Gabriel Catalano was born in Port Charles, a small New York city on the shores of Lake Ontario between Rochester and Buffalo. His father, Martin, was a detective in the PCPD, and his mother, Irene, worked for a local PR firm. Growing up in an apartment in the Harborview Towers downtown, Gabriel's childhood was rather typical of most well-to-do urban families, and rather unremarkable as a whole. However, that all changed when Martin was killed in the line of duty, at the hands of one of the first metahumans ever employed by the local mobs as an enforcer. The Catalano family was shattered by this, but Irene and Gabriel soldiered on as best they could for the next few years. When Gabriel was 10, his mother informed him that they would be leaving Port Charles, and making a new life for themselves in the former city of Detroit: Millennium City.
To a young Gabriel and his mother, Millennium City was incredible. Built on the ruins of Detroit, which was obliterated by Doctor Destroyer in 1992, the city was a model for the future: spire-like skyscrapers connected by picturesque garden skybridges, solar panels and nearby windmill farms generating clean and renewable power, automated and computer-controlled highways that eliminated gridlock and traffic accidents, flashy 3-D holograms that replaced billboards, info kiosks on street corners that offered a continual stream of news and information, free high-speed wireless Internet access available in every business and home, and schools and libraries store the vast majority of their data electronically, to say nothing of the greatest feature of all (at least, to a ten-year-old boy), the presence of the Champions superhero team. Though his mother had her doubts, the lucrative offer she'd received from Harmon Industries to join their PR team would allow her to make a real life for herself and her son in this city of tomorrow, so the Catalanos settled into their new home in Westside.
The pair would soon to come to learn that Westside was not quite the safe haven they thought it would be. This area of Millennium City, while home to the new city jail, a burgeoning industrial and shipping hub and the city's Chinatown neighborhood, seemed to be embroiled in near-constant conflict between the five gangs that called it home: the New Purple Gang (a resurgence of an infamous Prohibition Era gang), the Cobra Lords (a biker gang involved in both the drug trade and an underground metahuman fighting circuit), the Maniacs (an anarchist gang that proudly displays sociopathic tendencies), the Black Aces (a gang with a playing card motif) and the Cult of the Red Banner (who control Millennium City's Chinatown). Fortunately for the Catalanos, not to mention the rest of Westside's residents, Millennium City was also home to the superhero team known as the Champions: Defender, Sapphire, Nighthawk, Ironclad and Witchcraft. Young Gabriel was absolutely enamored by the superheroes of his new home, as many of the city's children were, and he followed their exploits with keen interest.
At the age of 14, just after he'd became a freshman at Westside High School, Gabriel's mother remarried. Dexter Rawlins was a MARS (Metahuman Activities Response Squad) officer assigned to MCPD's Westside precinct, and though his unit worked closely with the Champions and other registered superheroes, Dex resented their presence and having to work with them, believing them to be the reason for the uptick in metahuman crime in Millennium City. Gabriel got along well enough with Dex, at least at first, as he was happy to see his mother moving forward with her life, but Dex's homophobic attitudes didn't sit well with him, as he was coming to terms with his own homosexuality. However, though the marriage seemed solid on the surface, Dex would often vent his frustrations with his job at home, becoming first verbally abusive... and then physically abusive. Over the course of the next two years, the marriage slowly deteriorated, and Gabriel spent more and more time with his friends away from home simply to avoid Dex's alcohol-fueled rages and homophobic rants.
However, it was during one of those fights between Dex and Irene that Gabriel's life changed forever.
Coming home after soccer practice, Gabriel could already hear the sound of shouting coming from inside the house. Rushing inside, he found Dex in the kitchen with his mother, having already struck her and threatening to do so again. Gabriel rushed inside, screaming for Dex to stop and threatening to call the cops, but the officer just laughed in response, responding that he was untouchable as far as the cops were concerned, being a decorated member of an elite police task force. He then dared the "fairy" to do something about it if he thought he could, raising his hand to hit Irene again... and in that moment, Gabriel's mutation manifested, and the teenager lashed out with a primal scream... and an uncontrollable burst of gravitic energy. When Gabriel came to his senses again, he was left standing in the rubble of what was once his home, surrounded by units from the MCPD, PRIMUS and the FBI.
Taken into custody by PRIMUS, Gabriel was later informed by them that both Dex and his mother had perished when their home collapsed in on itself. The grief-stricken Gabriel now fell under the government's jurisdiction, and PRIMUS kept him in custody while they worked out what to do with him. Eventually, a solution was found: Gabriel, who would not be charged with a crime due to the accidental nature of the manifestation of his powers, would be remanded to Ravenswood Academy in order to receive proper training in the use of his gravimetric abilities as well as completing his education. Though his first year at the Academy was difficult for him, as he was still grappling with what he'd done and with having superpowers in general, Gabriel eventually began to heal from the trauma of his mother's death. He also began to learn the breadth and scope of his abilities, and the potential for disaster that accompanied them, and gained a keen sense of responsibility when it came to using them. By the time his senior year began, he was starting to make friends and embrace his gravity-controlling abilities, becoming one of the Academy's most promising students.
After graduating from Ravenswood Academy, Gabriel decided to register himself as a superhero in Millennium City, taking the codename of Gravatar as his own.
Just in time for the Qularr Invasion.