|David Dunn (Earth-616)|
Carl Dunn (Father)
March 18 1980
Elijah Price (Formerly)
|Alternate Identity Status:||
David Dunn lived in West Philadelphia most of his life as the only child to Carl and Daniella Dunn, respectively a gym teacher and a pharmacist. When he was at school, he remembers that he was bullied for his freakish size, and in one incident where he was playfully dunked by some children in the school swimming pool, he went into a frightened trance and almost drowned. He was barely revived by the lifeguard, and for the rest of his life he would develop aquaphobia, an irrational fear of water. The story of his near-death experience became something of a lesson for the other children, which spread even after he left, that they should be careful in the pool.
At high school, David never suffered bullies after the drowning incident. He was surprisingly intelligent, doing well with most of his classes, but he found that the classes bored him. One day, he caught five boys behind the gymnasium bullying a young black girl. He confronted the boys, and when they attacked him, he overpowered them and comforted the girl. When faced with the injuries they suffered during the fight, the boys lied that they'd hurt one another playing football, and David persuaded the girl not to talk about the incident, so he went unnoticed.
When he was in college, he enjoyed football and was a star player due to his amazing physical strength and prowess as a player. He met his future girlfriend Audrey Inverso, who was an aspiring medical student, and they started dating early into their relationship. However, they were once involved in a frightening car accident when the car flipped on an icy road. David was thrown from the car, but recovered remarkably quickly and ripped open the car door to rescue Audrey from the burning car. Audrey was hurt, and David claimed that he was too injured to continue playing football, thus giving the sport up to focus on his relationship with Audrey.
He lied about being injured - he didn't break any bones or suffer any genuine injuries. He knew that Audrey, an aspiring doctor, disliked football for its reliance on damaging one's opponent, and wanted to discontinue sport because a relationship with a woman could last exponentially longer than a successful football career, which he would have undoubtedly led.
The train crash
The couple had one son, Joseph, and David, while a good father genuinely, always struggled with the concept that he was a good father. He took a job at the West Philadelphia University Stadium as a security guard, and worked tirelessly there for several years. However, he took a job interview in New York City, and on the train ride back from that interview, the train brutally derailed and crashed. He woke up in the hospital hours later and learned that he was the only survivor - not only that, but he didn't suffer a single scratch or break a single bone. Whilst at the memorial for the people who died at the train crash, he found a note in his car asking if he'd ever taken a single sick day.
After asking his wife, and his boss at the stadium, he came to the conclusion that he had never been ill in his life. Analyzing the card, he traced it to a comic book exhibition store belonging to Elijah Price, and took his son with him. When he and Elijah met, Elijah explained to him that he suffered from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which made his bones extremely fragile - he became obsessed with the idea that there was someone on the opposing end of his spectrum, someone who was invulnerable. David was incredulous to this theory, but eventually began to see sense in this.
He slowly began to experiment with this theory - he worked out using the weights in his basement, but eventually realized that he could lift up to 350 pounds, far more than he expected to lift. Joseph, who witnessed this, began to see sense in what Elijah said. In order to further prove that Elijah was right, Joseph resorted to trying to shoot David with his gun, but David persuaded him not to. He confronted Elijah and explained that he was vulnerable - to water, and explained the incident in the swimming pool. Elijah deduced that this was his 'superhero weakness'. Elijah persuaded David to try to experiment with his extrasensory ability.
He went to a train station and, through physical contact, detected several crimes, until he detected a janitor who had raided a home, killed the parents and abducted the children. He followed the janitor to the house and rescued the children, but the janitor ambushed him and threw him into the swimming pool outside the house. He almost drowned, but narrowly escaped and sneaked upon the janitor. In the ensuing brawl, David exerted the full extent of his physical strength and killed the janitor, but lamented that he was too late to save the parents.
His identity remained a secret when the press revealed it, but he subtly told his son that he was the hero that both he and Elijah considered him to be. He went and met Elijah at the store during his exhibition, and explained that he was right. They shook hands, but the moment they made contact David's extrasensory abilities revealed that Elijah was responsible for the train crash, as well as several other incidents, which he had carried out in an attempt to find men like David Dunn. Horrified, David reported Elijah to the police and Elijah was sent to an asylum.
Powers and Abilities
David possessed several superhuman physical attributes. It is unclear whether or not they are mutant powers:
- Superhuman strength: At full exertion, David can gain incredible physical strength. When he was a child, his muscles were developed enough to throw a dodgeball over an entire football field. He was a legendary footballer because of his strength, and even as a teenager he was powerful enough to overpower three boys larger than he was with relative ease. Even after being involved in a car accident, which didn't genuinely hurt him, he managed to rip a car door right off its hinges with both hands. Now an adult, his strength was enough to smash glass with his elbow, crush golf balls and lift a grown man off the ground. When he experimented with his strength, he managed to extend to over 350lbs and it was heavily implied that this was not his limit.
- Near-invulnerability: It is implied that he is impervious to physical pain, and as a result it is reasonable to assume that he is nearly invulnerable. In college, he was incredible resistant to anything his opposing players could throw at him and, when he and Audrey were involved in a devastating car accident, he wasn't injured at all. This was repeated when he survived the brutal derailing of a speeding train, and emerged without a single scratch or broken bone. It was theorized that he was impervious to bullets, but thus far this has not been tested properly.
- Superhuman immune system: David is physically unable to suffer diseases, and he has never suffered any type of illness once in his life, except for the time he suffered from pneumonia after almost drowning.
- Superhuman stamina: David possesses beyond-normal stamina, and can run several miles without tiring. He could also lift weights for an extended amount of time without becoming physically exhausted by the effort.
- Psychometry: David's most distinctive power is his extrasensory ability to sense the pasts, specifically the wrongdoings, of other people through physical contact with said people. There are apparently no limits and no defences against this ability, except for the presence of particularly strong fabric between his skin and theirs. He is perfectly able to navigate the histories of other people if he is looking for something specific, and he perceives it through his eyes like a hallucination.
- Football: David was a natural footballer as a result of his physical attributes, and could have played at a level beyond his peers, but he decided against it so that he could continue his relationship with Audrey.
- Fighter: David proved himself able to overpower four people larger and stronger than he was without himself suffering an injury. As a grown man, he was able to almost effortlessly defeat another man of equal physicality to him, and he was able to ultimately kill him due to his physical strength.
- Aquaphobia: David's weakness is that he is intensely frightened, pathologically, by the presence of a large body of water - in that he is able to generally drink it, but he is unable to swim because he cannot approach a large body of water without becoming catatonic or paranoid. When the janitor tried to drown him, he only narrowly escaped and came dangerously close to drowning.