DC Comics (May, 1997)
PENCILER: Denys Cowan
INKER: Tom Palmer
COLORIST: Stu Chaifetz
LETTERER: Pat Brosseau
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Ruben Diaz
EDITOR: Frank Pittarese
Steel journeys to Casablanca seeing Will-hane when he’s kidnapped during a relief mission. Since the armor wouldn’t make it past customs he only has a utility suit and his boots, which gets him into trouble when he’s captured by the bad guy, a notorious gambler. He finds himself in a cell next to Vic Sage, the Question, and together the two find a way to rescue Will-hane…but unbeknownst to either the whole thing was just a gamble as to whether or not Steel could save him.
What they got right: I do like a good superhero team-up and Steel and the Question do make for a good team-up in this story. John also shows his smarts with how he stops the bad guy. And finally someone pronounces Villian/Will-hane’s last name right (thank you Question) and I can only hope this leads to an end to this stupid gag.
What they got wrong: Did Question just reveal his identity to John? I guess it’s not too out of place for a DC hero to share with fellow heroes but it does seem odd from what I’ve heard about the Question around this time. Also people keep calling him Superman even though I don’t know how many of the locals even know who Steel is and the logo is totally different from Superman’s on purpose. I’m also not sure Priest even wants to write Steel as a superhero. He keep putting John in less and less powerful costumes, first creating the lighter cloth armor when he doesn’t have a secret identity to worry about and it’s a downgrade, but now in this story he comes up with an excuse to ditch the armor altogether. He just has a bulletproof costume and oversized jet boots.
Recommendation: It’s not a bad story but this isn’t the superhero tale I wanted when I started picking up this series. This feels more like a jumping off point for me than a jumping on one. It might be worth a look but it isn’t that great a story either.