Monday, June 13, 2011

Barnard "Barney" Collier


Created by Bruce Gellar

Real Name:  Barnard Collier

Alias:  Barney Davis

Current Occupation:  Unknown; former government agent and head of his own firm

Parents:  Unknown; mother was living during the original run of the series

Siblings:  Larry Collier (deceased)

Spouse:  Unknown; Grant Colier's mother is deceased, but it's unclear if she was ever married to Barnard Collier

Children:  Grant Collier

Group Affiliation:  Impossible Missions Force

Place of Birth:  Unknown, though it seems implied he grew up in the ghetto of a major American city

Current Place of Residence:  Unknown

First Appearance:  Mission Impossible "Pilot", September 17, 1966


Barnard "Barney" Collier's main role as an IMF agent was that of an electronics and forgery expert. He also had an extensive knowledge of building infrastructure such as wiring and plumbing standards, including building standards in foreign countries. Generally, Collier was brought in on missions to supply high-tech custom mission support. On occasion, he would custom build a computer which would be well ahead of its time, such as a computer that could read playing cards face down on a table or a computer that could beat the world's greatest chess players.[35][36] Starting in Season Five, he was revealed to possess criminology skills that were key to several missions. He was a veteran of the US Navy, specifically the Sixth Fleet. In his IMF dossier, it was noted that he owned his own electronics firm.[37] In order to maintain cover when on personal travel to foreign countries, he once used the alias "Barney Davis."
Due to his being black, his role play in earlier missions which took place in Eastern European countries was often as a supporting character. Those missions which took place in Latin America or the United States gave him the opportunity for more visible roles within the mission. Although Barney Collier is primarily remembered as an electronics expert, he was often called upon for his hand-to-hand combat skills. Notably, he was an accomplished boxer, having been the champion of the Sixth Fleet when he was in the Navy. His boxing skills were the centerpiece of a two-part mission in the third season, "The Contenders."[38] He also had the strength and agility to penetrate denied areas going hand-over-hand using grappling lines without any assistance, shimmy up drainpipes, and rapel down elevator shafts.[39] He demonstrated incredible fortitude even when injured, continuing with missions even after being shot in the back, the knee or the head, temporarily blinded by a concussion, or poisoned.[33][40][41][42][43] In the course of seven seasons worth of missions, on rare occasions he killed men in self-defense both in hand-to-hand combat as well as with firearms.[27][44] A recurring sub-theme for Collier was, when a mission was at risk, his unwavering faith in his fellow agents in their ability to come through.
Barney Collier, along with Willy Armitage, was one of only two IMF agents that were regulars on the team for the entire seven-season run of the original Mission: ImpossibleTV series, and he was the only one shown in the opening credits of every episode. Like all of the regular IMF agents, he was not used in every mission, but he was the only character in the opening credits of every episode of the original series. On occasion, he would not appear during the course of a mission, but the characters would use devices that were noted as being supplied by him. In later years of the series, that stayed in the United States and dealt with organized crime, Barney, although still supplying gadgets and devices, did less of the physical duties, and began to be a character more in line of the Mimic and Master of Disguise roles played by Rollin Hand and Paris in earlier seasons. In later seasons, Barney was also a de facto second-in-command of the IMF team in situations where Jim Phelps was missing or incapacitated.[10]
Barney had a brother Larry who was a newspaper publisher that was unwitting to Barney's career in the IMF. Barney's brother was killed in the fifth season episode "Cat's Paw" for his efforts to bring a ghetto mob to justice. Larry's murder was the catalyst for the off-book mission in that episode to bring down the mob as a way to avenge Larry's death.[45] It was noted in that episode that, at the time, Barney's mother was still alive.
In the series canon, Barney had a son named Grant, who would have been born in approximately 1960, corresponding roughly to the actual age of Phil Morris, actor Greg Morris's real-life son. However, some ten years later, Barney was single in Seasons Four and Five when he twice met and romanced women in foreign countries in an off-book mission and in the aftermath of an on-book mission gone bad at its finish, and brought them both back to the States at each mission's conclusion.[40][46] Barney would reprise his role for three episodes across two missions in the Mission: Impossible series revival in the 1980s, where his son Grant was an agent. It was noted in one of those missions that Barney was extremely despondent at the recent death of Grant's mother.


The above biographical information is taken from Wikipedia.  Barnard Collier never actually appeared in any Super Comics stories.  His inclusion in the Wronskiverse is due to a remark in The Man Who Stole Brains in which Jim Wright says that he used to work for the IMF.

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