Isabella Lejos was the beautiful daughter of a female Venezuelan ambassador and grew up with her mother and her husband until she was 16, then it was revealed that she was born from an affair her mother had had with an American man.The husband was furious, and kicked the child out. She lived on the streets for several years until she met Hephaestus. They had a brief affair during which Hephaestus provided for her, giving her means of getting to America, and keeping her afloat.
Is eventually grew spoiled and when she became pregnant, began to demand all of Hephaestus' time, after which he quickly grew weary of him and left. Without Hephaestus to care for her, Is eventually fell back into the streets, resorting to selling and doing drugs to support herself.
Needless to say, Dante came into a harsh world.Living in St. Louis,his mother quickly taught him to sell drugs as well, and he quickly began to excel at it. As a child Hephaestus appeared to him and explained to him the gods, his heritage and everything. By the time he was 14, he came into his powers, and quickly adapted to using pyrokinesis as a weapon, and took to robbery to get what he wanted and eventually ran away from home, taking off towards a camp his mother told him his father often spoke about. While in New Jersey, he met a daughter of Aphrodite, Alice. Dante almost immediately fell in love with her, and used his abilities to make the home for them he never had. The two lived together happily for years, until one day, a manticore attacked their home. Before Dante could fight back, Hephaestus appeared to him and gave him 2 celestial bronze swords to fight with.
He killed the monster, and left with Alice, seeking some place safe, as monsters began to attack them on a regular basis. Alice told him of a small village of demigods in Memphis where they could go. Dante agreed,but only if he visited his mother first. The two came to the shack in which Dante grew up and saw it full of Is' drug addled friends and herself. He could only say with tears in his eyes, "Ma, what's happened to you?" "Your disfigured father, you dirty bastard child.." She pulled a razor blade and cut him on the face. In his anger, Dante lost control of his powers, punching his mother in the jaw with inhuman strength, breaking her neck. Alice didn't know how to react, and just ran out of the shack. Dante went after her, but when he opened the door, he walked directly into Hephaestus. The look on his face was full of rage as his beard smoldered. "You have cut off the hand that fed you, spit in the face of the woman that raised you, and murdered the one who rocked your cradle. You are NO son of mine! Your heart is full of darkness, bitterness, fear, and hate! Now your hand shall be as black as your soul, and as the coals of a forge. Kneel before your father, boy." He then grabbed Dante by the wrist, and he felt pain the likes of which he'd never felt before in his life. He dropped to his knees, crying out in pain. His arm was burning, then healing, and burning again.He began to see visions, of his brothers and sisters throughout history, many of them in his same position. He screamed at the top of his lungs, writhing in pain, but Hephaestus did not relent. Hephaestus stared into his son's eyes, the entire time, as if staring into his soul.
Suddenly he released him, and Dante's arm was now black. The burns had healed, and the pain was gone, but his skin was pitch black, and his arm was now on fire. He stared up at his father, pure hatred in his eyes, and screamed at him, "I HATE YOU!!!!" The god simply turned and walked out the door, approaching Alice outside. She turned suddenly as looked on him in terror. He just stared at her for a moment, before in a painful whisper he said "You look just like her..." He then snapped his fingers and a volcanic rock appeared in his hands. Alice was paralyzed with fear. Hephaestus opened her mouth, popped the rock inside, and closed it, making a shushing noise. He then turned and walked away, eventually disappearing in a blaze of fire. Alice's mouth was melted shut as she was turning into coal and being burned alive from the inside out. She fell to the ground and began to shake wildly. Dante was unable to move until Hephaestus was gone. Then he ran to her. She said a silent prayer to her mother and handed the obsidian ring that belonged to her father to him. Then she collapsed in a pile of ash. In tears, he slipped the ring on, and noticed that when he wore it, his arm was its normal color.
To honor Alice's memory, Dante decided to pay a visit to this village of demigods in Memphis,Tennessee. While there, he came across a particular demigod, Victor Halen, also a son of Hephaestus. When he told him of how their father had favored and protected him caused an instant hatred for him. He listened as Vic spoke at great length about Hephaestus, and when he asked him "And how is your relationship with Dad?" Unable to control his rage, Dante punched him with all the strength he had. Vic fell back and came at him again. The two struggled for a moment, until Dante threw him off with a wall of flames. As he tried to rise to his feet, Dante hammered him with fireball after fireball on his chest, on a scar which seemed like his only weak spot. He seemed like he was about to give out, when a flaming hammer dropped from the sky. Vic snatched up the weapon and slammed Dante repeatedly with it. Defeated, Dante left, watching as a Satyr took Victor away..
Enraged with nowhere to go, Dante took off east. Despite his arm being disguised by the ring, people would often treat him harshly and be cruel to him, often to his dismay, as he developed a violent demeanour, often killing anyone or anything he came across that he saw as a bother.
While taking refuge in West Virginia, he'd heard of a group of demigods who would offer him a safe-haven and somewhere to hone his abilities.