|Steel's in-action intro (following a splash page featuring the traditional new |
costume splash page) from Superman: Man of Steel #22.
|It was the Nineties, so naturally |
there were two covers: this one by
series artists Jon Bogdanove
and Dennis Janke.
|Also by Bogdanove and Janke, |
this is the special die-cut cover.
Ever the fanboy, I have both.
The art of Bogdanove (pencils) and Janke (colors) gave Steel a unique look; exaggerated and "gritty". The presence of slightly distorted physical features (a staple of Nineties comic book "art"), suggested power rather than deformity, while the overall style appeared purposeful in reflecting the urban tone. Thankfully absent from the character design were the multiple pouches prominent in comic books at the time, though the villainous gang weapons, Irons' "Toastmaster" guns (visible in the left-most panel below), do bear a striking resemblance to the Cable-esque Rob Liefeld guns also popular at the time.
|Though it seems so common now, in 1993 Simonson's plot was not so standard.|
It's difficult to talk "Steel" without mentioning the movie adaptation , which for many is there only knowledge of the character. All it takes is one bad (well, really bad) movie adaptation to derail the potential film life of a character that shows great promise. Just ask Shaquille O'Neal and John Henry Irons. The real shame about the failure of Steel (1997), was that there was really some solid source material to draw from, as evidenced from the characters first appearance in Superman Man of Steel #22. (To be fair, some character elements were retained for the movie so maybe just plain bad execution was the culprit!)
But, don't let your lingering memories of this mediocre film effort dissuade you from catching up with the real Man of Steel via trade paperback or, as is my preference in single issues which are surely available in most back issue long boxes at your local comic shop.