STEEL: Man of Mettle

STEEL: Man of Mettle

"John Henry fought the machine and won. What I'm fightin' is a deadlier kind of machine -- one I helped put in motion. One I'm gonna stop -- even if it kills me."

Who is STEEL?
STEEL is John Henry Irons, first known as the Man of STEEL, is a superhero in the DC Universe. First appearing in Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993).
Comics where John Henry Irons first appeared.

Doctor John Henry Irons was a brilliant weapons engineer who became disgusted when the energy cannons he designed fell into the wrong hands and was used to kill innocent people. John left his past life and eventually came to Metropolis. While working a construction job high up on a skyscraper, he fell off while saving a friend from the same fate. His own life was saved by none other than Superman. When John Irons asked how he could show his gratitude, Superman told him to "live a life worth saving." Irons then created and donned a suit of powered armor with elements that is clearly placed to honor Superman. He was often called the "Man of STEEL" but later shortened to "STEEL" by Superman himself.
First STEEL Armor

STEEL eventually had his own series where we see him leaving Metropolis and returning home to Washington, D.C.. His past life came back to haunt him, when his old employer,Amertek, had their armed men attacked him and his family. Fearing for his family he reforged and updated his armor and began his crusade against Amertek. STEEL decided not to use the "S" shield, since he felt that his battle might take him outside the law and he did not want to tarnish the symbol.

Tragedy would strike the Irons family when John Henry Iron's true identity was betrayed to federal agents working with Hazard. The agents release a cyborg named Hardwire who opens fire on the Irons familyin which most of them received injuries. Hardwire battled STEEL which ended with Hardwire's suicide. STEEL had to send his armor away to save his life. This resulted in his secret identity being made known to the world at large. STEEL is then taken by Hazard, but he manages to escape, recalling his armor again.

STEEL's family is forced to go into hiding. Feeling guilty about the events, pain nearly consumes STEEL. He teleports into the "white zone" and is confronted there by a monstrous, nightmarish looking version of his armor. He quickly teleports again, but the Demon Armor has followed him. John Henry realizes that the Demon Armor is part of him, which he somehow manifested. Realizing this, STEEL banishes the Demon Armor to the white zone, seemingly for good.

Later STEEL would relocate to Jersey City to begin a new life in a new city. He built a new suit of armor that was significantly less powerful than the previous one but one that featured the return of an "S" shield on it. He decided to sacrifice strength for mobility, as this suit was more easily compact. He would later join the Justice League of America.

While with the JLA, STEEL and the superteam battled Imperiex, the embodiment of entropy, a being of pure energy contained inside a humanoid set of armor. During the fight STEEL died from mortal wounds, however the evil Darkseid restored life to Iron's body. Darkseid placed Irons in the Entropy Aegis, a burned out Imperiex-probe altered by Apokoliptic science. This new armor was far superior to his old, but Apokoliptic upgrades made it more of a curse than a blessing. After donning this armor STEEL retired from superheroics.

During the 52 storyline John Henry Irons was injected with a small dosage of Lex Luthor's new exo-gene therapy, causing his skin to mutate into stainless STEEL and back again, but this effect was only temporary.

In Reign of Doomsday, STEEL resurfaces once more for a fight with Doomsday. With no other heroes around, STEEL is left to fight Doomsday by himself. STEEL gave the fight all he had, he even managed to hit Doomsday with a direct hit from his hammer. STEEL had hurled his hammer from a thousand feet away. During the fight Doomsday evolves growing armor out his body and also possess the ability to fly. John manages to break away a piece of Doomsday's chest armor which allowed John to introduce nanonytes into Doomsday's body. The nanonytes were suppose to paralyze Doomsday for an hour until help arrived, but the effects only lasted a few seconds. John then gets pounded by Doomsday until he is knocked unconscious. We last see John being carried off by a flying Doomsday.

The Man of STEEL

In 1997, a feature film was produced based on this version of the character. The film STEEL stars professional basketball player Shaquille O'Neal in the title role.

Note: Due to the nature of comicbooks being an on-going tale, the character's powers along with his appearance, is in a constant state of flux.

None, but wears a powered armor.

Genius-Level Intellect: Genius engineer and inventor. It is obvious that Dr. Irons possesses several degrees in Physics, Quantum Physics, Advanced Energy Physics, Temporal Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, and Robotics. It is likely that he has even more education than can be currently assessed by the creation of his powered armor. Has knowledge of physics and ballistics.

Expert Engineer

Expert Inventor

Strength levelPossesses the strength of a man that engages in intensive regular workouts. In armor, is capable of lifting 70 tons under optimal pressure

STEEL Power Armor: STEEL's powers vary in accordance with what hardware is currently available to him. He has modified the original weapons systems and suit several times since its debut and continues to refine its abilities. With his engineering, physics and ballistics knowledge, it is conceivable that the suit may potentially possess even greater power in the future. Currently it possesses the following abilities:

Superhuman Strength: STEEL's powered armor increases his strength to the point of lifting 70 tons.

Immunity System: STEEL has immune systems in his armor to help him fight off computer viruses. It takes about 30 seconds to get rid of the virus but after the 30 seconds he is free of it. With this ability, whatever computer system that gave him this virus, he will be able to fully control it when he's within a dozen feet of it.

Computerized Communications and Scanning Array (CCSA): This technology is integral to the armor's technological advantages. The onboard computer comes equipped with high density, flash memory protocols for suit operation, including weapons management, power management, gyroscopic balancing, and analysis of electromagnetic phenomena. This analysis array is directed by a wave-emitter bound to the S logo and including weapons analysis and EM field analysis, remote program analysis, and rewriteable operating system protocols. Assumingly of Dr. Irons designs, it allows remote communication and reception of all normal radio, satellite and cellular communication bands. The armor can also receive signals on classified bands such as the Air Traffic Controller wavelengths and the NASA communication protocols. It can be supposed that the armor is also capable of communicating with the National Defense Commands of the United States as Dr. Irons clearance allows.

Radioscopic Scans: Able to analyze photonic energy given off from an object through readouts the armor gives.

Enhanced Durability: The suit's ability to impart a resistance to physical injury was quite considerable before the addition of the inertial dampening field. Small arms fire was generally not a threat but larger firearms could prove dangerous.

Inertial Dampening Field: In his suit's most recent incarnation, he has opted to reduce the physical strength of the suit in exchange for an inertial dampening field. This field would increase his resistance to injury from physical attacks.

Jet Boots: With what are probably his greatest creations, the flight protocols for his armor are every engineers dream. The distance that can be traveled before refueling is unknown but STEEL has made a documented trip of at least 1,500 miles before touching down again. It has been determined, by observation, that STEEL can reach speeds just short of the speed of sound, which is 700+ miles per hour.

Rivet Cannon: This short range weapon has fired red-hot rivets similar to those used in construction.

Kinetic Hammer: His current hammer has the ability to increase it's kinetic energy the farther away it is thrown. At a distance up to 20 yards, it can stop a car, 30 yards, a truck, 60 yards, a tank, at distances greater than 60 yards, its destructive capacity rivals that of Superman for damage dealing capabilities.

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