created by Gerry Conway for DC Comics
What would have happened if Steve Austin (the Six-Million
Dollar Man) had been been operated on by a group of
surgeons with no ethics and money to burn? The answer
is Steel, a super-hero and former member of the
Justice League of America.
Steel was actually Hank Heywood II, grandson to the
World War II hero, Commander Steel. Commander Steel
was the subject of a government experiment that replaced most
of his body with mechanical parts. The experiment gave
him super-strength, invulnerability, and heightened
senses. Commander Steel fought the Nazis with the
All-Star Squadron, and later became a wealthy industrialist.
Commander Steel had a son, who was later killed in Vietnam.
Commander Steel then decided to take his grandson, Hank,
and make him undergo the same process that he had undergone
years before, showing once again the danger in not telling
a grandparent what you want for your birthday. Hank
emerged from the process as the hero Steel.
Steel joined the Justice League during one of their leaner
periods. He with a number of other newcomers along
with Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Elongated Man, and
Aquaman made up the League at that time. They used
an old bunker in Detroit which belonged to his grandfather for a headquarters.
Steel was eventually killed fighting androids sent by the
Justice League villain, Professor Ivo. Martian Manhunter and
Vixen brought Ivo to justice.