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Little is known of the early life of the man called The Breathtaker, save that he was born an albino dwarf, apparently abandoned by his parents. Humiliated and tormented by his peers throughout his adolescence, the young man finally constructed a powerful exoskeleton and assumed the hood and robed identity of The Breathtaker, determined to return a thousandfold the fear and terror he had known. To this end, The Breathtaker formed his Assassination Bureau, supplying super-powered assassins to anyone with the right price.

The Breathtaker first came to public attention when the 2000 Committee hired his organization to capture Firestorm. The Breathtaker tested Firestorm with several of the Assassination Bureau's lesser agents before confronting him with the Bureau's two chief operatives, Incognito and Mindboggler. When Firestorm defeated these two as well, The Breathtaker finally lured Firestorm to his headquarters and attempted to kill him. Instead, Firestorm destroyed the complex, putting an end to The Breathtaker's career.

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This character, team or organization, is or was primarily an enemy of Firestorm and any of his supporting cast or members of the Firestorm Matrix. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Firestorm Villains category."