Thursday, December 9, 2010

1990 Mayfair Games DC Heroes The Justice League Sourcebook: Steel - Deceased

So who did we miss? Well Zatanna, who did not receive a character card in 1989, as she was only making occasional appearances in the Spectre's series at the time. I figure she's doing plenty fine for herself these days though, so I think we'll skip her this year. Thanks to Zatannadays, she's had a disproportionately heavy presence on this blog for some time, anyway.

That leaves Steel, who had been placed in a vegetative state in 1987, and Gypsy, who went inactive that same year to return to home life as a high school student. However, in 1990, Despero returned to take what life Hank Heywood the third had left, and kill Gypsy's family besides. This was all recorded in their entries in the 1990 League sourcebook, and represented here for your information. Once again, I used a blank character card to award virtual standing to the second erroneously dubbed Indestructible Man, this time with art taken from a Luke McDonnell panel that frankly looks a little too good to ring true. I guess this balances out for my Vibe card, which was a little too poor, even by Mayfair original art standards. I'm kicking myself after having found another McDonnell panel that would have been perfect.

Oh, you're still worried about Gypsy? Well see, there's still time for her to turn up elsewhere on the internet...

Dex: 6
Str: 9
Body: 7
Int: 5
Will: 6
Mind: 5
Infl: 5
Aura: 4
Spirit: 5
Initiative: 16
Hero Points: 40

Density Increase: 1, Extended Hearing: 2, Skin Armor: 3, Ther­mal Vision: 5
• Limitations:
Density Increase is Always On at full AP value.
Buddy (Dale Gunn); Connec­tions: Justice League of America (High), US Military (High); Rich Family (Hank Heywood I)
JLA Signal Ring (see page 121)

•Alter Ego:
Henry (Hank) Heywood III
•Weight: 379 lbs.
•Eyes: Blue
•Hair: Red
•Motivation: Unwanted Power
•Wealth: 6
•Occupation: Adventurer
•Quote: "I'm not that stupid and neither are you." (Justice League of America #249)

Hank Heywood III was the grandson of the original Hank Heywood, who operated as the hero known as Commander Steel during the Second World War. When the younger Hank was in his mid-teens, his grandfather forced him to undergo the same series of painful operations that he himself had undergone in the early 1940s. Commander Steel wanted to spare his grandson the death that had befallen his son during the Viet Nam War by making him a superhuman. These operations replaced all of Heywood's bones with case-hardened steel supports and supplemented his musculature with hydraulic motors that increased his strength and stamina.

When the elder Heywood learned that the Justice League had disbanded and reformed, he offered the team the use of his "Bunker," a futuristic fortress that he had built in Detroit, on the condition that the team accept his grandson as a member and tutor him in the use of his superhuman abilities. Having just lost their satellite headquarters, the League quickly accepted Commander Steel's offer and jetted out to their new HQ.1

Although he harbored a great deal of resentment toward his grandfather for subjecting him to the painful enhancement operations, Steel proved an eager student and served the League well in its struggles against the Cadre,2 Anton Allegro,3 and Amazo.4 Steel's feud with his grandfather came to a head during the Crisis On Infinite Earths, when the elder Heywood decided that the newly reformed Justice League was influencing Hank to rebel against his grandfather's wishes.5 The Heywoods fought a terrific battle that ended when Steel was catapulted through a time warp to the far future. After an encounter with the JLA's old foe, the Lord of Time, Steel returned to the present and discovered that his grandfather had evicted the JLA from the Bunker.6

Sadly, Steel was killed by one of Professor Ivo's androids during the insane scientist's campaign to eliminate the Justice League, which followed in the wake of Darkseid's attempt to rob the Earth of its "legends."7

Steel was one of those inexperienced, volatile heroes. He would plunge into the thick of battle without really considering the possible repercussions. While he was tough enough to emerge unscathed most of the time, this overzealousness was what ultimately cost him his life.

Although he seemed eager enough to accept the advice of Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter when it came to heroics, Steel always had a hard time accepting authority and authority figures. This attitude isn't really surprising when you take into consideration his maniacal grandfather, who was obsessed with having his grandson remade into a cybernetic fighting machine in his own image.

  1. Justice League of America Annual #2
  2. Justice League of America #233-236
  3. Justice League of America #231-239
  4. Justice League of America #241-243
  5. Justice League of America #244
  6. Justice League of America #245-246
  7. Justice League of America #260

As Mayfairstivus drew to a close, these final gifts were presented:

Belated thanks to Tom Hartley, whose offering of a batch of about 30 character card scans was the taste I needed to seek more. He then sold his box set for a very reasonable price to a poor student to facilitate this crossover, because I just had to scan them all for myself.


Luke said...

Drawback: Heywood Curse.

Diabolu Frank said...

Dag! An oversight! Then again, maybe the curse wasn't fully established until Sr. bought it on Diablo Island?