Steven Mark Levins was born in the historically haunted town of Sleepy Hollow, Illinois. He has admitted to being a troubled child who lied, disobeyed his parents and hurt small animals. One Halloween he ran from his parents side and came across the home of Nick Lewis (the Crime-Master), who was a retired HYDRA operative. Upon opening the door, he shot the child in the face with gas and took him in to raise as his own, training him in the process to be one of the world's greatest assassins. As an act of loyalty, Jack killed his genetic parents with his signature move of turning their skulls into jack o'lanterns.
Levins was eventually recruited by HYDRA to serve as a member of the Skeleton Crew under Crossbones' command, taking on the code name of the Jack O'Lantern and obtaining modified Goblin weaponry originally belonging to Norman Osborn.