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When Gilbert Wiles was on a plane that was hijacked by masked terrorists a glowing orb came to him and bonded to his body in a flash of light. This orb was the Uni-Power, which granted Wiles all of the powers of Captain Universe. As Captain Universe he instantly knew everything that the Uni-Power knew, and understood how to use the cosmic powers of the Uni-Power to combat the invading force. One of the would-be hijackers fired a shot off that blew a hole in the jet. Wiles used his power to seal up the hole as best he could and brought the plane down safely. A few minutes after bringing the plane down the Uni-Power left Wiles. While the whole encounter would last less than a half-hour, Wiles would regard this as the best 27 minutes of his life. Wiles was a quiet and reserved man-a man of contemplation and not of action. As Captain Universe he would be a man of power and of action. Wiles would become obsessed with the power that he held for a short time, and would go on to study the Uni-Power, trying to unlock its secrets and eventually being regarded as one of the world's foremost experts on the Uni-Power.
At some unspecified point Dr. Wiles is approached by A.I.M (not knowing who they were at the time) with funding to study the Uni-Power further and unlock its secrets.
When the Uni-Power's power begins to fluctuate, it seeks out Hulk in the wilderness to help locate Dr. Wiles. The Uni-Power hoped that because of his research Dr. Wiles would be able to help it understand the loss of power. When Wiles meets Banner (then bonded with the Uni-Power), Wiles introduces him to David, his financial backer. David is actually an agent of A.I.M. seeking to capture the Uni-Power. Dr. Wiles explains to Banner the events that occurred 20 years before that would lead him to his study of the Uni-Power. David uses an A.I.M. device to strip the Uni-Power from Banner's body. Horrified that someone wants to use the Uni-Power for evil Wiles breaks the containment device holding the Uni-Power, freeing it to bond with the Hulk to defeat the attacking A.I.M. agents.
During the A.I.M. battle with the Hulk, a cloaked A.I.M. agent received a terminate order and smashed David in the head with a brick. Not wanting to go into hiding and knowing that he would be proved innocent, Dr. Wiles chose to stay behind while the Hulk left the scene. Wiles was arrested and put in jail. Banner called Daredevil to defend Wiles during his trial for the murder of the A.I.M. agent. Murdock then bonded with the Uni-Power and also got into an altercation with A.I.M. which ended with the capture of one of the agents. Learning that it was A.I.M. that unintentionally framed Wiles, Murdock was able to call in a favor to SHIELD to get the charges against Wiles dropped. Before leaving Murdock and Wiles, Wiles was able to question the Uni-Power to find an answer to why the Uni-Power would grant him such amazing abilities and then desert him.
Dr. Wiles is a normal human with high intelligence. When bonded with the Uni-Power Wiles commanded all of the powers of Captain Universe including flight, super strength and speed, invulnerability, and a protective force field.