Aaron Downing was serving a criminal sentence on the Raft
when he was freed and drafted into Nick Fury
's Secret Warriors
, along with another inmate of the Raft named Ellis Love
. His name was one of many on Fury's list of Caterpillars, superhumans who had not yet been tainted by other parties that he could use for his secret war against HYDRA
. Due to his criminal past, Downing was placed on Team Black, the team consisting of the more dangerous Caterpillars run by Alexander Pierce
Aaron Downing was created by Jonathan Hickman
and first illustrated by Alessandro Vitti
in Secret Warriors
. The character was first mentioned in the back matter of the first issue of Secret Warriors
, which featured Nick Fury's list of Caterpillars. Downing did not actually appear until midway into the series, where Team Black appeared for one story arc.
Major Story Arcs
Last Ride of the Howling Commandos
Aaron Downing and the rest of Team Black were deployed to take part in a joint attack on HYDRA
's Hell's Heaven base in China along with the Howling Commandos PMC
. The operation was a success with Team Black taking point on the infiltration of the base, allowing for a bomb to be detonated inside that reduced it all to burning rubble. With their mission complete, Team Black made their own separate exit from China apart from the Howling Commandos, not realizing that the Howling Commandos would suffer a devastating battle against HYDRA forces after they left.
Wheels Within Wheels
Having won his secret war against HYDRA and Leviathan, Nick Fury pulled together all of the surviving members of the Secret Warriors and Howling Commandos together into a new organization sponsored by the United Nations. This included Downing and the rest of Team Black, who now served in this organization under the overall command of Daisy Johnson
Powers and Abilities
Aaron Downing appears to have either cybernetic arms or armor covering his arms. This technology is described as a shadow machine, in which Downing is apparently capable of forming energy constructs that obey his will. It is unknown if he created the technology or not.
Presumably, Downing has received the same training in espionage and combat as other members of the Secret Warriors.