General Hardcastle was a General in the United States Army. Among his many accomplishments was spearheading the creation of the Z-8 droid project. ("Fearful Symmetry")
General Hardcastle was assigned to destroy an asteroid that was heading towards Earth. Taking a shuttle and a team of military personnel he intended to blow it up. However, when Superman showed up he grew angry with having to rely upon an alien whom he perceived as having no allegiance to anyone and he thereby couldn't control. When it was discovered that a giant alien creature was strapped to the asteroid, Hardcastle showed no concern for the creature and still intended to destroy the asteroid and the creature along with it. Even when an alternate solution was devised Hardcastle argued claiming that his mission was to destroy the asteroid. When the Prometheon became active, Hardcastle detonated the charges in spite of the fact that Superman was still on the asteroid. He showed no remorse nor concern for Superman claiming, "Wasn't his party to begin with."
The Prometheon survived the fall to Earth and made its way to land. Upon reaching land, it was met by Hardcastle's forces that immediately started attacking with various forms of explosive weaponry. Though the attack was doing no visible damage, Hardcastle perceived the creature's lack of movement as a sign of effectiveness and ordered the attack to continue. When Superman arrived and explained that the Prometheon was simply absorbing the heat from the explosions, Hardcastle refused to listen, claiming that he listened to Superman before and the advice failed (conveniently omitting the fact that destroying the asteroid and thereby releasing the Prometheon to Earth was his idea). However, after the failure of his NX Missiles, Hardcastle was forced to believe Superman and called off the attack.
In spite of the fact that Hardcastle was forced to believe Superman's advice about the Prometheon, his trust didn't grow. In secret, Hardcastle and Lex Luthor formed an alliance and formed Project Achilles. The project was meant to monitor Superman and Supergirl for their weaknesses.
When Superman went rogue after being brainwashed by Darkseid, Hardcastle's forces were amongst the greatest opposing forces to Superman's invasion. Using a specialized Kryptonite missile created and delivered by Lex Luthor, Hardcastle managed to stop and capture both Superman and Supergirl. Believing that Superman was always in league with Darkseid and had been planning to invade Earth, Hardcastle kept Superman alive solely to question him. After Superman made an attempt to escape, Hardcastle took it upon himself to execute Superman and Supergirl by injecting a liquid Kryptonite formula into their bloodstreams. However, with the aid of Lois Lane, both Superman and Supergirl escaped from Hardcastle's prison.
Failed and Retired
Years later, Supergirl began having nightmares about killing men who were stationed to attack her. Teaming up with Green Arrow and The Question, she sought out information pertaining to her dreams. After questioning Hamilton, the trio went to see Hardcastle. Due to his failure to keep Superman and Supergirl contained he was stripped of his title and respect and was now living in semi-isolation. When he saw Supergirl he prepared to kill her with a kryptonite gun he kept with him knowing that he would one day be confronted by a Kryptonian enemy. However, Hardcastle was a broken man and gave up all the information he knew about Project Cadmus but he mentioned that he had been out of the loop too long to know much. After the trio left, Galatea arrived at his house. The ensuing confrontation was witnessed in a dream by Supergirl, who immediately told her friends that Hardcastle was gone.
- "The Prometheon"
- "Fearful Symmetry"
- "The Doomsday Sanction"