History Main / Steel

1st Feb '14 8:20:36 AM LadyMomus
Is there an issue? Send a Message


'''Steel''' is the name of several DCComics superheroes, though the best known is the third.

!!Henry "Hank" Heywood version
The first Steel debuted in the series ''Steel, The Indestructible Man'' in the [[TheSeventies 1970s]] (though it was set in WorldWarII.) Henry "Hank" Heywood was an American soldier who, after being badly hurt, was remade as a cyborg with "indestructible" skin. Still having a human appearance, he developed a secret identity as a superhero wearing [[WearingAFlagOnYourHead a costume based on the American flag]]. He first appeared in ''Steel, The Indestructible Man'' #1 (March, 1978), created by Gerry Conway and Don Heck.

The original ''Steel'' series only lasted 5 issues, ending in November, 1978. The cancellation was part of the so-called DC Implosion, the abrupt end to over 24 series. The character was not forgotten. He became a regular in the ComicBook/AllStarSquadron, a series devoted to Golden Age heroes. Using the alternative codename Commander Steel. In the "present" day, Hank turned very much alive in [[TheEighties 1980s]] tales of the JusticeLeagueOfAmerica. He went on to become one of several heroes fighting against Eclipso, in a series spotlighting this villain. He was finally killed in ''Eclipso'' #13 (November, 1993).

!!Henry "Hank" Heywood III version
The second Steel was Henry "Hank" Heywood III, a grandson of the original. He debuted in ''Justice League of America Annual'' #2 (October, 1984), created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton. He was part of the JusticeLeagueOfAmerica during the series' infamous "Detroit" period. Having suffered an accident, his grandfather -now a rich corporate head- had him rebuilt as a similar cyborg and [[StageMom goaded him into becoming a hero]]; he also provided the League's new headquarters.

Sadly the younger Steel had to retire when severely wounded in ''Justice League of America'' #260 (March, 1987). He was left surviving on life support. He was KilledOffForReal in ''Justice League America'' #38 (May, 1990). His old foe Despero located the comatose body of Hank and "shredded him limb from limb."

Henry has been used in subsequent years. But only in retro tales set in the Detroit period, or tales involving time-travel, or undead characters. A third Heywood went on to join the reformed ''JusticeSocietyOfAmerica'', but as ''Citizen'' Steel, to distunguish him from John Henry Irons.

!!John Henry Irons version
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Steel_(John_Henry_Irons).JPG
[[caption-width:350:DropTheHammer...]]
The third Steel was created for ''[[{{Superman}} The Man of Steel]]'' series, which normally starred Superman, during TheDeathOfSuperman storyline. DC had decided to delay bringing Superman back to exploit the success of this event, but that left them without a protagonist for Superman's four titles. Their solution was to create four Superman [[{{Expy}} pretenders]] and make a mystery of which one of them could be the real Superman BackFromTheDead. (It's also possible that DC wanted to make sure they didn't lose the trademark to the name "Steel" from lack of use.)

In any case the character first appeared in ''The Adventures of Superman'' #500 (June, 1993), created by Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove. This Steel was really John Henry Irons, a construction worker whose life had been saved by Superman once, and who decided to become a hero [[LegacyCharacter to uphold his legacy]]. In addition, he was actually a former weapons designer hiding from the government; the use of weapons he had invented by some street gangs was also part of the reason why he created a suit of PowerArmor to fight crime with (along with a [[DropTheHammer really big hammer.]]) There was also a hint that Superman's not-quite-dead soul had linked to Irons, keeping a hold on this world before returning to life. Of the other three beings claiming the title of Superman, Steel was also the only one who freely admitted that he was ''not'' Superman, but was working to uphold his legacy in his honor.

Steel was also obviously partially based on the legend of John Henry, and happens to be the first black character to be major part of the Superman mythos (though his armor hid this fact from the public.) Later on, Steel would join the Justice League of America, and his identity would become public. His niece Natasha, who like him was a GadgeteerGenius, also became a power-armor heroine (and later gained actual powers as part of an EvilPlan by Lex Luthor in the series ComicBook/FiftyTwo.)

Steel starred in his own comics series for 52 issues, from February, 1994 to July, 1998. He had [[{{Film/Steel}} a movie based on him]] (starring Shaquille O'Neal) that however [[InNameOnly cut off all Superman references]]. Steel has also appeared in ''SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' and the [[JusticeLeagueUnlimited animated Justice League cartoon.]] The animated version also had to have his origin tweaked, because ''TheDeathOfSuperman'' never happened in S:TAS.

!!Tropes regarding the first Steel:
* {{Expy}}: Of ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica''.
* WearingAFlagOnYourHead: The original Steel Uniform displayed the colors red, white, and blue. Along with a prominent white star on his chest. Rather clearly based on the flag of the United States.
* WeCanRebuildHim

!!Tropes regarding the second Steel:
* LegacyCharacter: He was granted the mantle of his grandfather.
* WeCanRebuildHim

!!Tropes regarding the third Steel:

* AntiHeroSubstitute: Inverted; the other Superman pretenders trying to replace the Big Blue Boyscout after his death were varying degrees of AntiHero, but Steel is [[TheCape just as heroic as the original]], [[UpToEleven if not MORE so]]. Which may be related to why he had the best reception of them all. It also probably helped that unlike the others, Steel never actually claimed to be Superman or his substitute, but was just operating as best he could in Superman's memory and honor.
* AppropriatedAppellation: He began as "The Man of Steel", a literal version of Superman's famous definition. Superman himself found it too long and called him just "Steel" and it stuck.
* ArmCannon: The original armor packed a wrist-mounted rivet gun.
* TheBlacksmith
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: John Henry ended up becoming this after taking up the Entropy Aegis armor, a special PowerArmor designed by {{Darkseid}} using the shell of a [[OurWorldsAtWar Imperiex Probe]].
* TheCape: Out of all four Superman pretenders, he is the only who can be considered unambiguously good. Put this together with the fact that he's simply an ordinary man working a blue-collar job, and you'll see why some consider his heroics to be even more impressive those of the big man himself.
* CharacterWitness: In the Steel movie.
* DropTheHammer: He started with a normal Sledgehammer, which was lost to the combination of a pissed-off GreenLantern and Mongul's face. His subsequent hammers tend to be more high-tech.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: In his introduction, there is a flashback in which Irons, working high steel, prevents another worker from falling, only to be the one needing rescuing. When he is rescued by Superman, we get the following exchange:
--> '''Irons''': "I owe you my '''life!'''"
--> '''Superman''': "Then make it '''count''' for something!"
* EmpoweredBadassNormal: He may be most known for his awesome PowerArmor, but he's got an ''astonishing'' natural physique and more than enough combat aptitude to be a BadassNormal even if he lacked it.
* {{Expy}}: ComicBook/{{Hardware}}
** CompositeCharacter Expy of Main/{{Thor}} and ComicBook/IronMan
* GeniusBruiser: He's a brilliant scientist, and is more than capable of kicking ass without his armor.
* GadgeteerGenius
* GentleGiant Despite everything he still considers himself a scientist and not a fighter.
* HeyItsThatVoice: Voiced by MichaelDorn ([[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Wo]][[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine rf]]) in WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries.
** And [[TheOtherDarrin later in]] ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' by PhilLaMarr, who was (according to producers on the commentary track of an episode) [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed doing an impression of]] MorganFreeman.
* ItsPronouncedTroPay: Dr Villain. "''Will-hane''. It's French."
* LetsGetDangerous: When a young boy was killed by a Toastmaster gun, a weapon ''he'' designed years ago, enough was enough and it would motivate him to create the first Steel armor.
* MeaningfulName
* MyGreatestFailure: When John Henry was part of the US Defense, he had designed high-powered weapons, only to have the designs stolen and sold on the BlackMarket. He ran and changed his name to get away from this... only to find out the weapons were being used in ''Metropolis''. When one killed a young boy, that was enough.
* NeverBeAHero: Steel to Natasha.
* NotThatKindOfDoctor: Has to deal with this off-frame in one issue when he's visiting a friend's hospital during a busy period.
** When he was ''employed'' by a hospital in the Creator/ChristopherPriestComics run, he objected to being called "Dr. Irons", because it was misleading. The hospital administrator said it was good publicity.
* ScaryBlackMan: Actually subverted, despite appearances he's the most noble of Superman's expies. He does tend to scare the shit out of his enemies, however, and for good reason.
* StevenUlyssesPerhero
* TakeUpMySword: A bit of a sideways example, but when Superman returned, Steel briefly quit wearing the S-Shield. Superman was quick to tell him that he had earned the right to wear it.
** He quit using the shield because he was planning to do things that would probably get him in trouble and he didn't want to tarnish it.

to:

'''Steel''' is the name of several DCComics superheroes, though the best known is the third.

!!Henry "Hank" Heywood version
The first Steel debuted in the series ''Steel, The Indestructible Man'' in the [[TheSeventies 1970s]] (though it was set in WorldWarII.) Henry "Hank" Heywood was an American soldier who, after being badly hurt, was remade as a cyborg with "indestructible" skin. Still having a human appearance, he developed a secret identity as a superhero wearing [[WearingAFlagOnYourHead a costume based on the American flag]]. He first appeared in ''Steel, The Indestructible Man'' #1 (March, 1978), created by Gerry Conway and Don Heck.

The original ''Steel'' series only lasted 5 issues, ending in November, 1978. The cancellation was part of the so-called DC Implosion, the abrupt end to over 24 series. The character was not forgotten. He became a regular in the ComicBook/AllStarSquadron, a series devoted to Golden Age heroes. Using the alternative codename Commander Steel. In the "present" day, Hank turned very much alive in [[TheEighties 1980s]] tales of the JusticeLeagueOfAmerica. He went on to become one of several heroes fighting against Eclipso, in a series spotlighting this villain. He was finally killed in ''Eclipso'' #13 (November, 1993).

!!Henry "Hank" Heywood III version
The second Steel was Henry "Hank" Heywood III, a grandson of the original. He debuted in ''Justice League of America Annual'' #2 (October, 1984), created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton. He was part of the JusticeLeagueOfAmerica during the series' infamous "Detroit" period. Having suffered an accident, his grandfather -now a rich corporate head- had him rebuilt as a similar cyborg and [[StageMom goaded him into becoming a hero]]; he also provided the League's new headquarters.

Sadly the younger Steel had to retire when severely wounded in ''Justice League of America'' #260 (March, 1987). He was left surviving on life support. He was KilledOffForReal in ''Justice League America'' #38 (May, 1990). His old foe Despero located the comatose body of Hank and "shredded him limb from limb."

Henry has been used in subsequent years. But only in retro tales set in the Detroit period, or tales involving time-travel, or undead characters. A third Heywood went on to join the reformed ''JusticeSocietyOfAmerica'', but as ''Citizen'' Steel, to distunguish him from John Henry Irons.

!!John Henry Irons version
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Steel_(John_Henry_Irons).JPG
[[caption-width:350:DropTheHammer...]]
The third Steel was created for ''[[{{Superman}} The Man of Steel]]'' series, which normally starred Superman, during TheDeathOfSuperman storyline. DC had decided to delay bringing Superman back to exploit the success of this event, but that left them without a protagonist for Superman's four titles. Their solution was to create four Superman [[{{Expy}} pretenders]] and make a mystery of which one of them could be the real Superman BackFromTheDead. (It's also possible that DC wanted to make sure they didn't lose the trademark to the name
"Steel" from lack may refer to:

* ''ComicBook/{{Steel}}'': The name
of use.)

In any case the character first appeared in ''The Adventures of Superman'' #500 (June, 1993), created by Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove. This Steel was really John Henry Irons, a construction worker whose life had been saved by Superman once, and who decided to become a hero [[LegacyCharacter to uphold his legacy]]. In addition, he was actually a former weapons designer hiding from the government; the use of weapons he had invented by some street gangs was also part of the reason why he created a suit of PowerArmor to fight crime with (along with a [[DropTheHammer really big hammer.]]) There was also a hint that Superman's not-quite-dead soul had linked to Irons, keeping a hold on this world before returning to life. Of the other three beings claiming the title of Superman, Steel was also the only one who freely admitted that he was ''not'' Superman, but was working to uphold his legacy in his honor.

Steel was also obviously partially based on the legend of John Henry, and happens to be the first black character to be major part of the Superman mythos (though his armor hid this fact from the public.) Later on, Steel would join the Justice League of America, and his identity would become public. His niece Natasha, who like him was a GadgeteerGenius, also became a power-armor heroine (and later gained actual powers as part of an EvilPlan by Lex Luthor in the series ComicBook/FiftyTwo.)

Steel starred in his own comics series for 52 issues, from February, 1994 to July, 1998. He had [[{{Film/Steel}} a
several Creator/DCComics characters.
* ''Film/{{Steel}}'': The
movie based on him]] (starring the DC Comics character starring Shaquille O'Neal) that however [[InNameOnly cut off all Superman references]]. Steel has also appeared in ''SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' and the [[JusticeLeagueUnlimited animated Justice League cartoon.]] The animated version also had to have his origin tweaked, because ''TheDeathOfSuperman'' never happened in S:TAS.

!!Tropes regarding the first Steel:
* {{Expy}}: Of ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica''.
* WearingAFlagOnYourHead: The original Steel Uniform displayed the colors red, white, and blue. Along with a prominent white star on his chest. Rather clearly based on the flag of the United States.
* WeCanRebuildHim

!!Tropes regarding the second Steel:
* LegacyCharacter: He was granted the mantle of his grandfather.
* WeCanRebuildHim

!!Tropes regarding the third Steel:

* AntiHeroSubstitute: Inverted; the other Superman pretenders trying to replace the Big Blue Boyscout after his death were varying degrees of AntiHero, but Steel is [[TheCape just as heroic as the original]], [[UpToEleven if not MORE so]]. Which may be related to why he had the best reception of them all. It also probably helped that unlike the others, Steel never actually claimed to be Superman or his substitute, but was just operating as best he could in Superman's memory and honor.
* AppropriatedAppellation: He began as "The Man of Steel", a literal version of Superman's famous definition. Superman himself found it too long and called him just "Steel" and it stuck.
* ArmCannon: The original armor packed a wrist-mounted rivet gun.
* TheBlacksmith
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: John Henry ended up becoming this after taking up the Entropy Aegis armor, a special PowerArmor designed by {{Darkseid}} using the shell of a [[OurWorldsAtWar Imperiex Probe]].
* TheCape: Out of all four Superman pretenders, he is the only who can be considered unambiguously good. Put this together with the fact that he's simply an ordinary man working a blue-collar job, and you'll see why some consider his heroics to be even more impressive those of the big man himself.
* CharacterWitness: In the Steel movie.
* DropTheHammer: He started with a normal Sledgehammer, which was lost to the combination of a pissed-off GreenLantern and Mongul's face. His subsequent hammers tend to be more high-tech.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: In his introduction, there is a flashback in which Irons, working high steel, prevents another worker from falling, only to be the one needing rescuing. When he is rescued by Superman, we get the following exchange:
--> '''Irons''': "I owe you my '''life!'''"
--> '''Superman''': "Then make it '''count''' for something!"
* EmpoweredBadassNormal: He may be most known for his awesome PowerArmor, but he's got an ''astonishing'' natural physique and more than enough combat aptitude to be a BadassNormal even if he lacked it.
* {{Expy}}: ComicBook/{{Hardware}}
** CompositeCharacter Expy of Main/{{Thor}} and ComicBook/IronMan
* GeniusBruiser: He's a brilliant scientist, and is more than capable of kicking ass without his armor.
* GadgeteerGenius
* GentleGiant Despite everything he still considers himself a scientist and not a fighter.
* HeyItsThatVoice: Voiced by MichaelDorn ([[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Wo]][[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine rf]]) in WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries.
** And [[TheOtherDarrin later in]] ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'' by PhilLaMarr, who was (according to producers on the commentary track of an episode) [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed doing an impression of]] MorganFreeman.
* ItsPronouncedTroPay: Dr Villain. "''Will-hane''. It's French."
* LetsGetDangerous: When a young boy was killed by a Toastmaster gun, a weapon ''he'' designed years ago, enough was enough and it would motivate him to create the first Steel armor.
* MeaningfulName
* MyGreatestFailure: When John Henry was part of the US Defense, he had designed high-powered weapons, only to have the designs stolen and sold on the BlackMarket. He ran and changed his name to get away from this... only to find out the weapons were being used in ''Metropolis''. When one killed a young boy, that was enough.
* NeverBeAHero: Steel to Natasha.
* NotThatKindOfDoctor: Has to deal with this off-frame in one issue when he's visiting a friend's hospital during a busy period.
** When he was ''employed'' by a hospital in the Creator/ChristopherPriestComics run, he objected to being called "Dr. Irons", because it was misleading. The hospital administrator said it was good publicity.
* ScaryBlackMan: Actually subverted, despite appearances he's the most noble of Superman's expies. He does tend to scare the shit out of his enemies, however, and for good reason.
* StevenUlyssesPerhero
* TakeUpMySword: A bit of a sideways example, but when Superman returned, Steel briefly quit wearing the S-Shield. Superman was quick to tell him that he had earned the right to wear it.
** He quit using the shield because he was planning to do things that would probably get him in trouble and he didn't want to tarnish it.
O'Neal.
----
22nd Jan '14 1:56:38 PM FirebirdMaximus
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* {{Expy}}: Of ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica''.
20th Dec '13 5:45:45 AM CaptainTedium
Is there an issue? Send a Message



to:

* WeCanRebuildHim



* LegacyCharacter: He was granted the mantle of his grandfather.

to:

* LegacyCharacter: He was granted the mantle of his grandfather.
grandfather.
* WeCanRebuildHim
15th Oct '13 3:44:23 PM VicGeorge2011
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** CompositeCharacter Expy of ComicBook/{{Thor}} and ComicBook/IronMan

to:

** CompositeCharacter Expy of ComicBook/{{Thor}} Main/{{Thor}} and ComicBook/IronMan
15th Oct '13 3:42:23 PM VicGeorge2011
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** ComicBook/IronMan

to:

** CompositeCharacter Expy of ComicBook/{{Thor}} and ComicBook/IronMan
2nd Oct '13 2:42:19 PM Cyclone
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* EarnYourHappyEnding: In his introduction, there is a flashback in which Irons, working high steel, prevents another worker from falling, only to be the one needing rescuing. When he is rescued by Superman, he asked how he could thank Superman for saving his life.
-->'''Superman:''' Make your life worth living.

to:

* EarnYourHappyEnding: In his introduction, there is a flashback in which Irons, working high steel, prevents another worker from falling, only to be the one needing rescuing. When he is rescued by Superman, he asked how he could thank Superman we get the following exchange:
--> '''Irons''': "I owe you my '''life!'''"
--> '''Superman''': "Then make it '''count'''
for saving his life.
-->'''Superman:''' Make your life worth living.
something!"
17th Sep '13 7:04:19 PM Cyclone
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Steel starred in his own comics series for 52 issues, from February, 1994 to July, 1998. He had [[{{Film/Steel}} a movie based on him]] (starring Shaquille O'Neal) that however [[InNameOnly cut off all Superman references]]. Steel has also appeared in ''SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' and the[[JusticeLeagueUnlimited animated Justice League cartoon.]] The animated version also had to have his origin tweaked, because ''TheDeathOfSuperman'' never happened in S:TAS.

to:

Steel starred in his own comics series for 52 issues, from February, 1994 to July, 1998. He had [[{{Film/Steel}} a movie based on him]] (starring Shaquille O'Neal) that however [[InNameOnly cut off all Superman references]]. Steel has also appeared in ''SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' and the[[JusticeLeagueUnlimited the [[JusticeLeagueUnlimited animated Justice League cartoon.]] The animated version also had to have his origin tweaked, because ''TheDeathOfSuperman'' never happened in S:TAS.
17th Sep '13 7:02:58 PM Cyclone
Is there an issue? Send a Message


In any case the character first appeared in ''The Adventures of Superman'' #500 (June, 1993), created by Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove. This Steel was really John Henry Irons, a construction worker whose life had been saved by Superman once, and who decided to become a hero [[LegacyCharacter to uphold his legacy]]. In addition, he was actually a former weapons designer hiding from the government; the use of weapons he had invented by some street gangs was also part of the reason why he created a suit of PowerArmor to fight crime with (along with a [[{{BFS}} really big hammer.]]) There was also a hint that Superman's not-quite-dead soul had linked to Irons, keeping a hold on this world before returning to life. Of the other three beings claiming the title of Superman, Steel was also the only one who freely admitted that he was ''not'' Superman, but was working to uphold his legacy in his honor.

to:

In any case the character first appeared in ''The Adventures of Superman'' #500 (June, 1993), created by Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove. This Steel was really John Henry Irons, a construction worker whose life had been saved by Superman once, and who decided to become a hero [[LegacyCharacter to uphold his legacy]]. In addition, he was actually a former weapons designer hiding from the government; the use of weapons he had invented by some street gangs was also part of the reason why he created a suit of PowerArmor to fight crime with (along with a [[{{BFS}} [[DropTheHammer really big hammer.]]) There was also a hint that Superman's not-quite-dead soul had linked to Irons, keeping a hold on this world before returning to life. Of the other three beings claiming the title of Superman, Steel was also the only one who freely admitted that he was ''not'' Superman, but was working to uphold his legacy in his honor.
31st May '13 11:20:12 AM VPhantom
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* BadassAbnormal: He may be most known for his awesome PowerArmor, but he's got an ''astonishing'' natural physique and more than enough combat aptitude to be a BadassNormal even if he lacked it.


Added DiffLines:

* EmpoweredBadassNormal: He may be most known for his awesome PowerArmor, but he's got an ''astonishing'' natural physique and more than enough combat aptitude to be a BadassNormal even if he lacked it.
12th Apr '13 3:20:53 PM Xtifr
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** When he was ''employed'' by a hospital in the ChristopherPriest run, he objected to being called "Dr. Irons", because it was misleading. The hospital administrator said it was good publicity.

to:

** When he was ''employed'' by a hospital in the ChristopherPriest Creator/ChristopherPriestComics run, he objected to being called "Dr. Irons", because it was misleading. The hospital administrator said it was good publicity.
This list shows the last 10 events of 57. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.Steel