Kinda lame, but that's what happened. ;)
The underlying backstory, hinted at in his description, is that his spines are actually an extremely bad case of explosive, regenerating zits, covering most his body. Kinda gross, but that's what it was.
Because of this condition, he kept most of his body uncovered. Also, it is an exothermic reaction, causing him to lose a lot of body heat. Hence the ear muffs. For a long time, he also wore a scarf; it was kind of a crazy look – no shirt, but ear muffs and a scarf. Of course, with his armors up he appears as a splotch, and you cannot see any of his costume (see above). Eventually I traded the scarf for permanent shoulder spines. I guess the dark armor helped keep him warm.
I should have gotten him to level 50. He's been around since summer 2005. Forty-five isn't too bad, only missing his level 47 and 49 powers. He would become an incarnate at 50, and I would have used Cardiac in his Alpha Slot. That would lower the endurance cost of all his powers. With both the Death Shroud and Quills damage auras, plus his armors, Assault, and Tactics, Ion was a major endurance hog.