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Tiffany Evans (Dakotaverse)

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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.[1] Such sexism only made Tiffany strive even harder to become a leading expert in cybernetics.

Career at Alva Technologies

Evans’ accomplishments caught the attention of the renowned Edwin Alva, the multi-billionaire owner of Alva Technologies.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1] 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 battle suit 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.[1] Despite Metcalf’s protests, he was ordered by Alva to immediately build the armor to Tiffany’s specifications. She named the battle suit Technique.

Hardware versus 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.[1] 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 her computer files.[1] The virus activated Hardware’s jet pack, launching him 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 after the pack ran out of fuel. Hence, the first battle between Technique and Hardware ended in a draw.[1]

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.[2] 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.[3] This new status quo was the result of Alva forging a secret alliance with Hardware after learning he was Curt Metcalf.[4] As a result, Curtis was promoted to vice president of the company while ceasing hostilities against Alva’s criminal operations, which Metcalf dismantled through more legal means.

This arrangement ended with Edwin Alva’s death during the Utopia Park Riots.[5] 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. Even Curtis founding his own company, Hard Company as the first step to cutting all ties with Alva Technologies could not dissuade Sabrina Alva from her vendetta.

Hardware versus Technique: The Rematch

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.[6] (Ironically, Sabrina was correct 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 his 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.[6]

Unfortunately, Technique’s act of revenge would hurt more than Hardware. After receiving the stolen component, Sabrina installed it 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.[6]

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.[6]

A New Direction

Months later, the court ruled in favor of Curt Metcalf, who was now the undisputed owner of Alva Technologies. However, Curt eventually concluded that he was tired of the corporate world and thus sold the company to his former partners in Hard Company. He also decided to retire from crime fighting, but realized that his alter ego Hardware was still needed to protect Alva Tech and Dakota. Curt believed the most qualified person to be the new Hardware was Tiffany, who eagerly accepted his offer. The pair then designed a modified version of his Hardware armor that would conceal the fact that the armored crime fighter was now a woman. Thus, Tiffany Evans, the woman who had dedicated her career to destroying Hardware, now would give him a new lease on life.[7]

Final Crisis

Shortly thereafter, Tiffany's universe would be destroyed by a tear in the space-time continuum caused by the death of Darkseid, a godlike tyrant from a parallel universe.[8] This catastrophe was foreseen by Dharma, precognitive leader of the Shadow Cabinet, who realized the only way his universe could survive would be to merge it with Darkseid's universe.[7] Tapping into the reality warping powers of the being called Rift, Dharma successfully merged the universes into a new continuity.[8] To prevent inhabitants of both universes from being shocked by this merger, Dharma subtly altered the new timeline so they believed they had always lived in the same dimension.[7] Besides Dharma, only Superman and Hardware's ally Icon are aware that Dakota and its inhabitants once existed in a parallel universe.[8]

As a result of Dharma's manipulations, Curt Metcalf and Tiffany Evans resumed their armored alter egos of Hardware and Technique, respectively.


Abilities

  • Genius Level Intellect
  • Science: Tiffany Evans is one of the top experts in the field of cybernetics.[1]
  • Computer Operation: Tiffany Evans is a brilliant computer programmer.[1]
  • Gadgetry: Tiffany Evans is a skilled inventor.[1]
  • Aikido: Tiffany Evans has a black belt in aikido, making her a highly formidable hand-to-hand combatant.[1] Her fighting skills are enhanced considerably by her armor.

Equipment

  • Technique Armor: All of Tiffany Evans’ superhuman abilities derive from her Technique armor, a high-tech battlesuit resembling a smaller version of Hardware’s Version 1.0 armor.[1] 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. 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.
  • Hardware Armor (formerly): As Hardware, Tiffany wore a modified version of the Hardware Version 2.0 armor.[7] Unlike the original Version 2.0 suit, Tiffany's armor was a powered exoskeleton worn over her basic armor instead of being composed of a layer of nano-robots.[7] To create the illusion that she was male, the Hardware armor was heavily padded to give her a masculine build while a built-in voice synthesizer deepened her voice.[7]

Transportation

  • Jet Pack: Technique flies through use of a jet pack similar in design and function to the first jet-pack used by Hardware.[6] 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.

Weapons

  • Maser: Technique wears a powerful Maser on her right forearm.[1] This weapon 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 severely damage Hardware’s Mark 1.0 armor.[1]
  • Plasma Sword: Technique's plasma sword is a melee weapon carried 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.[1] When so charged, the sword blade can slice through virtually any material and even deflect certain forms of energy.[6] The sword blade is coated with an energy ablative substance that prevents it from being consumed by the plasma.
  • Pistol: Technique carries a high-tech pistol in her holster.[1] The full offensive capabilities of the gun have yet to be revealed.
  • Miscellaneous: 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.[6] 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.[1]
  • Technique was among several characters to appear in the Milestone: The Dakota Universe trading card series that debuted in 1993. Technique appears on Card #26.
  • The trading card gives insight on how Milestone creators initially wanted to portray Technique. According to the card, Technique was a mysterious thief who somehow duplicated Hardware's armor and weaponry. The "Confidential" section of the card reveals that Technique was attracted to Hardware despite them being on opposite sides of the law. When Technique debuted in Hardware #9, she was reimagined as a more heroic and sympathetic character though elements of her initial personality like her love/hate relationship with Hardware remained.
  • Milestone Media planned to published a mini-series starring Technique written by Jo Duffy and drawn by Colleen Doran, but the deal fell through. However, Doran did post artwork from the mini-series on the comic book news website, Newsarama.[9]
  • On his forum, the late Dwayne 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. He finally got the chance to tell this story in Milestone Forever #2.

Related


Footnotes


Milestone 01
Milestone Media
DC Rebirth Logo

This article is related to Milestone Media, a sub-division of DC Comics, that published the self-contained "Dakotaverse" under its own logo. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Milestone Media" category.


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