Real Name: Bernardo (first name unrevealed)
Identity/Class: Human (Canadian)
Occupation: Military officer
Group Membership: Department H, Royal Canadian Air Force
Affiliations: Major Chasen, Corps Commandos, Captain Helm, Holderidge, James MacDonald Hudson, Mathews, Jack O'Diamonds (Jack Winters), Wolverine (Logan/James Howlett)
Enemies: Hulk (Bruce Banner), Mesmero (Vincent)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Department H base, Quebec, Canada
First Appearance: (unidentified) Incredible Hulk II#181 (November, 1974);
(identified) X-Men Legends II#1 (July, 2022)
Powers/Abilities: Colonel Bernardo is an experienced military officer although whether he has a combat record is unrevealed. He demonstrated knowledge of tactics.
Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'9")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 150 lbs.)
(X-Men Legends II#1 (fb) - BTS) - Colonel Bernardo was an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force and a senior official in command of Department H, the Canadian program designed to develop superhuman agents.
(Wolverine II#144 (fb)) - Department H convened to enlist Weapon X/Wolverine against the Hulk but James Hudson told them Wolverine had disappeared while fighting terrorists in Toronto on behalf of Major Chasen. Chasen blamed Hudson for losing track of Wolverine but just as Department H discussed conducting a search for him, Wolverine returned to the base, having been off battling the Leader (Samuel Sterns) during the interim.
(Incredible Hulk II#181) - Colonel Bernardo met with Mathews and Holderidge over what they knew about Weapon X's fight against the Hulk. Mathews reported that aerial reconnaissance confirmed he was fighting the Hulk but they knew little more. Holderidge asked whether they should have dispatched Wolverine alone into battle but Bernardo responded that they felt he was ready, considering how much money the Canadian government had spent training Wolverine. He acknowledged that, outside of "a few kinks in his psychological makeup," he felt they'd done well. In case Wolverine didn't succeed, however, Bernardo had a VTOL craft and commando team prepared to continue their fight against the Hulk.
(Incredible Hulk II#182 - BTS/Wolverine: Origins I#28 (fb) - BTS/X-Men Legends II#1 - BTS) - When the six hours Department H had allotted Wolverine were up, the VTOL craft was sent into battle under the command of Captain Helm. Helm and his men briefly stunned the Hulk with gas bombs and imprisoned him in a cage but the Hulk quickly broke free and escaped. Thankfully, the Hulk fled back to the United States.
(X-Men Legends II#1) - Three days after the encounter with the Hulk, Wolverine went to meet with Colonel Bernardo. Bernardo informed Wolverine he would soon be stepping down from his post at Department H but had one more assignment for Wolverine before that happened. Bernardo ordered Wolverine to cross the border and investigate two mutants in Long Island, New York. Bernardo assigned another mutant working for Department H, Jack O'Diamonds, to accompany Wolverine on his mission. As Jack possessed teleportation powers, Bernardo intended for him to provide transport onto US soil without attracting attention.
(X-Men Legends II#2) - Wolverine returned to base with the mutant villain Mesmero as his prisoner, explaining that Jack O'Diamonds was gone, the two having turned on each other in the field. Bernardo was livid that Wolverine lost his partner and missed one of his targets, and Bernardo assigned Wolverine to the barracks. Captain Helm overheard the conversation and suggested Wolverine might turn rogue. Bernardo agreed and considered that it might be necessary at some point for the Canadian government to terminate Wolverine but, as he was leaving his Department H assignment, it would be someone else's headache.
Comments: Created by Len Wein, Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel. Named by Roy Thomas.
The Hulk's fight with the RCAF vehicle and commandos was retold in X-Men Legends II#1 from Wolverine's perspective. It's also seen via flashback in Wolverine: Origins I#28 but although that flashback is visually different (the commandos have different costumes, for instance), it doesn't add new information. The X-Men Legends scenes are much more faithful to the original fight with the Hulk.
The RCAF captain who alerted Department H to the Hulk crossing the border in Incredible Hulk II#180 hasn't been named but he does look like Holderidge, so they might be the same person.
Captain Helm's voice was heard ordering Wolverine off the field in Incredible Hulk II#182. He didn't appear in full until X-Men Legends II#1.
Bernardo might be in other appearances of Department H bigwigs prior to Giant-Size X-Men I#1 but I included Wolverine II#144 as he's certain to be one of the unidentified military officials during the Hulk encounter. Mathews and Holderidge could possibly be two of the others, although we don't know how senior they were within Department H.
Bernardo says in X-Men Legends that he's stepping down as head of Department H, which means that Major Chasen was his successor. Shortly after that, Chasen was himself replaced by General Jeremy Clarke (flashback in Alpha Flight I#92).
The Corps Commandos might have been intended to be the Canadian Airborne Regiment but since they were disbanded in 1995, it no longer fits the sliding timeline.
Bernardo is behind-the-scenes during the commandos' VTOL craft attack on the Hulk, as seen in Incredible Hulk II#182 (and again in Wolverine: Origins I#28 (fb) and X-Men Legends II#1). We saw Bernardo preparing to send the VTOL craft in Incredible Hulk II#181 although he didn't accompany the commandos in the field.
Profile by Prime Eternal.
Colonel Bernardo should not be confused with:
Captain Helm was a Canadian officer in the Corps Commandos and commanded the VTOL craft which Colonel Bernardo dispatched against the Hulk. Helm arrived in the craft just as the 6-hour time limit Wolverine had been granted to capture the Hulk ran out. Helm ordered Wolverine inside the craft while the Corps Commandos engaged the Hulk in battle as a distraction. Helm then fired gas bombs at the Hulk which proved able to stun him and they loaded the Hulk into a cage so the craft could carry the Hulk back to their base but the Hulk swiftly awoke and smashed out of the cage. Helm returned Wolverine to base empty-handed. Later, Helm observed a tense argument between Wolverine and Colonel Bernardo when Wolverine lost his partner Jack O'Diamonds while on field assignment. Hearing Wolverine threaten to go AWOL, Helm told Bernardo it likely wasn't an idle threat. Bernardo agreed with Helm.
--Incredible Hulk II#182 - BTS (Wolverine: Origins I#28 (fb) - BTS, X-Men Legends II#1-2,
The Corps Commandos were an elite team of Canadian soldiers working for Department H under Colonel Bernardo through the Royal Canadian Air Force. One of their number was nicknamed "Skipper" by a subordinate. After Wolverine's battle with the Hulk, the Corps Commando were sent aboard the RCAF's VTOL craft piloted by Captain Helm and engaged the Hulk in battle in order to create a distraction while the craft fired gas bombs at the Hulk. The gas bombs stunned the Hulk and he was placed inside a giant cage as the commandos returned to base but the Hulk quickly revived and broke out of the cage.
--Incredible Hulk II#182 (Wolverine: Origins I#28/X-Men Legends II#1-2,
Holderidge was a Royal Canadian Air Force officer assigned under Colonel Bernardo to Department H. While Wolverine was battling the Hulk, Holderidge conferred with Bernardo and Mathews. Holderidge questioned whether they should have deployed Wolverine into battle solo but Colonel Bernardo vouched for his judgment, reminding Holderidge of how much money had been spent preparing Wolverine for battle. Bernardo hoped that the VTOL craft they had prepared would be able to finish the fight against the Hulk should Wolverine fail.
--Incredible Hulk II#181
Mathews was a Royal Canadian Air Force officer assigned under Colonel Bernardo to Department H. While Wolverine was battling the Hulk, Mathews conferred with Bernardo and Holderidge. Mathews reported to Bernardo that aerial reconnaissance had verified that Wolverine had entered the target zone to battle the Hulk but they knew little else about his status.
--Incredible Hulk II#181
The Royal Canadian Air Force had an advanced vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle which they deployed against the Hulk. Colonel Bernardo hoped that the craft and the squad of Corps Commandos aboard would triumph over the Hulk should Wolverine fail. When Wolverine's allotted six hours were up, the VTOL craft, under the command of Captain Helm, engaged the Hulk, first deploying the commandos as a distraction then firing gas bombs at the Hulk until he was stunned unconscious. The crew loaded the Hulk into a steel cage which was suspended from the craft with cables so they could ferry the Hulk back to Department H but the Hulk awoke, having taken little of the gas into his lungs, and he smashed out of the cage. The Hulk quickly returned to the other side of the Canadian border and the craft returned to its base.
The craft was capable of hovering in the air using its propeller blades but could also travel horizontally using powerful jet engines. It had a large cab for carrying more than a dozen commandos and fired gas bombs. It also went into the field with a large steel cage for the attempt at confining the Hulk.
--Incredible Hulk II#181 (182, Wolverine: Origins I#28 (fb), X-Men Legends II#1,
images: (without ads)
X-Men Legends II#1, page 11, panel 5 (body)
X-Men Legends II#1, page 10, panel 3 (face)
Incredible Hulk II#182, page 2, panel 2 (Commandos)
X-Men Legends II#1, page 9, panel 5 (Helm)
Incredible Hulk II#181, page 8, panel 1 (Holderidge)
Incredible Hulk II#181, page 8, panel 1 (Mathews)
Incredible Hulk II#182, page 1 (VTOL)
Incredible Hulk II#181 (November, 1974) - Len Wein (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#182 (December, 1974) - Len Wein (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils, inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Wolverine II#144 (November, 1999) - Erik Larsen (writer), Eric Stephenson (writer), Mike S. Miller (pencils), Vince Russell (inks), Mark Powers (editor)
Wolverine: Origins I#28 (November, 2008) - Daniel Way (writer), Mike Deodato, Jr. (art), John Barber (editor)
X-Men Legends II#1-2 (July-November, 2022) - Roy Thomas (writer), Dave Wachter (artist), Mark Basso (editor)
First posted: 01/04/2023
Last updated: 01/04/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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