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Quote1.png I wonder... maybe that's the mark of a superhero: Not the incredible powers or saving the day, but the effect you have on other people. Inspiring them to keep trying... and inspiring them to never give up. Quote2.png
John Henry Irons src

John Henry Irons is Steel, a weapons designer turned superhero with a steel suit of armor and a big hammer.


New 52 Origin

Growing up, John Henry Irons was always inspired by heroes. After his parents' death, he realized they named him after the legendary folk hero, John Henry, hoping he would follow in his namesake's footsteps.[1]

After progressing through graduate school, Doctor Irons was hired by General Sam Lane to create a weapon capable of protecting the Earth from an alien invasion. After Lex Luthor joined the operation Doctor Irons kept the prototype war suit called Metal-Zero hidden for himself, while working with Luthor on a new Metal-Zero suit. When Luthor managed to capture Superman Doctor Irons turned in his resignation upon witnessing the torture the unfortunate hero was under going.[2]

Shortly afterwards during the Terminaut invasion of Earth led by Brainiac Doctor Irons put on the original Metal-Zero armor to help protect the city. Surveying the attack Steel noticed Superman in pitched combat with the newly armored John Corben and intervened with the intent to destroy the new Metal-Zero armor. After winning a short battle against Metallo, Steel helped Superman determine the speed he'd need to reach in order to propel himself into space to save New Troy from Brainiac.[1]

While Superman took the battle to space, Steel remained on Earth to help manage the destruction caused by the abduction of the New Troy district of Metropolis.[3]

Following the cosmic upheavals of the Rebirth period, this character's history was revised.

Current Origin

Following the Death of Superman, John was one of four individuals who took arose in Metropolis to fill the gap left by the fallen hero. Unlike the other three, he made no claims to Superman's mantle- he simply wore his symbol and fought injustice as Steel. When the Cyborg Superman revealed his true colors, Steel fought at the returned Superman's side to defeat him.[4]

After this he and Superman partnered up several more times to fight crime and a menace known as the Kryptonite Man, Steel managed to aid Superman in the villain's defeat and even found a way to deactivate the villain's powers. Irons eventually founded a humanitarian nonprofit, and dedicated much of his time to helping those in need in less-developed countries.

Doomsday Virus

After facing the villain Doomsday alongside Superman he was infected with a strange otherworldly toxin, in a bid to prevent further such infections he coated his skin in a malleable liquid steel film, which would protect him from otherworldly infections but did limit his emotional responses.

Steel was present when the Prime Earth's Superman apparently died of kryptonite poisoning.

DC Rebirth

He now currently protects Metropolis alongside Lana Lang where he supports her both as a boyfriend and a partner in crime-fighting. With his niece, Natasha Irons and Lana make up Team Steel. When Lana's powers nearly killed her, John was there to watch over her, seeking out Superman to help save her. When she recovers, it seemed her powers were gone. He, Lana, and Natasha spend time in Smallville while she tries to cope, but she pushes him away in anger. When she deals with the loss, the three return to the city, where they create a test chamber that they believed could restore Lana's powers by pushing her through her worst fears and doubts. The chamber accomplished the task, and it was discovered that the Insect Queen suit Natasha built for her stored her powers inside the last time she used it.

Later, John and Natasha are seen at Lana's apartment, watching news about a sighting of Skyhook, the meta criminal that kidnapped Zeke, John's nephew. The two immediately prepare to go to the police for information, but Lana reveals she went ahead alone, upsetting them. The next day, John is preparing to hunt down Skyhook, despite Lana's attempts to talk him out of it. However, John's brother Crash finds him first, hoping to avenge his son. John and Natasha arrive not long after Lana reaches the scene. Rather that target Skyhook, the two forsake their revenge to save Crash, entrusting their quarry to Superwoman, who defeats him.

Doomsday Clock

 Main article: Doomsday Clock Vol 1

After Superman is framed and rendered comatose, Steel joined the group of heroes heading towards Mars to confront their mysterious enemy. The heroes meet and engage Doctor Manhattan, but they are easily defeated.[5]







External Links


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