Archer is one of the Man-Melds, mercenaries granted super powers by the criminal geneticist Malleus.
Like all Man-Melds, Archer had been infused with "organic nanobots," microscopic robots that enhanced and mutated human DNA. In Archer's case, the nanobots granted him a reptilian appearance and certain undefined abilities . Most Man-Melds were hired out to Malleus' clients ranging from national governments to organized crime. However, Archer was part of a smaller elite group of Man-Melds who served as Malleus' bodyguards, enforcers, and lieutenants. During his service, Archer became good friends with another Man-Meld lieutenant named Duke.
Archer thought serving Malleus was a great deal due to the pay and the prestige. Unknown to the Man-Melds, their powers came with a cost in the form of a "failsafe switch" that Malleus secretly installed in their organic nanobots.  Upon receiving an activation signal from Malleus, this switch caused the nanobots to self-destruct, killing their host via molecular disintegration. The failsafe switch was Malleus' insurance against Man-Melds rebelling against him due to their own volition or being persuaded to do so by his clients. To avoid suspicion, Malleus lied to Archer and the other Man-Melds that the sudden disintegration of their comrades was due to defects in their mutated DNA.  The Man-Melds accepted Malleus' story so much so that they pledged loyalty to him in hopes he could cure the "defects." 
In recent times, Malleus embarked on his most ambitious project yet: Transformation Station, a secret orbital genetics laboratory. As the first step, Malleus ordered Archer and Duke to establish a base from which to launch the Doctor Moreau, a U.S. military rocketship covertly sold to him by industrialist and crimelord Edwin Alva. The Man-Melds found the perfect base in an ancient Chavin temple in a Peruvian rainforest. Alva covertly shipped the disassembled Doctor Moreau as well as 36 cryogenic chambers to the temple, where the rocket was assembled while guarded by an army of local guerrillas hired by Archer and Duke. This army was supported by the Huenta Aires, a huge winged serpent created by Malleus to eliminate trespassers not deterred by the guerillas. The Huenta Aires also ensured the loyalty of the guerrillas who thought the creature was an ancient god worshiped by their ancestors. 
Once the Doctor Moreau was assembled, the rocketship transported the pressurized modules used to build Transformation Station in low orbit. Malleus soon boarded the completed space station, which now served as his permanent home as well as laboratory. However, Archer and Duke's duties did end since they were now in charge of operations at the temple, from which the the Doctor Moreau would regularly ferry personnel and supplies to and from Transformation Station.
Malleus' smoothly run operations were endangered when the Pentagon discovered Alva's illegal sale of the Dr. Moreau though they did not know the buyer's identity. Malleus began eliminating evidence tying the rocketship back to him. To further cover his tracks, he ordered Archer and Duke to begin evacuating temple base, which would be destroyed with crates of nitroglycerin. Malleus then learned a computer file containing Alva's bill of sale to Peru had wound up among the files of Alva's protege, Curtis Metcalf, at Hard Company. Malleus hired the teen computer genius Lender to use the Chavin temple's computer network to steal the file from Hard Company before it was discovered. In exchange, Malleus promised to turn Lender into a Man-Meld. Archer and Duke were initially skeptical of the geeky Lender, but soon took a liking to him and considered him a valued teammate.
When Lender attempted to steal the computer file, he was thwarted by Hard Company computer expert Deacon Stuart. So, Malleus dispatched the armored Fuselage to steal the file by force, but he fared no better after being defeated in battle by Hardware (secretly Metcalf). Unlike the other Man-Melds, Fuselage was transformed against his will and begged Hardware to not let others share his fate. Malleus promptly activated Fuselage's failsafe to kill him before he revealed the geneticist's existence to Hardware.
Ironically, Fuselage's death made Hardware more determined to identify who was behind the attacks on Hard Company. Thanks to information Stuart found in Alva's file, Hardware prepared to go to Peru to begin his investigation.  This information was also learned by the Preventative Measures Agency (PMA), who had secretly infiltrated Hard Company's computer network on behalf of the Pentagon to find leads on the Doctor Moreau's location and then reclaim the rocket. PMA's infiltration went unnoticed by Deacon Stuart, who had been distracted by Lender's hacking. However, Lender did notice the infiltration and realized the PMA would soon track his hacking back to Peru. Lender alerted Archer and Duke, who accelerated evacuation of the temple base.
Unfortunately, Hardware and his ally Sanction arrived in the vicinity of the temple base sooner than expected with the help of a local guide. The guerrillas ambushed the trio, but ceased their attack after Sanction gave them a healthy bribe. Lender then unleashed the Huenta Aires that killed the guide before it was slain by Hardware after a grueling battle. Archer and Duke arrived on the scene with reinforcements who captured Hardware and Sanction and brought them to the temple.
Hardware and Sanction were imprisoned with the nitroglycerin that was rigged to explode when the Doctor Moreau launched. The temple was then attacked by a squad of PMA agents, providing a diversion for Hardware and Sanction to break out of their cell. By this point, Archer, Duke and Lender were onboard the Doctor Moreau to escape, but were confronted by Hardware, who broke into the rocket's cockpit. Duke attacked Hardware, but was seriously wounded by his foe's retractable sword. Still, this gave Lender time to complete preparations and launch the Doctor Moreau. The temple was destroyed by the subsequent explosion, but the PMA escaped thanks to Sanction's warning them about the nitroglycerin.
Lender secretly sent a radio distress call to Transformation Station about Hardware being aboard the Doctor Moreau. Once the ship docked, Hardware was promptly attacked by Malleus and the Man-Melds, stripped of his armor, and thrown into the station's prison cell.<refname="Hardware 37">Hardware #37</ref> But Hardware soon escaped the cell, reclaimed his armor and blasted his way out of Transformation Station and into space. Unknown to Hardware, Malleus had secretly injected his armor with organic nanobots that would slowly change him into a Man-Meld. Malleus had arranged for Hardware to escape to distract him long enough to be transformed by the nanobots. As a further distraction, Malleus ordered Origami, Barnacle Bill, and Melt to engage Hardware and take away from the station.
Besides the nanobots, Malleus had also hidden a listening device in Hardware's armor. Thus, Malleus overheard a radio conversation between Hardware and Sanction, who warned that PMA had located Transformation Station and had deployed their weapons satellite to destroy the station along with the Doctor Moreau. Malleus immediately ordered everyone to evacuate Transformation Station and return to Earth aboard the Doctor Moreau.
Archer helped oversee the evacuation of Transformation Station, but this did not relieve much stress on Malleus, who was furious about losing another base. Thus, Malleus was near the breaking point when he was confronted by Lender, who complained about not being transformed into a Man-Meld. Malleus snapped and fatally shot Lender, whose senseless death shocked Archer. Malleus dismissed Archer's disgust and told him to focus on the evacuation.
The PMA weapon satellite then arrived and began slicing into Transformation Station with its particle beam, causing numerous deaths. Archer, Malleus, and the surviving crew barely got onboard the Doctor Moreau, which escaped as the station was completely destroyed. When the Doctor Moreau departed, everyone on the rocket was alerted to someone opening the airlock's outer door. The airlock had been opened by Barnacle Bill and Melt minus Origami, who had died during the battle with Hardware. Accompanying the Man-Melds was Hardware himself, who had shed his armor before the nanobots transformed him into a Man Meld. 
Malleus was displeased Barnacle Bill and Melt had brought his hated enemy aboard the Doctor Moreau. Pressing his transmitter, Malleus was surprised that the failsafe switches in Barnacle Bill and Melt failed to activate. Hardware explained that he had examined the organic nanobots in Fuselage's remains and discovered a flaw that caused Man-Melds to suffer spontaneous molecular breakdown. Fortunately, Hardware had developed a serum to correct this flaw and had just injected Barnacle Bill and Melt with it. Hardware berated Malleus for such "shoddy work", causing an enraged Malleus to accidentally reveal he created the flaw to control the Man-Melds. Hardware already knew this, but wanted Malleus to admit this before the Man-Melds. Now facing a mutiny, Malleus tried to use his transmitter, but it was destroyed by the Man-Melds, who seized him. Archer then suggested loading Malleus into the rocketship's escape pod and jettison it toward the Sun. Suddenly, Malleus broke free from his captors, took Hardware hostage, and escaped in the pod that he reprogrammed to land on Earth.
While the Man-Melds were distracted by Malleus' escape, the PMA's computer expert Hershey hacked into the Doctor Moreau's avionics computer and programmed the rocketship to splash down in the ocean near the PMA's aircraft carrier. The Man-Melds surrendered since there was no point fighting on behalf of Malleus, whom they now hated. Soon after, the rocket's escape pod splashed down and was retrieved by the PMA. Malleus surrendered to the PMA with Hardware's promise that he would cure the geneticist's desperately ill son.
Hardware asked the PMA to show leniency to Archer and the rest of the Man-Melds since they had rebelled against Malleus and tried to help the armored hero. Agreeing, the PMA injected all the Man-Melds with Hardware's serum, thus forever freeing them from the failsafe switch. Some Man-Melds were so grateful that they volunteered their services to help the PMA. It is unknown if Archer and Duke were among these volunteers.
Powers and Abilities
- Cybernetic Enhancement: Most Man-Melds have super powers due to the organic nanobots in their bodies. The nature of Archer's abilities have yet to be revealed.
Archer often carries handguns.
- It is unknown if Archer is the character's real name or an alias.
- Like all Man-Melds, the organic nanobots in Archer'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. Archer has taken a serum developed by Hardware that deactivated this failsafe.
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