Today, in Blacks in Comics, going to talk a little bit about Steel. Steel was created by Louise Simonson and artist Jon Bogdanove for DC Comics. Steel made his debut in The Adventures of Superman #500, as part of the “Reign of Supermen” storyline. Steel’s character is heavily influenced by Superman and the folk hero John Henry.
Steel’s real name is John Henry Irons. He is a brilliant scientist and engineer. A weapon he created was used to kill innocent people, so he faked his own death and moved to Metropolis. He was working as a construction worker, and while saving a coworker, fell off the skyscraper he was working on. He was saved by Superman. He asked Superman how he could repay him for saving his life, and Superman told him “live a life worth saving”. Shortly after, Superman fought Doomsday. Irons tried to help Superman by attacking Doomsday with a sledgehammer. Irons was buried in rubble, as Superman and Doomsday battled to the finish. Once Irons come to, he mumbled I must stop Doomsday.
After Superman’s death, a massive gang war brought out in Metropolis. Irons designed and made a powerful suit of armor to help end this war. Irons was considered one of the four “Supermen” who had stepped up after Superman’s death. He battled crime and helped those in need until Superman returned. He continued his acts of heroism even after Superman’s return. Steel becomes a confidant of Superman’s, often assisting him. Steel also serves as a member of the Justice League for sometime.
Steel has had his own movie(starring Shaquille O’Neal) that was terrible. Mainly because O’Neal is a terrible actor. Steel has also appeared on the Justice League Unlimited cartoon and the Adventures of Superman cartoon.
I have always liked Steel because he is the one good thing that came out of the “Death of Superman” and the “Reign of Supermen” stories. I also like the fact he is an Everyman, who, even though he lacks powers, he still does all he can to help those around him. If you want to learn more about Steel, check here.