Joseph Hauer

Agent HauerLooks like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is digging up some of the most unknown S.H.I.E.L.D. agents from the comics in this latest episodes. Even in The Things We Bury we have one, albeit he appears very briefly in the show. During Daniel Whitehall‘s (or, if you prefer, Werner Reinhardt‘s) flashback, we see two agents freeing him in his old age following the orders of Alexander Pierce, at the time an undersecretary: one of the two agents is Hauer, portrayed by Lou Ferrigno Jr. (yes, the son of the Lou Ferrigno). In the show he doesn’t do much but to bring the almost-invalid Reinhardt out of his cell to Austria, proving in the meanwhile his loyalty goes to Hydra as he accompanies the good doctor during his creepy experiments. In the comics, he’s something more…even more than human, actually. Let’s see together.

After Project: Manhattan, the one that gave birth to Captain America, many people all over the world tried to replicate the experiment and to create other Super Soldiers, building the army Manhattan was supposed to produce. Great Britain as well seeked to participate to the effort, and had brilliant Doctor Jave Khan try to replicate Abraham Erskine‘s formula: the first succesfull attempt of Khan’s had been with American Frank Simpson, a success that led GB to hire him to do the same for them. Among the volunteers there was Captain Joseph Hauer, a hero from the Falkland War, who participated the project along with Lee ChildsAlec DaltonPaul TurnerKenneth Wright and Oscar Black. Khan used on the British majorhauercomics1soldiers the same chemical and technology he had used on Simpson, and Hauer and the others succesfully became Super Soldiers, with their abilities and strength enhanced, and with a lot of tools from the military labs at disposal. Hauer, promoted Major, was supposed to lead the team of Super Soldiers, who now formed a special task force answering directly and only to the Prime Minister. Unfortunately Khan’s first creature, Simpson, going by the name Nuke, had gone mad and had been killed in the US in a fight against the original Captain America and Daredevil. Not wanting to risk all the others follow Nuke’s footsteps, the British government decided to cancel the program, apparently just in time: during a mission in Cambodia, Childs had gone berserk and attacked his own teammates, with Hauer being the only (apparent) survivor of his rage. Hauer came back to GB and reported the mission, with the result of having his superiors put him on suspended animation; all the scientists who tried to make what happened be publicly known got killed, and the Super Soldiers were forcefully forgotten.

Hauer woke up years later in Orgely, inside a cryogenic tube in ECE research center. With his memory lost, Hauer acted on instinct, raided the armory and used what he found to escape; on the outside of the facility he met a journalist, Sarah Wilde, who was investigating on ECE, and he took her car (with her onboard) to escape. Guessing what Hauer was, Wilde brought him to Khan’s place, where the doctor recognized his creature and tried to fill in the gaps in his memory. The government knew where Hauer was, and sent a S.A.S. squad, led by Lee Childs, to kill him: Doctor Khan was murdered, but Hauer and Sarah managed to escape with Khan’s notes. Using it, Hauer arrived to majorhauercomics2the (abandoned) Super Soldiers control centre, where his memory could be restored. Following his memories, Hauer came back to Cambodia, where he found out Alec Dalton had survived, and had managed to break free of his programming through the self-discipline taught to him by the buddhist monks that had saved him. Hauer and Dalton came back to GB together, but they found out that ECE director, Sir Marcus Grantby-Fox, had convinced the Avengers liaison Henry Gyrich to send to England another Super Soldier, US Agent, to hunt for Hauer, declaring he was a traitor and a communist. Hauer and Dalton fought US Agent, who however realised he had been deceived the moment some Welsh soldiers led by Childs attacked them. The three Super Soldiers easily won the battle, and Hauer recruited one of them, Gog, freed from his mind-conditioning by Dalton, to be a part of his new squadron. Now, Hauer had regained his memories and gathered a new team, and he was ready to take his revenge on Childs and Sir Marcus and to clean his name. Finally, the Super Soldier was heading to war.

Joseph Hauer is a harsh and gritty man, a brave and loyal soldier who decided to sacrifice everything to his country, and had in return only treason and deception. He can be pretty brutal and violent, but he’s essentially calm and reflexive, a tactician able to control himself even in the midst of battle. As a Super Soldier, his physical attributes (strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, healing) have been enhanced and this, summed to his military training and the futurist arsenal at his disposal, make him a remarkable fighter. His appendix has also been replace with an artificial organ that produces several drugs depending on the necessity: when Hauer is excited, it produces Red, an amphetamine that enhances his combat skills even more than usual; when Red’s effect is over, Blue is produced, a tranquillizer to compensate the Red; it can also produce White to bring him down. Free of the mind-control that made him a pawn in the British government’s hands, Hauer is a free man, who’s not going to stop fighting for what he believes is right, even if that means fighting his country for his country’s sake.

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