It has been more than half a century since the debut of the N-Forcer. While the general public does not know the identity of the person or persons inside the suit, we are aware that there has been at least two people donning the enigmatic and powerful uniform of the N-Forcer. The current individual under the armor met the first Hummingbird and we assume other contemporary Honor Guard members period when he was approximately eight years old.
His powers are based on some form of high energy production, derived no doubt from some exotic and complex application of the N-Field. He can construct force-shields out of that energy, and he possesses super-strength. Beyond that, the exact nature of his powers, their attack capabilities, its effects on human life forms, the range and nature of its use, the ability to control it, its source, and almost everything related to the hows, whys and whats; are still major question yet to be revealed.
His suit transforms his body into something called "n-force". In this state, his "body" retains a human form, but one pulsating with an energy-like substance that flows over (with?) his body. He does not seem to breathe while in this form.
To date, six(?), seven(?) unique uniforms have been revealed. Juxtapositions of them against each other increases the mystery of this long term enigmatic character.
Over the decades, his suit has undergone significant upgrades, overhauls and at least two complete redesigns. Much sleeker today, far more refined, portable and probably more durable. The first somewhat bulky contrivance(circa 1959) seems to be a vessel of sorts to either generate the N-Force energy or contain it. There are also primitive (by today's standards) miniaturization devices for duplicating certain physical body activities.
The second or 1960s period costume seems to project more human like features and the structure of the facial coverings seems to be a bit of a throwback to an earlier technology.
Over the years, with redesigns and upgrades, most of the clumsiness of the first suit have been reduced or completely eliminated. For example, the Mechanical hands, assumed to have been manipulated using finger harnesses, are now completely gone. But the sense of the suit being used to contain or control the energy remains.
The differences upgrading the suit from version three to four and to the present version have been minor. The fourth version of the uniform seemed to feature more armor. While, the fifth version of the suit, first seen in the 1990s, the thigh bands were removed and the upper chest structure is now sculpted more closer to the "body". This suit is also very compact, with two leg pieces, two arm gauntlets, a chest covering, a modesty belt (of sorts), and a helmet.
N-forcer's most recent outfit appears to consist primarily of a flexible, metallic outfit with a series of designs that allow energy to vent.
In closing, it should be noted, these explanations of the various version delineations are not definitive. Much of this is best guess observations of obserservable uniform upgrades and changes that have occurred since the character's first appearance 'lo those many decades ago.
While probably a human inside the suit, there are additional possibilities:
Based on his first somewhat clumsy contrivance circa 1959, his suit seems to be a containment device for the energy, with some limited miniaturization devices for duplicating certain physical actions. It is not too hard to image the human like face as being a holographic type technology.
His middle period costume seems to project the most human like structure, as the later facial coverings seems to be a bit of a throwback to an early technology. If other speculation about a lab-accident applies, then maybe the physical conditions improved for awhile in the 60s-70s. Now with age, the problems have degenerated.
Despite the numerous appearances, and the long history of the character(s), this Herocopia entry still remains more questions than revelations, more speculations that facts, and not much substance beyond basic observations of his many appearances. With so little to go on except a handful of images, it is hard to define N-Forcer, except in purely speculative forms. Part of the charm and fun of a very colorful and intriguing character.
Series creator Kurt Busiek has hinted that there is a storyline in the works, a detailed expose focused on the N-Forcer program. This should lead to many of these questions being answered in the near future...