Publication Date: 14th Jul 2022
Written By: Monolith.
Image Work: Douglas Mangum.


George Washington Bridge was a young American who lied about his age to join the military. At seventeen, his platoon was on recon patrol, presumably during the Sin-Cong conflict. Bridge was nearly overcome with fear at first, but his sergeant pressed him to get used to killing for the lives of himself and his brothers-in-arms. [Punisher War Journal (2nd series) #22] After leaving the service, he established himself as an exceptional soldier-for-hire. He was recruited by a mysterious cyborg named Cable to create an elite group of mercenaries called the Wild Pack. [Deadpool & Cable: Split Second #3] Their roster included the agile Domino, the strongman Grizzly, technical specialist Hammer and a green, young recruit named Kane. Unbeknownst to Bridge and the others at the time, Cable was a man out of time, a traveler from nearly 2,000 years in the future using their mercenary jobs to familiarize himself with the local global and political structure. Despite Cable’s frequent and enigmatic comings and goings, the Pack bonded as comrades-in-arms and had a high success rate in fulfilling their contracts. They even stole from Baron Strucker of HYDRA while on a contract for A.I.M. [X-Force (1st series) #8]

On a mission in Iran, the Wild Pack completed their first assignment for a criminal businessman named Mr. Tolliver. They would do regular business with the mysterious financier, and he helped the unit rebrand themselves as the Six Pack when the Symkarian government inquired about their use of the name “Wild Pack.” On a mission through the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan, the Six Pack were contracted to clear out opposition to Tolliver’s opium smuggling route. They discovered a hidden underground base in the field and, curious, entered to explore it. Their recon uncovered the base was run by Stryfe, a masked figure who was apparently a bitter, long-time rival of Cable’s. It became a debacle when Cable committed them to a firefight with Stryfe’s forces, only to discover Stryfe was working for their employer, Tolliver. Despite this, Cable blew up the entire base to get at Stryfe, breaking the Six Pack’s contract with Tolliver.

The Six Pack became international fugitives as Tolliver put a price on their heads. Cable barely noticed, and insisted the Pack trust him that eliminating Stryfe was the only way to escape the mess they were in. On Cable’s word, they tracked Stryfe to Uruguay and infiltrated another of his installations. Hammer hacked into Stryfe’s database and downloaded an info disc filled with the mystery man’s secrets, while the others set detonation charges to blow the base. However, Stryfe teleported in and took Kane hostage after the explosives’ timer was already set. Furthermore, Cable’s own teleport frequency was blocked, keeping the Pack from fleeing. Stryfe demanded the disc back in exchange for Kane’s life, which Hammer readily agreed to. Cable shot Hammer in the back to keep him from handing over the disc, but Stryfe telekinetically retrieved it anyway. He transported away, and Cable did the same, abandoning the Six Pack. Bridge, Grizzly and Domino barely escaped their own detonation sequence, and the already injured Hammer and Kane did not. Hammer was crippled from the waist down and Kane lost an eye and all four of his limbs. The Six Pack was finished. [Cable: Blood and Metal #1-2]

Seven years passed. With the Six Pack in pieces, G.W. ended up going legitimate. He joined S.H.I.E.L.D. and climbed in the ranks until reaching the commission of field commander. G.W. Bridge proved just as effective working for the establishment as he did in the “private sector” and he became one of Colonel Nick Fury’s most respected agents. Bridge was even given jurisdiction over the S.H.I.E.L.D. Super-Agent Initiative, to oversee recruitment and training of super-powered agents with complete autonomy from Fury and the regular chain-of-command. It was a testament to Fury’s trust in Bridge that he gave him this jurisdiction. [Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2nd series) #33]

Circumstances conspired to bring Bridge back into the personal war between Cable and Stryfe. These days, Stryfe was acting as a terrorist with a cause, overseeing the Mutant Liberation Front’s strikes against human oppression. Meanwhile, Cable had co-opted the younger students of the X-Men and molded them into a paramilitary unit called X-Force, his personal weapons to use against Stryfe. S.H.I.E.L.D. was too late to intervene on an MLF base in Antarctica before it was destroyed by X-Force. G.W. Bridge reached out to his supervisor, Colonel Nick Fury, and received orders to capture and detain Cable for interrogation. Fury gave Bridge full authority to pursue Cable and Stryfe however he saw fit. [X-Force (1st series) #1]

To that end, Bridge reached out to Department K in Canada. After his injuries, Kane had been selected for the revamped Weapon X Program, eventually receiving cybernetic replacement parts for his missing limbs and surpassing all other candidates to become the new Weapon X. Bridge met Kane in the field, fighting with Tolliver’s top mercenary, Deadpool. G.W. explained that S.H.I.E.L.D. intended to bring Cable in for questioning, but Kane struggled with the idea of going after the old man, even after all this time. He turned down Bridge’s offer for a joint strike team between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Department K. [X-Force (1st series) #2]

G.W.’s first encounter with Cable in years didn’t go well either. S.H.I.E.L.D. got wind of X-Force intervening at the World Trade Center when Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy took hostages. Bridge arrived at the tail end of the matter and tried to arrest Cable. Instead, Nate just teleported away with X-Force, leaving Bridge empty-handed. [X-Force (1st series) #4]

After that embarrassing encounter, G.W. Bridge demanded some answers from his supervisors. In a meeting with Colonel Fury, Henry Peter Gyrich of Project: Wideawake and Valerie Cooper of the Commission on Superhuman Activities, Bridge wanted to know what the intended charges against Cable were. Instead of disclosing that “need-to-know” information, Gyrich tried to force Bridge into a sanction order to kill Cable on sight, although Fury overrode him. Although Gyrich couldn’t force S.H.I.E.L.D.’s hand, he made it clear he was bringing down Cable one way or another. In the meantime, Fury agreed with Bridge’s current ops plan to continue contacting old associates from his and Cable’s time with the Six Pack. Domino was with X-Force and Kane said no, but there were still others. [X-Force (1st series) #5]

Unfortunately, Nick Fury’s hardball with Gyrich came back to haunt him when the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier was hijacked by terrorists, with Dum Dum Dugan and 300 agents on board. The Helicarrier would self-destruct in 24 hours as a safety measure, and so the clock was ticking. Instead, Gyrich refused to authorize any additional manpower to recover the Helicarrier out of spite against Fury. Hearing about this through the grapevine, G.W. Bridge reached out to Nick Fury and offered him assistance from the Super-Agents Initiative. Recruited and vetted by Bridge, the Super-Agents were outside the normal channels in S.H.I.E.L.D. and could be deployed independently. The three agents Bridge called upon – Knockabout, Psi-Borg and Violence – were borderline untamable and even attacked Nick Fury at the rendezvous to prove the old fossil still had what it took to lead them. Nevertheless, Fury saw potential in the Super-Agents and agreed to lead them and Bridge to retake the Helicarrier.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents used a Hovershot to blast into low orbit and crash down directly into the captured Helicarrier at terminal velocity, saved only by Psi-Borg’s reinforcing psychic screens. The terrorists included a who’s-who of super-villain mercenaries, including Smokescreen, Mad-Dog, Overrider, the Voice, Ivory and Assault and Battery. G.W. Bridge prepared to leap into battle to protect his “kids,” but Fury reminded Bridge that he would never have recruited them in the first place if they couldn’t take it. Instead, Fury dispatched Bridge to the holding pens to free their fellow agents while he retook the bridge. The mission was a success and Fury chose to continue using Bridge’s Super-Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as his private team on a regular basis, in addition to the former terrorist Ivory who switched sides during the ruckus. Fury turned the Directorship of S.H.I.E.L.D. over to Dum Dum so he could remain active in the field. [Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2nd series) #33-35]

G.W. Bridge was contacted by Kane, who had had a surprising encounter with Stryfe while hunting the Mutant Liberation Front as Weapon X. Kane saw Stryfe unmasked, revealing that Cable was underneath the helmet. Bridge and Kane had seen Cable and Stryfe together in Afghanistan and Uruguay years ago, leaving them confused and more determined than ever to bring Cable in for questioning. Kane and Department K agreed to liaise with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Cable Strike Force and even provided their own growing roster of super-agents, Weapon: P.R.I.M.E. With Kane on-board, Bridge was finally able to reach out to Grizzly, assembling a full half of the old Six Pack to demand answers from Cable.

S.H.I.E.L.D. received a tip locating Cable and X-Force at an old Sentinel base in the Adirondack Mountains and Weapon: P.R.I.M.E. deployed with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Interdiction Personnel Assault Carrier escort. They managed to ambush X-Force, but nevertheless G.W. Bridge and P.R.I.M.E. were beaten badly by Cable’s new team. It nearly didn’t matter, for the entire fight had been set up by Tolliver as a means of getting revenge on Cable and the Pack. A series of explosives were set off in the base by Tolliver in an attempt at killing both teams. Cable was separated from his team and went after Tolliver alone, while Bridge and Kane only survived thanks to Cannonball’s blast field. X-Force commandeered the IPAC themselves and left the badly-wounded G.W. Bridge and S.H.I.E.L.D. in their dust. [X-Force (1st series) #10-14]

G.W. Bridge struggled to regroup after this painful loss. Weapon: P.R.I.M.E. was in disarray, although he was able to ensure Weapon X continued his pursuit of Cable. However, Gyrich used this opportunity to censure Bridge over the task force’s failure, and Bridge finally quit S.H.I.E.L.D. rather than deal with the bureaucrat any further. [Cable: Blood and Metal #1, X-Force (1st series) #19]

Only days later, however, a new lead was uncovered in the Cable investigation. Cable’s personal space station Graymalkin accidentally dropped its cloaking field and was revealed to the world. G.W. bartered his way back into S.H.I.E.L.D. to join Nick Fury on a spacewalk to Graymalkin. They were joined by Iron Man, Alexander Goodwin Pierce and Network Nina for a tight strike team. Once they breached the base, S.H.I.E.L.D. learned that X-Force had beaten them to the prize. Cable had apparently been killed fighting Stryfe and X-Force sought control of Graymalkin as Cable’s legacy. The conflict between S.H.I.E.L.D. and X-Force got out of hand as Graymalkin started to come apart. G.W. Bridge and the strike team only survived the station’s eruption when X-Force’s Lila Cheney teleported them back to their shuttle. Bridge had to leave empty-handed with no new intelligence or resolution on Cable’s activities. [X-Force (1st series) #20-22]

Bridge’s stock with S.H.I.E.L.D. only sank further when his Super-Agents were revealed to be infiltrators from HYDRA. Psi-Borg, Knockabout and Violence raised suspicions with their lack of knowledge about basic S.H.I.E.L.D. training while at the same time alluding to information about old S.H.I.E.L.D. missions that was classified. Nick Fury didn’t know whom to trust when he uncovered plans for the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier in HYDRA’s hands, signed for release by G.W. Bridge. Network Nina probed Bridge’s mind and found scars from Psi-Borg’s mental intrusion, having extracted information from G.W. while falsifying his memories of vetting the Super-Agents before recruitment. The Super-Agents killed their new recruit Ivory before being captured as traitors. [Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2nd series) #42-47]