This page is for the third Steel, Hank Heywood III.
Henry Heywood III was the second Steel and the grandson of Henry Heywood I, the original Steel. Despite the disapproval of Heywood III, his grandfather integrated the same components that he originally had himself. Steel then became a member of the reformed Justice League of America in Detroit alongside fellow recruits such as Vibe, Gypsy and Vixen.
Hank Heywood was created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton.At the time when Steel was created, the comics industry was being dominated primarily by titles featuring teenage superheroes (such as the Teen Titans.) It was thus decided to redesign the Justice League of America and to give them a similar roster. Steel was one of three new teenage characters introduced to the team in the same single issue which served as the first origin of all three (the other two were Gypsy and Vibe.)
Modern Age: New Earth
Hank Heywood III never had a rank of Commander in his name. Hank Heywood III was only called Steel from his first appearance in Justice League of America Annual #2 to his death in Justice League America #38. Steel's grandfather, Hank Heywood I, was the only one called Commander Steel. The legacy of Steel continued with a cousin of Heywood III, another grandson of Heywood I, who called himself Citizen Steel.
Major Story Arcs
Modern Age: New Earth
During the Legends event, Professor Ivo, an old JLA foe, created androids in his own image and programmed them to kill the JLA based in Detroit. Vibe was murdered by an android when he believed he defeated it and turned his back on it. Steel destroyed another android but he suffered mortal wounds in the process. The Martian Manhunter brought the dying Steel to his grandfather, the original Steel, who placed him on life support. Steel remained in a coma while on life support at JLA HQ until Despero destroyed Steel during his attack and rampage through JLA HQ. Despite, Hank's reluctance to have the implants it was later discovered that the main reason his grandfather surgically enhanced him was because without it Henry would have died when he was a child.
Hank returned during Blackest Night as a Black Lantern. Along with his former teammate Vibe (also a Black Lantern) he confronted Vixen and Gypsy his former teammates during the Justice League Detroit era. After harassing and battling Gypsy his connection to the Black Power Ring was severed and his Lantern body destroyed by the female Dr. Light.
Powers & Abilities
Hank Heywood underwent a year long series of operations and bio-chemical treatments at the hands of his grandfather the original Commander Steel. The results gave him enhanced strength, speed and durability due to his new found mechanical musculature system. His skeletal system was composed of a highly durable steel alloy. He also has electronically augmented hearing allowing him to hear the smallest noises up to half a mile away. His strength level was undetermined but sufficient to battle his grandfather Commander Steel in hand to hand combat.
Justice League Unlimited
Steel was a member of the Justice League Unlimited made for television cartoon series. He never had a speaking role but he is seen in many episodes either fighting in battles or on the League's satellite base.