From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
A veteran of the Paragon City Police Department, Carl had served his time defending the innocent from all manners of criminals, from the normal to the super. Unfortunately, the life of a PCPD Officer is often fraught with perils and for Carl, those perils came in the form of a super criminal named Baron von Nichts.
What started as the beginning of a promising career for the detective, centered around a years long case involving illegal technology smuggling, turned out to be the beginning of the nightmare that the Baron would bring upon the poor young officer. It seemed initially that the Baron had been smuggling high tech weapons into the city with the intent of selling them to the local gangs to fund his newly formed criminal organization VOID. A tip from one of Carl's street informants turned the police onto the Baron's little crime ring. In a dazzling display of tactical organization and leadership, Carl led the bust that brought the Baron's plans to a grinding halt.
As the young officer was praised for his skills in the field and his subsequent arrest of a notorious criminal mastermind, Baron von Nichts was plotting his revenge. He swore to make sure the flippant officer would suffer as he had by watching all he held dear be ground into dust.
A Baron's Revenge
As is an unfortunate common occurrence with the super villain population in Paragon City, Baron von Nichts eventually escaped some years later through some large, masterful, yet strangely convoluted plan. Regardless of how he escaped, concerns were noted for the now Captain Stark's well-being, given his involvement in the Baron's incarceration and following failed release hearings. Captain Stark, though, was confident that he and his department could catch the Baron again. He had made it his life's work to study the criminal genius, even after his arrest, and believed he knew how the criminal Mastermind would plan his next move.
However, while Carl had studied the Baron's early criminal career and following life in prison, The Baron made it his passion to study Carl's life, his family, and everything that happened since the day he was arrested. And, instead of working towards the rebuilding of his organization, VOID, as Carl was predicting, the Baron began a campaign of terror against the Captain, starting with the harassment of those Carl called friends (as well as colleagues), to the murder of Carl's wife as they were driving to a police charity function, and ending with the still unsolved kidnapping of his daughter Melody.
Distraught and nearing his wit's end after all The Baron had done to him, Carl was pulled from the case by his superiors, citing how close he was to the case put the whole thing at risk, and, ultimately, when he failed to let it all go, was forced into an early retirement. However, by that point, the trail had run cold as, after the disappearance of Melody Stark, the Baron seemed to just drop off the radar; No notes, no messages, no taunts. Just a broken man with nothing left in his life.
For almost 10 years after, Carl Stark was in and out of therapy. Though it took him a lot of time, Carl eventually got over his loss and decided to live out his retirement in peace.
As the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end" and for Carl, now 68 and living quietly in a small apartment in Galaxy City, this was not an option. The day the Shivans attacked was the day everything else ended for Carl Stark and the day it all began anew. Carl was on his way home from a small gathering of retired PCPD officers when the first explosion went off. As further explosions ripped through the city, Carl's car was tossed around like a rag doll and knocking the old man out. Eventually, as the explosions ended at the Shivan attacks began, Carl came to and escaped from his car relatively uninjured.
As he took stock of the chaos all around him, his old police training kicked in and Carl began to do what he could, despite his age, to find survivors and get them to safety. He had rounded up a good number of people when he noticed a purple streak in the sky smash into a nearby building. Figuring it was a hero in need of help, he rushed over to see if he could lend a hand. What he found appeared to be some kind of alien (or mutant human, he never was sure) injured beyond saving (A metal rebar puncturing his midsection). As Carl tried to comfort the dying man as best as possible, the creature suddenly grabbed the back of Carl's head, pulled him close and only whispered 'Help Us". Carl agreed to, as he already figured that's what he was trying to do, and immediately felt a sensation like never before; a renewed sense of energy and warmth as well as what seemed to be a flood of memories that were not his own.
When he came to, having realized he had blacked out, he noticed the body of the alien was gone. Nothing remained but a tattered costume along with a strangely rejuvenated Carl Stark. Though surprised by his sudden transformation, Carl immediately resumed what he was doing, helping survivors. To be safe, he donned the mask left by the dying alien figuring what had happened to him could lead to something much greater than he could immediately perceive.
"One does not live and almost die in a city of heroes and remain completely ignorant of the ever-looming possibility of a heroic rebirth." -Carl Stark-
After the attack on Galaxy City, a young Carl Stark began to explore the limits of his new-found powers; discovered during the attack when he and a band of survivors were attacked by several Shivans.
Nova Form / Umbral Blasts
During the Shivan attack, Carl discovered one of his abilities was to alter his form into a strange alien creature he later discovered to be called a Dark Nova that could emit damaging dark energy blasts at his enemies. He has also learned to focus his energy while in human form to heal himself with the energy of his fallen foes as well as focus that same energy into small nictus to aid him in combat. Although the nature of those abilities scares Carl, he has learned to accept it as a part of what he has become and does his best to only take what he needs without killing those he takes the energy from.
Dwarf Form / Umbral Aura
After he had escaped Galaxy City, he discovered another alien he could become called a Black Dwarf. This seemed to be some sort of neigh indestructible beast with vicious had-to-hand capabilities. He also learned how to refocus his enemies energies into making him even more resilient to attacks as well as bring himself back from the brink of death.
Arctouros and the Eternals