Barney Venton alias Headcase, is a orphan with a poor set of social skills, thus making him the perfect test subject for the villain Dr. Caligan. Caligan is a devious geneticist that manipulates teenagers into becoming his experiments. Barney is a student at the high school that Dr. Caligan teaches at and was easily persuaded to sign up for the experimental procedures.

After enduring grueling tests and experiments, Barney emerges with Dr. Caligan with a heightened mental capability. He is seen to have the ability to absorb knowledge and manipulate things around him in a gravitational way. Barney is taken to a tech expo to begin his knowledge consumption and comes into conflict with the Teen Titans. During the battle, Raven convinces Barney to give up but Barney, now branded Headcase by Robin, is attacked further by Robin. Barney responds with force and flees the expo.