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"They ask, I recommend. Past that, I'm just one voice in the wilderness."
―Rafael Hernandez to Dinah Madani[src]

Rafael Hernandez is the Department of Homeland Security's Operations Director. During his career, Hernandez recruited and mentored Dinah Madani, following her career while she moved up the ranks in Homeland Security. When Hernandez learned that Madani was investigating Ahmad Zubair's death, he came to ensure she was not making enemies and became involved in her mission to bring William Rawlins into justice. With the aid of the Punisher, Hernandez and Madani had soon uncovered the conspiracy involving Rawlins and Billy Russo, as Hernandez and Marion James had then offered to give the Punisher his freedom in order to repay their debt to him. With Russo in custody, Hernandez had still continued attempting to support Madani as she struggled to cope with the ordeal.


Homeland Agent

Recruiting Dinah Madani

"You know, when they first started Homeland, they wanted native speakers. Farsi, Pashtun, Arabic. Use the enemy to catch the enemy. But Rafi wasn't like that. I grew up on the Upper West Side. We speak Farsi at home, but I never considered myself anything but American. When he recruited me, he said, "There are contributions and insights only you can make, and without them the agency will be lacking.""
Dinah Madani to Sam Stein[src]

When Rafael Hernandez was first recruited into Homeland Security, he joined at a time when the agency wanted agents who also spoke different languages such as Arabic to infiltrate terrorist cells.[1] During his career, Hernandez also met and became good friends with Marion James, who he viewed as one of the good agents working at the CIA.[2] Hernandez had personally recruited Dinah Madani, a speaker of Farsi, but he felt as Madani had always viewed herself as an American she would be a crucial asset to Homeland Security outside of her speaking her foreign languages, as Hernandez still continued watching and supporting Madani's continuing career.[1]

Dinah Madani's Promotion

Hernandez introduces himself to Sam Stein

"Don't lose sight of the greater good we serve by focusing on one injustice. What about the people at risk from those guns you're about to snatch from the Greeks? You wanna make a difference? Work this desk, work this office, make your cases."
―Rafael Hernandez to Dinah Madani[src]

In the wake of Carson Wolf's murder, Hernandez was asked who should replace Wolf and recommended Dinah Madani as the acting SAC. Hernandez later visited Madani into her office while she was discussing Wolf's death with Sam Stein, as Madani tried to introduce them as Stein made it clear that he was already aware of who Hernandez was, shaking his hand and noting what a pleasure it was to meet him.

Hernandez is reunited with Dinah Madani

Hernandez called Stein by his first name before requesting a private conversation with Madani, as Stein then left them alone. As the pair hugged, Hernandez noted that Madani had clearly lost weight, while Madani jokingly noted that Hernandez had not, before Hernandez commented on how Madani had just been made the Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security, although Madani insisted that she was still merely the acting SAC following the sudden death of Wolf, while Hernandez had then noted that if she performed well then there was a chance that the position could be offered to her permanently.

Hernandez discusses Carson Wolf's death

While Madani questioned how much influence Hernandez had over her promotion, he had insisted that he had merely put forward his recommendation before turning serious, as Hernandez then informed Madani that the Office of the Inspector General would be taking over the investigation into Wolf's murder. Hernandez noted that there were questions that needed to be answered, as Madani noted how Wolf was a dirty cop who had amassed his thirty million dollar fortune, to which Hernandez noted that this put all of Homeland Security under a cloud of doubt following the revelations about Wolf's actions.

Hernandez gives Dinah Madani some advice

As Madani complained that this was her once again being silenced like she had been in Kandahar, Hernandez told her to grow up as he noted how he had recruited her fifteen years earlier to put her in this high ranking position. Hernandez recommended that Madani focus on earning her stripes as a field agent, telling her that her obsession with Ahmad Zubair's death was becoming an obsession. Hernandez told Madani not to lose sight of the good being done, noting how she would help people by snatching the Greek Mob's supply of guns and ammunition which were soon going to be sold within the city.

Hernandez leaving Dinah Madani's office

Hernandez recommended that Madani focus on her work behind her desk to make a difference, as Madani questioned if he had come all the way from Washington, D.C. just to tell her this. Hernandez then insisted that he had come there to make sure that Madani was aware of the opportunity that lay before her and recommended that this take it, unless she felt that it was not right for her anymore. Madani told Hernandez not to play games with her, as Hernandez then left, noting that Madani did not need a babysitter but had just needed to check her priorities before moving forward with her position.[1]

Mission Failure

Hernandez and Sam Stein look at reports

"The operation was by the numbers and you ran it well. Right up until the point where you went Steve McQueen and had to do it all yourself."
"What was I supposed to do? I almost had the bastards."
"Instead, they almost killed you."
―Rafael Hernandez and Dinah Madani[src]

In the wake of the failed mission to arrest the Greek Mob, Hernandez then worked with Sam Stein with figuring out exactly who managed to hack into their systems to disrupt the mission, as Hernandez commented that whoever was behind it would face up to thirty years in prison if they had been caught, questioning why they would have left witnesses alive, before Dinah Madani arrived and commented that she was glad that they did leave witnesses like her alive.

Hernandez greeting Dinah Madani's return

Hernandez noted that he had told Farah Madani to keep her home to recover from her injuries, as Madani noted that her mother had tried her best to do as Hernandez requested. Looking at all the pictures of her burnt out car, Madani noted that it was her birthday present from her father, noting that somebody killed it and she could not let that go. Hernandez questioned what evidence Madani had to assist with their investigation, noting that she should not have gotten out of bed if she had nothing to contribute, to which Madani asked Stein to give her and Hernandez a minute to talk alone which Stein agreed to.

Hernandez asks Dinah Madani for evidence

Once alone, Madani then noted how she had just led her Homeland Security team into an unexpected ambush, and now she refused to go back to the Madani Residence to simply feel sorry for herself as she noted that her team would never respect her if she left them to continue their investigation without her. Hernandez however simply commented that somethings things went wrong, telling Madani that her planning was solid and she had run it well until she had tried to chase down the person who had hijacked their mission which had resulted in Madani being injured due to a brutal car wreck.

Hernandez tells Dinah Madani she is badass

Hernandez then informed Madani that she and Stein would soon be questioned by OIG to understand what had happened to the Greek's guns and how the operation had gone so wrong, as Hernandez then recommended that Madani cooperate fully with their investigation. As he prepared to leave, Hernandez had a final word with Madani as he questioned if she really wanted to know what her agents thought of her, picking up a photograph of Madani's burned out car and telling her that her team viewed her as a badass, before Hernandez touched Madani's arm and asked if she was keeping any more secrets.[3]

Terrorist Bombings

Hernandez arrives at Farah Madani's home

"Whatever you've done you left that office completely unprepared for these bombings. My S.A.C. is out, I have several dead agents and I don't know why."
"You might not wanna know."
"Survivors say you refused to name the target."
―Rafael Hernandez to Dinah Madani[src]

Following another failed mission, Hernandez was informed that Sam Stein had lost his life. As a result of Stein's death, Dinah Madani fell into a dark depression which she could not get out of, as Hernandez was forced to visit the Madani Residence to convince her to come back. Once he arrived, Hernandez spoke with Farah Madani who asked him how things were going in the wake of the recent Bombings of New York City as Hernandez gave her a brief reassuring comment.

Hernandez checking Dinah Madani's health

Hernandez asked how Madani was doing, as Farah insisted that she would not allow him to speak with her daughter, claiming that Madani was an emotional wreck following Stein's death. However Madani revealed that she had been listening the entire time and insisted that she was okay to speak to him. Once they were alone, Hernandez had then told Madani that while he wanted her to have recovery time, she had left Homeland Security unprepared for the recent bombings, as well as leaving Hernandez with several dead agents with no idea why they died, to which Madani noted that he might not want to know.

Hernandez asks Dinah Madani for the truth

Hernandez noted that Madani refused to name her target and filed a false tactical plan, however Madani questioned if Hernandez and his team identified all of those men they killed and who they worked for; however, Hernandez had still insisted that Madani needed to answer questions and not continue asking them. Madani then explained how she was haunted by the image of Stein as he bled out, noting how he looked surprised in his final moments. Hernandez questioned if this was connected to Ahmad Zubair and Kandahar, noting that he could not protect her if Madani did not begin to finally tell him the truth.[4]

Target: William Rawlins

Hernandez returns Dinah Madani's badge

"You think Castle being alive vindicates everything going on here?"
"Men died. Nothing vindicates that. But if people had listened to me, then maybe they'd still be alive."
"You walked those men into that warehouse, no one else. You filed false tactical plans. What were you hiding, Dinah? And from whom?"
―Rafael Hernandez and Dinah Madani[src]

Hernandez took up the position of Acting Special Agent in Charge, as he sat in his new office and read a New York Bulletin discussing the recent attacks which were being reported to have been caused by both Frank Castle and Lewis Wilson. While he was reading the paper, Hernandez looked up and saw Dinah Madani had finally returned back to the office, as Hernandez presented her with her badge back and showed her the paper with Castle's picture printed on it.

Hernandez learning of the Punisher's return

Hernandez had questioned if Madani believed that Castle being alive vindicated everything that had happened, to which Madani had then noted that men had died and nothing would vindicate that: However, she claimed that if Homeland Security listened to her, then perhaps they would all still be alive. Hernandez however insisted that Madani was to blame for the Ambush at the Abandoned Warehouse and had questioned what she had been hiding, as Madani closed the door to her office and then told Hernandez that she knew that Castle was still alive and he had stolen the Greek Mob's weapons from them.

Hernandez discussing about the Punisher

As Hernandez questioned why Madani would not have told her this, to which she finally explained that Castle was connected to Ahmad Zubair's death in Kandahar and every lead she found had turned up dead, before revealing that she had found a bug inside of her office which she then ripped out and gave it to Hernandez. Madani went on to explain that she and Sam Stein had quietly given false information to whoever was listening to the bug and waited to see who turned up in order to kill Castle. Hernandez asked why it was not reported but Madani claimed she could not trust the chain of command.

Hernandez asks about their recent ambush

Hernandez cursed Madani as he noted that she could have come to him, while Madani insisted that whoever was behind this could be connected to the CIA or the NSA, noting that they had fought against well trained soldiers in the Abandoned Warehouse. Hernandez asked what evidence Madani had of these theories, noting that half the city was attempting to kill Castle, noting that her witness was a terrorist seeking to bomb New York City. Madani then informed Hernandez that she still had one other witness, William Rawlins, which horrified Hernandez, noting that Rawlins was a high ranking CIA agent.

Hernandez learns of William Rawlins' crimes

While Madani still called Rawlins the murderer who had killed Zubair, Hernandez changed the subject and handed Madani the paperwork on the men killed during the recent ambush, including Tom Weems and Spencer Geiger, who Hernandez noted her all ex special forces and now working as mercenaries, with Madani taking note that they had all worked for Anvil. As he then prepared to leave, Hernandez gave Madani her badge back, telling her that she would need it as she had continued her investigation and attempted to find some evidence which could actually link back to Rawlins.[5]

Russo's Interrogation

Hernandez watches Billy Russo's interview

"I agree with him. You got angry and made a dumb move, Dinah. You helped him build a conflict-of-interest case against you."
"I needed to rattle his cage."
"To what end? I'm sorry. I can't hear you."
―Rafael Hernandez and Dinah Madani[src]

Hernandez was called into Dinah Madani office where they watched the film of Madani's interrogation of Billy Russo, who she suspected of working with William Rawlins and killing Sam Stein. However, as Hernandez saw Russo was able to manipulate Madani throughout the questioning and suggested many of the deaths were her fault, Hernandez told her to turn off the tape, as he claimed that Madani had let Russo get her angry and build a conflict of interest case against her due to her and Russo's previous sexual relationship.

Hernandez being annoyed at Dinah Madani

As Hernandez questioned what all this was aiming for, Madani then confessed that she had screwed up by allowing Russo to get close to her, noting that she had trusted Russo while Hernandez told her that she had let it get personal. Madani however asked Hernandez if he expected her to apologize for this before questioning if he was willing to allow Russo to get away with killing Sam Stein, noting that Russo had pretty much confessed it following his attempted murder of Frank Castle. Hernandez then finally questioned if Madani actually knew where Castle and Micro were, and told her to find them.[2]

Interview with James

Hernandez greets Marion James with a hug

"We have evidence that one of your field agents was running an illegal assassination program funded by heroin from Kandahar."
"That's quite an accusation."
―Rafael Hernandez and Marion James[src]

Continuing their investigation, Hernandez invited Marion James to come to the Homeland Security Headquarters for an interview, with Hernandez greeting his old friend with a hug before leading her into the interrogation room, introducing James to Dinah Madani who got straight to the point. Hernandez thanked James for coming to speak with them, to which James noted that since Hernandez had contacted her on her own personal cell phone she had assumed it must be important enough.

Hernandez and Dinah Madani question James

James asked if this was about the Bombings of New York City, while Hernandez explained that it was not as they had evidence that a CIA agent ran an illegal Assassination Operation which was funded by heroin sales in Kandahar. James then noted that this was a serious accusation, as Madani noted how Ahmad Zubair had been captured, tortured and killed by this Operation. While James questioned what evidence there was and Madani told her that there was a video tape, Hernandez explained that William Rawlins was the agent in question which James scoffed at, explaining how respected Rawlins was.

Hernandez notes William Rawlins' involvement

While James promised that the CIA would look into this accusation, Madani claimed it would be a Homeland Security investigation which James argued against. Hernandez however explained that several Homeland Security agents had already been killed while investigating Rawlins, to which James asked to see the tape Madani mentioned. Hernandez went on to explain that Rawlins had gone rogue and was now seemingly doing whatever he could to cover his own tracks, no matter how many people got killed. Hernandez then told James that he had asked her there so they could resolve the matter.

Hernandez watches Marion James leave

Madani asked James to give up Rawlins, to which James noted that if Rawlins' actions came to light, then their foreign policy would be thrown backwards by at least ten years, to which Madani claimed that the public would not likely be surprised by many of the illegal actions committed by the CIA, to which James demanded to get at least some respect from Madani. James furiously ranted that she and Hernandez had been in their business long enough to know how to deal with these situations, leaving to go onto the United Nations and ignoring Hernandez's request for her to stay to discuss this.

Hernandez discusses Marion James' work

Once they were alone, Hernandez and Madani discussed James, as Madani referred to her as a piece of work and jokingly claimed that the meeting had gone well, to which Hernandez noted that he had known James for a long time and she was one of the good ones. Hernandez claimed that Madani had always reminded him of James, assuring her that this was meant as a compliment. Madani had then questioned what they should do next, to which Hernandez used one of Madani's metaphors and then calmly claimed that they now just needed to wait and see what the consequences would be.[2]

Hunt for the Punisher

Hernandez discusses William Rawlins' death

"Dinah, what have you done here?"
"I did what was right. Now, you have a choice. You can arrest me or you can let me do my job."
"Do you know where they are, Dinah?"
"No. But maybe that's for the best."
―Rafael Hernandez and Dinah Madani[src]

Their rattling of the cage proved successful as Hernandez had later joined Marion James as they personally went to Micro's Hideout and found the aftermath of a battle involving Anvil unsuccessfully going against the Punisher. While the bodies were taken away, Hernandez saw William Rawlins' brutalized corpse being put into a body bag, as James noted that Rawlins looked like he had been hit by a train, while Hernandez commented on how little sympathy he had.

Hernandez noting all the Punisher's actions

While all of the other corpses were taken away by their teams, James then questioned where Dinah Madani was, as Hernandez claimed that he did not know, to which James had noted that Billy Russo was now on the run and on a killing spree while Hernandez's pet agent Madani had just disappeared with Frank Castle, who was now the most wanted man in New York City. Hernandez however insisted that they were still unsure if Madani had assisted the Punisher, but James still remained convinced, questioning if Hernandez actually had any doubts that Madani could have helped the Punisher to escape.

Hernandez interrogating Dinah Madani himself

Back at the Homeland Security Headquarters, Hernandez and James sat down with Madani as Hernandez insisted that she had let Castle go, although Madani noted that it had taken the combined efforts of both the Punisher and Micro to do what Homeland Security as well as the CIA had failed to do with bringing down Rawlins and exposing the conspiracy behind him. Although James claimed that they did not know of Rawlins' deception, Madani claimed that they merely did not want to know, noting that Castle had just risked his life to bring in all of the evidence that they would ever need for their investigation.

Hernandez discusses William Rawlins' death

Hernandez asked Madani where Castle was, as she claimed that she was overpowered while trying to arrest Castle, although Hernandez noted that Castle could barely stand following Rawlins' torture. While Hernandez asked her to be honest, James claimed that Madani had assisted a wanted terrorist with his escape, although Madani turned it back on her, reminding her how she did not believe the accusations about Operation Cerberus and all Rawlins' illegal dealings, noting the CIA colluded to keep that information secret. Hernandez asked what Madani had done, as she claimed she had done what was right.

Hernandez asking where Frank Castle is

Hernandez and James chose not to arrest Madani for what she had done and let her walk out to continue her work, having once again confirmed that Madani did not know where Castle was, noting that this might be for the best as they might not want Castle telling his own side of the story to the authorities, which Hernandez knew was right. Hernandez ordered Madani to write up her report, noting that Madani was on her final warning. Once alone, James had noted that Madani was a piece of work, which Hernandez agreed with, before James noted that she liked her, which Hernandez smiled at.

Hernandez being ignored by Dinah Madani

As Hernandez allowed Madani to stay in her office and write up her report about how she and her Homeland Security team had found the aftermath of the Ambush in Micro's Hideout as well as finding the brutalized corpse of Rawlins who had been beaten to death by the Punisher, Hernandez later saw Madani choosing to stop writing up her report and instead stepped out of her office and stormed out of the building. Hernandez questioned where Madani was going, only to find that Madani completely ignored him as she went to the elevator and left the building, with no comment on where she was going.[6]

Aiding Frank Castle

Hernandez meeting Frank Castle in hospital

"You're officially still at large but we wiped your prints and DNA from the criminal justice system and replaced them with those of a dead man. We've done what we can to give you your life back. Pete Castiglione is a free man."
―Rafael Hernandez to Frank Castle[src]

Hernandez later joined Dinah Madani as she recovered in the hospital having been shot in the head by Billy Russo. When Madani had just recovered from her recent head wound enough to sit up and speak, Hernandez had Frank Castle, who saved her life, brought into the room to speak with them, as Hernandez first ordering Castle's handcuffs be taken off. Castle commented on Madani's survival and questioned if she saved his life, Marion James had stepped forward and commented that they would not take Castle's life from him.

Hernandez explains Dinah Madani's request

James told Castle that he would be getting a free pass due to the debt the country owed to him due to William Rawlins' betrayal, as Castle confirmed if this was a pay off in order to ensure that he kept his mouth shut about Rawlins and the CIA, which James confirmed. Hernandez and James then explained that as far as the public was aware, Lewis Wilson and Russo were the only ones involved with the recent terrorist attacks, as Hernandez noted that his prints and DNA had been wiped from the system and replaced with those of a dead man, which would finally allow Castle to start his new life.

Hernandez explains Billy Russo's condition

As Castle questioned if they had considered having him killed when they found him at Central Park, Hernandez noted that this is what Madani had wanted for him, with Madani noting that everyone who she wanted to bring to justice for Ahmad Zubair's murder were now dead, as she had found some peace in that. While James wished him the best with his freedom, Castle asked Hernandez what happened to Russo following his brutal disfigurement, Hernandez explained that he was currently in a coma and doctors were unsure how much damage his brain had actually suffered during the attack.[6]

Advising Madani

Discussing Billy Russo

Hernandez has dinner with Dinah Madani

"You risk compromising any trial if Russo is deemed fit to stand."
"I told you, it's an act, Rafi. I look into his eyes, and I can see him in there, laughing at them all."
"I wish Castle had actually finished the damn job."
―Rafael Hernandez and Dinah Madani[src]

Unsure of her state of mind, Hernandez invited Dinah Madani to join him for dinner while he was in New York City, as Madani questioned what she had done to disappoint him, noting the look in his eye. Hernandez explained that he had received another complaint from Sacred Saints Hospital about Madani's twice a day visits into Billy Russo's room, although Madani showed no remorse about this, noting that it simply meant that she was just getting to Russo, despite Hernandez insisting that Russo should no longer be her concern.

Hernandez giving Dinah Madani his advice

However, Madani insisted that Russo would always be her concern, to which Hernandez noted that she would never change the fact that Russo managed to fool her, which pissed her off as she insisted that Hernandez would never understand that pain. As the waiter brought over their food, Hernandez reminded Madani how they had worked extremely hard to keep Homeland Security out of the Russo situation as it was now the New York City Police Department's case to handle, noting that if she continued, she would risk compromising the results of any trial if Russo were to be ever deemed fit enough to stand.

Hernandez noting his views of Frank Castle

As Madani continued to insist that everything Russo was doing was actually an act, telling Hernandez that she believed Russo was fully recovered and was merely laughing at them all while waiting for the perfect opportunity to escape. Upon hearing all this, Hernandez had then expressed his regret that Frank Castle had not finished the job and killed Russo at their last encounter instead of horrifically scarring his face, although Madani had noted that if Castle did this, then she would never have had the opportunity to torment him afterwards, and Russo would have died believing that he successfully killed her.

Hernandez tells Dinah Madani to stay away

Frustrated by her attitude, Hernandez told Madani that she now had to stay away from Russo from now on as she was the Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security's New York division, and her job no longer had involved Russo. However, Madani was highly insulted by Hernandez's comments and instead decided to skip dinner with him, noting that he had accomplished his mission to talk to her all about Russo. Despite Hernandez trying to get her to stay so that they could talk about something else, Madani told him that they could do this at another time as she had grabbed her jacket and then walked out.[7]

Frank Castle's Return

Hernandez talks to Dinah Madani on her deal

"The terms of the deal we made with him were pretty clear. Castle was on his own."
"Yeah, I guess that's the problem with telling lies and covering things up. You can't really trust anyone afterwards."
"A lie that was designed to protect you."
―Rafael Hernandez and Dinah Madani[src]

Hernandez was later invited for coffee with Dinah Madani, as she had informed him that she encountered Frank Castle again recently, when Castle had called her in order to get him freed from the Larkville Police Department. Hernandez had complained that the terms of the deal they had made with Castle had been extremely clear that he was on his own, to which Madani noted that Castle had threatened to expose all of their lies if they had left him in the police's custody.

Hernandez asks for the site of Frank Castle

Although Hernandez claimed that their cover up was done to protect Madani, she insisted that he not pretend that it was done only for her benefit, knowing he had protected Homeland Security. As Hernandez then questioned where Castle was now, Madani claimed that he had been dropped off just outside of New York City. As Hernandez then questioned why she did not leave him in Ohio, Madani explained that Castle insisted upon coming to New York, as Hernandez questioned if Castle returned to New York City due to Billy Russo having recently escaped from the Sacred Saints Hospital, which Madani denied.

Hernandez expresses his concern for Madani

Madani claimed that she had not actually told Castle about Russo's escape, which Hernandez remained doubtful of. Hernandez had then changed the conversation and noted how Farah Madani had told him that Madani was still not talking to anyway about her mental health in the wake of her head injuries, to which Madani questioned how often Hernandez spoke to her mother, while he simply asked her the same question. Hernandez had still insisted that Madani needed to speak to someone, regardless of the fact that she completed their required amount of counselling that was demanded by the department.

Hernandez questions Dinah Madani's motives

However, Hernandez simply noted that once she had completed this counselling, she had started standing at the end of Russo's hospital bed twice a day, before he had then questioned if Madani planned on going after Russo, to which she noted that he had told her not to and she would respect that. Hernandez had then questioned what would happen once Castle finally learnt of Russo's escape from the hospital and decided to go after him again, as Hernandez noted that Madani might have brought that war between Castle and Russo right back to their door, although Madani did not respond to these comments.[8]


"He's a black belt in carrot and stick."
"Nice guy to have watching your back."
Dinah Madani and Sam Stein[src]
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Appearances for Rafael Hernandez

In chronological order:


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