Publisher: Milestone Media
Created by: Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan
1st appearance: Hardware #1, 1993
Real Name: Curtis “Curt” Metcalf
Aliases: Black Iron Man, Cog in the machine, Hardware 2.0, Alva’s successor
Team Affiliations: Shadow Cabinet
Legal Status: US citizen with no criminal record
Height: 6’2″ (188 cm) Weight: 210 lbs. (95 kg)
Hair Color: Black Eye Color: Brown
Skills and abilities: Curt is considered a scientific prodigy and genius level inventor. He is the premier mind in his world for technology such as metalurgy, nanotechnology, computer science.
He is also a skilled martial artist.
Power Suit: grants him superhuman strength, flight and resistance to injury. Retractable sword in wrist mounted gauntlet. He can also fire powerful blast of concussive, heat and omni power from arm mounted cannons.
Plasma Whip: an expandable whip made of telescopic metal chai, ten inches long when collapsed, up to 15 feet long when fully extended. It can be charged at it’s tip with high energy Plasma.
Dobie (Digital On-Board Integrated Electronics): State of the art computer system and intelligence network present in his suit and ship.
Voice synthesizer- Used to mimic sounds and voices the armor has come into contact with. It can also translate his vice into any other language.
Skylark: A customized flying car able to travel at speeds of 400mph, has a HUD display, adjustable headlights ranging from utraviolet to infrared, it’s also bulletproof.
Born in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Dakota to a cop and his wife. As a child he was more interested in taking things apart to see how they work than sports which was a problem for his very active dad. By age twelve he had caught the attention of Edwin Alva the founder of Alva Technologies. Alva gave him scholarships so he could achieve everything he wanted. He graduated High School at fourteen and got his first degree by fifteen. Curt grew to idolize Alva and looked up to him as a father figure. Over the next few years he earned six more degrees. As thanks all Alva wanted was for Curt to come and work for his company which he did.
He got his own private staff, unlimited funding and anything he wanted. All his pioneering inventions went on to make Alva Billions of dollars. After several years he tried to get a profit of his inventions but Alva flat out refused. Humiliated and angry he tried to get work at a rival company but found his contract iron clad, Alva owned his past, present and future works. Unable to leave he sifted through Alva’s records and realized he was an international criminal; He laundered drug money, he had connections to organized crime, he secretly manufactured illegal weapons and sold them to foreign governments. Curt sent the information to the cops but nothing happened. Realizing he was alone he used Alva’s own resources to create the identity and technology of Hardware to put an end to his criminal enterprise. He was approached by Icon to repair his ship and gained access to his extraterrestrial technology.
Though he battled Alva and his allies he also found friends in Icon and Rocket, Static shock with whom he saved the people of Dakota. After battling Technique Alva deduced his identity and proposed to give him everything he wanted, share of profits, promotion to vice president and also make him “heir apparent” and stop his illegal activities in exchange for protecting Alva technologies. He reluctantly agreed. When Alva was later killed he became president and went on to create his own company. He soon tired of heroics and briefly retired from active duty handing the mantle of Hardware to Technique.
When the Dakotaverse was fused with mainstream DC he was once again actively operating as Hardware and allied with the Justice League now a member of the shadow cabinet. He later helps Blue Beetle battle the system. Recently he has become somewhat of a mentor to Static Shock providing him with help and technology and even an internship to star labs when he moves to New York.