Steel (John Henry Irons), also known as the Man of Steel, is a fictional character, a superhero in the . First appearing in Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993), he is the third character known as Steel and was created by Louise Simonson and artist Jon Bogdanove. Aspects of the character are clearly inspired by the African American folk hero John Henry, as well as Superman.
Doctor John Henry Irons was a brilliant weapons engineer for AmerTek Industries, who eventually became disgusted when the BG-60, a powerful man-portable energy cannon he had designed, fell into the wrong hands and was used to kill innocent people. As the company would have coerced him to retain his services, John faked his death, 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." During Superman's fatal battle against Doomsday, Irons attempted to help Superman fight the deadly menace by picking up a sledge hammer, but was buried in rubble amidst the devastation. Shortly after Superman's death, he finally awoke and crawled from the wreckage, confused and saying that he "must stop Doomsday."
He recovered, but to discover that the gangs in inner-city Metropolis (now unopposed by Superman) were fighting a devastating gang war using BG-80 Toastmasters, an upgraded version of his earlier AmerTek design. Irons created and donned a suit of powered armor (similar to that of Marvel Comics' Iron Man) in Superman's memory in order to stop the war, as well as the weapons, which were being distributed by Dr. Angora Lapin (a.k.a. The White Rabbit), a former partner and lover of his during his time at AmerTek Industries.
During the Reign of the Supermen storyarc, he was often called the "Man of Steel" to identify him in contrast to the other Supermen, which was shortened to "Steel" by Superman himself.
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