Jonathon Turner's father was a mechanic, and Johnny spent a lot of time in his garage watching him ply his trade. So he learned how machinery worked from an early age, and was able to help out as soon as his boyish hands were strong enough. But repairing and reconstructing someone else's creations never really captivated him. He liked to mess around with bits and pieces to invent his own designs -- sometimes to his dad's dismay. For example, on one occasion Mr. Turner walked into the garage to discover that Johnny had turned a customer's motorcycle into a suit of mechanized armor.
Johnny's Emergent abilities are so perfectly in line with his predilections that they helped reignite the debate about the link between a person's mindset and the types of power they develop. He can manipulate machinery, and make it take on new forms. Hence his metallic costume can become a wide arsenal of tools and weapons.