News Steel

Steel: How Natasha Irons Forged Her Own Identity


Many DC fans may know Steel as John Henry Irons, but his niece, Natasha Irons, has finally surpassed her uncle.

John Henry Irons built himself a suit of power armor and began a superhero career under the name Steel after having been inspired by the life and death of Superman. Not long after, his niece Natasha Irons joined him and soon she donned a suit of armor and used the same name.

Natasha has had a long and storied life, as heroic and tumultuous as any DC hero. While she started out living in her uncle’s shadow, she has proven to be much more than just a legacy character.

RELATED: How Natasha Irons Became Steel’s Only Close Family

First appearing as an excitable thirteen-year-old in issue #1 of Steel, Natasha (or Nat, as she prefers) was created by Louise Simonson and Chris Batista. More outspoken and charismatic than her uncle, she proved to be his equal in intelligence, something she first demonstrated when she began working for a US Senator while still in high school. In early stories, Nat was kidnapped by various supervillains, notably Hazard and Plasmus. She also had a complicated relationship with her father, who abandoned his family by faking his own death, started another family and then became the supervillain Crash. She became more rebellious and cynical over the years but continued to prove her intelligence and resourcefulness, working for her uncle John in his shop, the Steelworks. When he retired, John made her an armored suit and she replaced him as the new Steel.

Continue scrolling to keep reading
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.

Natasha Irons leading Infinity Inc as Starlight in 52

Nat changed dramatically during the maxiseries 52. She and her uncle John both operated as partners until he deactivated her suit due to her recklessness, which eventually led to a massive falling out between them. LexCorp had a new program, the Everyman Project, which could give people superpowers, so Nat signed up. Soon, she was working for Lex Luthor’s personal super-team, Infinity, Inc, using the new name Starlight and with new powers like flight, superstrength and energy projection. After Luthor killed one of her friends, she repaired her relationship with her uncle and began spying on Luthor for him. During this difficult period, she grew into the mature young woman her uncle always knew she could be. She returned to Steelworks, began wearing her old armor, and fought alongside the other heroes in World War III.

RELATED: DC 52: A Complete Guide To The Year-Long Event That Reintroduced Batwoman

Unfortunately, the people given powers by Lex Luthor suffered unforeseen side effects. This resulted in Nat developing the ability to become an intangible mist. She took the name Vaporlock and joined a new version of Infinity, Inc. The team took up new identities to infiltrate Project 7734, a government-backed initiative dedicated to destroying Superman. Later, she survived an attack from Doomsday during the Reign of the Supermen story.

Nat was mostly absent during The New 52, but she returned in a big way during DC: Rebirth, specifically in the Superwoman title. Wielding a massive hammer, she donned a new suit of semi-sentient “chrome armor” that could fly, grow its own guns, hack other tech, and even navigate the interdimensional region known as the Bleed. Nat proved capable of keeping up with the rest of the Superman family, but was even more resourceful for her incredible scientific knowledge. She also entered into a relationship with another hero, Traci 13, but this did not last.

Eventually, Nat stepped out from her uncle’s shadow and joined the Titans, establishing herself as the most tech-proficient member of the team while also wielding her war hammer as one of their heavy hitters. After, she and Raven became close friends. When Raven’s soul-self was imprisoned by Mother Blood on the world of Unearth, Nat helped lead the rescue mission. Mother Blood praised Nat’s mastery of navigating space-time and tried to acquire it from her. Ironically, this ability was actually what allowed the team to escape Unearth. After the Source Wall was damaged, she became a member of the Justice League’s new expanded roster and fought against such cosmic threats as the Perpetua. While Nat’s career began in the shadow of her uncle, her ability to stand with the League has elevated her far beyond the original Steel’s standing.

KEEP READING: Christopher Priest & Denys Cowan Turned Steel’s World Upside Down

King in Black Conan

King in Black: Conan Just Brought Out the Beast In an Omega-Level Mutant

About The Author


Source link