Nick Kovak grew up surrounded by organized crime, drawn to the glamor of success beyond the modest life his father scraped by honestly. After his father was killed in an “accident”—one for which Nick felt responsible—he fled that world. He enlisted in the US Army under the name Nick Kelly, and eventually joined the FBI. The FBI placed him back in his old life, as an undercover agent in the Keystone City Mafia. (Argus #2, 1995)
Kovak’s life took a bizarre turn the night one of his “co-workers” discovered his identity. The man was about to pull the trigger on him when an alien monster burst in, killing the attacker. As Nick fled, he was attacked by another creature, which drained his spinal fluid, leaving him for dead.
But Nick Kovak did not die. Instead, he awoke with the abilities to become completely invisible when in shadow and to see beyond the normally visible spectrum, from radar and microwaves on up through ultraviolet. Coupled with enhanced strength and reflexes, these abilities gave him an enormous stealth advantage at night. (Flash Annual #6, 1993)
Believing the Combine responsible for his attack, he donned commando armor and went to investigate, only to find that the same creatures were attacking there as well. After he and the Flash battled the creatures to save Linda Park (who immediately guessed his identity), Nick decided to keep his new identity and protect the city from the escalating mob war.
Argus came to rely heavily on his enhanced vision when a mob enforcer gouged out his eyes, blinding him to ordinary sight. He honed his skills, learning to see not only invisible forms of energy, but conceptual connections between objects. In time, his eyes grew back (Argus miniseries, 1995).
True to his powers, Argus has largely faded into the background since then, occasionally appearing during a crisis. He most recently surfaced as a victim of a meta-human organ-theft ring. He was drugged, his eyes surgically removed and transplanted. The operation left him entirely blind. Dr. Mid-Nite retrieved his eyes and, assisted by S.T.A.R. Labs, reattached them (JSA Classified #19–20, 2007)