DC Comics (November, 1994)
WRITER: Louise Simonson
PENCILER: Frank Fosco
INKER: Mark Stegbauer
COLORIST: Robbie Busch
LETTERER: Pat Brosseau
EDITOR: Frank Pittarese
Steel comes across a rather violent murder, and meets a detective who hates vigilantes. Beryl tells him that this is the third such murder, and that even hiring a psychic didn’t help them out. That psychic turns out to be Rosie Kurtz, whom Steel tries to contact after rescuing victims caught between a gang fight, one group of whom uses the Tar drug, and another murder like the other three occur. The detective, Chicago transplant Benjamin Carroll, accuses Steel of the murder because he carries a hammer and the deaths are described as being done with a sledgehammer. Steel tries to make contact with Rosie with Beryl’s help, while Rosie calls Beryl that she has figured out who the murderer is before being killed by Alter. Steel arrives too late and Rosie barely gets the name out before she dies, just as Beryl and two other cops arrive, and they arrest Steel.
What they got right: I like seeing Steel working with the police.
What they got wrong: Which is why how this issue ends bugs me. One murder mystery trope (although this isn’t a mystery…the murderer is Alter) that I don’t get is when the wrongfully accused is seen at the crime scene and immediately arrested even when that person, like the custodian, stumbling upon the body at the same time as the cops. What gets me is that Officer Shanna Beryl, who is supposed to be his friend, immediately assumes Steel is guilty because she broke in and arrests him without explanation despite all the good Steel has done in the past. It would seem he’s earned at least a “what’s going on, Steel?” before going right to the handcuffs. Which he should be able to break out of easily while he’s still wearing his power boosting armor!
Recommendation: I’m coming off harsher than I feel because there’s so little to say. It’s an average start to this story arc and it may be worth checking out. There are just tropes that bother me and this hit that button.