Real Name: Tiffany Evans
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Occupation: (as Evans) Cyberneticist, (as Technique) corporate enforcer
Affiliations: Employee of Alva Technologies, ally of
formerly Sabrina Alva
Enemies: Sabrina Alva;
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Alva Technologies headquarters, Mason Building, downtown Dakota
First Appearance: Hardware #9 (Milestone, September 1993)
Powers/Abilities: Tiffany Evans is one of the top scientists in the field of cybernetics. She is also a brilliant computer programmer and a capable inventor. As an expert in aikido, Evans is a highly formidable hand-to-hand combatant.
All of Tiffany Evans' superhuman abilities derive from her Technique armor, a high-tech battlesuit resembling a smaller version of Hardware's Mark 1.0 armor. The armor's primary layer is composed of a plasticized liquid metal alloy of her own design. When applied to Tiffany's body and polarized, the liquid metal becomes a form-fitting, impact resistant shell. This shell can shrug off small-caliber gunfire and has energy ablative capabilities that protect Technique from low-level energy attacks like electricity and laser beams.
The composition of Technique's shell allows it to relax and contract like muscles in the human body, but with much greater force. This force along with the shell's resiliency enables the armor to increase Technique's strength to superhuman levels.
Despite all its amazing abilities, Technique's shell has two drawbacks. First, she cannot eat or drink while wearing the shell. Secondly, the shell becomes brittle after prolonged use because its molecular structure is far less stable than that of Hardware's shell. Moreover, the shell loses its molecular integrity completely when Technique removes it through depolarization, forcing her to discard it and don a brand new shell.
Over the shell is worn the secondary layer of armor, on which is mounted Technique's armaments and other equipment. Her primary offensive weapon is a Maser worn on her right forearm. The Maser projects a narrow beam of destructive energy similar to a laser (i.e., optical maser). The exact power limits of the Maser are unknown although a single blast was sufficient to damage Hardware's Mark 1.0 armor.
Technique's secondary offensive weapon is her plasma sword that she carries in a scabbard on her back. The sword's blade can be sheathed in a field of high energy plasma when she presses a switch concealed in the weapon's handle. When so charged, the sword blade can slice through virtually any material and even deflect certain forms of energy. The sword blade is coated with an energy ablative substance that prevents it from being consumed by the plasma.
Technique also carries a high-tech pistol in her holster. The full offensive capabilities of the gun have yet to be revealed.
Technique uses additional armaments as needed. These include a hand-held weapon that shoots a stream of quick-drying Technique shell fluid at high pressure. When applied to the ground, the liquid metal will adhere to and immobilize anyone who steps in it. The metal can only be removed if it is depolarized with the proper electrical charge.
Technique flies through use of a jet pack similar in design and function to that of the Hardware Mark 1.0. However, with the full resources of Alva Technologies at her disposal, Technique has designed a jet pack that is far more fuel efficient than Hardware's original rig. As a result, Technique can remain airborne for well over 15 minutes before having to refuel.
All the systems in Technique armor are controlled by a miniaturized on-board computer. The computer accepts manual inputs from controls located on her belt, forearm, and throat.
History: Displaying her scientific brilliance at an early age, Tiffany Evans choosing a career as a cyberneticist was no surprise. Nevertheless, in a male-dominated field, many of her superiors and colleagues frequently questioned her intelligence because of her gender and good looks. Such sexism only made Tiffany strive even harder to become a leading expert in cybernetics.
Evans' accomplishments caught the attention of the renowned Edwin Alva, the multibillionaire owner of Alva Technologies. Alva explained to Tiffany that several of his company's facilities in Dakota had been attacked by an armored saboteur called Hardware. In response, the industrialist created a research team based at Alva Technologies headquarters to develop a means to defeat Hardware. Alva believed that Evans' expertise would be a boon to the group. Intrigued by the challenge, Evans accepted his offer.
On Tiffany Evans' first day at Alva Technologies, Alva introduced her to Curtis Metcalf, Alva's top employee and head of the anti-Hardware team. Evans and Metcalf became fast friends because of their shared love of science and similar experiences with on-the-job discrimination. Tiffany did feel Metcalf was too much of a workaholic as she had to correct his flawed calculations that had cost the team several weapon prototypes.
However, Metcalf's mistakes were intentional. Unknown to Evans and Alva, Metcalf was Hardware, an alter ego Curt created to destroy Alva Technologies facilities that were fronts for his employer's covert criminal operations. Hence, Metcalf was using his position as team leader to subtly sabotage the efforts of his own colleagues including Tiffany in order to thwart Alva's latest attempt to eliminate him. But Tiffany's attention to detail was disrupting Metcalf's plan, which he ultimately abandoned after a suspicious Alva threatened legal action if Curtis' work did not improve.
Thus, Metcalf changed tactics by inventing a robotic tank, which he secretly designed so that Hardware could easily defeat it. Though Alva was impressed with the tank, Evans thought such a forceful tactic would fail because it would be exactly what Hardware would expect. Defeating Hardware would require a change in technique. Evans proposed the construction of an armored battlesuit that could neutralize Hardware by exploiting his weaknesses. Evans volunteered to pilot the armor, explaining that a female operator's smaller size and lower weight would make the suit more maneuverable and fuel efficient in flight. Despite Metcalf's protests, he was ordered by Alva to immediately build the armor to Tiffany's specifications. She named the battlesuit Technique.
Curtis Metcalf did not relish fighting a friend and tried to dissuade Evans from battling Hardware as Technique. However, in trying to make his case, he made the mistake of saying Hardware was too dangerous an opponent for a "girl" like Evans. Tiffany was outraged by Curtis' chauvinist remark and was now even more determined to defeat Hardware.
Evans got her chance when Alva let word leak out that a late night shipment of Alva Technologies equipment from Colombia would be arriving at Dakota Airport. Hardware intercepted the shipment, which he believed was illegal drugs, but turned out to be Technique, who savagely attacked him. Realizing he could not go easy on Technique, Hardware fought back with equal ferocity and just barely succeeded in knocking her unconscious.
But Technique had one last trick up her sleeve. When Hardware attempted to download software from Technique's on-board computer, his systems were infected by a virus hidden in Tiffany's computer files. The virus activated Hardware's jet pack, launching the vigilante helplessly into the air before shutting down his armor's on-board computer. Hardware managed to reactivate his jet pack manually, but still painfully crash-landed into a hangar. Hence, the first battle between Technique and Hardware ended in a draw.
Though she did not capture Hardware, Tiffany unwittingly won his respect when a recovering Curt Metcalf apologized for doubting her abilities. Metcalf's admission did much to restore the friendship between him and Tiffany. In fact, over the following months, Tiffany grew attracted to Curtis and eventually admitted her feelings to him. Though flattered, Curt explained that he already had a serious girlfriend, Barraki Young. Tiffany was disappointed by this news, but appreciated his honesty.
As for Tiffany's armored alter ego, Edwin Alva appointed Technique as Alva Technologies' corporate enforcer, who would defend company assets from threats like Hardware. Naturally, Technique was shocked when Alva later announced that she would be sharing her duties with Hardware, who was no longer an enemy of the company. This new status quo was the result of Alva forging a secret alliance with Hardware after learning he was Curt Metcalf. As a result, Curtis was promoted to vice president of the company while ceasing hostilities against Alva's criminal operations, which Metcalf dismantled through legal means.
This arrangement ended with Edwin Alva's death during the Utopia Park Riots. As vice president, Curtis Metcalf became not only the new head of Alva Technologies, but also the sole inheritor of Alva's vast fortune. This did not sit well with Alva's daughter, Sabrina, who felt she was more worthy of her father's inheritance and was now determined to ruin Metcalf's life. The fact that Curtis founded his own company, Hard Co., as the first step to cutting all ties with Alva Technologies could not dissuade Sabrina Alva from her vendetta.
Tiffany Evans was drawn into this conflict when Sabrina supplied her with false information making it appear that Metcalf and Hardware were the same person. (Ironically, Sabrina had correctly deduced Hardware's real identity without realizing it.) Though initially skeptical, Tiffany concluded that the information was correct after reflecting on all the unusual setbacks the anti-Hardware team suffered early in their weapons testing. Tiffany confronted Curtis with her theory, but he denied being Hardware.
As Sabrina Alva hoped, Tiffany was so disgusted by Curt's obvious lie that she accepted Alva's assignment to steal a vital computer component from Hard Co. In the course of the theft, Technique encountered Hardware, whom she promptly attacked because he had deceived her. Hardware tried to end the fight by finally admitting his true identity, but Technique used this moment of hesitation to immobilize him with a layer of quick-drying liquid metal. By the time Hardware freed himself, Technique had escaped with the component, which she proudly gave to Sabrina Alva.
Unfortunately, Technique's act of revenge would hurt more than Hardware when Sabrina installed the stolen component into the IRAA, a flying robotic weapon that could quickly adapt to its opponent's attacks. Alva then dispatched the IRAA to destroy all of Alva Technologies' holdings rather than have them fall into Curt Metcalf's hands. The IRAA's first target was the Alva Technologies' engineering facilities in the Dakota suburb of Lakeview. Technique received the emergency signal from the facility and realized she was indirectly responsible for the IRAA's attack. Upon arriving on the scene, she witnessed the IRAA trying to strangle Hardware, who had also responded to the alarm. Technique distracted the robot long enough for Hardware to free himself. The two armored heroes then teamed up to outwit and ultimately destroy the IRAA.
Technique berated herself for being manipulated by Sabrina Alva, but Hardware forgave her since Alva would have used someone else as her pawn. He then confessed to Tiffany that the whole incident could have been avoided had he been more honest with her. Having made amends, the friendship between Tiffany and Curtis was stronger than ever.
Tiffany Evans still serves in her dual role as cyberneticist and corporate enforcer at Alva Technologies. But, considering her negative experience with Sabrina Alva, it remains to be seen if Tiffany will continue her career at the company.
Comments: Technique was created by Dwayne McDuffie.
McDuffie revealed that in the final, unpublished, issue of HARDWARE (Issue #51), Curtis Metcalf would retire from crimefighting and pass on the mantle of Hardware to Tiffany Evans.
Profile by Fred Weaver.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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