Feud with Martha Kane
Many years ago in Gotham City, Judson Pierce was a prominent mobster in the city along with Salvatore Guzzo. Because of some shady business dealings handled by Pierce, Martha Kane's father was left destitute and bankrupt, while Pierce made millions. Sometime later, Martha began to try and receive financial support and backing for Leslie Thompkins' newly opened clinics. Pierce took notice of this and soon offered Kane sixty-thousand dollars to walk away from the clinics, leaving him able to come in and profit from them. Standing her ground, Kane refused to leave the clinics and took the sixty grand as a donation. Angered, Pierce placed a hit on Kane's life, but he was sent to prison before the hit could be executed because
Sallie Guzzo knew of Pierce's plot to seize control of Gotham slums so Sallie sells out Pierce to the cops to secure his own immunity.
Release from Prison
Thirty-seven years later, Pierce was released from Blackgate Penitentiary and with Martha Kane dead, he swore revenge on her only true legacy, her son, Bruce Wayne. But unbeknownst to Pierce, and everyone outside of the superhero community, the Bruce Wayne the public saw was actually Bruce's former childhood friend, Tommy Elliot who had previously surgically altered his face to look like Bruce's.
Being driven home from a Gotham event after his superhero escort was forced to leave him due to a riot in Arkham Asylum, Hush is left unprotected and vulnerable. Pierce rams his limo off the road. After Hush stumbles out of the car, Pierce introduces himself, and shoots who he thinks to be Bruce Wayne in the chest.
Thinking the man he captured is Bruce Wayne, Pierce tells him of his past, alluding to a young Dr. Death to be the reason everything went to hell for him, leaving him in prison. Hush remembers his parents arguing about Pierce, assuming that he was a source of financial trouble for his parents. With Pierce distracted, Hush is able to slip from his cuffs and disable Pierces men. Holding Pierce at gunpoint, he reveals to him that he is not Bruce Wayne, and claims to be "salvation" to Pierce, as he is the one man who hates the Wayne's legacy more than he.
It is later revealed that Judson Pierce was also an enemy of the Elliot family, having shot Hush's father years ago (although he didn't die from the attack). Hush shoots Pierce and Dr. Death leaving them to die in the toxins released by Death that were to engulf the Wayne building. Dr. Death made a chemical that blew open the door trapping them inside the room, however the explosion burned and disfigured Pierce's skin. He survived however, and was taken to Blackgate Prison along with his chronies Mr. Zzz and Anthony Marchetti where he demonstrated his cancer had been burned away and demonstrated new found strength. He decided to call himself "Skel" as a pun on his skeleton appearance and the term Skels.