Bram Velsing was a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist stationed in Latveria, who was secretly in league with HYDRA during the lead-in to the SHIELD Civil War. When his true allegiance was exposed along with the rest of HYDRA's many agents by the failure of Project Insight, Velsing quickly made his escape from the SHIELD agents after him, though he suffered scars on his face from an explosion made during the commotion of throwing off his pursuers. Velsing allied himself with Baron Von Strucker and was healed of his wounds through injections of a serum spiked by the Chitauri Scepter's Mind Gem. He would later go on to begin construction of an Iron Armor based on design schematics from the armors of the the Iron Cross and Doctor Doom, though designed in the style of a medieval knight, giving himself the alias of the Dreadknight. He fled before the attack of Strucker's facility by the Avengers, but was quickly recruited by Colonel Helmut Zemo into the Masters initiative project.