Powerline's road to heroism is a story of redemption, and is proof that even the best of intentions can lead desperate men astray.
Timothy Ohlmann was forced to "grow up" earlier in life than he would have wanted. In the wake of his parents' divorce Tim resolved to find a means to support his mother's struggles with mental illness. He bounced around from job to job, unable to keep up with juggling an ever-mounting pile of responsibility. It was at this bleak point in his life when he found a rather nondescript help wanted ad-- following up on the missive brought Tim in contact with a man who promised him easy work, but a decent enough rate of pay that he wouldn't have to worry about supporting himself or the rest of his family. Furthermore, the man told him that if he wasn't right for the job... he would be made right.
Tim gave in to the deal, and through his new employer's rather illegal connections, he found himself endowed with superpowers by an injection of a designer meta-serum. Tim's body surged with electricity, and he discovered he could not only manipulate it, but also become it. He wasn't much stronger than before, but he could move and think faster than he could have previously imagined. However, all of that power came with a hefty cost. No sooner did he gain a modicum of control over his newly acquired gifts was Tim forced to use them in service to his boss-- an up-and-coming criminal mastermind with several henchmen in his payroll, all empowered under similar circumstances. Given the codename of Grid, Tim carried out a directed spree of robberies: often arriving at his targets through high voltage cables and other electrical infrastructure.
All the while, none of these turns of events ever sat right with the young man. The more crimes Tim was asked to commit, the more he began to regret his choice...
Powers and Abilities
Electricity Enhanced Physiology
Electricity Generation, Absorption, and Projection
Enhanced Reflexes and Cognition
Mental Suppression (self)
Equipment and Other Paraphernalia
Personality and Attitude
Reptile: Seemingly catching Timothy in the act of robbing his favorite comic store, Reptile felt sympathetic towards the young man's plight and offered him asylum in an abandoned safehouse. After spending several months guiding Tim on using his powers as a force for good, Reptile suddenly left on a personal mission.
Material Girl: A mutant gifted with the ability to absorb the properties of any material she touches. After helping Powerline in his initial search for Reptile when he suddenly disappeared, she revealed to Tim that she has been keeping her powers secret from her parents due to their connections with the Institute for Human Advancement.
Jackrabbit: In the course of learning how to use his powers, Powerline ended up frying the electrical system of an apartment where Jackrabbit lived in his secret identity. The bionic-enhanced hero viewed Timothy with much suspicion in the encounter that followed.
Cliff Rockwell: A stony (literally!) investigative journalist. While on the trail of the incidents that occurred when Timothy was part of the Enforcers, he met the young man and deduced near-immediately that he was involved. Hearing Tim's plight, Cliff offered him the chance to give his Powerline alter-ego some positive publicity in exchange for help pursuing leads sometime in the future.