Little is known about John Smith's origin. He is a career soldier, fighting in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel sometime before forming the A-Team, a crack commando unit of the US Special Forces in Vietnam. He is an expert tactician and strategist. After the team is arrested and disgraced he maintains a firm hold on the leadership of the team, and helps to keep them together.
Hannibal was created by Stephen J Cannell and Frank Lupo. He was loosely based on real soldier Bo Gritz.
Major Story Arcs
Throughout the various series, Hannibal leads the A-Team while they act as soldiers of fortune. He also occasionally finds work as an actor. He is generally the member of the team to test the clients and ensure that they are not related to law enforcement. Hannibal enjoys the rush of adrenalin produced by taking a risk, referred to by the team as being "on the jazz". Despite this, he maintains an unflappable demeanor, even in the face of serious danger. He has a fondness for flippancy and sarcastic quips, and often insults captors and opponents, despite the possibility of retribution.
Powers and Abilities
Hannibal is noted as being an expert tactician and a clever, cool-headed opponent. He formulates all the plans for the team, and though they do not always turn out the way he intended he is an expert at improvising and rolling with problems as they occur. He is a skilled fighter, both armed and unarmed, and is familiar with a variety of weaponry due to his time in the army. He is also skilled with disguises and a competent actor.
In Other Media
The character of Hannibal was originated on the television series by American actor George Peppard, who played the part for all 5 seasons which aired from 1983 to 1987. In the 2010 movie, which maintained his tactical skill but lost some of his unflappability, he was played by Irish actor Liam Neeson. In the film he kept the cigar, but did not wear any disguises.