Martin Preston was a former stuntman and weapons-expert who one day found himself in a car accident that severed his arms. He was later approached in his hospital room by several business agents of the terrorist-paramilitary organization HYDRA, who answered his call for help by surgically applying on him cybernetic limbs equipped with holographic projectors, and gave him the task of duplicating the earlier success made with Trevor Slattery's Mandarin portrayal by pretending to be an ethereal sorcerer from another dimension able to summon demons from his limbs and out to liberate human society from its over-reliance on technology, though in reality it was to steal various technological devices needed for Grant Ward's secret plans for revenge against S.H.I.E.L.D. before Malick steered him instead on the path of freeing the Dark Inhuman Hive from Maveth. Preston thus took the name of Master Pandemonium and quickly became one of the New Avengers' most persistent enemies on their quest to defeat the surviving terrorist cells not covered with Baron Strucker's demise.
Later on, Preston would be exposed as a fake by the Scarlet Witch, who used her psionic-mental abilities to quickly unravel the means behind his "demonic" abilities, and he was quickly thrown into prison after a short battle. While in prison, Martin was approached by a strange, black-robed elderly gentleman, who told the disgraced actor-turned-super-criminal that he could get his chance for revenge and receive greater power than he had before if he only sign a contract with him, guaranteeing his release from prison in exchange for answering the call for one favor needed from the gentleman in a future date. Not realizing the consequences made from making this deal, Martin agreed to the old man's terms and had his cybernetic gauntlets returned to him now fully powered by hellish energies from Tartarus and actually able to summon demons at his beck and call, using his abilities to escape from prison and try to seek his revenge on the Scarlet Witch for humiliating him before.