superboyprime: (Default)
[personal profile] superboyprime posting in [community profile] scans_daily
This will be the first of a number of posts covering STEEL #34-52 (the series' final issue). This was the period during which Steel (the John Henry Irons version) lived in the fictional Jersey City. For the year and a half it was being published, this run was, for my money, one of the most idiosyncratic and interesting superhero books DC was publishing at the time.

We begin with issues 34 and 35, in which Steel gets settled into the world of Jersey City and meets his new supporting cast, which includes this guy. Superman has Lex Luthor, and Steel has

The run begins, in #34, with John H. Irons having recently moved to Jersey City for a fresh start. He's still getting the lay of the place.

Today's his first day at his new job, which is in the R & D division of the city's Garden State Medical Center. As a former weapons designer, the idea of creating equipment that heals instead of hurts appeals to him. Here, he's arriving at the front gate.

Amanda would be Amanda Quick, an old friend of John's. She recently got a job at Garden State Medical Center, and it was her who convinced him to join her there.

Meanwhile, John's niece Natasha is watching the still incomplete construction work on their new home/superhero HQ.

Writer Christopher Priest went out of his way to avoid mentioning John Henry Iron's middle name. It was always just "John Irons" or "John H. Irons." He thought it was silly, given that Steel is a technology-themed character and the story of John Henry is about someone who stands against technological progress.

Earlier in the issue, Steel got his hammer jammed in a car while stopping a hit-and-run. He didn't have time to retrieve it then because he had the press conference about his new job.

Keep in mind that this is during DC's bizarre editorial edict that Steel doesn't have super-strength. Yeah, I don't understand it, either.

Issue 35:

If you're wondering about the editor's note, basically, Steel used to have a metahuman teleportation power. He stopped using it because it was dangerous and unpredictable, as evidenced by how it turned his old armor into a monster.

As Steel flies off to perform heroics, Natasha's hanging out with her new friend from across the street. His real name's Paul, but she chooses to call him Boris.

"Not now." Because he's busy dealing with a building fire.

While firefighting, Steel gets into a compromising position, forcing him to use the aforementioned dangerous teleportation power to escape. He was aiming to materialize outside the building. Instead, he winds up who knows where fighting a tentacled monstrosity, his boot jets the only thing working.

The issue ends with Steel arriving home and grounding Natasha.

Date: 2010-11-02 02:13 am (UTC)
bewareofgeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bewareofgeek
I always liked Dr. "Will-hane".

But my favorite character from this run has always been Crash.*

*("...and this is my gun")

Date: 2010-11-02 03:38 am (UTC)
philippos42: "Dark Vengeance!" (flip)
From: [personal profile] philippos42
Isn't Jersey City a real city?

Date: 2010-11-02 03:59 am (UTC)
kamino_neko: Tedd from El Goonish Shive. Drawn by Dan Shive, coloured by Kamino Neko. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
Yup. Second largest city in New Jersey. Which is nicknamed 'The Garden State', so I assume this isn't a similarly named city, but, in fact, the actual Jersey City. It's across the Hudson River from New York City.

Date: 2010-11-02 04:15 am (UTC)
kamino_neko: Tedd from El Goonish Shive. Drawn by Dan Shive, coloured by Kamino Neko. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
Sounds like typical fictional treatment of New Jersey to me.

They did put Gotham there, after all.

Date: 2010-11-02 05:47 am (UTC)
geoffsebesta: (Default)
From: [personal profile] geoffsebesta
Whatever, man, Gotham has a serious tax base.

Now all we need to do is get Staten Island back!

Date: 2010-11-02 04:26 am (UTC)
destroyed: (Default)
From: [personal profile] destroyed
I was born in Jersey City. Neighboring lovely Newark.

It's [at least] as bad as the book portrays it.

Date: 2010-11-02 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thandrak
As a New Yorker, I find this treatment of Jersey City completely true to fact.

Of course, Christopher Priest was a genius. And a bit mad. But mostly a genius. You can see the edges of his later Black Panther work in this.

Date: 2010-11-02 04:12 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Well, this looks intriguingly quirky, all right. Big improvement over the earlier part of the run - I've got the first collection of that, and it's fairly tame. Question - without ruining anything, does White Rabbit show up in these issues? I love her, but I almost never see her.

Date: 2010-11-06 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Dammit. Oh, well.

Date: 2010-11-02 09:55 am (UTC)
feyandstrange: headshot of Oracle (Oracle)
From: [personal profile] feyandstrange
Steel was a Washington DC boy, damnit, I never liked the move. DC's ghetto needed a hero, not least a Black man. I dropped the series regretfully when White Rabbit showed up and it started to sink badly. This looks a bit less stupid than that period did, but I liked the early Steel best.

Date: 2010-11-06 03:41 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
As seemingly the only White Rabbit fan alive, I refuse to believe that she could sink ANYTHING. It was all the other stuff! The... STUFF stuff! Couldn't have been her.

Date: 2010-11-06 06:42 am (UTC)
feyandstrange: (Default)
From: [personal profile] feyandstrange
It's been a while (I was reading them when they were fresh), but IIRC there were a lot of other changes about that time, and White Rabbit was only one of them - bad new artist, maybe that's when the supernatural crap started, bad other stuff, and so on. WR was simply the most memorable part of the downslide. (I'm not a fan either, but I'm not willing to wholeheartedly blame her for that either.)

Date: 2010-11-06 08:13 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
From what little of the run I've read (and it IS little), I mainly remember a whole bunch of one-shot, one-note characters with REALLY generic names, outfits and powers, doing nothing terribly original. I'd pin the blame on all those guys - White Rabbit hired a few of 'em, I think but that was it.

Date: 2010-11-02 12:48 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lonewolf23k
Uh, even if it -was- French, it would still be pronounced very much like in English.

Date: 2010-11-02 11:42 pm (UTC)
kingrockwell: he's a sexy (Default)
From: [personal profile] kingrockwell
I have one of these! I think it's #38?
It's the one with The Question in it.


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