John Henry Irons was a former employee of LexCorp and construction worker in Metropolis. He was on duty during the night of the Atlantean Invasion and is saved by Superman. After Superman's supposed death, he forged himself a suit of armor to become the superhero Steel.
John was previously employed as an engineer for LexCorp but resigned after his inventions were to be used for military purposes and sold overseas to possible terrorist organizations.
John Henry Irons was working at a construction site in Metropolis the night of the Atlantean invasion. When a co-worker tripped and fell, Irons stayed behind instead of running away. He grabbed a sledgehammer and fought off an Atlantean soldier. However, he and his co-worker encountered more soldiers. Luckily, Superman flew to the site and took down the soldiers. He acknowledged Irons, who was in awe, and flew off.
Sometime after the invasion John was employed at S.T.A.R. Labs and become one of their best engineers. He also grew to idolize Superman and often wore a shirt with his emblem on it.
John was called in to assist Silas Stone in examining Apokolips tech Intergang recently used in a conflict with Superman and was stunned to meet the Man of Steel in person at the lab. Superman, remembering John from the construction site, shook John's hand and noticed his Superman shirt which John claimed he "wore with pride". John's examination of the Apokolips tech revealed modifications and implicated Lex Luthor's involvement. As Superman left to interrogate Luthor, while John watched in awe.
Following Superman's death, John, inspired by his sacrifice, begins constructing a steel suit in his workshop which displays the emblem of Superman.
To be added
Two years after the Justice League's defeat and deaths of the Teen Titans at the hands of Darkseid and the beginning of Darkseid's tyranny over Earth, Steel appears as a part of the resistance force tasked with destroying one of the Reaper devices attached to the Earth's surface, alongside Shazam and Superboy. Steel manages to kill two Paradooms before being hit in the back with a laser, presumably killing him.
- Armed Combat
- Steel hammer
- Armored suit