- We don't discriminate. We'll use a hammer or a particle beam, whatever gets the job done...
- -- Steel (Natasha Irons) src
Natasha Irons is the daughter of John Henry Irons's brother, Clay, and Clay's wife Blondel. She is initially portrayed as being 13. Like the rest of her family, she knew about Steel's secret identity all along. Contrasting sharply with her brother Jemahl, Natasha is shown to be very level headed and practical. By issue #14, she is shown to be working (presumably as an intern) for a U.S. Senator. She appears to have aged forward to be about 16 somehow. Nat is a supporting character throughout Louise Simonson's run on the series. She is kidnapped by Hazard and Steel has to rescue her. She also uses the drug Tar to help fight at the side of her uncle briefly. She is later kidnapped by the villain Plasmus and apparently kills him by shattering once Steel froze the villain (although he later turns up alive). Natasha was devastated at the loss of her beloved great-grandmother, Bess Irons, but is the only one of her family who stays with Steel when he moves to Jersey City (see the Steel entry for more details of the Irons family).
With Christopher Priest at the helm of Steel starting with #34, Nat was radically altered. She was transformed into a "modern," stereotypical, obnoxious teenager who was obviously completely bored with life in general. She is also shown to be very flippant and sardonic. Also, all trace of her previous work for a U.S. Senator was apparently exercised from the canon. During this time she also meets a teen named Paul (who she dubs "Boris") whom she befriends. Her father also makes a return as the villain Crash. When an assassin named Skorpio poisons Nat, Crash has to turn himself in so that he can give a blood transfusion and save his daughter. He is never seen nor heard from again.
The new Steel
When the Entropy Aegis of Darkseid trapped John, Natasha designed a suit of armor that used the Aegis's power, teleported to Apokolips, and fought Doomsday with the help of Superman, Superboy, Supergirl, and the pre-Crisis Supergirl. John was too injured to continue operating as Steel. Having intended to pass his legacy as Steel on to Natasha, John made a new, more advanced suit of armor for her to use.
When Natasha heard that Superman had been injured by a ghostly ninja, she donned her armor and became the new Steel. She teamed up with Cir-El and Girl 13 to stop the ninja. During the adventure, she used her hammer to fire an electric pulse into Superman's heart to start it again. When Cir-El heard that Superman had been captured by Lex Luthor, Natasha accompanied her and Superboy to rescue him. Natasha worked with Batman to free the others when they fell into a trap.
Natasha had a violent falling out with her uncle John, over John's open disgust over what he felt was the self-absorbed narcissism of the super-hero community. When Natasha discovered that the Teen Titans, whose roster was devastated by the battle against Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime, were holding an open call for new members, John forbid Natasha from going and instead demanded her continue the thankless and boring task of clearing out harmless debris from Metropolis and went as far as destroying Natasha's armor to "teach her a lesson", in terms of forcing her to build her own armor if she truly wanted to be a super-hero if she wished to defy John's bitter demands of her.
Natasha was further tormented when John forced her to attend summer school rather than a science colloquium that Natasha had been looking forward to attending for several months. (John's justification was that Natasha's inability to pass English Lit, despite making straight "A's" in all of her other classes, made her unfit to attend such an important scientific colloquium).
She attempted to rebuild her armor with little success, but when she overheard a phone message meant for John telling him that his DNA had been rewritten by the Luthor metagene, Natasha reached her breaking point regarding John's treatment of her.
Natasha applied for Lex Luthor's Everyman Project and became the first official subject of the project. When John, looking for Natasha, threatened to kill Luthor at a Lexcorp party, Natasha appeared, leading a team of super-powered people in Luthor's employ. John tried to convince Natasha to come home, but she refused and beat him as she felt that John was a hypocrite for cursing and sabotaging her dreams of being a super-hero while taking the easy way out via Luthor's metagene project, unaware that Luthor infected John with the treatment without his permission.
Luthor's team of heroes was later unveiled as the new incarnation of Infinity, Inc., and Natasha went by the code name Starlight. In this persona, she served with the team for the better half of a year, until her uncle managed to convince her that Luthor was planning something. Working from within the team, she was caught spying, but was rescued by her uncle. She began working for his new company, "Steelworks", in her old suit of armor. She fought Black Adam during World War III alongside the other heroes.
Months after World War III, Natasha and the other participants in the Everyman Program suffered unusual side-effects: their physiology began mutating, granting them superhuman powers which related, in some way, to the state of their mental health. For Natasha, who suffered from a fear of abandonment, this meant gaining the uncontrollable power to transform to intangible mist. Reuniting with a few other subjects of the Program, she decided to fight super-villains who got their powers from the Program. However, the team was kidnapped by Desaad (under the alias "Doctor Bud Fogel"), who convinced Gerome McKenna to betray the team. They were subsequently press ganged into the Dark Side Club as fighters, before they were rescued by Miss Martian and Ravager.
- Natasha Irons had taken part of the Everyman Project while injected her with a serum that "unlocked" her mete-gene. This led to a number of powers that she was able to unlock such as Flight, Strength, Durability and Light-based abilities.
- 100 Appearances of Natasha Irons (New Earth)
- 25 Images featuring Natasha Irons (New Earth)
- 3 Quotations by or about Natasha Irons (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Natasha Irons (New Earth)
- Steel at dccomics.com
- Natasha Irons at Wikipedia.org
- DC Comics Encyclopedia
- Museum of Black Superheroes: Natasha Irons
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This is an in-universe article with out-of-universe material.