The man who would become Deathgrip was a henchman of the Organization, an international criminal consortium. The henchman knew Walter Lawson, and knew that the scientist invented the Eon Ray for the Organization. The henchman didn't know that the real Lawson was dead and that Captain Mar-Vell had taken his place to infiltrate in the Organization.
Captain Mar-Vell (during one of his first missions on the Earth) destroyed the Base of the Organization in Florida using the Eon Ray.
The henchman was the nearest one to the Eon Ray when the atomic reactor of the Base exploded. Everybody were killed instantaneously but the henchman. The man was mutated by the combination of the Eon Ray and the radiation of the atomic explosion. He became a sort of vampire, who bled other beings' lifeforce to live few hours, aging them. He became the human version of the Eon Ray gun.
He wore a special costume to contain his draining touch and took the name Deathgrip.
For many months, Deathgrip sought vengeance against Captain Marvel. One day he saw Mar-Vell in New York. In that moment Captain Mar-Vell wore the Red-Blue costume and was without mask. Deathgrip recognized him as Walter Lawson and, believing the hero was actually Lawson, didn't touch him, sparing his life. He hoped that Lawson could help him to find a cure for his status. Deathgrip caressed a dog and the dog immediately aged and died smoking.
The next day Deathgrip read on the Denver Post that Captain Marvel was working at the Space Observatory near Denver and went there.
Many people were there to see Captain Marvel. Deathgrip revealed himself calling Cap Marvel. He touched a man named Mike but drained too much energy, killing him. Mar-Vell attacked him but his ram was rejected by the strong Deathgrip who also drained a lot of the hero's energy. Deathgrip told to "Lawson" his history and threatened to kill Marvel if he didn't cure him. Marvel confessed he was not the real Lawson and shot a photonic ray at Deathgrip who became stronger. Deathgrip managed to grab Marvel.
Deathgrip caused Mar-Vell to become old then stopped his draining in time to leave him alive. Marvel restored his youth by draining solar energy through his nega-bands. Deathgrip, now having enough life energy to live for 48 hours, took the Observatory workers as hostages and ordered Marvel to find a cure for him in 2 days or he would drained their lives. Captain Marvel had to agree, so he left the Observatory.
After the two days, Marvel did not still come back, Deathgrip choose Jacqueline Carr, the Observatory Director. The vampire took his gloves off and started bleeding Jacqueline Carr's lifeforce. Marvel arrived just in time to shoot her with the Eon Ray, saving her. Deathgrip understood that Marvel found a cure only for his victims and not for him. A fight started. Deathgrip's touch soon weakened Marvel. But the hero managed to put on Deathgrip's gloves and knocked him down.
When Captain Marvel went out the observatory, Deathgrip took the Eon Ray gun and used it on himself in a desperate attempt to change his status. The Ray transformed him in primordial protoplasm, and the gun melted.