Atop a spire in Venice, Christoph Nord (Maverick) pounces a sniper from behind. As the people on the ground below flee upon discovering the sniper’s presence, Christoph engages the sniper, the Confessor, in a fight. The Confessor succeeded in sniping a Russian traitor named Sventitsky and now breaks Christoph’s right wrist. He stuns Christoph by calling him his name, and then tosses explosive rosary beads at him, sending him falling off the tower.
Maverick is shackled to a vertical operating table unable to wake up and in great pain. Elena is similarly incapacitated next to him. They are watched by Ivan Pushkin and his chief scientific advisor Dr. Etta Langstrom. She reports to him that Maverick’s vital signs are surprisingly strong despite the fact that he is reliving every painful event in his life due to her procedure, which involves disorienting him and leaving him barely sane and thus easy to manipulate. She also informs Pushkin that the Legacy Virus in Maverick’s body is now in unstable remission and Maverick will respond only to him due to the audiohypnotic implants in place. Pushkin inquires about Elena, and Dr. Langstrom tells him they are utilizing her psionic powers to gain access to Maverick’s memories, as well as to reveal her own thoughts to them. As Pushkin prepares to leave, he asks the doctor if Maverick will be ready in less than two weeks, and she confidently replies she can ensure he will be ready in half that time. Pushkin asks if she’s willing to stake her reputation on that and she says she’d even stake her life on it if she had to, and Pushkin takes her word for it, leaving her somewhat stunned.
Back in Isabel Ferguson’s home, Isabel and her daughter Madeline are in a secret psi-shielded and soundproof room in which they managed to hide just before Pushkin and his troops stormed her home (last issue). She decides to make her move now and kisses her sleeping daughter on the forehead, before quietly creeping out of her hiding place and catching the single guard outside unaware with a shot to his back. Her ex-husband soon arrives to take Madeline out for the weekend and gets upset over the danger Isabel has placed herself and their daughter in. She tells him Maverick is involved and he demands that she severe all ties with him or else he would sue her for custody of Madeline. She promises him she will but only after she ensures Maverick is safe first, and he reluctantly allows it.
Christoph is in an italian hospital recuperating from his duel with the Confessor, and he begins to fall in love with one of the workers there, Ginetta Lucia Barsalini, and they eventually get married in less than a year. At their wedding ceremony, he introduces his best man and old childhood friend, Jean Luc Vivant, to Major Barrington.
The marriage lasts about three years before Christoph comes home one night and confronts Ginetta about the deaths of his entire covert unit. He accuses her of being a spy for the Russians and marrying him just to get closer to him and use him as a leak to the German Underground. She denies it and asks him to calm down, but he’s having none of it. He refuses to believe her and she finally reveals her true colors, confirming his suspicions. He threatens to shoot her unless she tells him who she’s working for, but she baits him, saying he doesn’t have to guts to shoot a defenseless woman in cold blood. She then reaches for a knife and attacks him with it, and he shoots her in response. As she dies, she reveals to him that in killing her, he has killed their unborn child as well, much to Christoph’s horror.
In an attempt to cope with his bitterness and disillusionment, he immerses himself in black ops work and as a West German freedom fighter. His exploits soon bring him to the attention of the CIA, and he accepts their offer, moving to America and changing his name to David North. Together with John Wraith, Logan and Victor Creed, he forms a select group of operatives (Team X).
On one mission in East Germany, Logan and Creed are severely wounded and unable to walk on their own. Despite mission orders to leave behind wounded companions, North won’t do it and instead drags both of them by himself all the way to the border. There, they are ambushed by a team of assassins led by his own brother, Andreas. Andreas offers to let David go if he turns over Logan and Creed to him, but he refuses and kills them all instead, including his brother, without compunction or remorse.
Shortly after that incident, the team disbands and North becomes a mercenary known as Maverick. Years later, he is outside Quebec investigating the alarm that went off at his secret storage facility, but the place is booby-trapped and he is caught in the ensuing explosion. (This happened just before Maverick #1.)
Maverick comes to in a posh bedroom with his thoughts in a blur and his body feeling weak. He is greeted by Ivan Pushkin, accompanied by Hammer and Sickle. Upon seeing them, Maverick’s faintly recalls fighting with one of them atop a spire (He did so with Hammer last issue), but the memory is too faint for him and he figures he’s recalling his fight with the Confessor instead. Maverick questions Pushkin as to why he is here, and Pushkin lies to him that Hammer and Sickle found him almost dead in a river following the explosion.
Pushkin then tells the unsuspecting Maverick that his powers have returned and caused his Legacy Virus infection to go into remission and that Major Barrington was responsible for enlisting Ginetta to masquerade as his wife, before deciding to infect Maverick with the Legacy Virus when he felt him of no more use. He also feeds Maverick the lie that the trap at his storage facility was planted by Barrington when the Legacy Virus proved to be too slow to kill Maverick. By now, Maverick’s mind is made up and he agrees to murder Barrington for Pushkin.