Fabio Medina was a young man living in San Diego, California with his family. He led an unassuming life working at a corn dog hut until his mutant powers manifested. Fabio was one of the first wave of new mutants who developed powers after Hope Summers used the Phoenix Force to end the magical influence of the Decimation. Fabio knew none of this at the time, however. Some man tried to rob him and, in the stress of the moment, he began expelling golden balls from his body in all directions. Fabio's panic caused chaos in the streets as his powers erupted uncontrollably. He was treated to his first example of mutant prejudice when the police arrested him as he was trying to explain about the robbery.
Fabio was rescued by Cyclops and his rogue team of X-Men, aggressively defending mutant rights against human hatred, paving the way for the mutant revolution. They helped rescue Fabio not only from the police, but also mutant-hunting Sentinels that arrived on the scene shortly after his powers manifested. Fabio was teleported back to the X-Men's secret base, the New Xavier School hidden in the Canadian wilderness at the old Weapon X facility. [Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #1-3]
Fabio met other new mutants like Tempus, Triage and Benjamin Deeds, but it was a whirlwind of activity around the base. No sooner did the X-Men return with more new recruits, Angel and the Stepford Cuckoos, that their teleporter Magik was overwhelmed by her powers, bringing the whole team into the Hell dimension known as Limbo. Fabio was overwhelmed by all of this, and nearly died fighting demons and Dormammu. He told Cyclops he just wasn't cut out to be a warrior. He asked the X-Men to take him home to his family. [Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #4-7]
The X-Men agreed, and Fabio was returned to San Diego with their best wishes. However, Fabio discovered the truth to the maxim, "You can't go home again." He was still wanted by the police for questioning regarding the initial disturbance, and his parents were not quick to adjust to the fact that their son was a mutant. Worse still, agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and their mutant liaison officer Dazzler arrived, looking to debrief Fabio about Scott Summers and his mutant revolution. When his father resisted, S.H.I.E.L.D. forcibly took Fabio into custody and began interrogating him at a black site for intelligence. The X-Men had anticipated this, however, and used their mutant detector Cerebro to track Fabio's location, allowing them to find S.H.I.E.L.D.'s hidden base and rescue the captive mutant at the same time. [Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #8-9]
Fabio returned to the X-Men and began to embrace his training. Over time, the X-Men dealt with time travel events, rogue X-Men from the past and future, Sentinel attacks and alien bounty hunters. And while his powers at first appeared absurd and comical, Fabio began learning to use them effectively in combat. Fabio got personal praise from Cyclops after being dropped into the Tabula Rasa site and surviving an encounter with an evolved creature. He even took a liking to the name "Goldballs" and embraced it as his own. At the start of every battle, Goldballs began shouting "Goldballs!" as a catch phrase. [Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #10-22]
In time, however, Scott Summers came to accept that his "mutant revolution" was basically a nervous breakdown after the death of Charles Xavier. He chose to shut down the New Xavier School, encouraged the students to transfer to the Jean Grey School, and planned to turn himself in the for the murder of Professor Xavier. Fabio took the news the worst of all the younger X-Men, and physically assaulted Cyclops with his balls. [Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #32]
Despite Cyclops' request, Goldballs and the students didn't immediate join the rival school. With Emma Frost and Magik, they helped Dazzler get revenge on Mystique, who had been posing as her during her S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison phase. High on their success, the young mutants decided to stay together as their own team, separate from any incarnation of the X-Men. They thought about how much baggage had become associated with the name over the past few years, and decided they could make a fresh start by calling themselves something completely different. [Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #34]
Goldballs and his teammates kept their "borrowed" Blackbird and started crashing in the abandoned Hellfire Club. They became famous overnight when social media caught their first mission in Tempe, Arizona taking down a mutant threat named Animax. By this point, Fabio had gone all in on his "Goldballs" identity and was shouting his catchphrase every chance he got. His enthusiasm and the photogenic way he took down Animax made him and "the Hero Squad" into pop culture sensations. Fabio went viral and soon enjoyed an amazing burst of celebrity. He appeared on talk shows and magazines, representing both his Hispanic heritage and a body positive message. It seemed as if the Hero Squad had truly defined themselves as genuine mutant heroes, accepted by the public.
Except no one had, per se, mentioned that they were mutants. When Fabio's parents casually mentioned he was a mutant in a live interview, it was treated as a revelation. The media spin quickly became that Goldballs had been hiding the fact that he was a mutant from his fans. When the Hero Squad took down Klaw in a public appearance, a former fan threw a bottle at Fabio, splintering glass into his neck. If it weren't for Triage, he would've been dead in moments. The Cuckoos lashed out at his attacker with a psychic blast, and soon the police were pointing guns at the terrifying muties who had been heroes minutes earlier. The reality of mutant prejudice sunk in for Goldballs and his friends, and they soon found themselves back at the Jean Grey School, humbly ready to learn more about their powers and how to survive in a world that hates and fears them. [Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #35]