The Synthetic Man project was developed in the 1940's by Phineas Horton, to create a synthetic lifeform, through the use of Horton's invention the Horton Cells. The program at the time did not reach very far considering the technology of the time. The program was later jumpstarted by SHIELD, using the technology of the 21st century and the Horton Cells from the WW2 era. SHIELD was able to create a AI similar to JARVIS and installed it into a prototype version of synthetic man. During HYDRA's return the Synthetic Man was released by SHIELD scientists and used to defeat the HYDRA agents. The AI in the Synthetic Man was later put to use by being a occasional agent of SHIELD, and later a member of the Avengers along with his siblings Volton, and Tara under the new alias the Human Torch.
The Synthetic Man possesses the mental ability to control ambient heat energy and the physical ability to envelop his entire body or portions of his body with fiery plasma without harm to himself. (Plasma is a super-heated matter that exists in the atmosphere of stars).