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Little is known about the background of Geoffrey Ballard. In "Ms. Marvel" vol. 1 #15, reporter Frank Gianelli searched for any available information on Ballard. He only found that Ballard had some connection to the CIA, was active in Vietnam c. 1968 and was directly linked to the White House.
The character first appeared in "Black Goliath" #4 (August, 1976). He was at the time a government agent, assigned to the security of a secret project. A project involving Stark West, the Los Angeles division of Stark Industries. His task brought him in contact with Tony Stark (Iron Man).
In the present scenes of that issue, Dr. William Foster (Black Goliath), had a meeting with Stark. A meeting also attended by Ballard. Foster was head of the research division of Stark West. A mysterious box had been stolen from the labs. Foster wanted to know about its contents and significance. Ballard prevented Tony from giving any such explanation, for security reasons.
Ballard resurfaced in "Ms. Marvel" vol. 1 #9 (September, 1977). He placed incendiary bombs in the apartment of Carol Danvers. Then set it on fire from a distance. All in an attempt to destroy a number of important documents held there. The fire threatened the life of other residents in the apartment building. Ms. Marvel intervened in time to save the documents and the life of a couple of kids.
Ballard witnessed the events from a distance. Then reported to "Alpha" of the "Council" concerning the status of his mission. This was supposed to set up a new mystery storyline. But neither Alpha, nor the Council were ever identified. When next seen, Ballard was working with Mystique. Suggesting Alpha could be one of her aliases. The "Council" might have been the "Council of the Chosen", a mysterious organization which figured in several Claremont storylines of the time. Eventually revealed to be an alias for the Inner Council of the Hellfire Club.
In #14 (February, 1978), Ballard broke into the office of Danvers, late an night. He was still looking for the documents. He was interrupted by Frank Gianelli and Tracy Burke who were working late in the Woman magazine building. Ballard briefly struggled with Gianelli. But delivered a blow to the head of his opponent and managed to escape. Unfortunately for him, Frank had taken a good look at his face and recognized him.
In #17 (May, 1978), Ballard and his partner Mystique infiltrated the SHIELD Helicarrier. Raven was using the form of Nick Fury a the time. There they managed to steal the Centurion armor and then teleported to CIA headquarters at Langley. Raven ordered Ballard to wear the armor and assassinate Ms. Marvel. The armor granted Ballard enhanced strength, durability and flight. Its weapons systems included a force beam for attacks, a disintegration beam able to disintegrate steel walls, and a targeting computer.
Centurion patrolled the skies of New York for hours prior to locating his target. he immediately fired a blast at Ms. Marvel, with the issue ending in a cliff-hanger.
In #18 (June, 1978), the issue opened with Ms. Marvel knocked out by the blast of Centurion, falling from the sky. But the attack had caught the attention of Scarlet Witch and Wasp who intervened to protect their teammate. He immediately attacked the two heroines. His blasts proved too much for them to handle. But Wasp called reinforcements: Vision, Wonder Man and Yellowjacket (Hank Pym). Centurion was too pre-occupied to notice Ms. Marvel transforming into Carol Danvers and leaving the scene.
Centurion managed to knock down Yellowjacket. He then endured a punch by Wonder Man and used the disintegration ray on this opponent. Simon survived but was left stunned. At this point, Ms. Marvel rejoined the battle. She was using a new costume which confused the Centurion's tracking devices. Carol used Wonder Man as a missile, throwing him at Centurion. Vision used the opportunity to infiltrate the armor of their opponent but was wounded by its security systems.
Ms. Marvel net lured Centurion in the vicinity of a generator which produced an intense magnetic field. The magnetism overloaded the computer systems within the Centurion armor. With his armor flying out of control and its weapons malfunctioning, Centurion was knocked out by a powerful punch. Carol removed his mask and recognized her opponent. Centurion has yet to resurface.