Nathan Dollay was an archaeologist on payroll from S.H.I.E.L.D. to collect rare 0-8-4s at sites of archaeological importance from across the globe, and then deliver the items back to SHIELD HQ for research development. Secretly, however, Nathan was in fact an agent of HYDRA assigned to recover the 0-8-4's and sell them on the black market as curios to the highest bidder. He was exposed during the SHIELD Civil War and went into hiding to plot anew. During his travels, he discovered an unidentified alien helmet and mask as well as some cybernetic gauntlets and an irradiated control panel. Studying the items carefully, Dollay discovered that the helmet and gauntlets were alien devices designed to work in tandem with the control panel to target any individual and control them psycho-kinetically as a puppet through telepathic "strings". Sensing use in the items for criminal gains, Dollay acquired a stolen Iron Armor design from HYDRA scientists and had them merged with the alien tech to don upon himself and become the sinister puppet master Mister Doll, shrouding his form in a black cloak to make himself presented as being mysterious.