment had not only worked, it had activated his meta-gene completely. Now his neural sensitivity was coming in gradually and properly. He would soon be completely super-human in his agility. Thrilled with the idea of being able to perform feats no one else could, Tom threw himself into the most exciting and dangerous sports he could find, attempting to capture the thrill of the elevated train ride. His antics didn't impress people and Tom soon found himself barred from organized (i.e.. legal) so-called "extreme sports".
Unwilling to let on about his abilities, Tom decided to come up with a costumed identity with which he could have all the fun he wanted and no one would ever worry. After all, what's one more idiot in a costume out risking his life for no good reason? New York was full of them. So he designed a costume, built an extensor line that would allow him to swing around the city, a visor that enhanced his already impressive vision powers, and some light weight body armor into the costume. He decided to call himself "Edgerunner" because of his desire to find the outer edge of the envelope in every action he took. After a few appearances fighting crime on Manhattan's West Side Edgerunner crossed paths with members of Justice Inc and was invited to join them.
Edgerunner remained a member of Justice Inc. through the Revelations crisis and was with them when Vandal Savage exiled the team into deep space. After their return to Earth, Justice Inc. were involved in an encounter with Kei Manga Corporation during which Edgerunner deliberately sabotaged their inter-dimensional equipment. The resultant disruption of the space-time continuum resulted in a minor realignment of the timeline. It was a short while later that Edgerunner learned that his existence had been affected when a mysterious person named Dariel told him he belonged in a different world and that he was needed there to combat a major menace. Realizing that he did belong elsewhere Edgerunner agreed and left for the parallel Earth.
Powers and Abilities:
Edgerunner's boosted nervous system has granted him superhuman agility and senses. He is an exceptional athlete, acrobat and martial artist with a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Tom is a gifted engineer, chemist, and computer programmer and his studies into his own condition have given him an in-depth knowledge of human physiology. He also possesses a photographic memory and his study of Sherlock Holmes' observation method has made him an exceptional detective. Edgerunner's muscle and skeletal structure have also been enhanced. He is impervious to small arms fire, can run as fast as a sports car and can cover over 100 yards in a single jump.
All of Edgerunner's senses are enhanced. He can see a wider range of the electromagnetic spectrum than a normal human from infrared to x-rays and hear a greater range of sound over a farther distance. Tom's sense of touch is sensitive enough to detect the slightest disturbances on a surface and his sense of taste and smell are far beyond the normal human level. Edgerunner's enhanced senses combine to give him a sort of sixth sense warning him of danger and his brain is capable of assimilating all the information from his senses giving him a "spatial awareness" that tells him the exact size, shape, position, and direction of everything around him.
As Edgerunner, Tom wears a bulletproof costume outfitted with an extensor line launcher on the right forearm. His cowl contains specially designed lenses which incorporate a telescopic and microscopic feature as well as an ultraviolet lamp to assist his already exceptional visual talents.