His real name was Hiram Ezekial Bates. He was born on the colony planet of Hera, and when he was eight years old he stood six feet two inches tall.
His parents consulted with numerous specialists. Finally, when he was twelve years old—he stood seven feet three inches tall by then—they found a doctor who could arrest his growth.
The problem was that nobody had asked Hiram his opinion, and the fact of the matter was that he relished the notion of being the biggest human being in the galaxy. When they finally took him to the doctor, he dislocated four vertebrae in the poor man's back, broke both of his legs, and quite literally tore his office apart.
That was the day that he became ManMountain Bates.
They put him in a home for disturbed juveniles. He battered down the brick wall with his bare hands and took off for points unknown, surfacing some five years later on the Inner Frontier. By then he had finally reached his full growth—eight feet seven inches, and close to 575 pounds of burly, rock-hard muscle—and he worked his way through a number of menial jobs before he chucked it all and became a gambler.
"I'm ManMountain Bates!" he roared. "My father was a whirlwind and my mother was a lightning bolt! I'm Leviathan, the great beast of the murky deep!" He began pacing back and forth in front of the terrified Terwilliger. "I'm half cyclone and half tornado! I'm Behemoth, the giant hellcat of the Frontier! I was spawned in a supernova and baptized in a lake of lava!”