Bartok was the owner and CEO of Bartok Industries, a company which specialized in scientific research and development. One of his most promising employees was a brilliant scientist named Seth Brundle, a man who had been a hair's breadth away from winning the Nobel Prize for physics at the young age of 20. Brundle had begun work on a project that he was extremely secretive about, but Bartok allowed him his privacy because Brundle's budget for the project was relatively inexpensive, and also because he knew that he would eventually own whatever it was that Brundle developed. Considering Brundle's undeniable genius, it is highly likely that Bartok felt comfortable humoring the quirky scientist's requests to not be disturbed during the completion of the project.
Martin and the Telepods Edit
Bartok was stunned to learn of the nature of Brundle's death, but was also elated with the telepods themselves. He quickly took possession of the pods (a perfectly legal action, as his company had financed their construction) and all of Brundle's research and notes. He also encouraged Veronica Quaife, Brundle's pregnant lover, to carry the possibly mutated child to term, convincing her that it would be healthy and normal. Whether or not he truly believed this is unknown, but it is highly likely that he was hoping the child would have inherited its father's altered genetic structure so that he could exploit it for research purposes. Veronica died during the difficult pregnancy, but managed to give birth to a seemingly healthy child which Bartok named Martin. Immediately following the pregnancy several tests were performed on Martin, which confirmed that he had indeed been conceived after Seth's fateful teleportation. Bartok told the doctors and scientists who were tasked with looking after Martin that they were not to treat the boy like a laboratory animal, and that they were to care for Martin as if, "He were my very own." Martin grew much quicker than an average child due to the unique nature of his genetic condition, but he also soon proved himself to be just as brilliant (if not more so) than his father. In spite of his apparent liking for the child, Bartok planned and hoped for the day when Martin's dormant insect chromosomes would begin to assert themselves. He also kept the exact details of Brundle's sickness from the boy.
At the same time, Bartok and his underlings were unable to get the telepods to work correctly. Their attempts to do so resulted in several horrific accidents, including a terrible incident in which they teleported a dog. The poor animal survived, but was left horribly deformed and violent. Martin witnessed this failed experiment and was left with a deep fear of the telepods because of it.
After reaching full adult maturity at only five years of age, Martin was convinced by Bartok to continue his father work and to get the telepods to full working order, stating the benefit to mankind that could result. Martin agreed to the proposition and began his work, and eventually succeeded in correcting the system's flaws. He also began to research the possibility of curing himself of his genetic condition. Soon thereafter Martin's fly DNA awakened from its dormancy and started to mutate him. Martin discovered the full nature of his father's illness after watching a video recording that Bartok had kept hidden from him. At this point Bartok revealed that he had always known the full extent of Martin's condition, and that he actually wanted the boy to transform, stating that the knowledge he gained would help him to control the form and function of all life on earth. Martin escaped from Bartok Industries and went on the run with his girlfriend, Beth Logan, and Bartok sent his security team to track them down. He was hoping to be able to utilize the teleporting system now that Martin had corrected it, but was met with frustrating news: Martin had installed a password to protect the system. The first wrong guess would activate a tapeworm that would erase all of the system's programming, rendering the pods useless. Bartok resigned himself to waiting for Martin's return.
He didn't have to wait for long. Beth contacted Bartok when she could no longer handle Martin's rapidly deteriorating condition. Bartok took both her and Martin back to his laboratory, where Martin cocooned himself prior to his final transformation. Bartok began to interrogate Beth in the hopes that Martin had told her the computer's password, but his efforts were interrupted when Martin hatched from his cocoon much sooner than expected and began a bloody rampage throughout the facility, killing many security guards and the doctors who had betrayed his trust. The enraged mutant made his way to the hangar where the pods were housed, where he fought the last of Bartok's remaining security forces and then confronted the corrupt businessman himself. Bartok was forced to shoot Martin when the creature would not stop advancing on him. Martin fell to the ground and pretended to be hurt more than he actually was, and when Bartok walked up to him to administer the killing shot he grabbed the megalomaniac and easily took the gun from him.
The mutant then dragged Bartok over to the computer to activate the system, at last revealing the password: D-A-D. It was then that Bartok realized what Martin planned to do. Martin had indeed found a cure for his ailment, but it came at an awful price. The only way rid himself of his mutated genes was to swap out his genetic material with that of a normal human. Martin would be left healthy and healed, but the other individual would be left a hideous mutant. Unfortunately for Bartok, Martin had chosen him to be the very unwilling donor. Martin dragged a kicking and screaming Bartok in the transmitting pod with him and motioned for Beth, who was standing nearby, to activate the program. Against Bartok's desperate pleas, Beth initiated the sequence. Martin and Bartok were teleported to the receiving pod together, and Martin emerged fully healthy and human, while the mutated Bartok was subsequently transferred to an observation booth in his facility, a helpless and sickly hybrid of man and insect.