While Icon, Rocket, and Static protect Dakota as superheroes, the vigilante Hardware is Milestone’s version of the Punisher combined with Iron Man.
While Icon, Rocket, and Static protect Dakota City as traditional superheroes, the vigilante Hardware is Milestone Comics’ fusion of the Punisher and Iron Man. With a clashing philosophy, the armored Curtis Metcalf takes the law into his own hands as he takes on street crime, metahumans, and other threats to the city. Now that Hardware is set to return to comics later this year in Milestone’s highly anticipated relaunch, a refresher might be in order.
Although some fans might be vaguely familiar with Hardware’s brief appearances on Young Justice: Outsiders, there is much more to his character. Originally created by Milestone Media’s team of Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan, Hardware first debuted alongside the initial titles published in 1993 such as Icon and Static. Unlike fellow local heroes like Icon, Curtis Metcalf relied on his own ingenuity and unique motivation in his war on crime.
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Before putting on the armor and taking up an entire arsenal to fight crime, Curtis Metcalf was a brilliant inventor employed by Alva Industries, run by Edwin Alva. When he wasn’t given his fair share for the work he had done, Curtis took advantage of his skills and investigated Alva. After learning that his boss had secretly been a crime lord, selling his creations to contribute to gang violence, Curtis suited up and became Hardware to fight back. Without any powers, he utilizes his self-made technology to set things right in Dakota and put an end to Alva.
Occasionally teaming up with Static, Rocket, and Icon, along with DC Comics superheroes such as Steel and Jaime Reyes’ Blue Beetle, Hardware evolved over the years. Although he didn’t officially join the superhero group known as the Shadow Cabinet, he became a friend to the team and partnered with them from time to time. Instead of fighting on such a grand Justice League-level scale, Curtis has tended to stick to city-wide efforts. Not long after he became a superhero, he took on his own protege in Tiffany Evans, who was originally ordered by Edwin Alva to defeat Hardware. Proving herself to be skilled with the armor that Curtis had created, he saw an opportunity to show her a better way to use the suit. When he told her the truth regarding who Alva really was, she joined his mission as Technique to take him down.
Hardware’s pursuit of justice continues in the Milestone relaunch later this year, with Hardware: Season One #1 releasing on Tuesday, August 10 in print and digital. Until then, fans can check out a preview of everything that’s to come in Milestone Returns #0: Infinite Edition, available now digitally and releasing in print on Tuesday, May 25. For the time being, Hardware’s first seven issues can be read on DC Universe Infinite.
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