Hank Heywood III's father was shot down in Vietnam when he was only two months old, and his mother died of breast cancer one year after that. Hank was raised by his father's best friend Dale Gunn, and his grandfather, Henry Heywood, the 1940s hero known as Commander Steel. When Hank reached his mid-teens his grandfather sent Dale to Detroit in order to design and build a base known as "The Bunker." While Dale was away, Commander Steel subjected his grandson to a series of painful operations. Hank's bones were replaced with a titanium and steel alloy skeleton, and motors were added to his joints. These operations were similar to the ones that had given Commander Steel his powers. Commander Steel wanted his grandson to follow in his footsteps, by any means necessary. It took years for Hank to adjust to his new body. His recovery coincided with a change in the Justice League of America's charter. When Commander Steel discovered this he offered the new team use of the Bunker as headquarters in exchange for accepting his grandson (now named Steel) as a member, and the League accepted.
During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Steel and fellow JLA teammate Vibe battled a group of Luthor and Brainiac's new union of inter-Earth villains in Antartica. Having a difficult time with Plasmus, Vibe came to his aid by using his vibratory powers to make the ground underneath Plasmus crumble. But only a few seconds later, Steel was randomly transported somewhere else by the powers of one of Plasmus's Brotherhood of Evil teamates, Warp.
Steel and his grandfather had a falling out when Commander Steel demanded he quit the Justice League. Steel refused, so his grandfather resorted to legal means to evict the League from the Bunker.
Professor Ivo sends androids to hunt down and kill the JLA. Steel is hellbent on revenge after Vibe is murdered. While pursuing Professor Ivo, Steel is mortally wounded in a battle with one of the androids and placed on life support by his grandfather.
Despero sought to gain revenge on all of the Detroit-era Justice League. He discovered Steel on life support and shredded him limb from limb.
Powers and Abilities
- Cybernetic Enhancement: His cyborg body is constructed of a steel frame.
- Superhuman Strength
- Enhanced Speed
- Superhuman Stamina
- Enhanced Senses: He had enhanced hearing and his vision could reach into the infra-red.
- Super-Leaping: The micro-motors in his joints allow him to leap great distances.
- Superhuman Durability: The combined subdermal layer of steel in his body and the armor-mesh of his uniform make him virtually indestructible.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One 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 should be considered apocryphal.
- 70 Appearances of Henry Heywood III (New Earth)
- 26 Images featuring Henry Heywood III (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Henry Heywood III (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Henry Heywood III (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.