- "A good death is its own reward."
- ―Nathan Hardy[src]
Colonel Nathan Hardy was a member of the team tasked with investigating the strange object in the Arctic Circle who greeted Lois Lane there when she arrived. He was later a witness of the ship flying away from the site.
Upon hearing General Dru-Zod's broadcast to the world, Hardy tracked down Lois to attempt to discover the whereabouts of the alien she encountered. When Superman handed himself into military custody, Hardy, along with General Calvin Swanwick and Emil Hamilton, spoke with Superman who told them that while he was not their enemy he feared that General Zod might be.
Superman handed himself over to General Zod's sub-commander, Faora-Ul, who also requested that Lois come along. Hardy objected, telling her that she wouldn't be taking any humans, only Superman. However, Lois volunteered to go regardless.
After Zod's forces started fighting with Superman in Smallville, Hardy led the attack on them. He flew in a helicopter with a squad that was brought down by one of the hostiles, but Hardy survived. He was confronted by Faora on whom he opened fire, but to no avail. Drawing his knife and preparing for the worst, he was saved by Superman who tackled her and occupied her focus, earning Hardy's trust in the process.
Afterwards, Lois went to Hardy with Jor-El's plan to get Superman's ship and use it against Zod's. He did so after knowing Superman was, indeed, on their side and after being given the ship, put it aboard a plane and flew it to Metropolis where Zod had unleashed his ship's gravity beam which was destroying the city. On their way to the ship, Faora-Ul jumped aboard and dispatched several men before throwing Lois out of the plane. Before she could get to Hardy, he piloted the plane directly into Black Zero with the phantom drive of Superman's ship exploding against Zod's causing a temporary singularity to the Phantom Zone. Hardy quoted Faora from their previous encounter, "A good death is its own reward," before Hardy and Hamilton were killed when the plane exploded on impact and Faora was sucked into the Phantom Zone.
Nathan Hardy was an iron-willed veteran of the US army. While somewhat gruff, Hardy was quite patriotically dedicated to his job and country. Hardy did, however, place national and global security above all else, being more than willing to join forces with Superman (an alien whom he initially mistrusted) and help the latter carry out an elaborate plan, as long as that meant defeating General Zod's invasion. After seeing Superman's extraordinary heroism in helping the US army fight off Faora-Ul and Nam-Ek, Hardy came to admire him, and insisted to his men that Superman was an ally. Hardy was also extremely brave, enough to pick a fight with the fearsome Faora-Ul on two occasions.
- Peak human condition: Being trained by the military, Nathan is in the peak of human physical conditioning.
- Expert tactician: Nathan is a highly intelligent individual, an excellent tactician and leader.
- Expert leader: As a colonel, Nathan is able to efficiently lead other soldiers in the field.
- Expert marksman: As a member of the military, Nathan is highly experienced with using firearms in combat such as submachine guns and handguns. This was seen when he shot at Faora with different types of guns, though they failed to affect the Kryptonian.
- Knife mastery: As a member of the military, Nathan is trained in knife fighting. This was seen when he was willing to take on Faora with just a combat knife.
- Indomitable will: He stood up to the extremely fearsome and powerful Faora without any fear.
- Heckler & Koch MP5K: Nathan took this sub-machine gun off a dead pilot to use against Faora-Ul, but to no avail.
- Beretta 92FS: Nathan used this semi-automatic handgun as his personal sidearm. He used this against Faora, though it failed to faze the Kryptonian.
- Gerber Mark 2: Nathan used this combat knife as his close-quarters weapon of choice. He drew it on Faora in a last stand against her, before being saved by Superman.