- --because it won't be Hank Heywood fighting his own private war against the Fifth Columnists and Saboteurs: It'll be a man forged in fire and cast in agony, a warrior with a name to match his origins-- STEEL, the Indestructible Man!
- — Steel src
Henry Heywood enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to their involvement in WW II, but was injured when saboteurs attacked his base spearheaded by the man who would become Baron Blitzkrieg in November, 1939. As a biology student under the tutelage of Doctor Gilbert Giles, his former professor performed extensive surgery on him with mechanized steel devices that facilitate normal human functions only on a superhuman level. He adopted the persona Steel, and started fighting fifth columnist saboteurs before being sent to Europe on secret missions.
In February 1940, Steel was in London, England. While there he prevented an assassination attempt on the life of then-Major Winston Churchill by a costumed Nazi agent at the Ministry of War. Two nights later, Churchill sent him on a mission to kidnap Adolf Hitler at a concentration camp near Tozew, Poland. The Camp Commander's name was unknown, but Hitler referred to him as "Ein Schlachter", the Butcher. Captured, he was brought to the death camp. While attempting to escape, he was brought down by being hit by a jeep and later sustained a head wound from a bullet. Over the next two years, he was systematically brainwashed by Baron Blitzkrieg, the camp commander, to assassinate Churchill and Roosevelt.
Steel saved British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from an assassination attempt in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on the night of December 20, 1941.
After becoming Steel, Heywood soon allied himself with the All-Star Squadron and while in a field of war was later commissioned "Commander Steel" by US President Roosevelt himself. He joined the Squadron for a brief period.
Justice Society of America
Years later, as a wealthy industrialist, he incorporated the same mechanized components into his grandson Hank Heywood, III—who later joined Justice League of America and fought Heywood along with his enemy Mekanique, former allies Justice Society of America and their descendants Infinity, Inc.
After his grandson's death, Heywood resumed the mantle of Commander Steel and died battling the super villain Eclipso, while a member of the Shadow Fighters. He did come to a heroic end—detonating the Sunburst 300 (a device meant to destroy Eclipso) as his teammate Nemesis escaped.
- Cybernetic Steel Frame: To repair his broken body, military scientists used a steel alloy tubing to replace the bones in Heywood's skeleton.
- Superhuman Durability: Heywood has steel rods replacing his bones and metal plating replacing his skull.
- Superhuman Speed: Heywood has micro-motors in all his joints to enable enhanced movement.
- Superhuman Agility: The micro-motors in Heywood's joints allow him to react faster and leap great distances.
- Superhuman Stamina: Heywood has an artificial lung that allows him to stay submerged for up to 30 minutes. He also has back-up devices to aid the pumping of his circulatory system.
- Superhuman Strength: Heywood's steel and metal skeletal replacements ensure that not only do his bones stand strong but produce powerful effects when pushed into combat.
- Accelerated Healing: The bio-retardant that Hank and his mentor created was used in his skin to create new skin to cover the burned flesh and smashed bones after his treatment gave him a new skeleton.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic): A trained military combatant, Hank Heywood was engaged in fisticuffs with two other men when a shell exploded and landed him in the hospital. He once took on two trained Nazi soldiers at the same time prior to his new steel frame.
- Military Protocol: Hank Heywood was a soldier in the U.S. Marine Corps and as such he was at boot camp when he had his accident.
- Science: Hank Heywood was a biology student before joining the military. He was the assistant of Doctor Giles and had helped create the biological retardant which allowed his body to accept his new frame.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
- Steel (Volume 1) #1-5
- Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2
- All-Star Squadron #8-50
- Justice League of America (Volume 1) #208-209, 235-261
- Eclipso #11-13
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe V
- 74 Appearances of Henry Heywood, Sr. (New Earth)
- 27 Images featuring Henry Heywood, Sr. (New Earth)
- 2 Quotations by or about Henry Heywood, Sr. (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Henry Heywood, Sr. (New Earth)
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
Justice Society of America member
|All-Star Squadron member|
This character is or was a member of the All-Star Squadron in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "All-Star Squadron members" category.