John Henry Irons is a hero forged from his own making. When Superman saved Irons from a fatal fall off a Metropolis skyscraper, he challenged the construction worker to make his life count for something. A former weapons engineer for the ruthless AmerTek Company, Irons longed to atone for the deaths his designs had caused. For the purpose, he built a suit of exoskeleton armor for himself and assumed the primary alias of Steel. As Steel, he
crusaded to dismantle AmerTek's weapons programs, including the destruction of every last production model of the BG-60 " Toastmaster", the deadly assault rifle he had designed. Superman is proud to call Steel his partner. Irons even helped Superman rebuild his Fortress of Solitude and gave it a computer linkage to Irons' headquarters, called "The Steelworks", an abandoned arms factory in Suicide Slums. After the Death of Superman by Doomsday, Steel took his place, soaring over Metropolis in high-tech armor and smashing crime with a sledgehammer.
In Superman's absence, or if the Man of Steel needs assistance, Steel often coordinates and leads " Team Superman", a cadre of S-shield-wearing heroes including himself, Supergirl, and Superboy. Steel provided this Super-Squad with stealthy combat-garb meant to protect them from the necrotic touch of Kancer as they aided Superman in battle with General Zod and the armies of Pokolistan.
The Death of Steel
Irons suffered mortal wounds releasing Doomsday from the JLA Watchtower to battle Imperiex. Superman was unable to turn away the Black Racer, a being that gathers souls and ushers them into the afterlife. This time, however, the Black Racer delivered Irons to Apokolips, where the evil Darkseid restored life to Iron's body. But the cost at which Steel was brought back to life has still not been determined.
The Deal with the Devil
Darkseid placed Irons in the Entropy Aegis, a burned out Imperiex-probe altered by Apokoliptic science. This new armor was far superior to his old, but Apokoliptic upgrades made it more of a curse than a blessing.
Steel led the short lived 2nd incarnation of Infinity Inc. It is unknown how was was able to escape the Entropy Aegis. He had his more known costume on during the Infinity Inc. incarnation.
John Henry Irons's known relatives include a niece, named Natasha Irons, who later became the fourth user of the alias of Steel. The identities of the second and third users of the alias of Steel are not known.
Reign of Doomsday
Steel resurfaces for a fight with Doomsday. With no other heroes around, Steel is left to fight Doomsday by himself. Natasha Irons tries to persuade her uncle not to fight Doomsday, but John insist and heads off into battle.
John gave the fight all he had. John even managed to hit Doomsday with a direct hit from his hammer. Steel had hurled his hammer from a thousand feet away. During the fight Doomsday evolves growing armor out his body and also possess the ability to fly. John manages to break away a piece of Doomsday's chest armor which allowed John to introduce nanonytes into Doomsday's body.
The nanonytes were suppose to paralyze Doomsday for an hour until help arrived, but the effects only lasted a few seconds. John then gets pounded by Doomsday until he is knocked unconscious. We last see John being carried off by a flying Doomsday.