Metcalf is a worker who was handpicked since childhood to work for Edwin Alva, the wealthy owner of Alva Technologies. Seven years after making Alva Tech even more successful than they had been before him Metcalf thinking he is heir apparent or at the very least is worthy of sharing in the profits talks with his boss only to be told he is just a cog in the overall machine and nothing special. What’s more he can’t stop working for Alva because his contract is so iron clad. Investigations on his part show that his boss is a big time criminal with connections just about everywhere. When he hands this info over to the police and authorities nothing happens that when he decides to take matters into his own hands.
He creates a suit of armor using Alva’s resources and decides to put an end to his lucrative criminal network himself. He is quite successful so much in fact that Alva hires a super powered assassin to deal with him, Reprise.
The analogy of the caged bird and how it will never escape made me think of an artist or writer stuck in contract with a major corporation and how yes they are occasionally given the illusion that they are “free” because they are let out of their “cages” but they are trapped and don’t even realize it.
When this issue came out there was an interview with McDuffie who likened the story of Hardware to what was happening to him and his peers in the corporate machine of comics. This breaking away was literal in the real world and it’s pretty much the same for Metcalf. Honestly this link between reality and fiction is ingenious to say the least.
I also found the character very relatable with his job and the ungratefulness found there easily being just about anybody’s job. Sure you work your ass off, do overtime, you may even be the best there is BUT make no mistake your nothing in the grand scheme of things you are just a simple replaceable piece of a larger machine. Unless you are, your own boss your corner…she is very dark :( something to think about for all aspiring writers and artists out there.
The action scenes and story complimented each other well and I can definitely see how this title was the beginning of the “dakotaverse”. McDuffie knows his stuff.
Denys Cowan’s art matches the story
I am not a fan of the art style used here.
Some people may think of Hardware as an Iron man knockoff but they would be wrong to think so as the similarities are superficial.
The title that started a revolution can it honestly be given anything else’s than a 4.5/5 Highly recommended