Little is known about Fuselage, a reluctant member of the Man-Melds, superhuman mercenaries who served the criminal geneticist Malleus. Fuselage was once a brilliant inventor who designed advanced weapons systems like his Exo-Suit battle armor, his proudest creation. This work impressed the notorious criminal geneticist Malleus, who felt the engineer would make a fine Man-Meld, whether he wanted to be or not. Malleus gained access to the Exo-Suit, into which he introduced "organic nanobots," microscopic robots programmed to bond the armor to the inventor when he next wore it. Hence, after taking the Exo-Suit for a test flight, its creator realized the suit had merged with his body and could not be removed without killing him. Malleus then revealed himself to the inventor, explaining how he had sabotaged the suit.> Malleus added that the inventor's servitude would not last forever, at which point he would be restored to normal. From that point on, the inventor was known by a new name: Fuselage.
Malleus sent Fuselage to perform all sorts of unethical, often criminal acts, including possibly murder. Fuselage began to secretly loath the monster he had become morally as well as physically, but used Malleus' promise of a cure to justify his actions.
Fuselage's loyalty seemed to be finally rewarded when Malleus declared that he developed a means to reverse the nanobot bonding process. The catch to receiving this treatment was that Fuselage would have to perform one last mission for Malleus. (It is unclear if Malleus was telling the truth or was lying to maintain Fuselage's loyalty.) A computer file with information revealing the existence of both Malleus and his criminal experiments had fallen into the possession of the Dakota-based engineering firm, Hard Company. Malleus' hacker, Lender, had tried to electronically steal the file before Hard Company realized what they had, but he was thwarted by their computer expert, Deacon "Phreaky" Stuart.Since the subtlety had failed, Fuselage's more direct approach was needed.
Fuselage quickly flew to Dakota and blasted his way into the office of a shocked Stuart. Uncertain of which file to steal, the cyborg mercenary ordered Stuart to copy all of Hard Company's computer files onto a disc. Stuart used this opportunity to stall for time until help could arrive. Learning of the break in, Hard Company's enforcer, Hardware, surprised Fuselage by smashing through Stuart's office window and taking them both back outside. Fuselage then engaged in a fierce aerial dogfight with Hardware, who soon realized he was outmatched. So, Hardware changed tactics by retreating and weaving between Dakota's buildings to evade Fuselage, who was now determined to kill his foe, viewing him as the final obstacle to reclaiming his humanity.
During another pass through the city, Hardware noticed an office building whose windows were highly reflective. After scanning the building to confirm the floor he flew past was unoccupied, the armored superhero slowed down enough so Fuselage could get a target lock. Hardware then suddenly went into a climb, just dodging the particle beams fired by Fuselage. As Hardware hoped, the beams reflected off the office building's surface and sliced through Fuselage's wings. Unable to stop himself, Fuselage's momentum sent the mercenary crashing through the office building before landing onto the street below. A triumphant Hardware unmasked Fuselage and was horrified by his foe's appearance.
Fuselage recounted his origin to Hardware and then begged Hardware to prevent others from sharing his fate. Unfortunately, this conversation was overheard by Malleus, who had secretly installed a listening device into the Exo-Suit. Fearing that Fuselage was about to reveal his identity, Malleus activated a "failsafe switch" in Fuselage's nanobots that would cause him to self-destruct. Via his Exo-Suit, Fuselage detected the activation signal and pleaded with Malleus to show mercy. But it was too late as the nanobots painfully disintegrated Fuselage, leaving behind a lifeless metal shell.
With that, Malleus believed he had covered his tracks and returned to his experiments. This arrogance would prove Malleus' downfall since Hardware was now determined to avenge Fuselage's senseless death. Thus, he had Phreaky crack the computer file, whose information enabled him to locate Malleus and bring him to justice.
- Cybernetic Enhancement: Malleus' organic nanobots fully and permanently bonded Fuselage's biological systems with the systems in his Exo-Suit. This transformed him into a cyborg, possessing all the capabilities of his armor.
- Superhuman Durability: The Exo-Suit was composed of a high strength alloy of unknown composition. Encased in this armored shell, Fuselage could easily withstand direct hits from weapons short of a particle beam.
- Superhuman Strength: Since the Exo-suit was fully integrated into his musculature, Fuselage's strength was enhanced to superhuman levels.
- Flight: Fuselage could also fly thanks to four miniature jet engines, two mounted on each wing. He could reach a top speed in excess of 270 mph. At this speed, Fuselage could remain airborne for at least six hours before he had to refuel his engines. Because his nervous system was tied directly into the Exo-Suit's navigation system, his reflexes and maneuverability in flight bordered on the superhuman. Fuselage could seal the Exo-suit when he operated at high altitudes or other low-oxygen environments, relying on by a built-in air supply to sustain his organic parts.
Fuselage was a brilliant inventor, specializing in designing advanced weapons systems like his Exo-Suit.
- Biological Systems: The organic parts of Fuselage's body still required food, water, oxygen and sleep for sustenance.
- Failsafe Switch: Like all Man-Melds, the organic nanobots in Fuselage's body were equipped with a failsafe switch that Malleus can activate by remote. When activated, the switch broke down the nanobots, causing their host to painfully disintegrate in the process.
Fuselage wielded a pair of particle beam cannons, each one worn under a forearm and fired using a top-mounted trigger. The cannons generated particle beams capable of blasting a man-sized hole in a concrete wall; whether this was the maximum output of the weapons is unknown. Fuselage could switch the particle beam cannons to a rapid-fire mode. Though less powerful in this mode, the particle beams were harder for highly maneuverable or fast targets to evade.The particle beam cannons were linked to an a head-up display (HUD) projected on Fuselage's visor for targeting and tracking.
Enemy of Hardware
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