UF II cover - return of HardcaseHARDCASE

Real Name: Thomas "Tom" Hawke

Identity/Class: Alternate reality (Earth-93060/"Ultraverse") "ultra"/nanotech-powered human;
    English citizen by birth;
    presumably naturalized American citizen (or dual citizen)

Occupation: Warrior;
    former actor, pizza delivery boy, vigilante

Group Membership: Formerly LA Pizza, Ultraforce (Black Knight/Dane Whitman of Earth-616, Contrary/Mary?, Ghoul/Johnathon Martin, Pixx/Penny Burka, Prime/Kevin Green, Prototype/Jimmy Ruiz, Siren/Jennifer Pearson, Topaz), the Squad (D.J. Blast/Jamal Bliss, Forsa/Carlos Jiminez, Starburst/Linda Warren);
    possibly another pizza company (King or Crown pizza, perhaps; see comments)

Affiliations: Alternate (Regina), Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali, Mr. Blackrock (or Blackrook), Mayor Bradley, Celia Brady, Det. Chuck Brown, Officer Jamal Brown (deceased), Cayman (Evan Murayama), Choice (Amy Tran Kwitny), US President Bill Clinton, Senator Bob Dole, Entity on the Moon, Feline, Flood (Leann Butler), Flygirl, Sol Gerstein, Herb Green, Amber Hunt, JFK Junior High School (Canoga Park) students/staff/faculty, Mrs. Jiminez and 2 children (all presumably deceased), Nancy Kaplan, Los Angeles Police Department, Lukasz, Mantra (Lukasz/Eden Blake), Ogma, Pressure (Valerie Sharp), Prototype (Bob Campbell), John Riley, Solution (Dropkick/Troy Wilde, Outrage/Vurk, Shadowmage/Aera, Tech/Lela Cho), Starburst (Linda Warren; comatose; former lover), Strangers (Atom Bob/Bob Hardin, Electrocute/Candy, Grenade/Hugh Fox, Lady Killer/Elena LaBrava, Spectral/Dave Castiglione, Yrial, Zipzap/Leon Balford), Alec Swan (aka Firearm), post-reality warp Ultraforce (Ghoul, Hellblade/Jefferson Kotto, Amber Hunt, Iron Clad, Maxis, Prime/Kevin Green, Prototype/Bob Campbell, Ripfire/Matt McKinney/Chi'arr, Topaz), Warstrike/Brandon Tark, Wilma
    heroes of various realities;
    formerly Boneyard, Darren (producer), "Kilo" (roommate), Danny Velez, the being that would become Demonseed;
    briefly allied with Death Dance, Meathook, and Trouble (
Karl Morris)

Earth-616: Avengers, Black Knight (Dane Whitman), Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Crystalia Amaquelin, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Starfox (Eros), Thor Odinson, Vision ("Victor Shade")

Enemies: Aladdin (Leopold, Malick (or Malik), Snowdon), Argus, Atalon, Al Baker, Boneyard, Choice Corporation, Darkwave, Demonseed, Dirt Devil/Joe Huskin, Carol Dickey, Bob Dixon, Doc Gross, Duey, Entity from the Moon, Fifi, Fire People, Foxfire (Aladdin agent), Genius (Ramon Chavez), Grip (Brandon Blake), Hardwire, Headknocker (Larry Pryce), J.D. Hunt, Interceptors, Pete Jensen, Jason Kuttner, Lord Pumpkin, Mr. Destructo (Matt Maple), George Moorpark, Rex Mundi, Rune, Necromantra (Marinna/Thanasi), Nemesis (combined Infinity Gems), NM-E, Omega Team (Gun Nut, Needler, Trouble/Karl Morris), Operator (Sandra Trent), Organism 8.5, Primevil, Quattro (Book, Death Dance, Gate, Meathook), Rafferty, Trauma, Trouble (Karl Morris), Turf (John Beckman), War Eagle, Zulus gang; unidentified armored criminals looting  the Los Angeles County Museum, unidentified winged robotic insectoids of Aerwan, numerous unspecified Los Angeles area criminals (including arsonists, terrorists, and anti-Zionists);
    possibly monster of Silverlake, terrorists of Tarzana

Reality-616: Grandmaster (En Dwi Gast), Loki Laufeyson, Sersi

Known Relatives: Mrs. Hawke (mother, first name unrevealed), unidentified father;
    unidentified child with Choice (unborn when last seen);
    apparent adult son (unidentified; see comments);
    Demonseed (nanotech creation)

Aliases: None (I'm sure he received some insult/taunt nicknames along the way, but I didn't keep track of them)

Base of Operations: Unidentified pocket limbo dimension somewhat associated with Reality-93060;
    formerly Los Angeles, California, Earth-93060;
    formerly Ultraforce headquarters, Miami, Florida;
    formerly an office in Santa Monica, California;
    formerly the Squad's base in Century City, California;
    formerly Sebastopol, California;
    formerly unspecified location in England;

First AppearanceHardcase#1 (June, 1993)

hardcase-hawke-uf1pg13pan3.jpgPowers/Abilities: Composed of nanotechnology, each of Hardcase's cells are intelligent, adaptive nanomachines. He can repair himself from damage. His cells can recall previous experiences and replicate certain energies to which they have been exposed.
    On at least one instance, he could replicate the energies of the Infinity Time Gem he had used to travel back in time to a point to which he had previously traveled via the Gem.
    Eventually he learned to access and control other nanotechnology. Under unspecified conditions while trapped in an unidentified pocket dimension, he even created from his own nanotechnology a companion that eventually became fully sentient.
    Due to his nanotech nature, he does not need to breathe oxygen.

    Hardcase is superhumanly strong to an uncertain degree (perhaps lifting 25-75 tons) and durable. In addition to being durable, he can regenerate even from severe energies via his nanotechology. For some reason water helps expedite his healing process.hardcase-hawke-uf0cov-face.jpg

    Unable to fly, Hardcase could instead leap great distances, covering up to a mile per jump.

    He had enhanced senses (at least auditory/hearing and olfactory/smell). His hearing was sufficient to allow him to scan a crowd for erratic heartbeats or hearing the ticking of a timer amongst the sounds at a music concert. His olfactory senses allowed him to isolate the smell of C4 amidst a large audience and stage group.

    He briefly wore a spacesuit gifted from the Alternate (Regina), which enabled flight, communication with others wearing such suits, and survival in the cold/vacuum of space. The space helmet was stored within a pack on his back when not in use, while the rest of the spacesuit integrated with his suit.

    He briefly used a high-tech motorhome/recreational vehicle (RV).

    At one point, he had a red sportscar with the license plate "HRDCASE."

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6'2"); originally closer to 5'8" to 5'10"
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 225 lbs.); originally closer to 150 to 160 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blond

History: hardcase-hawke-uvyodos1p1pan1.jpg
(Skybox Ultraverse card#76: Hardcase
(fb) - BTS) - Tom Hawke's parents were English, and he spent his youth growing up in England.hardcase-hawke-uvorigins.jpg

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb) - BTS) - Tom Hawke knew what it was like to be a little kid and watch his father beat his mother.

(Hardcase#18 (fb) - BTS) - As a teenager, Tom Hawke removed a Coke bottle from a bonfire and dropped cold water on it; the explosive reaction made an impression on him.

(Hardcase#21 (fb) - BTS) - Tom Hawke had an uncomfortable relationship with his father who was apparently some sort of merecenary and also apparently turned to Tom when he needed money.

(Hardcase#7 (fb) - BTS) - Even before gaining his powers, Tom Hawke was a health nut, and he specifically did not drink alcohol.

(Skybox Ultraverse card#76: Hardcase (fb) - BTS) - Tom's desire to become an actor brought him to America. He first settled in Sebastopol, California.

(Freex I#7/2 // Ultraverse: Origins: Hardcase (fb)) - Tom Hawke came to Los Angeles looking to become an actor. 

    He became a pizza delivery man to help pay the rent.hardcase-hawke-uvyodos1pizzahat.jpg

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb)) - An actor trying to break into Hollywood, Tom Hawke was a driver/delivery boy for "LA Pizza" and was a roomate of "Kilo," who tended to party hard and trash their apartment, despite Hawke's requests to clean up.hardcase-hawke-hc4pg9pan2.jpg

(Hardcase#4 (fb) / Ultra Monthly#1 (fb) - BTS / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb)) <October 12, 1991; two years before the main story> - Tom Hawke was doing a reading for a new TV series when he suddenly felt a surge of power that ripped his clothes apart.

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - Though he did not get the part, the embarassed Tom was given the phone numbers of the women in the room. 

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - Hawke went straight home, but found that only his gym clothes still fit him. He then turned on the news to see if anything like this had happened to anyone else. There was news about three other people in the Los Angeles area who had experienced bursts of power, although each case was different. There were unconfirmed rumors of other events.

(Skybox Ultraverse card#76: Hardcase (fb) - BTS) - Tom began having dreams about the moon.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb)) - Hawke made the news publically displaying his new superhuman strength. The next day he was deluged with calls from producers and agents wanting to work with him. However, Tom was inspired to become a ultra hero.hardcase-hawke-uvyodos1p6pan4.jpg

(Hardcase#4 (fb)) - Tom contacted three other empowered people -- Jamal Blass, Carlos Jiminez, and Linda Warren -- and arranged a meeting at "--oscanella Italian Kitchen," where he told them they all had something to gain and that if they pooled their resources, they could get major media exposure, which could help all of their careers.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (fb)) - Hawke suggested they form an ultra-hero team, noting Ultratech's Prototype (Bob Campbell) as an example of how such publicity could be good for business, and they might actually do some good.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - Hawke met with Blass, Jiminez, and Warren out in a desert to showcase and test their powers in preparation for a press conference to announce themselves to the world. Linda Warren's boyfriend, Pete Jensen, was angered when Linda showed concern when Tom landed roughly. 

    The next day, Hawke and the others agreed to help teach a lesson to the Zulus gang, who had threatened Blass' family; they made a pact that they would never knowingly maim or kill another human being. 

    Hawke and the others confronted and safely overpowered the Zulus without hurting anyone, warning them to go straight. The LAPD showed up and arrested Hawke and his allies, who spent the night in jail. hardcase-hawke-uvyodos2p9pan1.jpg

    The next day, the group was brought before the mayor and the chief of police. Though they had acted as vigilantes, they had been calm and prepared and not used any unreasonable force; these things impressed the authorities, who arranged for them to be able to fight crime under the city's supervision (vs. being prosecuted if they continued independently). 

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - Mayor Bradley gave the Squad sanction to help out the police on cases where cops might get killed.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - Soon after, the mayor introduced them publicly as LA's newest crimefighting team, the Squad. They met with immediate public approval, and they received costumes based on the clothes in which they had been arrested.hardcase-hawke-ultramonthly-cov.jpg

    Seeing the public's reaction, the media jumped at including the Squad everywhere possible.

(Hardcase#4 (fb)) <Late 1991> - Soon after, the Squad (DJ Blast/Blass, Forsa/Jiminez, Hardcase/Hawke, Starburst/Warren) was a national sensation, on the cover of almost every magazine. 

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - They were also guests on almost every talk show.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - The Squad were sent into scenes which the police wished to avoid. Their ability to take down the opposition without casualities pleased the police, the city, and the public. 

(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Squad shut down a number of crack houses and did a lot of community service, which was greatly appreciated by the local police. 

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - The squad was deluged with mail. On slow days, they sat around the coffee room, going through letters. 

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - Struck by the similarity to his own past (and after reading about 20 other similar letters), Hardcase confronted an abusive husband, George Moorpark, scaring him into promising to stop the abuse and warning him he would be back if it ever happened again. 

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - Upset by this, Tom asked Linda to meet him that night on the beach, and he shared how there were so many other things with which they could be helping and what he had done to the abusive husband. When she acknowledged having envisioned such actions of her own, he revealed his attraction to her. After he confirmed he was not a deviant, they kissed passionately, unaware Linda's estranged boyfriend was watching. 

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - The Squad's success led Ultratech to look into a replacement for their public agent, Prototype (Bob Campbell)

(Hardcase#13 (fb) - BTS) <September, 1991> - Aladdin began extensive surveilance of the Squad.

(Hardcase#4 (fb)) - The Squad's career started with charity work for the disadvantaged.

(Hardcase#4 (fb)) - The Squad started getting some advertisement work, which paid nicely.hardcase-hawke-hc4p12pan1.jpg

(Hardcase#4 (fb)) - The Squad got themselves a nice office in Century City along with a secretary to handle all the mail they were getting.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2 (fb)) - Tom and Linda expressed their love for each other, but Linda revealed she had not yet gotten Pete to move out yet.

    Tom was distraught to see a news report of the husband he had threatened having murdered his wife and children before committing suicide.

(Hardcase#4 (fb)) - The Squad moved on to bank robbers; defeating normal criminals seemed too easy. 

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#3 (fb) - BTS) - The city made the Squad heroes in the eyes of the public through carefully orchestrated attacks on crack houses and hostage situations, although they spent most of their time doing public relations work. 

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#3 (fb)) - The Squad spoke to high school students near downtown LA.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#3 (fb)) - Tom filmed a car commercial.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#3 (fb)) - When the acquittal of the police involved with Rodney King incident were found not guilty, LA erupted in violent rioting; the Squad was ordered not to get involved as officials feared they might do more harm than good without police supervision. The Squad pretended they had never heard these orders and tried in vain to bring peace and order to the town. Hardcase lectured the people about racism and how they were re-directing their anger to hurt innocents, but he was largely ignored. Though the Squad was frustrated by their lack of success, Officer Jamal Brown thanked them for being level-headed and credited them for preventing things from getting even worse.

(Ultra Monthly#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Squad took on everything from arsonists to anti-Zionists.

(Hardcase#5 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase bought his mansion on the beach because it was secluded.

(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Squad thought they were the only ultras on the planet. 

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - Hardcase and the rest of the Squad discussed their mixed feedback following the riots, but ultimately felt they were doing some good. They agreed to meet with the US government as requested, but they agreed that they would not work for the federal government.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - The LAPD informed the Squad of brutal slaughters of 11 ultras in the city in the last 10 days; this disabused them of the notion they were the only ultras, and also put them on alert as they might be next. 

(Hardcase#4 (fb)) <first week of March, 1992> - Agents of the US federal government group Aladdin met the Squad, telling them they were doing great work in LA, but that their country could put them to better use. Despite assurances that they were the good guys and wanted to help them live up to their full potential, the Squad was leery about working for some government agency of which they'd never heard. Tom voiced this opinion and politely declined the offer.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - Tom promised Linda nothing could prevent him from being with her. 

(Ultraverse Premiere#0/4) - When terrorists took hostage a class of students at Canoga Park's JFK Junior High, the Squad arrived to stop them. Hearing news reports of their arrival, the terrorists instructed the authorities to call the Squad back, but the Squad had already gone in. Working in pairs, Hardcase and Starburst, and DJ Blast and Forsa took out a number of the terrorists. Their leader ordered his men to kill some of the kids as a warning, but the Squad united to protect the kids and take them down without a single fatality.
    Observing this, Rex Mundi ordered NM-E to kill the Squad as brutally as possible.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - As the police took away the criminal, Hardcase and the Squad regained their confidence and their belief in what they were doing.

(Hardcase#4 (fb)) <March 10, 1992; one week after the Aladdin meeting> - In San Fernando Valley, California, Forsa had a housewarming party.

(Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - Linda's ex-boyfirend Pete sold lies about the Squad to the tabloids. 

(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS / Hardcase#4 (fb) / Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - NM-E (whose identity was not known at the time of the attack) burst through the roof and attacked the Squad out of the blue.

(Hardcase#4 (fb)Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) - Before anyone could react, NM-E had slain half of the people in the room. Hardcase dove at the creature, which smashed him out through another hole in the roof. Forsa launched the creature out of the house into a nearby drainage canal. As DJ Blast, Forsa, and Starburst rushed to the scene, NM-E smashed Hardcase to the ground, stunning him.

(Hardcase#1 (fb)Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (fb)) Hardcase -- noting how he was hurting for the first time in six months and that he was supposed to be invulnerable -- took stock of a dislocated arm, some cracked ribs, and one eye that was swollen shut...and that this unidentified thing was killing his friends (his teammates in the Squad, DJ Blast, Forsa, and Starburst). Summoning what was left of his courage and getting mad, Hardcase prepared to attack anew, but DJ Blast warned him that the creature was too dangerous and that he should get Starburst and get out of there as he was going to cut loose. Appreciating that Jamal's power could take out half the neighborhood, Hardcase grabbed Starburst and leapt away, trying to yell his friend's name but was drowned out by the explosion. He crashed into a distant pool.

(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS) - The news reported how DJ Blast and Forsa had perished, while Starburst remained in critical condition, with little hope of recovery. 

(Hardcase#1 (fb)) - A doctor told Hardcase Starburst had received serious brain damage and that it was unlikely she'd ever recover. 

(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS) - Retiring from super-heroics, Tom Hawke accepted high-paying offers and began to play himself (Hardcase) in Hardcase: The Movie. 

(Hardcase#13 (fb) - BTS) - While Hardcase was away shooting his first movie (Undercover Agent), Aladdin removed Starburst/Linda from the coma ward  for 48 hours, brought her to their Groom Lake facility, and removed the ultra-center from her brain. They combined this with brain tissue harvested from Forsa/Carlos to empower Amy Tran Kwitny as Choice (they also removed a portion of Choice's brain so they would have room to place the new sections).

(Hardcase#14 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase also starred in the Exterminator IV.

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - Tom kept the Squad's secretary, Celia Brady, because she was such a good worker.

(Hardcase#9 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase had relationships with other women, but had not allowed himself to get emotionally involved with anyone.

(Solution#6 (fb)) - Practicing with her new cybernetic powers in hospital, Tech (Lela Cho of the Solution) flicked through TV channels without using a remote control, seeing Hardcase on one channel before an audience. 

(Prime I#1 (fb)) - Al Baker of Ultra Monthly Magazine gave a TV report on ultrahuman activity, beginning with footage of Hardcase leaving Cedar Sinai Hospital, where the ultra had been visiting ex-lover Starburst. Pushed for comment, Hardcase became abrupt. In the studio, Baker and TV host Carol Dickey publicly speculated he had something to hide.

hardcase-hawke-hc1p8pan5.jpg(Hardcase#1 (fb) - BTS) - Hawke heard of new ultras appearing. 

(Hardcase#1) <June, 1993> - After playing a few scenes, Tom's planned break was interrupted by co-star Jason Kuttner, who argued that despite being Hardcase's sidekick in the movie, he deserved to have the starring role as he had more acting experience. Hardcase disagreed, but told Kuttner to feel free to talk to the producer. 

    Subsequently, a police officer Jamal Brown asked Tom to autograph a poster for his son; as Tom did so, Officer Brown told him that the Squad had really helped them out and that some of his pals on the force were wondering when he was coming back to help them on the streets. Tom told him Jamal had given that up because, even as an ultra, he was no good in a serious crisis; he retained this position despite the officer reminding him of all the good he had done. After Jamal reminded him that police officers dealt with the life-threatening risks, the officer was called away to a bank robbery; he asked Tom to come along, but Tom declined as they were supposed to shoot the next scene in a few minutes.

    After he went on set, Tom heard the sounds of nearby real gunfire and told the producer (?) Darren he needed to help with the bank robbery, Darren told him not to as it was too expensive to delay the shoot. Feeling the responsibility, Tom told Darren to bill him and leapt to the site, finding the ultra Head Knocker holding Jamal by the neck and warning the bank to pay him or else they would end up like those he'd already defeated. Hardcase ordered Head Knocker to put the officer down, and Head Knocker threw Jamal at him. As Jamal slammed into him and knocked him off his feet, Hardcase realized Jamal was dead. After some struggle, Head Knocker smashed Hardcase out of the building, causing Hardcase to realize Head Knocker was even more powerful than he was. 

    Refusing to fail again, Hardcase furiously grabbed a police car and smashed Headknocker with it and then battered him into submission. Only calming down when Headknocker was unconscious, Hardcase realized that there might be many others out there like this and decided that retirement was out of the question.

    Hardcase subsequently announced he was back to Nancy Kaplan for GNS Live.

(Hardcase#1 - BTS) - Rex Mundi was annoyed that NM-E had failed, that Hardcase was still alive, and that even more ultras were now showing up. 

(Hardcase#13 (fb) - BTS) - Breaking free from Aladdin's Brazilian facility, Choice -- based on Linda Warren's subconscious/dormant memories -- sought out Hardcase.

(Hardcase#2) - Tom Hawke attended the funeral of Officer Jamal Brown, where he met Jamal's brother, Chuck, also a police officer, who didn't blame Hardcase for failing to save his brother but instead thanked him for preventing even more officers from being killed. As a group of kids came up for Hardcase's autograph, Chuck gave Tom his card and told him to call if he ever needed anything. Afterwards, via phone, Tom's agent, Sol Gernstein, tried to console him about Off. Brown's death and encouraged him that his recent activities had made him highly sought after. Hardcase broke off the conversation when Choice arrived at his place. She told Hardcase she needed his help as the Choice Corporation had manipulated her memories and were able to control her mind; when he agreed to help her, a pair of Interceptors (armored warriors secretly employed by Choice Corporation) attacked. Seeing the missiles they had launched, Hardcase grabbed Choice and leapt away, though his house was struck. Hardcase attacked the Interceptors and disabled the armor of one, though the other captured Choice in an energy net. As the second Interceptor tried to escape, Hardcase leapt into the air and tackled him, incapacitating his armor and freeing Choice. She caught Hardcase as he was falling with the Interceptor, unwittingly preventing him from saving the Interceptor, who fell onto the highway in front of a truck, which ran over the Interceptor.

    Hardcase and Choice then returned to his home, where they questioned the Interceptor, who claimed that his group took care of paranormal lunatics. He accused Choice of being crazy and dangerous, but Hardcase -- not believing the man because he had attacked and blown up his house without warning -- threw the man to the side. Hardcase then resolved to take Choice to Choice Corporation headquarters to find out the truth, one way or another.

(Hardcase Premiere Edition (fb) / Firearm I#2 (fb) - BTS) - LAPD Det. Chuck Brown alerted Hardcase of a potential ultra terrorist, Mr. Destructo (ex-commando Matt Maple), who had blown up some buildings and then was blackmailed the city by threatening to blow up more buildings.

    Brown and Hardcase researched FBI records on likely war veteran candidates, but another lethal explosion had Hardcase inspect the site. Using his enhanced hearing for a fast and guilty heart rate, Hardcase chased the bomber, who stopped him using a rocket-propelled grenade, although Hardcase easily shrugged off any injury and stopped Mr. Destructo's getaway. The criminal refused to reveal where the next bomb was, so Hardcase went on a hunch to the Hollywood Bowl where musician Jonny Domino (who would later become the ultra Night Man) was playing. Hardcase used his enhanced senses to sniff for a bomb when he heard the timer. With seconds to spare, he punched through the stage, grabbed the bomb, and leapt far into the air away from the audience.


(Hardcase Premiere Edition) - The bomb safely exploded away from people. Hardcase fell back to earth, smashing again through the stage, conscious but slightly dazed.

(Hardcase#9 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase was immediately attracted to Choice, but held back due to Linda, as well as due to Choice's problems.

(Hardcase#3) - To stop Hardcase and Choice from reaching the Choice Corporation (and its CEO, Bob Dixon, and his ally J.D. Hunt), Rex Mundi sent his Omega Team (Gun Nut, Needler, Trouble) after the pair, and they soon were conducting surveillance of Hardcase's mansion.

    Unaware of this, Hardcase met with local police, including Chuck Brown (actually the Alternate posing as Brown), to whom he introduced Choice. However, when Hardcase told "Chuck" how she had been a prisoner of the Choice Corporation and that the Interceptors had come to bring her back, Choice -- compelled by controls implanted by J.D. Hunt -- denied all this. Hardcase questioned Choice, who refused to talk about it further, and "Chuck" advised him not to go up against the Choice Corporation without hard evidence, as they had powerful lawyers. After Hardcase asked Chuck to tell him what they found out from the Interceptor, the press arrived with questions about the recent attack.

    Hardcase grabbed Choice and leapt away to a quiet beach to talk further with Choice, and she noted that she had been mentally conditioned and did not remember her past. Hardcase began to doubt her, but she detected the impending assault from the Omega Team and she picked him up, flew away, and summoned shields to protect them. Gun Nut blasted Hardcase, shredding his shirt and leaving him in a smoking crater, after which Needler nailed him with a trio of needles that delivered a powerful jolt into his chest. Trouble then kicked Hardcase way out into the ocean, but Hardcase returned and knocked out Trouble. Though Needler paralyzed Choice, Hardcase then hurled Trouble into Needler and then punched Gun Nut, taking out both remaining opponents. 

    After Hardcase pulled the needles out of Choice's abdomen, she recovered quickly, she explained how her conditioning prevented her from telling anyone but him the truth about the Choice Corporation. Still uncertain, he agreed that someone was out to get her and agreed to let her stay with him until they could figure things out. 

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - The Strangers traveled from San Francisco to ask Hardcase for advice on being a hero.

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - Some woman (the Alternate/Regina) let the Strangers (Atom Bob, Electrocute, Grenade, Lady Killer, Spectral, Yrial, Zipzap) into Hardcase's mansion, assuring them he wouldn't mind. She departed shortly before Hardcase's return.

(Hardcase#3) - When the press arrived, Choice told them that the attackers were assassins from a rival corporation. When Rex Mundi's agents (posing as government agents) arrived to collect the Omega Team, Hardcase departed with Choice, returning to his mansion, where they discussed how so many ultras were suddenly popping up. 

(Hardcase#3 / Strangers#3) - Hardcase offered to discuss Choice's past while they relaxed in his jacuzzi, but their plans were interrupted when they found the Strangers waiting for them. 

(Hardcase#4) - Hardcase initially threatened his visitors, but they assured him they came in peace. They told him of the woman who had let them in, which just further confused Hardcase. Wanting to relax and take a shower, he asked them to reschedule, but Electrocute convinced him to talk to them; he told them to hang out by the pool while he got a shower.

    Refreshed, he apologized for being rude, and the group introduced themselves. After reviewing his origins and history, Hardcase considered that the attack on the Squad had come soon after they had rejected Aladdin's offer, and he wondered if they might have sent the creature to get rid of them. After the Strangers noted a run-in with some government agency, Hardcase discussed the government agents who had taken his attackers, and wondered if Aladdin had sent both the would-be assassins and the clean-up crew. After Electrocute had noted how Aladdin had enhanced people to serve as ultra agents at their Groom Lake, Nevada facility, Hardcase, Choice, and the Strangers decided to visit Groom Lake.

    The next day, they arrived via Lady Killer's jet, and Hardcase complimented it, noting he should get one; her rental van took them the hour drive to Groom Lake, but as they approached, they were stopped by apparent police officers, who denied any knowledge of Aladdin and told them it was a secured military reservation. As they drove away, the one "officer" reported to the base how he had just turned back what he believed to be Hardcase, Choice, and the Strangers, and the base noted that they would send Bravo Team to check up on them. 

    Soon after, they parked the van by the side of the road, and Hardcase suggested they split up into groups of 2-3 to spread out and check things out; Choice flew with Hardcase. Dirt Devil took out Lady Killer and ZipZap, Foxfire nailed Spectral and Yrial, War Eagle captured Atom Bob, Electrocute, and Lady Killer, and Foxfire subdued Hardcase and Choice.

(Strangers#4 (fb)) - Hardcase, Choice, and the Strangers were brought inside Aladdin and imprisoned behind an energy field that kept any of those within the pen from using their powers on those without.

(Strangers#4) - When the heroes revived, Aladdin agent Leopold (?) offered to release them if all nine agreed to join Aladdin, but Hardcase refused, after which Leopold told him Aladdin had nothing to do with the Squad's deaths, but admitted that they had made use of their DNA to continue their powers, noting specifically that the force field was derived from Forsa; he clarified that they had exhumed the deceased Squad members' bodies and then buried them thereafter.

    Finally, Grenade reasoned that the indirect effects of their powers might affect the others, and he used Hardcase to richochet shrapnel at the others, and Electrocute did the same against the field's controls, shorting it out. After breaking out, Hardcase convinced the others of the need to destroy Aladdin's DNA lab, and ZipZap located the lab. The group fought their way past the Aladdin agents, conventional and super-powered (including Grip), after which Hardcase, Choice, and Electrocute destroyed the database containing the Squad and others' DNA. As Leopold arrived with reinforcements, Atom Bob negotiated a peaceful departure for the heroes, with both sides agreeing not to retaliate against each other.

    As they split up, Hardcase noted how the whole experience had opened his eyes to the big picture.hardcase-hawke-uf0p4pan9.jpg

(Flood Relief#1 (fb) - BTS) - Wilma (?) set up a fundraiser for Hardcase benefitting children.

(Flood Relief#1) - Hardcase participated in a fundraiser, throwing a monster truck 92 yards, to raise $450,000 for a youth fund. Afterwards, he spoke to reporters, telling them how important he felt the cause was.

    Later, when a powerful flood -- unwittingly caused by the young Leann Butler mutated and manipulated by the sentient Darkwave wetware -- struck the midwest, especially the region around Des Moines, Iowa, Hardcase was one of the first -- alongside Zipzap of the Strangers -- to arrive to help, followed by Prime and Prototype (Jimmy Ruiz). Hardcase helped try to get people to higher ground to escape the rising waters as well as placing and reinforcing walls of sandbags, which eventually were overwhelmed. When they discovered Leann floating high in the air, the heroes tried to rescue her, only to be assaulted by the immense Darkwave. While his strength was futile against Darkwave, who threatened to crush him, Hardcase figured that Leann might be Darkwave's battery, and he guided Zipzap to drain her via a vortex, after which Prototype caught the falling Leann. Hardcase took and set down Leann, then helped Prototype use Prime's cape to trip Darkwave, after which Prototype vaporized the water monster. 

(Firearm I#2 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase worked with movie stuntman and former Navy Seal Danny Velez.

(Firearm I#2 (fb) - BTS) - Researching Velez's disappearance, investigator Alec Swan was informed of a possible connection in the disappearance of Maple (aka Mr. Destructo, as both had been former military).

(Firearm I#2 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase was reportedly fighting a monster in Silverlake.
    He was not there with Alex Swan sought him out. It is unrevealed whether the activity had already occurred and Hardcase had moved on, or whether the reports of the activity were erroneous.

(Firearm I#2 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase was reportedly tackling superspies in Tarzana.
    He was not there with Alex Swan sought him out. It is unrevealed whether the activity had already occurred and Hardcase had moved on, or whether the reports of the activity were erroneous.

(Firearm I#2 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase learned of and opposed armored criminals involved in an art heist at the Los Angeles County Museum.

(Firearm I#2) - As Alec Swan arrived, Hardcase was pinned down by the armored gunmen. Swan assaulted the warriors, injuring and possibly killing one of them. Though Swan was eventually stunned by them, he gave Hardcase time to recover, and he smashed the two armored me together before they could assault Swan. After Swan finished off the last warrior, Swan began to introduce himself, but Hardcase -- identifying Swan by the Firearm alias he hated -- told him he didn't care who he was, as he didn't have any  powers and could have been killed. Hardcase arrogantly stated he hadn't needed or wanted his help, but after stating he had nonetheless saved Hardcase, Swan moved on, asking for information so they could get out of each other's lives. Hardcase vaguely recalled Velez and only knew Maple as Mr. Destructo, but did note that both men were a bit overweight.

(Hardcase#10 (fb) - BTS) - Sometime thereafter, Aladdin began monitoring Hardcase without his knowledge.

(Hardcase#5) - Hardcase and Choice came to see Det. Brown to clear up a couple of mysteries, but when they mentioned his being at their house the other, he told them he'd never been to their house, and further discussion led them to suspect it had been an imposter. Brown then told them about the ultra killing local high-level crime figures, and Hardcase offered to help against that ultra in exchange for a chance to speak with Bob Dixon, head of the Choice Corporation, without incident. 

    After Brown arranged the meeting, Hardcase explained to Dixon they wanted him to know who his friends are, and that this wasn't a social call. Hardcase then instructed Dixon to leave Choice alone and to pay for the damage done to his house. When Choice was clearly unable to speak or even respond following a phrase spoken by Dix "C'est le femme," Hardcase grabbed Dixon by the jacket and yelled at him, asking what he had done to her; but Dixon warned him that their meeting was being filmed via hidden camera and that he would press charges if Hardcase continued to threaten him. After restoring Choice's speech with the word "thaw," Dixon told Hardcase he was not in a position to demand anything; Hardcase in return told Dixon that Choice was under his protection and that if anything happened to her, all of the lawyers in the world wouldn't save him.

    As Hardcase and Choice headed back to his mansion, Choice shared that her will to resist was getting stronger every day she was away from Dixon. Hardcase told Choice he had enjoyed the last week with her despite the craziness and invited her for a night out on the town. She agreed, but they were interrupted at his front door by the Alternate, who introduced herself and told him of Rex Mundi and offered him information to help his continued survival. Meanwhile, Mundi met with the West Coast crime boss Sandra Trent, aka the Operator, who sent Hardwire after Hardcase at Mundi's request. 

    Hours later, when Tom and Choice arrived at Karly's, he assured her they would get in because they were celebrities. They danced for hours, trying to forget the strange woman and her strange warnings as well as their recent struggles, after which they went to dinner at Spago and enjoyed conversation about their interests and feelings (avoiding mention of ultras or the Choice Corporation). When they stopped at a gas station for Choice to use the restroom on the way home, Hardwire attacked Hardcase, slicing through his abdomen and leaving him incapacitated. As Choice approached the fallen Hardcase, Hardwire leapt out behind her.

(Hardcase#6) - Apparently having an out of body experience as he began to succumb to his wounds, Hardcase futilely tried to warn Choice as Hardwire approached behind her. Nonetheless, she sensed him in time to put her shields up and blast him away, after which she flew Hardcase to the hospital. Linda/Starbust then apparently appeared before him, telling him to go back, as he still had some important work to do.

(Hardcase#6 (fb) - BTS) -  Hardcase was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Due to his superhuman durability, the doctors were unable to perform surgery on him.

(Hardcase#6) - Hardcase was pleased to see Choice standing over him as he awakened in the hospital.

(Hardcase#6 - BTS) - Hardwire identified the hospital to which Choice had taken Hardcase, but Sandra Trent told him he would have to wait until later, as the media would be there soon. 

(Hardcase#6 (fb) - BTS) - Hardwire began rapidly healing on his own within hours, during which time he began consuming a large amount of water.

(Hardcase#6) - As doctors marveled at his healing ability and noted that it must cause dehydration, police allowed Det. Brown (actually the Alternate in Brown's form again) to visit him; at the same time, they told reporters they could not visit Hardcase until he approved it, which wasn't likely to happen. hardcase-hawke-hc7pinup.jpg

    After asking the doctors to leave, the Alternate noted Hardwire's monofilament powers, after which she reverted to her standard form and identified herself as Regina. She offered to reveal information about Choice's past if Hardcase helped her. After criticizing Hardcase's amateurish mistakes, she gave him Hardwire's location, promising to give them more information the next evening. The real Det. Brown arrived to question them as Regina headed out. 

    Hardcase and Choice awaited and then ambushed Hardwire as he was eliminating Triad gang members, who were rivals of Trent. The rest of the gang members came out shooting after hearing their fight, and the police showed up soon after. When Hardwire menaced the police, Harcase dislocatd both of Hardwire's shoulders, incapacitating him. 

    Returning home exhausted, Hardcase couldn't sleep as he wondered about the vision of Linda, questioning whether it was a(n) hallucination. 

(Hardcase#7 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase came up with a plan to free Choice from her corporate masters. 

    Hardcase received around 700 letters a day, most of it in favor of his returning to heroics.

(Hardcase#7) - Hardcase and Choice stopped a carjacking duo, punching out one of the guys after he shot him in the face; departing, he told one of the intended victims to call the police and let them know he would be in his Santa Monica office if they had questions. 

    Once there, he introduced Choice to Celia, Sol, and his attorney, John Riley, and they discussed options on how she could break away from the Choice Corporation. Afterwards, Celia shared the fan mail info, and Sol discussed the near completion of the script for Undercover Agent II and how next Tuesday Darren would need him to start post on "Hardcase: The Movie."

    Hardcase and Choice subsequently met with the Alternate at the Roosevelt Hotel, who told them that Hardcase, like the Strangers, had gotten his powers from a Jumpstart (just like the Strangers), which was caused by energy waves being emitted from the moon, She further noted that these had been occurring for centuries, that she expected another Jumpstart very soon, and that he had never heard of other ultras before himself because they had all been assassinated by the same thing that destroyed the Squad. She identified that monster as NM-E and that the man behind it was Rex Mundi who was the most dangerous man on Earth. Promising the full secrets of his powers, Choice's past, and 5 million dollars each, she convinced Hardcase and Choice to join forces with her other agents.

(Solution#3 / Hardcase#7) -  Regina introduced Hardcase and Choice to the Solution (Dropkick, Outrage/Vurk, Shadowmage, Tech), and she convinced them all to travel to the Moon to get the thing generating the Jumpstarts before Mundi's crew could. 

(Hardcase#7) - Outrage took an immediately antagonistic approach to Hardcase, calling him and Choice amateurs, although Regina clarified that they were talented amateurs.

(Hardcase#7 - BTS) - Regina spent the next few hours explaining the details of their mission to her six allies. 

(Hardcase#7) - Upon returning home, they felt the effects of the explosion of the Exile's Stronghold island base, including an earthquake-like shockwave, followed by a tidal wave. Hardcase and Choice rescued as many people as they could, and Hardcase apologized to a boy that he had not been able to save his cat, Fluffy. Noting the explosion was likely tied to the lunar object, Regina then appeared and urged the two to follow her into her subterranean base, where she showed them the ship they would fly, noting the Solution was already aboard. 

(Solution#4) - Regina brought Hardcase and Choice into her ship, after which she clothed them in her spacesuits and explained their functions. 

hardcase-hawke-sol4p5pan4.jpg(Break-Thru#1) - As people were afflicted by the "Moon Madness" from the Entity on the Moon -- to which Amber Hunt was attuned and seemed to be the cause -- Hardcase and the Solution arrived to convince the Strangers that Amber Hunt had to be saved, as she could lead them to the truth about their origins, and possibly about all ultras; Hardcase and the Solution helped the Strangers fight off Quattro until Mundi directed Quattro to head directly to the moon. 

    The Solution summoned Regina's ship so they and Hardcase and Choice could head to the moon.hardcase-hawke-sol4p15pan1.jpg

(Solution#4) - When Hardcase noted his concern that both Regina and Mundi had spaceships but that both were sending others to do their work, Outrage mocked him as a coward, and Tech stepped in to prevent a fight from escalating. Dropkick complimented Hardcase on his raw abilities and offered to train him in fighting, if they survived. 

    Soon after Mundi's forces slowed down and left their ship to confront Regina's, and Hardcase and his allies met them in a spacefight. Hardcase battled Trouble and then Meathook; meanwhile, Gate -- per Mundi's orders -- delivered material to Regina's ship that began to consume its hull. Both forces eventually retreated to their ships, where Hardcase's group discovered their ship was being destroyed; Regina warned them to be prepared.

    The ship carrying Hardcase, Choice, and the Solution exploded as it approached the moon.

(Break-Thru#2) - Hardcase and his allies survived, presumably via the Alternate's powers, and she instructed them to protect the Entity from Mundi's agents. They soon joined up with the arriving Strangers and Prototype (Jimmy Ruiz) and fought off Quattro as they attacked Prime (who was weakened by having his life force tapped by Mantra so she could survive on the lifeless moon). The Alternate then instructed Hardcase and the Solution to leave the Strangers to that fight and instead seek out the Entity. Mistaking Hardcase's intent, Prime attacked him nut was unable to communicate due to his sealed space form, and Hardcase's return punch caused Prime's weakened form to break down (having realized her mistake, Mantra saved Prime). 

    The Entity assaulted Hardcase with energy blasts as he approached it, and Hardcase urged Choice and Tech to take advantage of his distracting the entity to download its data. As the two women approached the Entity, however, they were blasted away by Yrial who warned them of how dangerous the Entity was. Enhanced by Prime's power, Mantra immobilized Hardcase, Choice, the Solution, and Strangers, telling them that the Entity was the "black box" or memory core from an alien ship that had crashed when the moon was still molten, and that it had been sending energy to Earth to empower beings to come to it and supply the power to send its data back to its homeworld. As the heroes argued over what to do, they were ambushed by Quattro. hardcase-hawke-bt2p36.jpg

    Mantra restored Prime's power and sent him to help the other heroes, and while Yrial was forced to leave the Entity to help the Strangers, Prototype tried to download the Entity's data but was overwhelmed by it. Ultimately Mantra, Shadowmage, and Yrial joined forces to link the minds of all of the heroes and the Entity, seeing the Godwheel and worlds, including the world from which the Entity had originated; in the process, the Entity exploded and sent its data back to its homeworld. 

    With the "Moon Madness" over, the heroes debated what to do, and Hardcase advised them that they, ultras, were a new order, now free of the Entity's purpose/needs, and that they would need to find the rest of the answers and work together.

(Prime I#8) - Hardcase was with the other heroes when Mantra took Prime aside and provided a magical link so he could summon her if he needed her.

(Hardcase#8) - Hardcase and the Solution stole Mundi's ship and departed the moon, leaving Quattro and the Omega Team stranded on the moon, laughing at the payback but appreciating they would probably get home on their own. As the heroes could not control the ship that otherwise seemed to be on auto-pilot, Regina informed them they could and should use their suits to fly to California as soon as they hit the atmosphere. Mundi blew up the ship even before it reached the atmosphere, but Regina's suits protected them, and Hardcase and Choice returned to his Malibu mansion; after assuring Hardcase that it was Mundi and not Regina responsible for the explosion, the Solution returned to New York.

    Upon their return, Choice -- perhaps catalyzed by her contact with the Entity -- began to remember some of her past. They found a briefcase full of money from Regina and a note advising them to go to Aladdin's Groom Lake facility for answers on Choice.

(Hardcase#10 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase chose to first deal with matters of his career. 

(Hardcase#10 (fb)) - The next day, Hardcase began looping dialogue for "Hardcase: The Movie."

(Hardcase#10 (fb)) - The following day he was doing interviews and was on a late night talk show.

(Hardcase#10 (fb)) - The evening after that he was a presenter at the Screen Actor's Awards.

(Hardcase#10 (fb)) - When Choice told Hardcase she thought he was going to help her, he told her he would but that he had a career and couldn't chase down some rumor that may or may not be true; this brought a tear to Choice. He admitted to her that there was something about her that concerned him, but what he couldn't figure out. When he mentioned Linda, Choice advised him that Linda would probably never recover. 

(Hardcase#10 (fb)) - Hardcase moved on to filming his next movie, Undercover Agent II.

(Hardcase#9 (fb)) - Tom struggled with his lines in Undercover Agent II, while Choice became jealous when he participated in a romantic scene. When he explained that he hadn't made any advances on her because she was staying with him and had problems, Choice encouraged him with a kiss. He further explained about his girlfriend Linda, comatose for over a year, but Choice told him "life goes on."

(Hardcase#9 (fb) - BTS) - After Hardcase completed Undercover Agent II, he and Choice investigated Turf, an ultra who was killing celebrities. 

(Hardcase#9 (fb)) - Turf ambushed Hardcase, nearly smothering him in Earth until Choice came to the rescue (although the dazed Hardcase initially saw her as Starburst). Turf was overpowering them until Hardcase figured he needed continued contact with earth to maintain his exoskeleton and powers.

    When they got back to Hardcase's mansion, she led him into the shower, and Hardcase stopped resisting his desires for her.hardcase-hawke-hc9p22pan2.jpg

(Hardcase#9) - Hardcase visited the comatose Linda Warren, telling her of his recent activities, including his relationship with Choice, for which he apologized as he told her he needed someone beside him who understood his life. He asked her forgiveness as he departed.

(Hardcase#9) - Linda shed a tear but remained otherwise unresponsive.

(Hardcase#10 (fb) - BTS) - Aladdin's monitoring of Hardcase continued into its eighth week without his knowledge.

(Hardcase#10 (fb)) - As Tom had a 3 week break from being needed on the set, he agreed to start looking into Choice's past, and he had her tell him everything she could remember. When she noted she was confused my memories of living in Chico, California during the same time she was growing up in Vietnam, and about a memory of having gone to Bidwell High School, Tom made the connection that this memory came from Linda Warren. 

    Tom asked her about her connection to Aladdin, and Choice revealed that Bob Dixon's company, NuWare, had given her her powers, but that they might have gotten them from Aladdin. Hardcase angrily told her they had to pay for what they did to her, as well as for how he suspected they had done it. 

    Hardcase and Choice then changed into their costumes, got into his car and began driving toward Aladdin's base.

(Hardcase#10 - BTS) - Aladdin agent Malik recruited Hardwire and Headknocker to join Aladdin's agents Dirt Devil, Foxfire, and War Eagle in taking down Hardcase and Choice.

(Hardcase#10) - The Aladdin agents ambushed Hardcase and Choice en route.

(Hardcase#11) - Tired of having his property destroyed, Hardcase whipped his car around to avoid the attackers, but War Eagle caught up to and destroyed the car; the explosion launched Hardcase some distance away, although Choice escaped it and came out fighting. Hardcase weathered Dirt Devil's assaults and took him out first. He then threw Dirt Devil at War Eagle and Foxfire, and while War Eagle caught Dirt Devil, Hardcase flattened Foxfire. 

(Hardcase#11 - BTS) - Unable to keep up with the fight, Hardwire and Headknocker returned to the Groom Lake facility to await them there.

(Hardcase#11) - As Hardcase and Choice questioned Foxfire, Dirt Devil and War Eagle returned and attacked anew, but Hardcase ripped off one of War Eagle's wings and Choice subdued Dirt Devil with an eyeblast. They headed to Groom Lake, but stopped shortly before arriving there to rest so Choice could recharge her powers.

    Aladdin suspected what was happening, and Hardwire and Headknocker confronted them there.

(Hardcase#12) - Headknocker punched Hardcase away and then hurled a boulder at him, but after they battled inconclusively for a few minutes, Hardcase knocked him away, punched down Hardwire, and then took Choice and leapt away. When they had some time and space, Hardcase reconsidered that if they tried to force information from Aladdin, the group could come after them legally; and they might even be branded terrorists for attacking government agents. He and Choice then met back up with Foxfire, Dirt Devil and War Eagle where -- knowing Aladdin was monitoring them -- he announced they were not continuing their efforts to invade Aladdin; the agents agreed to let them go in peace, but promised to authorize their termination if they ever tried again.

(Hardcase#12 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase and Choice went to the GM Hotel in Las Vegas.

(Hardcase#12) - Hardcase contacted the Solution and asked to meet with Tech, and a meeting was made for 2 days from then. He and Choice then spent that time gambling, seeing shows, having dinner, and doing whatever they could to put their troubles out of their minds.

    Tech then arrived, and she used her powers to tap into Aladdin's computer data base and transfer the data to a special computer. Tech was apalled when she learned what they had done, but Hardcase insisted she tell them what happened even when Tech warned him that the information might drive them both mad. Hardcase correctly surmised the involvement of Starburst, and Tech admitted that Aladdin had taken a portion of Choice's brain and replaced it with a portion taken from Starburst, the portion that controlled her powers. 

    Hardcase and Choice screamed in rage.

(Hardcase#13) - Tech urged Hardcase and Choice to keep it together, and they reviewed the files Tech had arranged in chronological order. The information revealed Choice's full past and the fate of Starburst.

    Hardcase comforted Choice and vowed to make Aladdin pay, though he wasn't sure what he could do as he wasn't willing to just murder them. After Tech suggested they give the files to the media and expose Aladdin, Choice cheered her newfound freedom before suddenly vanishing (secretly taken to Xurina on the Wold by some of the Aerwan). Hardcase futilely called for her.

(Hardcase#14) - Tech tried to help calm Hardcase, and she reminded him of the flat world they had glimpsed while confronting the entity on the moon, leading him to suspect Choice might have been taken there. 

    While Tech's teammate Shadowmage confirmed Choice had likely been taken to the Wold (her world, although she could not to determine by whom or to where specifically), Rex Mundi sent to Hardcase's house some nanotech envelopes, which grew limbs and spread out through his home, allowing Rex Mundi to observe everything happening there. Hardcase subsequently brought both Shadowmage and Tech back to his mansion so they could eliminate Aladdin's bugs and try to further search for traces of the magic that took Choice; the first goal was successful, but there was no further evidence of Choice. Hardcase then parted ways with the two women, telling them he would try to find Choice on his own.

    As Mundi prepared NM-E to confront Hardcase anew, Hardwire approached Hardcase's mansion, but Hardcase departed to meet up with Det. Brown before Hardwire arrived to confront him. After encouraging Det. Brown to put out a report to all law enforcement agencies and make the media aware, Hardcase visited the still comatose Linda at Green Rest / Green Meadows and prepared to share what he had learned with her.

(Ultraforce I#0A) - When crowds rioted over the resurrection of the ultra Ghoul, Hardcase appeared telling everyone present if they had a problem with ultras to take it up with him. When asked a series of questions about ultras, he told them he was just an actor with ultra-powers...trying to do the right thing, but that ultras were not accountable for each other. When asked if the government should regulate ultras, he replied, "They can try. There are too many of us, with too much power, and too many different personalities. The only ones who could possibly regulate ultras are ultras." However, he added that such a plan would never work and that he would never be part of such a plan. Hardcase then departed with Ghoul, unaware that this broadcast had inspired Prime to try to form and lead such a group.

(Ultraforce I#0A (fb) - BTS) - To try to keep the public in support of Ghoul, Hardcase told the crowd Ghoul was going to help him investigate an assault on a Naval weapons. 

(Ultraforce I#0A) - Hardcase discussed with Ghoul how the public, as well as government officials and even covert groups such as Aladdin, were afraid of them but hoped they would be their saviors. After telling Ghoul the grim fate of his former Exiles teammates, Hardcase sympathized with him, revealing how he had lost his Squad teammates. As Hardcase and Ghoul arrived at the Naval base and Hardcase looked around, they were unaware that they were observed by Contrary along with her student Pixx. After they were blamed for the slaughter by a grieving widow who noted how ultras had behind the attack, Ghoul spoke with the corpse of her dead husband, Frank, who revealed the assault had been perpetrated by the Fire People under the direction of Atalon.

(Ultraforce I#0B) - Hardcase jumped in front of Naval gunfire aimed at Ghoul -- who had advanced despite orders to halt after the widow had demanded he revive Frank again, permanently. The marines trusted Hardcase and asked if he knew anything, but before he could reveal what he knew, Contrary teleported both Hardcase and Ghoul aboard her ship. Hardcase was irate, telling Contrary that now the marines would think he had something to hide. When Contrary introduced herself, noting she ran a private school to train ultras, Hardcase encouraged her to go public to show people that someone was taking responsibility for new ultras. He was surprised when Contrary told him about Prime's "Ultraforce," a police force by ultras for ultras, inspired by Hardcase, and he was concerned that Prime's erratic behavior and recent appearance and behavior might be counter-productive. After observing via Contrary's monitors how Prime and Prototype were fighting over who would lead Ultraforce, Hardcase still refused to help train ultras and prepared to depart to straighten this mess out; before he could leave, however, he heard how Ultra Magazine's Al Baker was further inflaming things by hinting that Hardcase was conspiring against them. After which Pixx revealed that an Air Force base had been destroyed by their gravity-manipulating attacker. 

(Ultraforce I#1) - Aboard Contary's ship, Hardcase raged against news reports questioning his role in the Ultraforce Prime and Prototype were attempting to form, as he was unwilling to lose another team like the Squad. When Prime and Prototype got into another public fight over the matter, Hardcase, angrily smashed a console, noting that they were going to force the government to crack down on ultras. 

(Ultraforce I#1 (fb) - BTS) - When Hardcase smashed the control, he removed a vital piece of equipment that prevented them from navigating the ship.

(Ultraforce I#1) - When Hardcase demanded to be let out of the ship so he could stop the young heroes before they turned the public completely against them and potentially start a civil war between humans and ultras, Contrary argued that she wanted to speak to the youths, too, and she offered to work with him and fly him there faster. Not trusting her due to her secrets and the knowledge she mysteriously possessed, he refused to work with her and told her to stay away. Contrary agreed to return him to the ground, but mocked him for trying to control her when he wasn't willing to lead the ultras; she further taunted him that she would reach the youths first, but he mocked her in return. When Pixx found she could not navigate the ship, Hardcase taunted them with the piece of equipment he had taken before running off. Realizing if they teleported Hardcase back he would likely do more damage, Contrary let him go, but noted that his power, ruthlessness, and pride all made her want to know him better.

    Hardcase leapt his way to the Redstone Military Arsenal in the hills of Alabama, the site of the most recent attack by the Fire People.

(Ultraforce I#1) - By the time Hardcase arrived, Atalon had already splattered Prime's head (actually only the head of the giant false body he generated and with which he surrounded himself) and dropped Prototype. As Atalon caused a rockslide intended to crush the fallen young heroes, Hardcase leapt in its path, catching the largest rock, using it deflect the others, and then hurling the rock away and leaping to the surface with Prime and Prototype; as he did so, he chastised them as arrogant punks and noted he should leave them there. After making sure Prototype was alive and then removing his helmet to make sure he got some air, he cursed Prime as a schmuck for getting himself killed and then raged over having lost another comrade in arms. He continued to voice his anguish over having lost the Squad until Contary arrived, along with Pixx, Ghoul, and Topaz of the alien Godwheel's realm Gwendor, who Contrary had recruited after she had become stranded on Earth. When Contrary announced that these young ultras needed leadership, Hardcase questioned whether she could convince the others she was the one to lead them, and she noted she would if no one else would step forward. While Topaz objected to the idea of serving alongside men, Hardcase was shocked when Prime -- with an intact head and apparently only a headache -- also argued that he wouldn't follow her. After Prototype also refused to be led by a woman, both the military and the media arrived, and Hardcase realized they needed to make a positive message. He thus silenced the arguing others, reminding them of the subterranean threat they faced and reluctantly accepting the mantle of leader of the group. He then turned and told the others to smile as they introduced the world to Ultraforce. 

(Ultraforce I#2) - As the leader of Ultraforce, Hardcase (alongside his teammates) met with US President Bill Clinton, Senator Bob Dole, Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali, and Mr. Blackrock of the press at the White House. Hardcase concluded his explanation of their goals and asked that the world back them up and give ultras the benefit of the doubt. When Bill Clinton questioned what exactly backing them up meant, Hardcase attempted to explain their minimalist goals, but Contrary interrupted, stating that they wished access to government files and forewarning of any action involving ultras. Hardcase calmed Dole by insisting they didn't want any power struggles between ultras and the government, silenced Contrary when she argued otherwise, and calmed and supported both Prime and Prototype when they competitively aruged that they wanted to protect the world without being attacked. Contrary subsequently put Hardcase in position to agree that she was the best one to make good citizens of frightened youngsters with powers. After Boutros-Ghali questioned the lack of international representation, Hardcase assured him he would contact ultras everywhere for global cooperation; however, when Hardcase mentioned Mantra as part of this plan, Topaz assumed her combat form, blamed Mantra for putting her on Earth, and demanded Hardcase take her to Mantra immediately. Hardcase tried to explain that he would after the current crisis was resolved, but it was Pixx who ultimately calmed Topaz. Hardcase then spoke to Blackrook, requesting that the media turn the spin on ultras form negative to positive, noting how his Hollywood experience had taught him that the media could pick and choose facts to make people feel good or bad about something; at Blackrook's request, Clinton and Dole relucantly agreed to help support them.hardcase-hawke-uf3p14pan1.jpg

    Hardcase subsequently spoke at a press conference, outlining Ultraforce's mission statement, starting with taking out the subterranean ultras raiding the US nuclear missile bases. 

(Freex#14) - Seeing enemy Atalon targeting nuclear Russian weapon sites, Contrary teleported Hardcase from (unspecified) negotiations to Ultraforce headquarters. Prime and Prototype arrived separately.

(Ultraforce I#2) - Later, when Hardcase instructed Topaz to accompany Prime on a mission to recruit aid from Mantra, Topaz balked at the idea of going anywhere alone with a man with no other women to ensure that the truce is maintained. Pixx defused the conflict by convincing Hardcase to instead allow her to go with Topaz to find Manta. Contrary attempted to manipulate the frustrated and youthful Prime and Prototype, though not without Hardcase noticing. Contrary subsequently transported Hardcase back to her ship in the midst of a less-than-successful recruiting meeting with the Strangers, and when Prime and Prototype insisted they invade Russia without US government approval to stop the subterranean's assaults, Contrary provoked a conflict between them and Hardcase. When Hardcase confronted Contrary, Prime's teenage understanding and emotions led him to attack Hardcase. Realizing her miscalculation in her manipulations of Prime, Contrary instructed Prototype to stop Prime from destroying her ship. Prime felt betrayed and left, and Hardcase -- noting they had just lost their most powerful member -- hoped that the subterraneans' weren't as powerful as they thought..

(Prime I#16) - At a press conference, Hardcase was questioned about Prime's scandal surrounding an alleged interest in young boys. Hardcase assured the reporters that Ultraforce was intact, but if Prime had done anything wrong, he would be held accountable by the rest of Ultraforce.

(Prime: Gross and Disgusting#1 (fb) - BTS) - When the hospital said there was nothing more they could do for Linda (Starbust), she was moved to a suburban nursing home.

(Prime: Gross and Disgusting#1) - As Hardcase visited Linda, the room suddenly came alive, and he was restained by Organism 8.5. Doc Gross instructed Hardcase he would only get Linda back if Hardcase brought him Prime; to assist/monitor, Doc Gross send his Minature Poodle-mutate Fifi to accompany Hardcase. 

    To get Prime's attention, Hardcase draped an immense tarp labeled "PRIME" over the "HOLLYWOOD" sign; when Prime arrived, Hardcase leapt into the air and pulled him to the ground. He tried to quietly tell Prime what was going on out of Fifi's range, but Prime was too angry to listen and continued to fight him. Eventually, Hardcase got Prime far enough away from Fifi and calm enough to listen to him, and he convinced Prime to feign defeat so he could bring him to Gross.

    After they arrived and Gross revealed Linda, Hardcase tried to force Gross to release Linda, but Gross had his mutate Duey threaten Linda, forcing him to stand down; after Gross left, however, "Linda" proved to be another Gross creation as she melted into slime. Hardcase then fought Fifi until it fled, and he followed it back to Gross. He arrived just in time to save the powered-down Kevin Green from Duey, who insisted that he deserved the right to have Linda bear his children (Gross had intended for Linda to be impregnated by material he collected from Prime). When Gross and Duey teamed on Hardcase and threatened to kill and dissect him, Kevin turned back into Prime (in his original, more clean-cut heroic form). As Prime overpowered Gross, Hardcase defeated Duey. As Gross' base collapse around them, Prime flew up and out, closely followed by Hardcase and the comatose Starburst.
    Before parting ways, Hardcase told Prime he had proven that he had a chance to turn out OK.

(Ultraforce I#3) - After Atalon's raising the island of Zenalla led to worldwide havoc, world leaders urged Ultraforce to act. Hardcase redirected Pixx and Topaz to meet up with the rest of the team (as they traveled in Contrary's ship) near Cuba to attack Atalon's island. After Atalon destroyed the jets and ships of the Russian, American, and British military, the group reunited, and Hardcase planned a frontal assault on the island with himself, Ghoul, Prototype, and Topaz, while Contrary was to fly low around the back doing reconnaissance, and Pixx coordinated communication. Atalon weathered the attacks until he sensed Ghoul communicating with a dead soldier, and he used his gravity powers to force Ghoul to his side to make him communicate with the ancestors of the Fire People. At the same time, Atalon launched one of the nuclear missiles with his gravity powers, and Hardcase threw Prototype (to get him started as his rockets had been damaged) at the missile, after which Pixx guided Prototype in disarming it. Hardcase ordered the team off the island before any Atalon could launch any more missiles, and a returning Prime facilitated the team's escape. Hardcase noted his approval of the positive changes in Prime and made contact with the damaged Prototype, but before they could figure out how to rescue Ghoul, Atalon set off a nuclear explosion on Zenalla.

(Ultraforce I#4 - BTS) - Some people considered Ultras to be the cause of the Fire People's assaults.

(Ultraforce I#4) - At a press conference outside of Ultraforce's Miami HQ, Hardcase tried to explain to a crowd that Ultraforce was developing a plan of action but that they could not just charge in there. He elaborated on how dangerous Atalon was with his access to and control over nuclear weapons, and then tried in vain to stop Prototype from threatening the crowd as they continued to blame and question the heroes. After Prime calmed Prototype, Hardcase encouraged the people to trust them, explaining they were all scared but had to stick together; he further speculated that Atalon wanted humanity to turn on each other. 

    Soon after, when Topaz encouraged him to attack the Fire People before they could accumulate more power, Hardcase tried to explain the need to avoid civilian casulaties. When he put his hand on her shoulder and noted he was honored to work with her, Topaz armored up and slapped his hand away before explaining that it wasn't his intentions she feared but her own emotions. 

    Later, when Hardcase gathered the team to plan an assault, he questioned Contary's manipulations of Prime and Prototype, but acknowledged that her influence this time was positive, that she was good at what she did, and that he was glad she was using her powers against Atalon instead of him. As she shook his hand, she told him she may know how to beat Atalon. 

(Ultraforce I#4 - BTS) - Contary detailed her plan to distract Atalon while Pixx disabled his nuclear missiles.

(Ultraforce I#4) - Hardcase was reluctant to gamble everything on Contrary's intuition, but when the others voiced their support, he reluctantly agreed. 

(Ultraforce I#4 - BTS) - Hardcase and Contrary finalized the details of their planned assault. hardcase-hawke-hc15p6pan2.jpg

(Ultraforce I#5 - BTS) - POTUS Bill Clinton tried unsuccessfully via phone conversation to convince Hardcase that he should work with the Strangers and the Solution against Atalon and the Fire People, as the fate of the world was at stake. 

(Ultraforce I#5) - Before Ultraforce departed, POTUS Bill Clinton arrived to try to convince Hardcase face-to-face to work with the Strangers and Solution. Though Contrary's rapid resouce undermined Hardcase's authority in Clinton's eyes, Hardcase assured him he was in command, and while he had some problems with Contrary's methods, sometimes subterfuge worked where pure force would not. Clinton warned Hardcase the US military could stop him, but Hardcase warned him that he might be stopping the only chance for success. Shortly thereafter, the remaining members of Ultraforce departed, with Hardcase (and Prime and Pixx) wearing radiation suits.

    Shortly thereafter, Topaz and Hardcase coordinated the ground assault on Atalon and the Fire People, while Pixx made her way to the nuclear missile arsenal -- though her delusions distracted her sufficiently that one of the Fire People was able to blast her and destroy her radiation suit -- and Contrary recovered her ship. As planned, Hardcase and the others occupied Atalon long enough for Pixx to do her job. Though Atalon eventually overpowered the heroes and began crushing them into the ground, he lost his focus when Hardcase revealed the missiles had all been deactivated. Hardcase and the others' elation quickly faded when they saw that Pixx had perished in the effort.

(Ultraforce I#6) - When Atalon cursed the dead Pixx with having deserved her fate, Hardcase and the rest of Ultraforce furiously attacked him. Atalon shattered the rocky ceiling above them, allowing the Fire People to aid him, but then Contary surfaced with her ship and emitted a blinding flash that stunned the subterraneans. However, Atalon, refusing to accept defeat, unleashed his full power, which threatened to destroy the Earth itself. To avert this Contrary teleported Atalon onto her ship and ultimately convinced him to reverse the chain-reaction he had started in exchange for a peace treaty that involved him gaining sovereignty over Zenalla and the overlying Prometheus island. After Prototype noted he was receiving a White House broadcast to talk with Atalon, Hardcase agreed to this plan; when Prime raged about giving in to a "villain," Hardcase told him, "This isn't a comic book."

    Afterward, Hardcase complimented Contrary on her intelligence and skills with people and asked her to act as the group's nerve center, but also told her he wasn't convinced she wasn't doing all this for some agenda, and that he would be watching her.

(Hardcase#15 - BTS) - Hardwire traveled to Hardcase's mansion with plans to wait for him, but then got bored and began tearing the place apart.  Meanwhile, Rex Mundi watched from his subterranean base, instructing NM-E to kill Hardcase if he survived the battle with Hardwire.

(Hardcase#15) - Seeking a chance to relax for a change, Hardcase returned home and swiftly recognized Hardwire as the architect of the destruction of his mansion. Shouting a challenge, Hardcase then silently sensed Hardwire's presence and smashed through a wall to grab him. Despite Hardcase's insistence, Hardwire refused to divulge who had sent him, and the two fought fiercely, further demolishing the mansion, until Hardcase finally pounded Hardwire into unconsciousness. As Hardcase found that the phones were out and considered how to deal with Hardwire while drinking water to speed his healing, NM-E then burst into his house, leaving Hardcase shocked and terrified.hardcase-hawke-hc16p20.jpg

(Hardcase#16) - Truly scared for the second time in his life, Hardcase was knocked out of the mansion by a scorching energy blast. Although he repeatedly tried to stop the thing that had killed his friends, Hardcase was brutally beaten into submission. He led NM-E out of the mansion, futilely trying to prevent its total destruction, and later attempted to escape so he could help Choice, but was caught, battered and impaled. Knowing he was going to die, he nonetheless fought with everything he had and spit in NM-E's face, but was finally incapacitated. As NM-E prepared to slay him, however, Prime arrived -- having seen news footage -- to save his friend and teammate.

(Hardcase#17) - Prime insisted NM-E -- whom he recognized as the slayer of the Squad, but whose name he did not know -- put his friend and teammate down, as he was there to make the monster pay.hardcase-hawke-hc17last.jpg

    As Prime battled NM-E, bystanders wondered if Hardcase was dead and discussed calling an ambulance, until the Alternate arrived. Determining he was still alive, she carried him out into the ocean where the water could heal him. She explained that she was there to help, that she could hear his thoughts, that he hadn't need to breathe since becoming an ultra, and that drinking the sea water could help him heal.

(Hardcase#17 (fb) - BTS) - The Alternate told Hardcase "a few things so he had a chance of surviving the day."

(Hardcase#17) - After NM-E defeated and threatened to slay Prime, a partially recovered Hardcase dove on NM-E's back and tore off some of its weapon. Confused by Hardcase's recovery and its energy reserves seriously depleted, NM-E nonetheless brutally attacked and battered him. Though badly injured, Hardcase fought back, refusing to stop until NM-E had been destroyed.

(Hardcase#18) - Hardcase fiercely attacked NM-E and then leapt away, leading it to pursue him to a gas station, the fuel tanks of which Hardcase then ignited, covering NM-E in flames. Laughing manically, Hardcase then tackled his foe into the water, and the sudden change in temperature further damaged NM-E. Hardcase made it to the shore and rapidly drank water to speed his healing, but as reporters rushed to question him, NM-E surfaced and began slaughtering them. Seeing NM-E moving erratically, Hardcase smashed a boulder against it, tore off one of it's axe-like appendages, and savagely attacked his foe. Blinded by rage and a need for redemption, Hardcase battered NM-E relentlessly. After finally incapacitating his foe, Hardcase let out a primal scream. 

    Reporters rushed Hardcase again, but Prime drove them off, explaining that Hardcase was in agony. Hardcase told Prime he could have used his and Ultraforce's help, and Prime explained he had been there, but he had thought he could handle things himself and had gotten taken out by NM-E. Hardcase appreciated that Prime's involvement had both saved his life and weakened NM-E. 

(Godwheel#0/1 - BTS) - On Vahdala, seeking the three keys -- the Crystal Crown, the Roc's Egg, and the Windsword, which had been banished until three mortals could retrieve them -- to the Crucible that would retore and maintain his godly might, Argus used Rune's starstones to glimpse the beings that could aid him in this endeavor: Boneyard, Cayman, Feline, Flygirl, Hardcase, Lord Pumpkin, Mantra, Pressure, Prime, and Warstrike.

(Godwheel#0/2) - Argus summoned Hardcase and the others to Vahdala, although he brought Necromantra (Thanasi possessing Mantra), Lukasz, and a Prime husk, instead of Mantra and Prime.

(Hardcase#18) - After he told Prime they needed to gather NM-E's parts and take them to Contrary to study, Hardcase faded away.

(Godwheel#0/2) - After Necromantra apparently destroyed Lukasz, several of the others turned on each other. Failing to convince the others to stop fighting and work together to figure out what was going on, Hardcase punched out Lord Pumpkin but was in turn blasted by Necromantra; not realizing she was not Mantra, Warstrike futilely tried to stop her. Eventually Argus stopped the fighting and examined his potential pawns; Necromantra offered to fulfill Argus' every desire if he allowed her to kill the others.

(Hardcase#19 - BTS) - Posing as Mantra, the Alternate told Prime that Hardcase had been called away on a mission involving magic and had told her to collect the pieces of NM-E and take care of them until his return; trusting Mantra, Prime helped the Alternate gather the pieces, with which she departed.

    Rex Mundi sent his nanobots to travel to Hardcase's usual locations and report to him if Hardcase returned.

(Godwheel#1/1) - Hardcase remained immobilized by Argus' power as Necromantra tried to prove herself, ultimately transforming the Prime-husk into Primevil. When Argus agreed to allow Necromantra to kill the others, Pressure struck her down, and the disruption of Argus' concentration freed the others from his paralysis. 

(Godwheel#1/2) - Uncertain with what he was dealing, Hardcase confronted Primevil and, when instructions to back off proved futile, he punched the creature in the chest, only to have his hand disappear inside it. As his arm was pulled further inside the monster, Hardcase struggled and forced his way free and then punched Primevil in the face, knocking it back. Seeing that several of the others were bailing, which he considered wise, Hardcase ambushed and punched Argus, stunning him long enough to allow him to escape with the others. 

(Godwheel#1/2 - BTS) - Argus stopped Necromantra, Lord Pumpkin, and Primevil from going after the others, noting that his eyes could watch them from afar and that he needed more energy.

(Godwheel#1/2) - Hardcase agreed with Boneyard that their foes were too powerful to face directly and that they needed to find a safe place to plan their next move.

(Godwheel#1/2 - BTS) - Lukasz transported Hardcase and the others to the god Ogma's Pleasure Yacht, known as Zumas.

    Argus considered that while the Yacht would allow them to go anywhere, it might also tell them the location of the keys, and he would know the second it did.

(Godwheel#1/2) - Having incapacitated and impersonated Pressure, Rune joined them, after which a simulation of Ogma instructed Zumas to take the others to the Godwheel.

(Godwheel#2/1) - After Hardcase noted that the Godwheel looked like a huge record, the Ogma simulation detailed the nature of the Godwheel and the Gods of Vahdala, and told the Godyacht's passengers it could lead them to the keys to the Crucible of Life. After Hardcase wondered whether "Ogma" was telling them to find the keys before Argus did, he had to hold back Lukasz when Boneyard named himself as leader of one of the groups into which they would divide. Hardcase agreed they all had to work together, but told Boneyard no one would trust him; the others agreed to leave Boneyard behind as they sought the keys. After agreeing to team with Flygirl, Hardcase had "Argus" fashion him a new costume for additional protection; the costume was formed from what Hardcase visualized. "Pressure" (Rune) then had the groups teleported to the Godwheel.hardcase-hawke-gw2pg7pan7.jpg

(Godwheel#2/2 - BTS) - Cayman, Feline, and "Pressure" (Rune) defeated Primevil in Techtopia, claiming the Windsword, after which they were transported back to the Godyacht.

hardcase-hawke-gw2cov.jpg(Godwheel#2/3) - Arriving in the magical realm Aerwa, Flygirl carried Hardcase as they searched for the Rock's Egg. Just as they approached, they saw Lord Pumpkin teleport in in front of them, and Flygirl dropped Hardcase to tackle Lord Pumpkin. He then tried to warn Pumpkin about the Egg, punching him when he refused to listen; but when Pumpkin blasted Flygirl, causing her smouldering form to plummet, Hardcase was distracted by memories of the loss of Starburst and Pixx, allowing Lord Pumpkin to blast him and grab the Roc's Egg. Using the talisman's power, Lord Pumpkin caused rock to grow around and entrap Hardcase.

(Godwheel#2/3 / Godwheel#3/1) - Hardcase was teleported back to the Godyacht.

(
Godwheel#3/1) - Hardcase told the others of the apparent death of Flygirl, then responded to Boneyard's criticism, telling him he knew Boneyard only wanted the keys' power for himself.

(Godwheel#3/1- BTS) - Near the inner rim of the Godwheel, Lukasz and Warstrike failed to stop Necromantra from escaping with the Crystal Crown; Boneyard was blown apart while trying to steal the Crown for himself.

(Godwheel#3/1) - Back aboard the Godyacht, Hardcase placed in a healing chamber of some sort. After Feline used the Windsword to further incapacitate the still-active and attacking Boneyard head, she -- influenced by the Windsword -- then transported them all back to Vahdala.

(Godwheel#3/2) - Hardcase punched down the weakened Argus, after which Feline placed the Windsword in the Crucible, next to the Roc's Egg; Cayman and Warstrike subsequently found the real Pressure, and Rune revealed his true form. As Argus blasted Hardcase away, Necromantra placed the Crystal Crown within the Crucible, activating it via its third key. Before she could claim its power, Argus entered the Crucible, and Primevil unwittingly flew Necromantra out of it in an effort to protect her. When Rune threatened to drain Necromantra's life, Thanasi abandoned Mantra's form, and the transformation of Necromantra back to Mantra distracted Rune sufficently to allow Lukasz to force Rune to release Mantra. 

    As Argus began to gain the Crucible's power, Mantra pulled the Crystal Crown out of the Crucible, but this only served to disengage the force field around the Crucible, allowing Lord Pumpkin to entered it as well, and the two merged into a giant monstrous form. Argus/Pumpkin grabbed Hardcase in his hand and easily overpowered the others until it unwittingly opened a dimensional portal, through which Thor-616 arrived. As Thor attacked Argus, Hardcase rallied the others to attack Argus as well and then advised Mantra to taunt Argus with the Crystal Crown. When Thor opened a dimensional portal, Mantra sent the Crown through it, and Argus followed, and Thor closed the portal behind him

    When Thor offered to send everyone wherever they wished to go, Hardcase requested he be sent to see "Ogma" on the Godyacht.

(Godwheel#3/2 // Silver/Surfer Rune#1) - Thor's powers malfunctioned in the alien realm as he was assaulted by Rune, and they all vanished in flash of light.

(Hardcase#21 (fb) - BTS) - While Hardcase was missing-in-action, both his mother and father called and left messages with Celia.

(Hardcase#20 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase arrived aboard Ogma's Yacht in the Vahdala docks; the Ogma simulation noted the recent upheavals in the Godwheel wrought by Argus and requested Hardcase's aid in setting things right. Hardcase refused, only wanting to be sent to Choice.

(
Hardcase#20) - Hardcase reminded the Ogma simulation it had promised to send him to Choice for his aid; "Ogma" reluctantly agreed to give him "enough time" to see his lady but not much more. Hardcase asked if "Ogma" would send Choice back to Earth with him, but "Ogma" told him the situation was complicated but that he wound understand when he saw Choice.

    "Ogma" then sent Hardcase to Aerwa(?) where he was swiftly assaulted by winged, robotic insectoids, and Choice arrived to help him defeat them. They both explained what had happened since their separation, and Tom showed her his face, and she shared that she felt the need to stay there and finish her work. After she revealed she was about three weeks pregnant, they enjoyed some romance; Hardcase told Choice to seek out "Ogma" for aid. As he yelled, hoping "Ogma" would hear his requests to listen to and help Choice, "Ogma" sent him back to Earth; Hardcase was upset upon seeing his house in shambles.

    Hardcase traveled to see Celia, telling her about his fate, and then asking her to tell Sol he was alright and to call his insurance agent and ask about his house. As he hoped his bad times were behind him and that he could start getting his life together again, Rex Mundi watched, noting he hadn't finished with him yet.

(Hardcase#20 - BTS) - Trouble saw Hardcase's return reported in the newspaper and looked forward to dealing with unfinished business.

(Prime I#21) - Interviewed about the seeming death of Prime (at the hands of Rafferty), Hardcase noted how Prime was a mystery and seemed to have multiple identities. When the reporter asked about allegations of Prime's unusual sexual interests, Hardcase instructed the reporter to leave. The reporter instead continued, asking about the rumors of an ultra killer stalking ultras around the contrary, and Hardcase, disgusted with "TV sleazemongers" shattered the camera's lens.hardcase-hawke-hc21p2.jpg

(
Hardcase#21) - As his face slowly healed, Hardcase told Celia at least his hair was growing back, but that if he didn't heal better the only role he could get was playing the new Freddy Krueger. After receiving the messages from his parents, he called his mom, after which he called Contrary and had her patch him through to Prime. Hardcase was surprised when Prime told him "Mantra" had picked up the pieces of NM-E, and he planned to seek out Mantra to investigate this. After Sol told Hardcase that following his recent violent conflict with NM-E (leading to fear that other villains would attack him), no one would insure him and he therefore could not get any work, Celia informed him that no hotels would allow him to stay there, and all of Tom's friends refused to let him stay with them. Celia offered to let Hardcase stay with him, but he declined.

    He then sought out a man who made prop cars for movies and had designed an armored motor home for the movie "The Survivors." Hardcase purchased the vehicle, which actually had light armor, computer systems, and all regular home applicances. As Hardcase heaed off, vowing to find Rex Mundi, another man pursued Hardcase from the shadows, vowing to catch up to "dad." (see comments)

(
Firearm I#17) - As Alec Swan approached a cathedral in which Rafferty held hostages, Hardcase arrived, instructed the media to stop using the alias "Firearm," and instead to call him by his real name, Alec Swan.

(Firearm I#18) - Alongside Ironclad, Lady Killer, Nightman, and Prime, Hardcase waited outside, respecting Swan's desire to follow the hostage-holding Rafferty's instructions.

    After Swan emerged and apparently died before Penny Slater apparently saved him, Hardcase rushed forward and confirmed Swan had a pulse and was alive.

(
Hardcase#22) - Hardcase met with Det. Chuck Brown, letting him know he had found Choice, and asking for information on Rex Mundi. The subsequent discussion helped Hardcase sense Mundi's involvement in several of his previous conflicts, and he headed out in his motor home to investigate further. While internet searches on Mundi proved fruitless, searches for connections to the killers sent after him led him to "The Merc's Forum."

(Hardcase#22 - BTS) - Posting on "The Merc's Forum," Hardcase led one of its users, Trouble, to meet with him, allegedly to take a job that involved a conflict with Hardcase.

(Hardcase#22) - Hardcase met Trouble at the Cactus Bar, about an hour from Los Angeles, and asked him about Mundi. Trouble asked for payment in exchange, which wasn't an option due to Hardcase's recent financial troubles. Trouble offered to grant him the infromation if Hardcase would do him a small favor; after sharing how Mundi had granted him powers via NuWare and utilized him for various missions, Trouble revealed the favor was killing Mundi. Hardcase refused, wanting only to bring Mundi to justice. As Trouble tried to convince Hardcase to join forces to kill Mundi, Mundi, who was present at the bar, had his uncostumed agent Trauma(?) break Trouble's neck telekinetically, after which she screamed out that Hardcase had slain Trouble.

(Rune/Silver Surfer#1 - BTS) - The Infinity Gems were cast from Reality-616 into Reality-93060 (the Ultraverse).

(Hardcase#23) - Hardcase spoke with the police at the station in San Bernadino, California, explaining that he had not killed Trouble; he was released as no one had actually seen him strike Trouble, but he remained their number one suspect as was requested to remain available locally for questioning. Reviewing his past, he briefly wished he could turn back time to save the Squad, after which the Infinity Time Gem fell through the atmosphere like a meteorite and landed nearby. Finding it, Hardcase felt compelled to place it on his forehead and then imagined time moving backwards, which led to him arriving in the past in 1992, 15 minutes before NM-E had slain the Squad.

    Hardcase then confronted the Squad, warning and preparing them for what was to come. Aided by his planning and assistance, they destroyed NM-E; before vanishing back to the future, Hardcase warned his friends that if any of them died they should be cremated immediately before the government or anyone else could get their hands on them;
    unbeknownst to Hardcase, this merely diverged Reality-95523 from the conventional Reality-93060.

    Back in his own present, Hardcase was pleased to find his face unscarred, and he considered NM-E must have been destroyed in the past. After Celia asked him about his new costume, he asked her to call Linda, but she told him about Linda and the rest of the Squad having been killed as before by an explosion at Forsa's house. Considering that Mundi must have had a contingency plan, he rushed off to find Choice, who was now a different woman.

    Loki then confronted Hardcase, denouncing him as a thief, demanding he return the stolen Time Gem, and mocking that his efforts to alter time had cost him the woman he loved. Convinced of Loki's claims by his knowledge of Hardcase's past and his promise to revert things to the way they were, Hardcase surrendered the Time Gem, and Loki departed without honoring his deal, leaving time as altered. Enraged, Hardcase vowed to kill Mundi; hearing this, Mundi elected to instead kill him first.

(Ultraverse Premiere#4 (flipped with Strangers #13)) - Hardcase fought soldiers alongside Choice.

(Hardcase#24) - Hardcase confronted J.D. Hunt (overhearing en route that Hunt was negotating to supply ultra-soldiers to Saddam Hussein), leaping out the window with him and taking him atop another building to avoid the security Hunt summoned. After Hardcase threatened to tell the US government about Hunt's plans with Hussein, Hunt agreed to give information on where Hardcase might find Mundi.

    When Hardcase arrived at this location, however, he learned Mundi was over 1000 miles away and listening/viewing/speaking remotely. Hardcase asked to arrange a meeting, but Mundi refused and then blew up the building. Mundi then warned Hardcase against calling on Hunt again or he would have another murder rap to beat. Police soon arrived and took Hardcase in for questioning, and they were skeptical of his claims regarding Mundi, for whom no records existed. Hardcase was imprisoned, but his bail was paid by bondsman Herb Green, who warned him against skipping bail.

    Hardcase then called Tech, hoping for information on Quattro, and she put him in touch with Shadowmage, who gave him information on where to find Death Dance and Meathook. When Hardcase confronted them, the pair attacked him until finally he convinced them to listen to him. When he told them he wanted to find Mundi, they told him they were trying to avoid Mundi and suggested he do the same, warning that Mundi was the ultimate power-player. Nevertheless, they eventually agreed to tell him where they once found the entrance to his hidden palace on the side of a mountain in Sedona, New Mexico; though Hardcase assured them he would take out Mundi and end his threat to them, they were unaware Mundi was observing them via a nanotech bird. Hardcase departed after they gave him details on the entrance's former location.

(Hardcase#24 - BTS) - The "new" Choice appeared at Hardcase's office, demanding to know Hardcase's location. Meanwhile, the "original" Choice arrived back on Earth at Hardcase's leveled house, wondering what had happened to him.

(Hardcase#25) - In his RV, as Hardcase arrived in Sedona he received a call from Celia and spoke to the "new" Choice, refusing to explain his actions/discussion but warning her to stay away from the Choice Corporation, as they were using her; he further added that if he had his way, she wouldn't have any problems with them anymore. As Hardcase approached the site Meathook described, Mundi formed rock warriors that warned him to leave (as he had not proven worthy to see Mundi) and then battled him when he refused. Recalling how the Alternate had talked to him about the full extent of his powers, he frozen the rockmen who were battering him and then shattered the others who followed up.

    Touching the rock wall, Hardcase then felt his skin (or the nanotech within it) talking to the nannites in the wall, and he directed the wall to open into a tunnel, which brought him deep down into the Earth, approaching an eagerly waiting Mundi.

(Hardcase#26) - Hardcase continued his journey via a bubble before finally arriving before Mundi and assuring Mundi he would be brought in to pay for his crimes. When Hardcase demanded the return of the Time Gem, however, Mundi had no idea what he was talking about. Curious about the "ultra" (Loki) Hardcase had encountered, Mundi had Hardcase bound by nanotech tentacles and questioned him. After Hardcase revealed what little he knew, Mundi shared his origins with Hardcasse, arguing that his goal was to protect humanity from ultras. As Mundi began to deconstruct Hardcase cell by cell to permanently destroy him, Hardcase realized that his cells might be able to replicate energies to which they had been exposed, and he traveled back in time and prevented his earlier self from interfering with the slaughter of the Squad by NM-E.

(Hardcase#26 - BTS) - As a result, the variant Choice presumably vanished from Reality-93060

(Hardcase#26) - Hardcase then returned to Mundi's lair and punched him to the ground. Just then, Regina, wearing the rebuilt NM-E as armor, burst in and attacked Mundi. Hardcase was expelled back to the Earth's surface. To prevent himself from trying to alter the past again, Hardcase instructed his cells to forget how they had time-traveled previously, and he also forgot what he had even asked them to do.

    The next day, Hardcase returned to his Century City office, where he was happily reunited with Choice. After he told her Mundi had been dealt with and they could make a new start, they happily embraced and kissed.

(Hardcase#26 - BTS) - Unbeknownst to Hardcase, Vahdala had not been affected, and Loki retained the six Infinity Gems.

(Ultraforce I#10) - Loki viewed Hardcase, noting how his guilt over the death of his friends had cost him the Time Gem. 

hardcase-hawke-avuf1cov.jpg(Ultraforce/Avengers Prelude#1 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase and Prime saw on the news what was happening outside the Dark Shoppe, and they arrived there shortly after Contrary, Ghoul, Prototype, and Siren, who had gone there in pursuit of Topaz. They got into a fight with "the regulars of the Drunken Knight" (mystical statues or something, with the Drunken Knight being the pub that was the outward appearance/first line of defense of the Dark Shoppe) there, and these creatures' strength took Hardcase and Prime by surprise when they finally caught up.

(Ultraforce/Avengers Prelude#1) - At the instruction of Black Knight -- Dane Whitman of Earth-616, who had joined and become something of leader while Hardcase was on the Godwheel -- Prime brought the fight to a halt. After the Dark Shoppe's owner revealed the involvement of Loki with the Infinity Gems, the Black Knight urged stopping Loki, and Sersi seemingly transported Ultraforce to confront Loki, but instead merely trapped them within mystic crystal ("in a void best described as the soulscape of Sersi"). As a confused Sersi considered what to do next, Loki contacted her seeking an alliance, leading to the shattering of the crystals and the Ultraforce members being sent to realms to encounter various fake Infinity Gems (or perhaps just to have visions of the same). Hardcase and Ghoul were apparently transported to the farthest edge of the Godwheel, where they were confronted by the reanimated corpses of the Exiles and the Squad. Ghoul grabbed Time and Soul Gems, giving the latter to Hardcase while he used the former to turn back time; unwilling to face this nightmare again, Hardcase stopped Ghoul and then used the Soul Gem to convince Ghoul that he couldn't truly restore Tinsel to life. 
    After crushing the fake Soul Gem and convincing Ghoul to do the same with the fake Time Gem, Hardcase deduced that all they had encountered that day were shadows of the past. Ultraforce was eventually reunited, and Hardcase explained how they had all been manipulated by Sersi.

(Avengers/Ultraforce#1) - Reality-616's Grandmaster, seeking the Infinity Gems, came to the Ultraverse and challenged Loki (who possessed the six prime gems) to a contest, offering as a reward the heretofore unknown 7th Infinity Gem, the Ego Gem. The Grandmaster picked the Avengers (Black Widow, Captain America, Crystal, Iron Man, Starfox, Thor) as his warriors and the Ultraforce as Loki's. Loki summoned Ultraforce (within a stasis field) to Vahdala (the Godwheel), where he told them that an extradimensional army had invaded their universe and only they could stop them; Hardcase warned the others not to trust Loki, noting how he had tricked him into giving up one of the gems he now possessed. Loki agreed he couldn't be trusted, but warned that the Avengers could not be trusted either, and their threat was multiple.

    Hardcase and Captain America were transported to Washington, DC. Hardcase arrived to see "Captain America" -- actually Loki in disguise -- hostilely assaulting police officers. While Hardcase assumed this "Captain" to be the leader of the invasion force, Loki as Cap rounded the corner and transported away while the real Captain America arrived in the site where he had been. Hardcase therefore tackled the freshly arrived Captain America who fought back; Hardcase shrugged off Cap's initial strikes and fought back fiercely, but Cap knocked him off his feet with the 'ole ricochet shield trick, and then tried to convince him to listen to reason. However, Loki's manipulations then caused the Statue of Liberty and Big Ben Clock Tower to be present, while the police turned into green aliens (not quite Skrulls). Feeling deceived, Hardcase assumed a connection between Cap and Loki, and attacked anew. Cap continued to fight defensively, but after Hardcase began pounding on his shield, figuring Cap's arm would give out first, Cap tumbled to safety and then put down his shield. Despite Hardcase's taunts to fight like a man, Cap told him to go ahead and hit him, although one punch might be fatal, after which he would realize Loki was pulling his strings. Hardcase reluctantly agreed to work with Cap against Loki, although he warned Cap he would be watching his every move. 

    Although the various other struggles had mixed results often ending in a draw (and Loki concluded that as the Widow had been defeated by Topaz, even though that bout was not a clear-cut Avengers victory), Loki's trickery won the day as he had named his goal as not to lose, which he did not. The Grandmaster conceded, awarding him the Ego Gem, which was linked to Sersi, who merged with Loki, uniting the 7th Gem with its long-lost six brethren, and recreating Nemesis, the being from which the Infinity Gems had originally been spawned. Nemesis then unleashed a reality warp across both the Ultraverse and Earth-616.

hardcase-hawke-uv-ufav1.jpg(Ultraforce/Avengers#1) - Nemesis created a new pocket world, combining various aspects of Earth-93060 (the Ultraverse) and Earth-616. Hardcase was not present in this pocket world.
    A struggle between that world's Avengers and Loki ended when 
Topaz struck Loki, and the the was a trans-dimensional energy backlash from the elements of the two wildly different continua where they from, which destroyed the pocket reality and destroyed the Godwheel. Nemesis teleported to Earth-93060, and the remaining members of Ultraforce and the Avengers-616 were swept there as well. 

    Hardcase was not seen amongst Ultraforce either (although he would likely have been present), but he, or an alternate reality version of himself, was pulled into the Ultraverse along with multiple beings from multiple realities in locating and attacking Nemesis to prevent her from destroying their timelines. Nemesis destroyed most of those beings, leaving behind only Earth-616's Avengers and Earth-93060's Ultraforce (including Hardcase)

    Finally, Hardcase and Captain America accepted direction of Earth-616's Black Knight, and after those with energy powers staggered Nemesis, Hardcase joined Prime and Giant-Man in punching her back. Nemesis planned to wipe out this entire plane, but she had been sufficiently distracted for the Black Knight to use an alternate dimensional counterpart of the Ebony Blade to cut Nemesis in half.
    The energies released from Nemesis' form remade the Ultraverse, altering it on some levels (kind of like the Crisis on Infinite Earths), and the Infinity Gems were dispersed to parts unknown.
    The Avengers were returned to Earth-616.

(Ultraforce/Avengers#1 - BTS) - As a result of the reality waves alterations, Hardcase and Contrary were removed from the team, and from the memories of their former teammates, and possibly from everyone else on Earth-93060 as well. In addition, Prototype (Jimmy Ruiz) was also removed, though he was replaced by his predecessor in the Prototype armor, Bob Campbell. The Black Knight became the leader of the new group.

(Ultraforce/Avengers#1 - BTS) - The memories of the recent conflict and reality alterations faded from both the Avengers' and Ultraforce's memories.

(Ultraforce II#14 (fb) - BTS) - In this new reality, Tom Hawke never became Hardcase, while the "Infinity Effect," apparently unable to destroy the nanotechnology of which Hardcase was composed, shunted him into a limbo realm. 

(Ultraforce II#14 (fb)) - Eventually accepting his fate, Hardcase decided to make himself comfortable and constructed a satellite home in this realm. He equipped his satellite with monitors that allowed him to keep an eye on Earth, although this only made him even more lonely

(Ultraforce II#14 (fb)) - Overwhelmed by solitude, he used the nanotech at his command to build a human companion with whom to converse, work together, and play games. For a time, Hardcase was satisfied.

(Ultraforce II#14 (fb)) - One day, for no discernible reason, Hardcase's creation went berserk and attacked him. Their battle destroyed the satellite, and just when it looked like Hardcase might gain the upper hand, his companion abruptly escaped through an interdimensional time portal it had secretly built in one of his storerooms. 

(Ultraforce II#14 (fb) - BTS) - Set free in Earth-93060's universe hundreds of years in the past, Hardcase's former companion quickly became the world-consuming Demonseed. 

(Ultraforce II#14 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase followed Demonseed through the portal and searched the universe for a long time, unable to catch up with the creature.

(Ultraforce II#14 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase learned of the Tulkan Empire's relentless pursuit of Demonseed and that their constant bombardment had weakened Demonseed to a point near defeat. 

(Ultraforce II#14 (fb) - BTS) - Hardcase finally tracked Demonseed via a trail of devastation back to Earth. 

(Ultraforce II#13) - When the members of the current incarnation of Ultraforce (Ghoul, Hellblade, Amber Hunt, Ironclad, Prototype, Ripfire, Topaz) -- along with liaison Cromwell -- convened at their headquarters in Headless Cross, Arkansas to determine how to deal with the threat of Demonseed, they were surprised by a newsfeed that revealed Prime was actually a teenage boy.

    Hardcase then walked into the room, telling them he already knew that. He announced, "It's been a long time, my friends, but I've finally returned!" 

    Ultraforce was surprised by his presence, but none of them recognized him.

(Ultraforce II#14) - Hardcase introduced himself as their former leader, but -- having no memory of him and suspecting him to be preparing to attack them -- Hellblade and Amber Hunt attempted to assault him, but he easily evaded their attacks while challenging them to think and stop wasting time. Finally Prototype broke up the fight to give Hardcase a chance to explain, at which point he told them that he was responsible for Demonseed, who they had recently battled. hardcase-hawke-eternal_battle

    Interfacing with their monitor system, Hardcase showed them images and told them of the original Ultraforce incarnation and the "Infinity Effect" that rewrote reality, eliminating himself and others. After explaining how he had created Demonseed, he vowed to do whatever it took to stop him. After Ultraforce explained how Demonseed had set a trap and siphoned the Tulkar's power, Ultraforce accepted Hardcase's story of his past membership and agreed to work with him. After receiving an alert from Aladdin's Jake Alexander, who urged them to help immediately as Demonseed was feeding on US troops opposing him, the team took a dropship back to Manhattan's Ground Zero.

    Upon arriving, Hardcase warned everyone to be alert, which irritated Prototype who was Ultraforce's leader. Hardcase apologized, and the group was soon confronted by the immense Demonseed, who greeted Hardcase as his father. Hardcase encouraged the others "the bigger they are -- the harder they fall," but Demonseed encouraged him to try as he had been anxious to get his hands of his "father."

(Ultraforce II#15) - When Demonseed mocked him, Hardcase told him he had created him and it was his job to destroy him. When Demonseed began to drain the Earth's energies, Prototype rallied Ultraforce to attack him, and only Maxis listened to Hardcase's urging to wait, before it was too late. After the others fell before and were absorbed into Demonseed, Hardcase urged Ghoul and Amber Hunt (who had proven resistant to Demonseed's life-absorbing "grey") to fall back, and they accepted. Demonseed taunted that what was theirs would soon be his, but Hardcase argued that they would fight to the last. After being nearly incapacitated while trying to scan Demonseed, Maxis told Hardcase he had learned something important.

(Ultraforce II#15 (fb) - BTS) - Maxis shared that Demonseed would be vulnerable to opposing magnetic fields. 

(Ultraforce II#15) - Hardcase instructed Ghoul and Amber Hunt to hang back until he called for them, as he wished to try Maxis' "crazy scheme," after which Hardcase struck from Demonseed's left annd had Maxis strike from the right, and the opposing magnetic fields disrupted Demonseed's own energy field. Despite Demonseed's threats, Hardcase urged Maxis to keep pouring on the power, and finally, in a burst of energy, Demonseed was brought down to human size, and all those he had previously absorbed were released. Hardcase instructed Amber and Maxis to keep Demonseed occupied while Hardcase and Ghoul got the others -- who were still weak from being absorbed  -- to safety. When Demonseed's force field proved virtually impenetrable, Hardcase urged all of Ultraforce back to the dropship to rethink things; Prototype argued that Hardcase wasn't team leader, but he relented when Hardcase told him he'd be glad to hear if he had a better idea. 

    Back in the dropship, Hardcase explained how -- since Amber, Ghoul, and Maxis seemed immune to Demonseed's power drain -- they would lead a frontal assault team to distract Demonseed while the rest of them tried to outflank him. After Prime rejoined the group, Ripfire insisted on being part of the frontal assault, as Demonseed had destroyed his entire race. Agreeing to this, Hardcase downloaded nanotech into Maxis' systems, confirmed that Maxis understood the plan, and then led the group to attack Demonseed again. To disrupt Demonseed's force field, Ripfire sacrificed himself by releasing all of his energy in one explosive burst. Hardcase then had Maxis activate the program and transform into an interdimensional portal back to the limbo-like realm in which Hardcase had created Demonseed, after which Hardcase tackled Demonseed toward the portal. When Hardcase proved unable to force Demonseed through the portal, he convinced Prime to push them through; upon touching Hardcase, Prime regained his memories of Hardcase.

    Maxis then sealed the portal, leaving Prime haunted by having forever banished his hero.

    Hardcase and Demonseed fell through an all-consuming darkness, eternally locked in a battle neither could ever hope to win, bound inextricably through hatred and rage.

Comments: Created by James D. Hudnall.
hardcase-hawke-skybox1.jpg

    Mundi noted how Hardcase reminded him of someone from World War I.
    I asked creator James Hudnall about this, and he thought perhaps it referred to Shadowmage, who had been around then, but as the reference was from over 20 years ago and had never really been fleshed out, he couldn't recall the details. 

   I also asked James Hudnall about the adult son searching for Hardcase#21.
    James said: Yes, he was a son from the future who had not been born yet.
    His son had been lied to about his father who he never met. It was to be a big storyline.

    Thanks to Grendel Prime for finding some appearances I missed/couldn't find!

Ultraverse Premiere#4 (flipped with Strangers #13) - Hardcase has a nice 2-page pin-up by Hitch (fighting soldiers alongside Choice), but that's all.
    The Marvel Chronology notes this to be between Hardcase#23-24, so I went with it.

    In the Hardcase Premiere Edition (ashcan), part of a Hardcase movie poster can be seen on Hardcase's bedroom wall.

--Grendel Prime

    Per Godwheel#2, Hardcase's "metal thing on his chest" cost $2000 to replace every time it was damaged.

    We see the uniform with LA Pizza in the Death of the Squad, but in the Ultraverse Origins images, he is totally wearing another uniform with a crown on it. Was that another costume for LA Pizza, or was that another pizza company he worked for...Crown Pizza? Regal Pizza? King Pizza?...perhaps associated with "King of the World," obviously a translation of Rex Mundi? Almost certainly not, but it's kind of fun to speculate...

    Cool character, great series. I worked on this profile for over 17 months. As I started to approached the finish, I started wondering about going on to profiles on Rex Mundi, Regina, NM-E, the Squad, and Choice...but I'm going to stick to my original plan of hitting all of the big characters/teams first. So, next is Prototype (both Bob Campbell and Jimmy Ruiz), and then Mantra...and then probably the Solution, Strangers, Warstrike, and Nightman...and then I'll either start hitting the big villains/characters, like Rex Mundi, Doc Gross, Boneyard, etc...or, more likely, I'll go to a series and hit the major characters from that series, and then move on...might 2027 by the time I get to that point, anyway!

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Hardcase
should be distinguished from:


hardcase-hawke-hc21p21-rv-interior.jpgRV

hardcase-hawke-hc21p21-rv.jpg(Hardcase#21) - After Sol told Hardcase that following his recent violent conflict with NM-E (leading to fear that other villains would attack him), no one would insure him and he therefore could not get any work.

    Celia informed him that no hotels would allow him to stay there, and all of Tom's friends refused to let him stay with them.


    Hardcase elected to go out on the road to track down Rex Mundi.

    To this end, Hardcase
sought out a man who made prop cars for movies and had designed an armored motor home for the movie "The Survivors."

    Hardcase purchased the vehicle, which actually had light armor, computer systems, and all regular home applicances.

--Hardcase#21 (22



Ultraforce/Avengers#1 heroes of various dimensions
(see the legend below the color image)

1.       Prime-93060

2.       Thor-93060 (most accurately, Nemesis' pocket dimension counterpart)

3.       Ash (Event Comics)alt-reality-heroes-vs-nemesis-smaller.jpg

4.       As yet unidentified

5.       The Mighty Magnor (Malibu Comics)

6.       Polychrome of the Nocturnals (not 100% certain of this identification)

7.       Thor-616

8.       Adastra (Barry Windsor-Smith, )

9.       Prototype-93060

10.   Gladiator from Crimson Plague

11.   Radiant from I-Bots

12.   Black Widow-616 (Natasha Romanoff)

13.   Firelion of the Nocturnals

14.   Starfish of the Nocturnals

15.   Topaz-93060

16.   Itazura from I-Bots

17.   Prototype-93060

18.   As yet unidentified

19.   Gunwitch of the Nocturnals

20.   Stonewall from I-Bots

21.   Bron (Barry Windsor-Smith’s Young Gods)

22.   Rick Flagg from American Flaggufavengers_key

23.   Iron Man-616

24.   Edge

25.   Topaz-93060 (armored form)

26.   Omega

27.   Sandy from Dragon Lines

28.   Cyberella

29.   Komodo from the Nocturnals

30.   As yet unidentified

31.   As yet unidentified

32.   Li Chang from Dragon Lines

33.   Starfox-616

34.   Doc Horror from the Nocturnals

35.   Strangehands (Barry Windsor-Smith’s Young Gods)

36.   Giant Man-616 (Hank Pym)

37.   White

38.   Black

39.   J.J. Sachs from Sachs and Violens

40.   Captain America-616 (Steve Rogers)

41.   AX (A Ten) from Man Called AX

42.   Contrary-93060

43.   Sersi-616

44.   Black Knight-93060/Nemesis' pocket dimension (Alec Swan)

45.   Tiger (Shannon Lower) from Crimson Plague

46.   Hardcase-93060

47.   Deuce (Story Works Inc)

48.   Crystal-616

49.   Pigsy from Dragon Lines

50.   Vision-616

51.   Crimson Plague

52.   "Breed"

53.   Axus from Freebooters (Barry Windsor-Smith)

54.   Aran Kashan

55.   Groo

56.   Siren-93060

57.   Psy-4 from I-Bots

58.   Ernie "Violens"Schultz from Sachs and Violens

59.   Ghoul-93060

60.   Quicksilver-616 (Pietro Maximoff)

61.   Halloween Girl

62.   As yet unidentified

63.   Wasp-616 (Janet Van Dyne)

 BIG thanks to Loki for compiling all of this!!
Awesome work!


hardcase-hawke-skybox2.jpgimages: (without ads)
Ultraverse Skybox cards #9, 16, & 76
Hardcase#1, pg. 8, panel 5 (bulletproof);
    #4,
pg. 9, panel 2 (empowered);
        pg. 10, panel 3 (Squad era costume);
        pg. 12, panel 1 (Squad costume, in action);
    #7, last page pin-up (full body costume, with bars connecting shoulder harness to belt/chain);
Solution#4, pg. 5, pane 1 (space suit, rear view);
        pg. 15, panel 1 (space suit, oblique profile)
Break-Thru#2, pg. 36 (space costume);
Hardcase#9, pg. 22, panel 2 (with comatose Linda);
Hardcase#15, pg. 6, panel 2 (extra chains on arm);
    #16, pg. 20 (battered by NM-E);
    #17, last page (fiery, but still fighting)
    #21, pg. 2 (scarred face);
    #23, pg. 8, panel 1 (with Time Gem);
    #25
Ultra Monthly cover (Squad - full)
Godwheel#2, cover & pg. 7, panel 7 (new costume);
Ultraforce I#0 cover (face);
        pg. 4, panel 9 (leaping down);
    #1, pg. 13, panel 3 (jumping);
    #3, pg. 14, panel 1 (leaping to attack);
Ultraverse Year Zero: The Death of the Squad#1, pg. 1, panel 1 (pre-mutation face);
        pg. 5, panel 1-2 (LA pizza car & hat);
        pg. 6, panel 4 (upper body in pizza uniform)
    #2, pg.9, panel 1 (initial costume)
Ultraverse origins: Hardcase feature, pg. 1, panel 2
Avengers/Ultraforce#1 cover (vs. Captain America)
Ultraforce/Avengers#1, pg. 34-35 (alternate reality characters vs. Nemesis)
Ultraforce II#14 cover (return)
    #15, pg. 21 (eternal battle with Demonseed)


Appearances:
Hardcase#1 (June, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Jim Callahan (penciler), Norm Breyfogle (inker), Chris Ulm (editor)
Ultra Monthly#1 (June, 1993) - April Brown, J
ames Hudnall (writers), Gibbons (artist -- that's the signature on the cover, but there's no internal credit; the same image is used in the Squad feature), Chris Ulm (contributing editor)
Prime I#1 (June, 1993) - by Len Strazewski & Gerard Jones (writers), Norm Breyfogle (artist), Chris Ulm (editor)
Hardcase#2 (July, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Cranial Implants Studio (artists), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Hardcase Premiere Edition (July, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Art Nichols (art), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#3 (August, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Jim Callahan (penciler), Rodney Ramos (inker), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Strangers#3 (August, 1993) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (penciler), Tim Burgard & Larry Welch (inkers), Chris Ulm (editor)
Hardcase#4 (September, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Roger Robinson (penciler), Larry Welch (inker), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Hardcase#5 (October, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), James Hudnall & Steve Englehart (co-plotters), Scott Benefiel (penciler), Mike Christian (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#6 (November, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Scott Benefiel (penciler), Mike Christian & Jordi Ensign (inkers), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Solution#3 (November, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Darick Robertson (penciler), Barbara Kaalberg (inker)
, Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraverse Premiere#0/4 (or 0/3 if you didn't think the "Making of Run" feature counts) (November, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Kevin Maguire (artist)
, Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#7 (December, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Scott Benefiel (penciler), Mike Christian (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Solution#4 (December, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Darick Robertson (penciler), Barbara Kaalberg (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Break-Thru#1 (December, 1993) - Gerard Jones, Mike W. Barr, Steve Englehart, Steve Gerber, James D. Hudnall, Tom Mason, George Pérez & James Robinson & Len Strazewski (writers), Gerard Jones (script), George Pérez (pencils), John Lowe (inks), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Break-Thru#2 (January, 1994) - Gerard Jones (script), Gerard Jones, Mike W. Barr, Steve Englehart, Steve Gerber, James D. Hudnall, Tom Mason, George Pérez, James Robinson & Len Strazewski (plot), George Pérez (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Hank Kanalz & Chris Ulm (editors)
Hardcase#8 (January, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Scott Benefiel (penciler), Mike Christian (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Prime I#8 (January, 1994) - Gerard Jones & Len Strazewski (writers), Norm Breyfogle (artist)
, Hank Kanalz (editor)
Freex#7/2 (January, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Mike Zeck (artist), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Flood Relief#1 (January, 1994) - Dan Danko, Hank Kanalz, Thomas Mason (writers), Aaron Lopresti, Richard Pace (pencilers), John Lowe (inker), Chris Ulm (editor)
Hardcase#9 (February, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Brent Anderson (penciler), Art Nichols (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)hardcase-hawke-skybox3.jpg
Solution#6 (February, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), John Statema (penciler), Dennis Jensen (inker),
Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#10 (March, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Kelly Krantz (penciler), Jeff Whiting (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#11-12 (April-May, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Scott Benefiel (penciler), Jasen Rodriguez (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#13 (June, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Kelly Krantz (penciler), Jeff Whiting (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraverse Premiere#4 (flip-book with Strangers#13; June, 1994) - Len Strazewski (writer), Frank Gomez (penciler); other credits unrevealed
Hardcase#14 (July, 1994) -
James Hudnall (writer), Steve Carr (penciler), Dan Schaefer (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#15 (July, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Steve Carr (penciler), Dan Schaefer (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraforce I#0A (June, 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez (penciler), Al Vey (inker), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Ultraforce I#0B (July, 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez (penciler), Al Vey (inker), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Ultraforce I#1 (August, 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez (penciler), Al Vey (inker), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Ultraforce I#2 (October, 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez (breakdowns), John Statema (finishing pencils), Jeff Whiting & Barbara Kaalberg (inkers), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Freex#14 (October, 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), Scott Kolins (penciler), Jonathan Holdredge (inker),
Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraforce I#3 (November, 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez (penciler), Al Vey (inker), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Ultraforce I#4 (January, 1995) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez (penciler), Al Vey & Keith Aiken (inkers), Scott Bernstein (assistant editor), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraforce I#5 (February, 1995) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez (penciler), Al Vey, Keith Aiken, & Terry Austin (inkers), Scott Bernstein (assistant editor), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraforce I#6 (March, 1995) - Gerard Jones (writer), George Perez & Steven Butler (penciler), Dennis Jensen, Keith Aiken, & Al Vey (inkers), Scott Bernstein (assistant editor), Hank Kanalz (editor)Hardcase#15 (August, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Greg Luzniak & Tim Hamilton (pencilers), Craig Gilmore, Eric Ladd, Bruce McKorkindale & Terry Austin (inkers), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#16-17 (October-November, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Tim Hamilton (penciler), Keith Aiken (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Prime: Gross and Disgusting (Annual#1; October, 1994) - Len Strazewski & Gerard Jones (writers), Norm Breyfogle (artist),
Hank Kanalz (editor)
Prime I#16 (November, 1994) - Gerard Jones & Len Stazewski (writers), Joel Thomas (penciler), Jason Martin (inker), Scott Bernstein (assistant editor), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#18 (December, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Tim Hamilton (penciler), Keith Aiken & Richard Rankin (inkers), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#19 (January, 1995) - James Hudnall (writer), Kenn Bivins (penciler), John & Craig Gilmore (inkers), Hank Kanalz & Phil Crain (editors)
Godwheel#0 (January, 1995) - (first story) Chris Ulm & Dan Danko (script), Mark Pacella (penciler), Jerome Moore (inker), Dan Danko (editor)
           
(second story) Chris Ulm & Dan Danko (script), Scott Benefiel & Keith Conroy (penciler), Jim Amash & Rodney Gates (inker), Dan Danko (editor)
Godwheel#1 (January, 1995) - (first story) James D. Hudnall (writer), Gary Frank (penciler), Joe Rubinstein (inker), Larry Reynosa (editorial assistant), Dan Danko (editor)
            (second story)
James D. Hudnall (writer), Aaron Lopresti (artist), Larry Reynosa (editorial assistant), Dan Danko (editor)
Godwheel#2 (February, 1995) - (first story) Gerard Jones (writer), Mike Wieringo (penciler), Gary Martin (inker), Larry Reynosa (editorial assistant), Dan Danko (editor)
            (second story) Gerard Jones (writer), Scott Kolins (penciler), Temujin Minor (inker), Larry Reynosa (editorial assistant), Dan Danko (editor)
            (third story) Gerard Jones (writer), Gabriel Gecko (penciler), Temujin Minor (inker), Larry Reynosa (editorial assistant), Dan Danko (editor)
Godwheel#3 (February, 1995) (first story) Mike W. Barr (writer), Joe Madureira (penciler), Jasen Rodriguez & Steve Moncuse (inkers), Larry Reynosa (editorial assistant), Dan Danko (editor)
           
(second story) Mike W. Barr (writer), John Statema (penciler), Temujin Minor (inker), Larry Reynosa (editorial assistant), Dan Danko (editor)
            (third story) Mike W. Barr (writer), George Perez (penciler), Temujin Minor (inker), Larry Reynosa (editorial assistant), Dan Danko (editor)
Hardcase#20 (February, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), Kevin Bivins (penciler), Craig Gilmore & John Lowe (inkers), Hank Kanalz & Phil Crain (editors)

Firearm I#17 (February, 1995) - James Robinson (writer), Sneak E. Pete (layouts), Keith Conroy (penciler), Rodney Gates, Ken Branch, & Jason Martin (inkers), Scott Bernstein (assistant editor), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#21 (March, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), Tim Hamilton (penciler), Rich Rankin & Mark Morales (inkers), Phil Crain (editor)
Firearm I#18 (March, 1995) - James Robinson (writer), Arnie Jorgensen & Keith Conroy (pencilers), Mike Christian & Larry Welch (inkers), Scott Bernstein (assistant editor), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Prime I#21 (April, 1995) - Len Strazewski & Gerard D. Jones (writers), Joe Staton (penciler), Jeff Whiting (inker), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#22-23 (April-May, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), Tim Hamilton (penciler), Philip Moy, Scott Reed, & Dan Schaffer (inkers), Phil Crain (editor)
Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#1 (April, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), Scott Benefiel (penciler), Jasen Rodriguez (inker),
Hank Kanalz & Phil Crain (editors)
Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#2-3 (May-June, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), George Dove (penciler), Jeff Whiting (inker), Phil Crain (editor)
Hardcase#24 (June, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), Hugh Haynes (penciler), Dan Schaeffer (inker), Phil Crain (editor)
Hardcase#25 (July, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), Hugh Haynes (penciler), Philip Moy (inker), Phil Crain (editor)
Ultraverse Zero: Death of the Squad#4 (July, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), George Dove (penciler), Jeff Whiting & John Stangeland (inkers), Phil Crain (editor)
Hardcase#26 (August, 1995) - James D. Hudnall (writer), Hugh Haynes (penciler), Philip Moy & Aubrey Bradfor (inkers), Phil Crain (editor)
Ultraforce I#10 (July, 1995) - Hank Kanalz & Phil Crain (writers), John Royle & Joyce Chin (pencils), Jeff Whiting, Bruce Patterson & Jim Sanders (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraforce/Avengers Prelude (July, 1995) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), John Statema (pencils), Robin Riggs, Barbara Kaalberg, Larry Welch & Al Vey (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Avengers/Ultraforce (October, 1995) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Angel Medina & M.C. Wyman (pencils), Keith Aiken, Steve Alexandrov, Hector Collazo & Don Hudson (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Ultraforce/Avengers (Fall 1995) - Warren Ellis (writer), George Perez & Larry Welch (pencils), Paul Neary, Art Thibert, Ken Branch, Dennis Jensen, Karl Kesel, George Perez, Robin Riggs, Jon Statema & Al Vey (inks), Hank Kanalz & Scott Bernstein (editors)
Ultraforce II#13 (October, 1996) - Len Wein (writer), Deodato Studios & Carlos Mota (pencils), Deodato Studios & Rene Michelleti (inks)
Ultraforce II#14 (November, 1996) - Len Wein (writer), Renato Arlem & Deodato Studios (pencils), Deodato Studios & Jose Pimentel (inks)
Ultraforce II#15 (December, 1996) - Len Wein (writer), Andy Park (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks)


Last updated: 02/26/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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