Having a dad who's into cowboy novels and the Old West is a trial for any kid off the streets of Pasaic. Trib's problems were compounded the day he was born when Frank Jones informed his wife Carolyn that their first (and only) son would be named Retribution Jones, after a favorite character of his in a series of novels.
Carolyn should have gotten out then. But she stayed, and as Trib grew up, she became more and more discontent with her life. By the time Trib was 10, Carolyn packed up her bags and hopped the first stage out of town.
Trib's life after that became a new, yet no /so/ different life. While he was no longer having to deal with his mother's day-to-day frustration, his father was not an attentive parent. The times he did pay attention to his young son, it was at meal times, and then only long enough to hear about his day before he would disappear into his study again to work on his long-failed novel.
Raised by his primarily by his grandfather, Trib went to school and did the same stupid things kids do. With his friends, he'd prowl the streets and find dumb stuff to get into. Mostly fights, all of which he won based on his physical size. Tall for his age, and prone to put on muscle instead of a soft belly, he quickly became the champion of the Pasaic under-14 crowd.
It was being stupid with his friends that resulted in the manifestation of his mutant power. During a dare contest, he was challenged to eat a light bulb, as had been seen in a side show recently. Never one to back down from what turned out to be a quadruple dare, he ate the bulb, glass and all. Shortly thereafter, he began to feel strange. His friends, fearing the glass was going to kill their friend, did what any kid in that situation would do they fled.
A few minutes of horrible agony in his mouth, chest, and gut, and then his hands started to feel odd. When Trib raised them, they were made of glass, much like the glass of the bulb he'd just eaten. In a panic, he managed to shatter two of his fingers, watching in horror as they tinkled away from his body.
It wasn't permanent, thank God. The glass thing. After an hour or so, his hands reverted back to flesh, and there was oddly no open wound where he'd lost the fingers. The fingers were gone, but his hand now looked as if he'd merely been born without the missing fingers.
His father never noticed.
His grandfather did, and after much discussion, the two of them were able to deduce what had happened. That led to a number of experiments with various materials, almost all of which produced the same or similar results. Trib could eat and take on the properties of inorganic or inert organic material. This led to the natural conclusion that Trib was, in fact, a mutant.
The fact that he was a mutant didn't seem to matter, much, to Trib. With his kind of ability, he could always find a spot in a side show, or doing things in Vegas. This opened up a whole new world of opportunity.
His grandfather is the one who talked him into starting boxing, to help keep his mind focused on career paths that did not involve making the most of his freak status. Trib, already an accomplished fighter on the street, took to it well, and began boxing as an amateur.
He met his manager, Rico Cruz, during his second bout. Cruz liked what he saw, and was ready to take Trib to the big show. Even his name 'Retribution Jones' was a card-maker. And slowly, Trib began to move up the standings, winning more and more fights, to the chagrin of the sports reporters who'd written him off as a one-shot pony after his second fight.
What they didn't know was that Cruz was using Trib to fix the fights. Aware of Trib's mutant status and ability, Rico was feeding Trib bits of metal before the fights. Armed with this, Trib would convert his hands to the metal and beat the holy hell out of his opponents. Accused of juicing and cheating, no charge was ever made to stick, because by the time the fight ended, Trib's power had worn off, and he was, to all normal medical tests, perfectly human.
Rico was a son of a bitch, though, and after a few years of managing Trib in a round-and-round career, he got wind of the Mutant Fight League, where mutants were pitted against each other in caged death matches. After talking with a few people in the know, Rico cut a deal. For a couple thousand dollars, he arranged to be out of the training room after one of Trib's fights. Then four men dressed as paramedics came in and gave him a shot that knocked him out.
When Trib woke up, he was in a cage, in a new life. But again, even though it's new, it's still familiar. He's still fighting, and people are still watching him.
He doesn't intend to die, though. Fuck the people who expect it.
Matter Consumption: Trib can consume any type of inorganic or inert organic material without harm to his digestive tract or teeth. It is uncertain why this is, but it appears that very few things pose a problem for Mister Jones to digest. The exceptions being adamantium, vibranium, and diamonds. (Although, he /can/ digest other carbon-based rocks.)
Self Transmutation: For about an hour after ingesting material, Trib can take on the properties of it with all the same limitations. If he takes on the properties of iron, he will become heavier and slower. If he takes on the properties of wood, he will be vulnerable to fire. If applied to his whole body, the effect is diminished, and is more of an armor-like veneer. He is capable of focusing the transformation to one part of his body (usually his hands), which strengthens the area, although when utilizing metals, this slows his response times considerably.
Enhanced Strength: Trib was a pretty strong kid, but his mutation demanded just a little more strength. His jaw is stronger and more durable, capable of biting through anything not noted that he can get his mouth around.
Regeneration: Trib does not suffer any transfer of injury from transmuted flesh to organic flesh. Open wounds will heal, and lost limbs or digits will simply be healed over stumps. It might not be /pretty/, but Trib rarely suffers major injury with the transformation back. This has not been overly tested, though. It is possible that he could be killed or mortally wounded while transmuted.
Power Drawback: If Trib eats something that is a compound of materiel, he has no control over what he calls up. For instance, if he ate a car engine, he would not be able to dictate whether the element he called up was metal, rubber, glass, porcelain, etc. It's like roulette, with horrible, horrible potential results.