Real Name: Lance Hunter
Identity/Class: Human, armed with high-tech gadgetry
Occupation: Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) which consists of the UK intelligence and security services (Security Service/MI5, Security Intelligence Service/MI6, Extraordinary Intelligence Service/MI13, Government Communications Headquarters/GCHQ and Defence Intelligence/DI), former head of AFPR (Armed Forces Paranormal Response), Royal Naval Commodore, Director of S.T.R.I.K.E. (Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies), intelligence agent
Group Membership: U.K. Intelligence services, formerly A.F.P.R., Royal Navy, S.T.R.I.K.E., MI5
Affiliations: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Captain Britain (Brian Braddock), Nick Fury, Nick Fury Jr., Joseph Hauer, Agent Keller, S.H.I.E.L.D., Alistaire Stuart, Union Jack (Joe Chapman), Pete Wisdom
Valentina Allegro de Fontaine (Skrull impostor),
Mys-Tech, Red Skull (Johann Shmidt),
formerly Dai Thomas (unfriendly rivalry)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: London, U.K.
First Appearance: Captain Britain I#19 (16 February 1977)
Powers/Abilities: Hunter is an skilled intelligence agent, proficient with firearms and unarmed combat. He is a demolitions / bomb disposal expert.
Weight: 190 lbs.
History: (Captain America: America's Avenger) - Lance Hunter was a member of the Royal Navy who became an intelligence agent, working for the Security Service (colloquially MI5). When the British government decided to set up a homegrown agency to defend the country against esoteric threats in response to the formation of the U.N.-run (and often U.S.-led) S.H.I.E.L.D. , the then Commander Lance Hunter was put in charge of its formation. Mirroring S.H.I.E.L.D.'s format and even uniforms, he established the Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies, or S.T.R.I.K.E. When Hunter was then redeployed, Tod Radcliffe was appointed the agency's next director, but he proved to be a traitor working for the Nazi Red Skull, and was slain by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s head, Nick Fury. Needing someone to assume control of S.T.R.I.K.E. during the Skull crisis, the government put Hunter back in the saddle, since he was already intimately familiar with the agency.
(Captain Britain I#19) - The empty coffins of Captain Britain and Captain America were lying in state in St Paul's Cathedral after they were apparently killed in a bombing run led by Tod Radcliffe. Nick Fury, who had been on one of the planes but unable to stop them from delivering their deadly cargo, sat vigil by the two flag draped caskets. His grieving was disturbed by the arrival of Lance Hunter, who pointed out to Fury that grieving and recriminations would have to wait until after they had captured the Skull and his army. They headed off to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Helicarrier, currently hovering over London.
(Captain Britain I#20) - Shortly after that, Fury and Hunter met with Prime Minister James Callaghan. He berated them for their lack of progress thus far, reminding Fury that he was a visitor in Britain, but promised to co-operate however as best he could to deal with the threat at hand. Hunter assured him that he and Fury, "old hands" that they were, would be able to work effectively together. Later, at S.T.R.I.K.E.'s underwater base, Hunter changed into his combat uniform while he and Fury compared notes on the Skull's recent activities. Hunter told him that they had numerous reports of Nazi activities in the Docklands area, and that they had a large number of agents in the area; until one of them reported something definite, all they could do was sit tight and wait.
(Captain Britain I#21) - Hunter got the shocking news that the Red Skull had kidnapped the Prime Minister, teleporting him right out of Downing Street. The two officers waited anxiously for further news of the developing crisis, but when a call came in from Captain America, still alive, the switchboard operator reported it to them as a crank call. Eventually the Skull's ransom demand came in -- the British government had until six p.m. to surrender or Callaghan would die -- and then the midnight after that the Skull would detonate a deadly germ bomb over London, wiping out millions!
(Captain Britain I#22) - Fury wanted to head out and track down the Skull himself, but Hunter pointed out the futility of trying to do that in a city of eight million people -- they had to wait for a lead. The two men looked out onto the people in the street outside (either they were no longer in the undersea base or they were getting pictures from outside displayed on the wall for them) where the populace were just finding out about the kidnapping of the P.M., but not of the germ bomb. Fury demanded to be allowed to bring S.H.I.E.L.D. in, but Hunter felt the interference of a foreign agency would provoke an international incident, and when Fury persisted, Hunter sedated Fury to prevent his hot-headedness from interfering in the operation to thwart the Skull. With less than an hour to save the P.M., Hunter addressed Parliament, telling them they must choose between surrendering to buy time, or standing firm at the cost of Callaghan's life to show the Nazi that his ambitions were futile.
(Captain Britain I#23) - Parliament voted to surrender, and Hunter delivered the message to the Skull over the phone just in time to prevent the execution of the P.M. and the two Captains, who had also been captured. A few hours later Hunter woke Fury and updated him to the situation. They still hadn't found the hostages, but the germ bomb had been planted in Big Ben, set to detonate at midnight. While Hunter went to defuse it, he asked Fury to oversee S.T.R.I.K.E.'s Command Centre. Unable to locate the device amongst the machinery inside the gigantic clock, Hunter ordered the clock stopped, hoping this would buy him more time. He located the bomb wired to the back of the large hand, but as he scaled the outside of the building the Skull restarted the clock by remote.
(Captain Britain I#24) - With the clock running again, Hunter was left precariously hanging from one of the hands.
(Captain Britain I#25) - Commander Hunter was trying to disarm the bomb while clinging on to the minute hand of the giant clock, when the Red Skull teleported in near to him, followed seconds later by Captain Britain.
(Captain Britain I#26) - While Captain Britain tried to hold off the Skull, Hunter continued to disarm the germ bomb, insisting that "the bomb hasn't been made that I can't pull the pin on." When the Skull nearly fell, Hunter took a few seconds from what he was doing to try and catch him, but the villain was prepared for such an eventuality and demonstrated his jet boots, proudly proclaiming that he would leave them to die when the bomb exploded. Captain Britain tackled him from the sky, leaving Hunter to admit defeat -- he could not disarm the device. Nick Fury and Captain America arrived, both wearing jet packs, and carried their respective counterparts off of the tower, seconds before it struck twelve. However the bomb did not go off -- when Fury had led an assault on the Skull's base minutes earlier, the attack destroyed the computer that would have sent the detonation signal. London was safe!
(Captain Britain I#27) - The four made it to the ground seconds too late to stop the Skull teleporting away. The heroes retired to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Helicarrier, where they made their fairwells. With the American departed, Hunter tried to convince Captain Britain to become an agent of S.T.R.I.K.E., but he declined. Hunter however was silently certain that eventually the law would come down on the self-appointed crime-fighter, and that when that happened Cap would either have to give up being a superhero or work for him.
(Captain Britain I#32) - Only a few days later, a Code Red request for Air Commando support reached Hunter. Captain Britain, in battle with the villainous Lord Hawk, was being carried over the city by the villain's mechanical hawk. Hunter ordered in his men, stating that it was time they repaid the hero the debt they owed him.
(Captain Britain I#33 (fb) ) - Commander Hunter personally apprehended Lord Hawk, who had lost his remote control for his killer bird to Brian Braddock's rival Jacko Tanner.
(Captain Britain I#32) - When Cap finally made it back to Earth he was confronted by both Jacko and Chief Inspector Dai Thomas, who tried to arrest the injured hero. But as he prepared to take him away to the cells, a voice cried out, telling him to stop what he was doing: "Captain Britain will be coming with me -- now!!"
(Captain Britain I#33 (fb) ) - Having made his bold proclamation to Thomas, Hunter took custody of the semi-conscious hero, much to the police officer's annoyance. When Jacko Tanner tried to claim credit for bringing Captain Britain down, Hunter informed him that if the hero didn't recover, Hunter would bring down Tanner in return.
(Captain Britain I#33) - Cap regained consciousness in a medical room in S.T.R.I.K.E. HQ. He informed the hero that their scanners suggested he should recover, and when the hero demanded to know if they unmasked him while he was asleep, Hunter told him he didn't care who he really was; he just wanted him to join S.T.R.I.K.E. Cap fell unconscious again, and Hunter worried that he might be more seriously injured than they first thought. His alarm grew when Cap's amulet began to glow, and then his E.E.G. went flat indicating brain death, even though the heart was still going strong. The doctors and Hunter were perplexed, as they had no way of knowing that Cap's spirit had been summoned to another dimension by Merlin, where he was currently doing battle with a monstrous giant. An injury to the hero's leg sustained in this spirit realm transferred to his real body back on Earth, further confusing them. Hunter ordered the doctors to keep working to save the stricken hero.
(Captain Britain I#34) - The doctors did their best, but had to admit to Hunter it was out of their hands.
(Captain Britain I#35) - Still waiting by the hero's side, Hunter took a call from Dai Thomas, who demanded that the instant the hero was up and about again he be handed over into custody. Hunter told Thomas to "go take a walk till your hat floats!" He told the doctors there must be a reason and a remedy for Captain Britain's coma.
(Captain Britain I#37) - With Cap no longer displaying either pulse or heartbeat, Hunter finally admitted defeat and declared him dead. However the hero's spirit returned seconds later, healing his body's wounds, and then he slipped out of the base unseen, further shocking the S.T.R.I.K.E. commander.
(Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1 (fb) - BTS / Captain America: America's Avenger) - Hunter was posted away from S.T.R.I.K.E. prior to that agency being infiltrated and compromised by the Vixen, and subsequently was promoted twice, reaching the rank of Commodore. He was put in charge of Britain's Armed Forces Paramilitary Response unit after W.H.O. disbanded, providing military support to intelligence agencies facing superhuman threats, and helped draft Britain's Superhuman Registration Act, a less draconian version of a law the U.S.A. had recently passed.
(Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1) - Lance Hunter, Contessa Valentina Allegro de Fontaine (actually a Skrull impostor) and Alistaire Stuart briefed Joseph Hauer, Pete Wisdom, Captain Britain and Union Jack on the details of the British Superhuman Registration Act.
(Captain Britain and MI13#1) - During a worldwide Skrull invasion, JIC Chair Mortimer Grimsdale was exposed as a Skrull impostor and slain.
(Captain Britain and MI13#1 - BTS) - Though presumably a temporary replacement was picked, the choice of a permanent replacement for Grimsdale was put aside until the crisis was averted.
(Captain Britain's twitter) - Lance Hunter was appointed the new JIC Chair as Britain was threatened by the vampire army of Dracula.
(Revolutionary War: Alpha (fb) - BTS) - Many of the U.K.'s heroes united forces to destroy Mys-Tech in what became known as the Battle of London Bridge. With Mys-Tech gone, a lot of dangerous artifacts were left behind, and with MI13's manpower badly depleted by the conflict, Hunter turned reluctantly to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s European division to help clean things up. The revelation that a secret order of immortals had been selling British souls to the demon lord Mephisto on a regular basis, and that they had cops, judges and even prime ministers in their pocket, was deemed to dangerous to become public knowledge and was hushed up, with even MI13 head Pete Wisdom (who had been absent during the battle for unspecified reasons) kept in the dark.
(Revolutionary War: Alpha) - The reactivation and resultant discovery of three hidden Mys-Tech bases across the U.K. prompted Hunter to visit MI13's HQ in the Shard and meet with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Nick Fury Jr and Agent Keller. Together they briefed Pete Wisdom and Captain Britain about the worrying turn of events, and formulated a plan of action to deal with this new crisis.
Comments: Created by Gary Friedrich, Herb Trimpe and Fred Kida.
Tod Radcliffe is introduced as the "Head Honcho" of S.T.R.I.K.E. in CB I#17, yet when we meet Lance Hunter he says he is (1) the director of the agency and (2) he recruited Radcliffe into the organisation. Radcliffe met the P.M. with Fury, which does support him being the head of the agency. Possibly Hunter might have been the man who picked the top agents, but until the death of Radcliffe he himself wasn't a member of the agency, instead working for another, more senior branch of the secret service. This would fit with him wearing civilian clothes when we first see him; once he changes into his para-military S.T.R.I.K.E. uniform the next issue we never see him in civilian gear again. It would also fit with his comments regarding being an "old hand", a "professional". Another explanation is that Hunter set up the agency, and then like, most members of the British military, was rotated onto a new post after a couple of years; in such circumstances he might well have picked his successor. Now, with the country in crisis and the agency in need of a trusted head who knows how it operates, he has been re-instated in his former post.
Hunter introduces himself as Commander to Colonel Nick Fury, and is often refered to as such. This being a Naval rank, it seems likely he is a former member of the Royal Navy, now seconded to intelligence work. (Think Commander James Bond). This would also tie in with his experience in demolitions work mentioned in CB I#23.
I'd have to believe that Hunter was killed during the Vixen and Mad Jim Jaspers coup against STRIKE--Snood.
Certainly, he'd never have allowed it if he was still part of the organisation and was alive. However in the British armed forces, and specifically the Royal Navy, you are assigned to a post for two years at a time. After two years, you may be assigned for a second stint at the same job. Otherwise, or certainly after 4 years (two postings) you are moved on to another job, and possibly promoted if things warrant it. As I suggested in this profile, I'm convinced Lance Hunter would have to have been a Navy man - the rank being the clincher. And his being Director when Tod Radcliffe had been stated as the boss to me suggests he was brought in, did the setting up of the organisation getting it operational in his two years (thus being the guy who recruited Radcliffe) and then moved on, with Radcliffe taking over at his recommendation. When Radcliffe was killed, Lance was put back in the job as the only man with sufficient knowledge of STRIKE to take over during the middle of a crisis. All of which means that he may well have finished his time in post and been stationed somewhere else, maybe even the other side of the world. Seeing how capable he was I doubt Vixen could have successfully usurped control if he'd been around. I know I'm looking for an excuse for him to be alive, and someday return, but I can't let the British equivalent of Nick Fury die off camera and not even rating a mention of his death! - Loki
And subsequent events have confirmed Hunter is, indeed, still alive and well.
Profile by Loki.
CLARIFICATIONS: No known connections to
images: (without ads)
Captain America: America's Avenger (main image)
Captain Britain I#19
Captain Britain I#21
Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1, p3, pan1 (Lance Hunter, the Skrull impersonating Contessa de Fontaine and Alistaire Stuart brief Pete Wisdom, Joseph Hauer, Captain Britain and Union Jack on the registration act)
Revolutionary War: Alpha#1, p5, pan3 (Hunter with Nick Fury Jr.)
Captain Britain I#20-23 (February 3rd-March 16th, 1977) - Gary Friedrich (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Fred Kida (inks), Larry Lieber (editor)
Captain Britain I#24-27 (March 23rd-April 13th, 1977) - Gary Friedrich & Larry Lieber (writers), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (#24, 26-27) & Fred Kida (#25) (inks), Larry Lieber (editor)
Captain Britain I#32-35 (1977) - Gary Friedrich & Larry Lieber (writers), Ron Wilson (pencils), Bob Budiansky & Fred Kida (inks), Larry Lieber (editor)
Captain Britain I#37 (1977) - Larry Lieber, Bob Budiansky & Len Wein (writers), Ron Wilson (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Larry Lieber (editor)
Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1 (2007)
Captain Britain's twitter feed, posted by Paul Cornell during his time writing Captain Britain and MI13, January 10th 2009
Captain America: America's Avenger (2010)
Revolutionary War: Alpha#1 (2014) - Andy Lanning, Alan Cowsill (writers), Rich Elson (art), Stephen Wacker (editor)
First Posted: 12/12/2002
Last updated: 02/16/2014
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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