DC Comics July, 1998
ARTIST: Denys Cowan & Tom Palmer
COLORIST: John Kalisz
SEPARATIONS: Digital Chameleon
LETTERER: Clem Robins
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Maureen McTigue
EDITOR: Mike McAvennie
“STEEL” CREATORS: Louise Simonson & Jon Bogdanove
Crash wanted Steel’s attention and hired Skorpio do to it. This led to Steel having to stop Crash’s army and the stolen jet boot technology. That much I gathered in this issue but came from previous issues. Still upset about Amanda choosing John and not knowing Crash is really John’s brother, Skorpio poisons Natasha, getting him on Crash’s bad side as well as Steel’s. Not only is Ellis revealed as Skorpoio, but all Will-hane’s schemes and that Amanda knew Ellis was also an assassin, landing the three in jail. Natasha recovers thanks to Crash donating blood (John isn’t compatible) and with Will-hane gone his chosen successor takes over the hospital, namely John Irons.
I’ve made it clear that I really didn’t like Priest’s run on the character and eventually I dropped the title. I came in on what I thought was a good jumping-on point for a superhero title and got something closer to Milestone than DC. I didn’t like the direction, I didn’t like the hammer, I liked the armor look but not that it was less powerful than his classic armor, I didn’t like the lack of superheroes fighting supervillains–this wasn’t the comic I was looking forward to reading. But I did want to get the final issue because I do really like the character.
The comic has all sorts of problems. Why put John in charge of the hospital? Time jumps around and I couldn’t keep up. Maybe an earlier issue explains how Will-hane (and we had to get one last “Villain/Will-hane, it’s French” gag in there) was found out? I really don’t care at this point. The only scene I really liked was where John told Kyle that they shouldn’t think of themselves as derivatives but be their own Steel or Green Lantern instead of living in Superman and Hal’s shadows, but that Steel still considers Superman his hero and inspiration. (If only Kyle’s writers would get him out of Hal’s shadow, and now Hal is back.) Otherwise I just didn’t enjoy this comic.
I can not really recommend Priest’s run on Steel although I’m sure someone out there might still enjoy it for whatever reason. If that’s your taste, fine. The jumping around the clock part was the only technical issue I had with the story. But if you’re looking for a decent superhero comic, this run just wasn’t it. Stick to the earlier issues by co-creator Simonson. They were much more in line with a DC superhero comic.