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Henry Heywood, Sr. (New Earth)

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Henry Heywood, Sr. (New Earth) Who's Who
Information-silkReal NameHenry "Hank" Heywood
Information-silkCurrent AliasCommander Steel
Information-silkRelativesHank Heywood, Jr. (son, deceased); Hank Heywood III (grandson, deceased); Nathan Heywood (grandson); Kirk Heywood (grandson); John Heywood (relationship unknown)
Information-silkAffiliationAll-Star Squadron, Shadow Fighters; Justice League of America
Information-silkBase Of OperationsDetroit, Michigan
Information-silkIdentitySecret Identity
Information-silkMarital StatusWidowed
Information-silkHeight6' 0"
Information-silkWeight378 lbs (171 kg)
Information-silkHairBlack Grey
Information-silkUniverseEarth-Two, New Earth
Information-silkCreatorsGerry Conway, Don Heck
First AppearanceAppearance of Death



Henry Heywood enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps prior to their involvement in WW II, but was injured when saboteurs attacked his base spearheaded by the man who would become Baron Blitzkrieg in November, 1939. As a biology student under the tutelage of Doctor Gilbert Giles, his former professor performed extensive surgery on him with mechanized steel devices that facilitate normal human functions only on a superhuman level. He adopted the persona Steel, and started fighting fifth columnist saboteurs before being sent to Europe on secret missions.

All-Star Squadron

In February 1940, Steel was in London, England. While there he prevented an assassination attempt on the life of then-Major Winston Churchill by a costumed Nazi agent at the Ministry of War. Two nights later, Churchill sent him on a mission to kidnap Adolf Hitler at a concentration camp near Tozew, Poland. The Camp Commander's name was unknown, but Hitler referred to him as "Ein Schlachter", the Butcher. Captured, he was brought to the death camp. While attempting to escape, he was brought down by being hit by a jeep and later sustained a head wound from a bullet. Over the next two years, he was systematically brainwashed by Baron Blitzkrieg, the camp commander, to assassinate Churchill and Roosevelt.[1]

Steel saved British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from an assassination attempt in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on the night of December 20, 1941.

After becoming Steel, Heywood soon allied himself with the All-Star Squadron and while in a field of war was later commissioned "Commander Steel" by US President Roosevelt himself[2] He joined the Squadron for a brief period.

Henry Heywood, Sr. (New Earth) 004

FDR field-promotes Steel to "Commander" Steel.

Justice Society of America

Years later, as a wealthy industrialist, he incorporated the same mechanized components into his grandson Hank Heywood, III - who later joined Justice League of America and fought Heywood along with his enemy Mekanique, former allies Justice Society of America and their descendants Infinity, Inc.

Shadow Fighters

After his grandson's death, Heywood resumed the mantle of Commander Steel and died battling the super villain Eclipso, while a member of the Shadow Fighters. He did come to a heroic end - detonating the Sunburst 300 (a device meant to destroy Eclipso) as his teammate Nemesis escaped.

Powers and AbilitiesEdit


  • Henry Heywood, Sr. (New Earth) 003

    An x-ray showing Heywood's steel frame.

    Cybernetic Steel Frame: To repair his broken body, military scientists used a steel alloy tubing to replace the bones in Heywood's skeleton.
    • Superhuman Durability: Heywood has steel rods replacing his bones and metal plating replacing his skull.
    • Superhuman Speed: Heywood has micro-motors in all his joints to enable enhanced movement.
      • Superhuman Agility: The micro-motors in Heywood's joints allow him to react faster and leap great distances.
    • Superhuman Stamina: Heywood has an artificial lung that allows him to stay submerged for up to 30 minutes. He also has back-up devices to aid the pumping of his circulatory system.
    • Superhuman Strength: Heywood's steel and metal skeletal replacements ensure that not only do his bones stand strong but produce powerful effects when pushed into combat.



  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.


  • Henry Heywood, Sr. was called "The Indestructible Man" by the media and other facilitators.


Discover and Discuss


  1. All-Star Squadron #9
  2. Former note: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill --I just checked in All-Star Squadron #8, and during an attempted assassination of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill Hank Haywood (Steel) leaped in front of the laser beam aimed at Churchill and prevented the assassination. In return Churchill honored Haywood by dubbing him Commander Steel, so in the original timeline it was Churchill, not FDR who first called Haywood, Commander Steel, instead of Steel. This is incorrect. In #8, Churchill refers to him as "Steel", not "Commander Steel". In #9, FDR field-promotes Heywood to Commander. Since he was a US marine, Churchill wouldn't have any ability to do so anyway.

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This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
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