Richard Faulkner was an industrialist who created a hi-tech underground drill called Earthmover One. Contracted by the government, he demonstrated the Earthmover's capabilities in an underground cavern in New Mexico. During the demonstration, Richard was exposed to a bizarre chemical known as Quixium that altered his body chemistry, transforming him into various elements. He immediately grew power hungry and slew everyone who witnessed his miraculous transformation.

Richard's girlfriend Veronica was extremely impressed with his transformation and begged him to take her down into the tunnels to see the transformation pool. Faulkner did so, and Veronica immersed herself in the glowing liquid, transforming her body into a crystalline substance. Her transformation was not as efficient as Richard's however, and her body shattered.

During the venture, Faulkner discovered the subterranean world of Strata. He decided to conquer this realm with his Earthmover One drilling machine. Ultimately, this venture brought him into conflict with Strata's champion, Terra. Faulkner blamed Terra and her ally Geo-Force for the accidental death of his girlfriend, Veronica. Terra managed to defeat him and left him in the care of the citizens of Strata who endeavored to find a way to extract the Quixium compound from his body.