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Real Name: John Henry Irons
Occupation: Inventor / former athlete

First Appearance: Superman Man of Steel #22, 1993

see Steel "Year One" - 1995


A former star athlete, who went by the name "John Henry" to his coaches, he became interested in science and invented a laser weapon. The invention was built for Amertek corporation and was later used in a foreign war. Distraught that his weapon caused such destruction, he quit Amertek. He invented an armored flying suit after daydreaming about a superhero named "Steel".

Though the suit was quite clunky at first, it was a success (early prototype shown on right). Amertek stole the blueprints to the suits and later made their own prototype soldiers. In the battle against these prototypes, John Henry was thought to be dead, he changed his identity and went underground. At the end of his rope, he was saved by superman and told to make something of his life. Thus he became Steel. He would later come to Superman's aid in the battle with Doomsday.

This character was jettisoned to the forefront of attention with the Death of Superman series and the recent movie starring Shaquille O'Neal (loser) shows that Steel has become quite popular in recent years.

Steel represented a black man from the city who made something of himself, despite many adversaties. . . 2002 ©