When a man comes face-to-face with Hades himself, it pays to be polite.
The day Malcolm Everleigh found himself in the Underworld, standing alive and breathing before Hades and his consort Persephone, was his last day in the British Special Boat Service. Of all people, the Lord of the Underworld had given him a new purpose.
The Hidden Hand, an abominable wretch of a supervillain whose life’s work was the cheating of death itself, had just slain Malcolm’s entire squad. But perhaps worse than that, he had managed to breach the realm of the dead and steal the legendary Helm of Darkness. Now the Hidden Hand was invisible to both man and god, free to pursue his ruinous plans in absolute secrecy.
It was vengeance for his men that brought Malcolm to the house of Hades before his time, and it would be justice again that allowed him to leave. By lovely Persephone’s intercession, Hades agreed to let Malcolm leave the gloomy depths alive and with his blessing, but only if he agreed to destroy the Hidden Hand and return his treasure to the Underworld. Malcolm agreed, swearing himself to Hades’ service in much the same way the knights of old might do.
The two gods each bequeathed upon Malcolm a gift to aid him: Persephone, a stalk of wheat from Stygian soil, to sustain Malcolm when nothing else could, and Hades, a sword whose awesome powers carried with them a terrible cost...which Malcolm paid forthrightly.
Malcolm Everleigh emerged from the depths as a new man, with a new purpose. With his sword and stalk, he wandered Eurasia for years in search of the Hidden Hand. He could find almost no trace of the monster, but he was unable to resist the call to adventure as he traveled from place to place. So Malcolm began to dabble in crimefighting and heroic good deeds while on the hunt.
Eventually a simple disguise became a costume. Then a costume became an identity. In his youth, as an orphan, Malcolm thrilled to the exploits of England’s own Hero 1. It seemed a fitting role model, even after all these years, considering that Malcolm now had a magical sword of his own, and he was certainly English enough.
Given that he spent more and more time away from old England, Malcolm dubbed himself “Lion-Heart”. Like that crusading king of old, Malcolm had his own mission that would keep him far from home, perhaps for the rest of his life.
Lion-Heart still seeks the Hidden Hand to this day, meanwhile righting the wrongs that he can. His quest has since brought him to America, in Paragon City. The world has come to know him as a swashbuckling superhero comprised of equal parts panache and grace, and many have actually likened him to the Arthurian Hero 1 due to Lion-Heart's accomplishments during the Praetorian invasion. Lion-Heart only wishes he could live up to such a high standard in his time...and be remembered for it.