- "The "S" on my chest doesn't stand for "Super." The world all ready has a Superman. I'm not a boy scout. I'm a genius, indestructible, hammer wielding tank. You can call me Steel."
- — Steel
Hank Emerson is one of the single most intelligent men on the planet and one of the world's leading experts in the realm of technology. Coming from humble beginnings he had to work extremely hard to afford the education he received. Wielding a strong moral code Hank used his knowledge to become the indestructible, armored hero known as Steel.
- "You're going to come live with me now, Hank. I'm so sorry about your parents but I promise I will take care of you."
- — Katherine Emerson
Henry James Emerson was born to Michael and Haley Emerson, an accountant and a high school teacher, respectively. They lived in a small house in Metropolis until Hank was eight years old. During one cold, winter night on their way home Michael lost control of their car and ran into the meridian in the road. Both he and his wife were killed. Hank sustained minor injuries but otherwise was fine. Following this tragedy he left Metropolis to live with his Aunt Kathy, his father's sister, in Chicago. His aunt was a wonderful woman who managed a restaurant for a living. She was unmarried and worked nights often, leaving Hank to tuck himself in at night. Despite this Hank never felt neglected. Kathy always made time for her nephew and made sure he always had everything he needed and then some. As he grew up he realized just how lucky he was to have someone like his aunt in his life.
- "We have an obligation to use our intelligence to help everyone. Not to raise ourselves up above the masses."
- — Hank Emerson
It became apparent early on how intelligent Hank was. He consistently tested into the tougher classes in school and managed to maintain a 4.0 throughout his high school career. Despite his intellect there was still one obstacle barring his way to college; money. Though his aunt had always provided for him she did not have a huge savings account and therefore would not be able to pay for the majority of his college. He had saved some money through part time jobs during high school but he was still thousands and thousands of dollars short. He ended up joining the United States Army in order to pay for school. While there he honed his athletic and martial abilities, becoming as physically fit as he was mentally. After his stint with the military Hank attended MIT where he graduated top of his class. He was recruited right out of school by Stark Industries, being one of two technology prodigies to work at the company, the other being Alex Burke. It didn't take long before he was poached by Chase Incorporated. He rose quickly through the ranks, becoming the youngest Director of Engineering in the company's history as well as becoming a personal friend of CEO Christopher Chase, who was secretly Superman.
Forging the Armor
- "Iron Man, feel free to eat your heart out."
- — Steel
The first thing Hank did when he climbed the corporate ladder and started to become more and more wealthy was to make sure his aunt was taken care of. He purchased a new house for her in Metropolis and made sure she finally had the means to not only retire but to visit all the places she had always wanted to visit. The next thing he did was begin his collection of past technological marvels. His office was littered with displays such as a Motherbox, Captain Atom's containment suit, one of the original Green Arrow's explosive arrows, a recovered batarang, and none other than the hammer John Irons wielded during his time as Steel.
To Be Continued.....
- Expert Mechanic: An expert mechanic since he was very young, Hank was able to totally overhaul a car's transmission by the age of 10. He is an excellent engineer as well, capable of fixing almost, if not all machinery. His design and mechanical acumen went into the creation of many of the Steel Armors.
- Genius-level Intellect: Hank Emerson is an inventive mechanical engineering prodigy, constantly creating new technology and looking for ways to improve it. He is one of the world's leading experts on computer science, technology, and electrical engineering.
- Genius-level Computer Expert: Hank is an expert in the field of computer science, demonstrating genius-level aptitude for programming, modifying, and diagnosing almost any computer system; even those of unfamiliar human and extraterrestrial origin. His skill in this department is rivaled by few others.
- Skilled Combatant: Through military training and his experiences dealing with villains and threats Hank Emerson has become a highly combatant.
- Multi-lingual: He speaks with fluency in English, French, Spanish, German, and Chinese.
- Steel Armor Mk III: An incredible feat of engineering; the armor grants the wearer a number of offensive and defensive capabilities.
- Kal-El's Cape: Steel proudly wears the original cape of the first Superman, Kal-El. It was given to him by the current man to carry the title.
- Kinetic Hammer: Steel's current hammer was forged from adamantium and is therefore indestructible. It has the ability to increase its kinetic energy the farther it is thrown. At a distance up to 20 yards, it can stop a car, at 30 yards a semi-truck, at 60 yards a tank, and at distances greater than 60 yards its destructive capacity rivals that of Superman.
- Inertial Damage Field: The hammer can also store the energy it has gathered along its flight path within the kinetic field and release it on contact with a target (on command), even if its flight is interrupted by a command. It is unknown how long this device can store such energy. This device appears to have the ability to temporarily disrupt temporal/kinetic energy in a localized field and manipulate it for limited effects such as energy transfer based on a linear distance traveled.
- Programmable Flight: The hammer can stop in mid-air and be called back into his hands.
- Voice Controlled: When Steel says "STOP", the hammer will stop in mid-air. When he says "RETURN", the hammer will fly right back into his hands.
- Electromagnetic Sensors: The hammer has sensors in it to measure electromagnetic energy.
- Electromagnetism: The hammer can create several electromagnetic effects such as an EMP to disrupt electronic devices in Steel's vicinity. It can also set itself in tune to the Earth's magnetic field, making it virtually impossible to move. When not using the hammer, Steel can magnetically attach it to his back.
- Energy Discharge: Steel's hammer is capable of projecting an extremely powerful stream of energy. This weapon is capable of destroying armored vehicles and punching holes in mountains.
- ALPHA: One of the world's most intelligent A.I. programs. It was housed in a levitating mechanical drone, currently a defunct Doombot, that assists Steel with almost anything you could think of. ALPHA is effectively more of a partner to Dr. Emerson than he is a tool or form of equipment.
His current suit, the Steel Armor Mark III, grants him the following abilities. This is by no means a complete list of the armor's capabilities.
- Super Strength: The armor magnifies Hank's strength to superhuman levels, enabling him to lift 90 tons.
- Flight: The Mark III armor can reach speeds above Mach 6.
- Super Speed: Even when not traveling for extended distances, the armor enables the wearer to move and react at high speeds.
- Self-Contained Life-Support System & Environmental Protection: The suit can be completely sealed for operations in vacuum or underwater, providing its own life support, and is shielded against radiation.
- Kinetic Blasts: Concussive force blasts that pick up kinetic energy along the way, so that they hit harder the farther they have to travel.
- Heat Vision: Steel can fire beams of intense heat from his eyes. Feats include powering up the giant ion planet moving engines and annihilating an army of Doomsday clones in one blast. These beams are dependent on how much energy the armor currently has stored through multiple means.
- Rivet Cannon: This short range weapon fires red-hot rivets similar to those used in construction.
- Pulse Beams: Electromagnetic beams that affect technology and machines.
- Rocket Launchers: The armor contains twelve anti-tank rockets that can be fired at a moments notice.
- Tasers: The armor contains non-lethal tasers that are effective in taking down normal thugs with ease.
- Personal Shield: Steel's personal shield is capable of withstanding direct impact from missiles and heavy ordnance.
- Power Cells: The armor is powered by a combination of solar converters, electrical batteries and an on-board generator that uses zero point energy.
- Energy Conversion Power Recharge: The suit is also able to convert nearby energy sources, such as heat or kinetic energy into electricity, or even drain electrical energy directly into the batteries for recharge.
- EMP Invulnerability: The Mark III armor is completely resistant to electro magnetic pulses.
- Telepathic Immunity: The helmet's design in the Mark III armor prevents all telepathic intrusion while Hank has it on.
Steel is susceptible to all human limitations when out of his suit. His suit itself is not invincible and there are a number of ways it can be damaged or drained of power.
- Lords of Atlantis (First Appearance as Hank Emerson)