And You Thought It Was Safe(?)

The Incredible Hulk (1977)

Steel (1997)
"Sir! Shaq reporting for duty, sir!"

"Sir! Shaq reporting for duty, sir!"

In 1993, the death of Superman caused an entire generation who’d grown weary of the character’s cinematic incarnations to perk up and start paying attention to comics. It’s the sad fact of our sad age that cynical marketing ploys (like killing off your flagship character just so you can bring him back to life) work more often than they fail. It certainly got me on board, and by the time Superman’s reappearence was all-but-upon-us I was loyally begging my parents for all four (at the time) of DC Comics’ Superman titles.

In an even more cynical ploy to hook we ignorant readers, the creatives behind Superman’s books trotted out four super powered pretenders to the throne, each of whom attempted to carry on the Man of Steel’s Never Ending Battle in their own, inept way. Steel was my favorite of the bunch because, unlike those three other sad sacks, he never pretended to be Back from the Great Beyond. We first met him as an anonymous construction worker whom Superman saved from a thirty-story fall. By way of a thank you, Big Blue instructed him to “live a life worth saving.” The rest is confusing comic book history. Continue reading