Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The New Steel

Over on the Source Blog, DC has released some preview images of Steel's appearance in Action Comics #4. Here is the link: http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/12/05/steel-joins-dc-comics-the-new-52/

John Henry appears both in the main story by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales but also a back-up feature by writer Sholly Fisch and artist Brad Walker. The above image is from the Fisch/Walker feature.

I like the sort of stripped down, semi-low tech feel to this suit of armor. For some reason it reminds me of the Tin Man from the Oz books. And I am glad the hammer remains a part of the get-up. Looks like John Corben (playing the role of Metallo/Brainiac drone) is about to taste the pain.

There looks like there will be some good characterization as well, contrasting Irons with Luthor. That should be a nice wrinkle to Steel's origins.

The thing that strikes me though is Steel's place in the DCnU.  If Superman is truly the DCnU's first super-hero to appear then Steel is it's second! That's pretty cool ... unless this isn't considered super-heroics.

As for the creative team on the back-up feature, I only know Fisch from the Johnny DC books (Super Friends and Brave and the Bold) that I read with the supergirls at home. I thought Fisch did a fine job there writing upbeat stories and expanding the DCU into those books. I'll be interested to see what he does in a more mainstream book.

And artist Brad Walker has drawn a lot of issues here and there. He penciled Supergirl #31, one of the last chapters in the underrated Kelley Puckett run. This was a pretty dramatic issue where Supergirl tries to convince Thomas' mother to try whatever she can to save her son. Here Supergirl recalls the chance her parents took in trying to save her, how that was risky and difficult, but showed the depth of their love. Walker did a really great job here.

With the addition of Steel to the DCnU, Team Superman is back to it's full roster. Let's hope they can all eventually get along and team up!


Diabolu Frank said...

Brad Walker's style is a lot different than I remembered. He reminds me of Phil Winslade now, but without the wonky meth anatomy. I think he's trying to emulate Rags Morales, and that's not a bad think. Y'know, I might have actually bothered to read Justice League if they'd gone with Steel instead of Cyborg.

collectededitions said...

Also glad to see Steel here, though I can't quite figure in that preview page whether he's a giant or if it's just the perspective. That Steel appears so early in Superman's career is interesting -- it's a new continuity and things are not the same, I know, but I wonder if Steel still plays a role in replacing Superman after he's killed by Doomsday, or if even that story is still around.

Fisch is a surprising choice given that he mostly writes Johnny DC books -- do you know of any "mainstream" DC work he's done? Curious to see how he makes the transition, though I'm optimistic.

Dave Mullen said...

"There looks like there will be some good characterization as well, contrasting Irons with Luthor. That should be a nice wrinkle to Steel's origins."

It's all been done before though, Luthor was there in the Death and Ressurection of Superman and has longsince been at odds with Irons - remember his arc in the weekly '52' series?
There's a weird lack of real ambition with this new Superman reboot, all we're getting is the same as we've been getting for the last three or four years: Brainiac, Metallo, Scheming Luthor, Kon-el, General Lane, a world distrustful and against Superman, now a Steel who is not any different than he was.

If you had to have John Irons at all make him the Emil Hamilton figure, not the superhero. If you had to have a Kon-El don't just reheat the same origin and powers he had when he first appeared.
There are a number of things about the Superman reboot that bug me but overall a chief criticism is that the sense that when you get past the costumes and newfound alienation of this world not a lot has actually changed.

Anj said...

Thanks for the posts.

Walker had a sort of fine line detailed look in that Supergirl which was pretty good. I agree he does seem to be emulating Morales a bit.

I don't have anything from Fisch outside of the Johnny DC stuff.

And I am also tired of the alienated angle. And I wasn't clear in my Luthor comment. I meant that Luthor seems to be a bigger part of Irons' origin, unlike the troubled military arms dealer in Reign. We'll see how much of the Lex stuff with him gets replayed.