Boris Stokic was born and grew up in Zagreb, a large city in Yugoslavia, only child of Luka and Elena, two school teachers. He showed himself to be exceptionally intelligent from a very young age, especially in maths and science. He read anything and everything he could lay his hands on, and learnt lots of languages to help in this.
Boris' parents died during the wars when Yugoslavia split, killed by bombs specifically targeted on their school by the Serbian military. Boris narrowly escaped with his own life. He spent some time in an orphanage, then was adopted by Sgt. Alan Wilson, one of the American marines sent along as part of the UN peace-keeping team.
Boris returned to the US (Columbus, Ohio) to live with the Wilsons (wife: Stephanie) after the war, and continued displaying huge talent in school. He finished high school two years early, and was accepted by Harvard for studies in physics and then later went to MIT for a PhD.
Boris generally learnt to love the US, and became a happy patriot. But, his accent caused him to stand out, and in the American Mid-west he was often teased as a "Commie". He learnt how minorities were treated, and he didn't like it.
Boris' adoptive parents were killed in a car crash on the way to attending his PhD graduation ceremony, which almost destroyed him. He accepted a job in a government weapons research facility in Boston, and threw himself into his career in an effort to get over the loss of his loved ones.
Boris was exceptional, and quickly gained recognition by his superiors as a rising star. When a top-secret project (Atlas, to develop a Tau energy laser) started, he was the first researcher chosen to join the team. Again, he did not disappoint and his work proceeded quickly, far ahead of schedule. Until, one fateful day, Boris was involved in an accident. At a test firing of the laser very late one night, one of the experimental components failed and Boris was struck by the beam. He instinctively threw up his hands to shield himself, but to no avail. He was enveloped by the Tau beam and blacked out.
When Boris came to several hours later, he was still alone in the lab. He was shocked to find that the beam had somehow affected the intra-molecule bonds in his body and given him super powers. His hands had changed colour to deep blue, but with no (apparent) other effects. Boris was too scared to mention the accident to his colleagues, and suffered no apparent ill effect.
Eventually, after some practice he learnt to change the size of his body and even to project bolts of pure Tau energy from his hands. Boris could not explain this at all using his own knowledge, but vowed to investigate further. He did find out that if he was away from the lab and the Tau laser source for too long, his powers ebbed and faded.
Some years later, Boris was witness to a mugging and stabbing while walking home in the early hours from a very late session at the lab. He watched a young black woman beaten and killed by a white street punk, and his rage at what he was seeing caused him to lose control. Boris chased and caught the perpetrator and beat him to a pulp. He regained control just in time before he actually killed the man, and ran from the scene.
After much agonising Boris realised that he could (and should) use his powers for good, and so Minuteman was born. Boris is still studying his own powers, but now also walks the streets every day ready to fight crime and oppression wherever he can. He focussed some of his huge intellect into detective work to help him uncover the worst of what was going on, and is now accomplished investigator. Boris is friendly with the local police in both incarnations, but of course they have no way to connect the two. He always uses his powers to grow into a much larger man when he becomes Minuteman, and this is a very effective disguise.
When he changes into Minuteman, Boris gains a huge amount in stature. He continues with the blue theme, and has a cowl and costume in various shades of blue (with red and white stars). The costume is specially modified to cope with his ability to change shape. He is clearly a different, much more confident man when he changes. His long, flowing golden locks suit his more flamboyant personality, and he has a deep, booming inspiring voice that strikes dread in the hearts of evil-doers.
Minuteman is much bolder - he stalks the streets with a vengeance, searching for opportunities to right wrongs and bring evil-doers to justice. He is scrupulously careful to control his powers; it is the responsibility of the justice system to deal with offenders once he has delivered them (along with evidence). However, Minuteman is often scared by his powers and lacks confidence in himself - the powers may fade and fail him at one point, or at the other end of the scale he often struggles to rein in his anger.
See Minuteman's character sheet.