Originally James Darrell Edwards III was an officer of the NYPD. During his time as an officer, he chased down an extremely fast alien, disguised as a human. When he finally caught up, the unknown alien gave James a serious warning concerning the Earth, before jumping off a building. Some time later James was interrorgated by a fellow officer. Once this officer left the room, a man in a black suit walked in and explained to Edwards that the human he had chased down was really an alien in disguise.
Then the unknown man dressed in the black suit takes James for a ride. They go to a nearby pawn shop owned by yet another alien, named Jack Jeebs. Edwards then points out the weapon that the alien he had chased down had owned. Once Edwards explains all of what he knows, he is then neuralyzed and given an MIB card which has an address on the back. He arrives at the building, and goes through a training program for recruits. He suceeds in initiative tests, though Zed believes he has a problem with authority. K remarks that he does too, and that Edwards was surely fit enough for the job. Edwards is reluctant to join, at first not even believing anything, but after seeing the Worms, a strange race of aliens, he begins to understand their purpose. The next day he returns, and becomes Agent J, the newest MiB recruit.