I can only come up with one gag here and I don’t want to use my mural quota.

Steel #37

DC Comics (April, 1997)

“It’s French”

Okay, I have to start here. You title the story after your stupid running gag that doesn’t even work in print, and it has nothing to do with the story proper? That’s terrible titling! I know titles aren’t always easy but I’ve had bad titles that were still better than this. And I think one was simply a Voltron comic (we’d call it a fancomic today) titled “The Bug-Eyed RoBeast That Heals Itself”. And I was 10 at the time!

WRITER: Priest

PENCILER: Denys Cowan

INKER: Tom Palmer

COLORIST: Stu Chaifetz

LETTERER: Pat Brosseau


EDITOR: Frank Pittarese

Steel is in a fight with his old armor, which is now a sentient monster or something thanks to the “white zone”. No, I don’t know how that works because I missed that issue. He flashes back to a date with Amanda (although he claims they’re just friends…I’ll come back to that), which is interrupted by a killer targeting John Irons by killing punks whose last names spell out “IRON”. Apparently Amanda’s maiden name (I don’t know anything about her beyond this comic so I guess she was married before) was “Summers”, filling in the S. John and Margo set up a trap for the killer, who gave the worst pick-up line ever to work in the history of fiction to ask her out. It turns out to be some villain named Skorpio, who is secretly working for “Will-Hane” by the way, because he things “god” needs a “devil”.  During the fight Skorpio starts the teleporting and armor fighting that started the story until they end up in “Will-Hane”‘s office. Don’t ask me how he subdues the armor before revealing that Steel isn’t a metahuman but had some device implanted in him that allowed him to teleport to whatever dimension he used to use.

What they got right: I never thought Steel needed to have metahuman teleporting powers, and I guess Priest didn’t either, so he got rid of them. I can go along with that and the explanation, lame as it is, works well enough. The art’s good and although the colors are too dark for my taste they work.

What they got wrong: Okay, wait, so John and Amanda aren’t dating or anything? Then why would he leave with her for Jersey City? Because Priest wanted to talk about how terrible crime is there? And this is Skorpio’s pick-up line: “I know you love me. Say it.” Followed by: “Cars I will steal for you, crack I will sell for you, burgers I will flip for you.” And this totally works to the point Amanda just rushes in to raid Natasha’s wardrobe for something sleazy while she’s sleeping on the bed and questioning John allowing Natasha to go out in that…which is exactly what she is doing right now with a guy who somehow knows her maiden name and her unlisted phone number…seriously, what the hell is wrong with this woman? And you followed her here WHY? This is my first big dose of Amanda Quick and I don’t like her. And as memory serves this will get worse from here.

By the way, “Will-Hane” just give the “armor beast” a post-hypnotic suggestion (and I’m pretty sure that’s not how that works), it leaves, and nobody seems to make a deal about it? Also either the colorist gave him Skorpio’s color scheme or “Will-Hane” was talking to a knocked out Skorpio…I can’t tell. And Steel seems to be bowing to “Will-Hane” like a Japanese stereotype which I think is him standing up but I’m not certain.

Recommendation: The only positive thing about this story is losing the metahuman power. Everything else is just not worth the trouble. If it says in my collection it’s because of the metahuman subplot ending and to remind myself why I dropped the title during this run.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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