Editor’s Note: The title of this week’s edition of Ten Things is chosen for its iconic value and recognition factor, and also because “Ten Men And/Or Women Of Steel Or Other Commensurate Metallic Substance!” would be FAR too long for our title bar… Welcome to Ten Things!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with ‘An Amateur Comics Historian’, and Hephaestus, Greek god of metallurgy, Presents:
TEN OF “MEN” OF “STEEL”!
10) STEEL STERLING
The original 1940s Steel Sterling was the first superhero to be called ‘The Man Of Steel,’ even before Superman himself! In modern comics, that Steel Sterling was killed in battle and replaced by his son Johnny, who took up his father’s mantle (and his steel-hard, invulnerable skin, thanks to an infusion of nanites) as a member of the New Crusaders.
9) POWER CHICK
As a member of The Specials, Power Chick projects a quiet sort of calm, even serving as adoptive mother figure to the strange Alien Orphan. Though she is a gentle, empathic hippie-type by nature, she can also absorb the properties of any substance to serve as the team’s muscle, as seen when she turns herself into steel to take on a crisis at the end of the movie…
Though he was paralyzed from the waist down in combat, Sgt. Milo Fields was drafted by Tony Stark to join ‘The Order,’ California’s official super-team during the events that followed the Civil War. Piloting a massive Omega-class battlesuit (though, notably, one considerably less cutting-edge that Stark’s own, kind of a dick move, there) he became the team’s heavy artillery until they were all beaten senseless during the ‘Fear Itself’ crossover.
7) KING COIL
Robby Reed, the original bearer of the ‘Dial H For Hero’ dial, had a lot of unusual super-identities, from walking pinball machines to balloon boys to whatever the hell ‘Pendulum’ was. One of the more entertaining ones was King Koil, a giant steel spring creature, seemingly so named because “Doctor Slinky” sounds too much like a James Bond villain…
One of the original stars of the New Universe line of titles as “Spitfire,” Jenny Swenson was infected by a strange substance in the crater that remained after Ken “Star Brand” Connell destroyed Pittsburg. Her body was transformed into a kind of living metal, and she ended up part of the ensemble cast of a different New U. title, D.P. 7, where she stayed until the entire line of comics folded. Interestingly, Jenny was one of the few paranormals of to actually give full-on traditional superheroing a try, as sidekick to Captain Manhattan…
5) DEATHLOK THE DEMOLISHER
In the far-off future world of 1990, soldier Luther Manning was bonded to a combat computer and given cyborg limbs in the hopes of creating the ultimate soldier. Given the alias of Deathlok by his creator, Simon Ryker, Deathlok rebelled, eventually being sent back in time to the then-current 1970s. Other Deathlok’s have popped up since, including Michael Collins, whose solo series actually debuted in the same year that Manning’s earlier dystopian future world was set…
As a member of the secretive, immortal Destine family (also known as the ClanDestine), Samantha Destine possesses the ability to shift a form of ectoplasm into a metallic shell, which has led her to further pull away from humanity (whose fleshy bodies are inelegant and gross to her.) Samantha’s creations are ever-shifting in design and size, reflecting her mercurial nature and the fact that Alan Davis wanted to not worry about having to keep it on-model page after page…
3) FERRO LAD
One of most tragic members of a very tragic class of Legion recruits, Andrew Nolan’s face was horribly disfigured, causing him to cover it with a mask. As a trade-off, he could also transform into a mighty iron-clad form, with which he qualified for Legion membership. During the Sun-Eater crisis, Ferro Lad sucker-punched Superboy and took his place delivering a bomb into the Sun-Eater’s heart, sacrificing himself to save the universe. (Writer Jim Shooter has often said he wanted Andrew to secretly be the first black Legionnaire, but was shot down by editorial. Since this would have raised additional problematic questions, especially about the mask, I’m sort of glad the plan wasn’t followed through.)
The sole female-presenting member of the mighty Metal Men, Platinum’s artificial responsometer brain operated differently than the other members of her team, causing ‘Tina’ to declare herself a real woman and repeatedly attempt a romance with her creator, Dr. Magnus. Given that Magnus actually created and programmed the ‘bots (and/or stole his comatose friends’ brain patterns, depending on origin), it makes him seem like something of a chauvinist, but regardless, Platinum’s service as a Metal Man proves her creativity, heroism and tenacity…
Alpha Flight’s steely hero has had two pilots, the second of which made extensive changes to the robot’s design and capabilities, but there’s still something wonderful about Roger Bochs’ original armored form, with its clear design aesthetic of ‘1965 Chevrolet C-10 pickup.” Sure, the new model was sleeker and more versatile, but this one is reminiscent of another Marvel hero, as my daughter calls it “The Iron Thing” in honor of Ben Grimm…
Feel free to follow along (@MightyKingCobra) for more Ten Things madness on Twitter! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, because somebody totally needs to create a hero who is a man, only made of… IRON! You could call him…
Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!
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