"I don't think you realize what's at stake General. If his powers continue to grow at the rate they are, it might not just destroy New York. It could destroy the whole planet."Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Donald Clendenon was always an outsider growing up. Lacking in confidence and self-esteem, he quickly became enthralled in the world of technology, where his intelligence could shine and he could be left mostly to his own devices. Having very few friends growing up, Clendenon was classified as a nerd and largely ignored once he got passed high school. He eventually graduated from Empire State University with a degree in computer science, becoming a contractor working for the Department of Defense.
In 2008, however, Clendenon turned whistleblower when he saw classified material relating to black ops prisons being illegally run by the NSA. Exposing these prisons may have been the right thing to do from Clendenon's point of view, but these actions landed him in hot water legally, and he was eventually convicted on several trumped up charges, including trying to sell the War Machine plans to terrorists (though he denied that charge, whether he committed it is yet to be revealed). Convicted, Clendenon was sentenced to spend much of the rest of his life in Leavenworth penitentiary, though eventually he was recruited by Thunderbolt Ross to serve in his personal paramilitary organization, the Thunderbolts.
Clendenon was never intended to be a frontline fighter, instead offering technical support. However he became friends with Leila Davis, who seemed to find a kindred spirit in the fellow "tech geek." The two decided to get in on the action in capturing Taskmaster, with Davis helping Donald develop an armored suit of his own called Harrier. Together, the two joined the rest of the team at capturing Taskmaster and bringing him to justice for the Battle of New York. However Clendenon's brief flirtation with heroics was nearly cut short when the villain Graviton ambushed and nearly killed all the Thunderbolts. Clendenon and Davis later discovered that Graviton's powers were growing exponentially and becoming more unstable, threatening to tear apart the Earth. Defying orders again, the team went out and defeated the former scientist, saving the world and earning a pardon for their previous crimes in the process. Following this, Clendenon and Davis entered into a relationship, and became IT support for Stark Industries.
Clendenon was called in for backup support during the Ultron crisis, helping his former teammate Simon Williams and James Rhodes in trying to keep Ultron out of the United States' nuclear control codes. Clendenon was successful in this endeavor and, after Tony Stark became the new acting director of SHIELD, was recruited to become a top level programmer for the organization along with Davis. Shortly thereafter he and Davis were transferred to the new Homeworld Security Division of SHIELD that was codenamed SWORD, serving under director Maria Hill in the state of the art satellite facility known as The Peak. The two were also married at some point. There, they helped coordinate SWORD's response to the second Chitauri invasion, where Donald donned has Harrier battlesuit to fend off invading Chitauri hordes, helping to win the day.
In the alternate timeline of Infinity War, Harrier and his wife (operating as The Beetle) were dispatched to a remote area in Canada to face a Chitauri contingent that had managed to land there. After holing up inside an abandoned mansion (once owned by the Howlett Family), Donald was amazed when the Chitauri on the planet suddenly died, and watched in horror as his own wife disappeared in front of his eyes as a result of the Decimation.
Unable to contact anyone at SWORD, Clendenon sought out Tony Stark and was eventually recruited into an effort to fight back at Thanos. However this plan was nullified by the US government dissolving SHIELD and placing the Avengers as fugitives, forcing Clendenon into hiding. His work during this time is not entirely known, but he likely served as tech support with the Wakandans during both the Skrull Invasion and the various battles with the Cabal of villains who were trying to steal Wakanda's vibranium. Clendenon did become a good friend and advisor to Queen Shuri of Wakanda, and eventually joined back up with Tony Stark when he formed the New Avengers in 2038. Clendenon was often the technical advisor to the team, rarely engaging in battle, though he did eventually fight in the final battle with Doctor Doom and in vain against the World Devourer Galactus as 4 time travelers were sent back in time to create the new Earth timeline.
Powers & Abilities
- Armored Suit: Clendenon pilots an armored suit that is similar in design and armament as the Iron Man suits, though his is bulkier with armored wings added to the design for better aerodynamics for underwater and aerial combat. The Harrier suit is capable of self-sustained flight, repulsor blasts, and has a variety of weapons built into its design.
- Computer Skills: Clendenon is a world-class computer hacker, able to infiltrate most secure systems without difficulty. He was mentioned as having been key to stopping Ultron from accessing nuclear control codes during the Ultron crisis. This technical ability has led to his being recruited by SWORD to coordinate all defense measures on a planetwide scale.
Clendenon is definitely not a fighter. His physical acumen is severely lacking when compared to any of his fellow Thunderbolts. Without his suit, he would be easily outclassed by any kind of physical opponent.
Harrier appears in the following films in the Earth-11584 continuity. In all cases he is portrayed by actor Elijah Wood.
- Thunderbolts (2013)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) [mentioned only]
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018) [mentioned only]
- Avengers: Infinity (2019)
- Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet (2019)