I’ve had a real strange desire today, ever since I got finished with The Goal That Shall Not Be Named. I’ve wanted to watch the movie Steel, and I can’t figure out why. It’s a terrible movie, an absolutely terrible movie that should have never left the first draft of the screenplay, but it did, and I’m now completely allowed to make fun of it.
Steel is a superhero move (the worst one in my opinion, though Spider-Man 3 comes pretty close) based on the character John Henry Irons from the DC comics of the same name, well, I think the comic was called Man of Steel, I don’t know. Irons became a hero in much the same way Tony Stark did. His technology was turned around and used against him, and continently enough this is right around the time Superman was killed by the monster Doomsday. Irons felt it was his responsibility as a genius inventor to step in and take Supes place. He made himself a suit of armor (similar to Iron Man’s) put Superman’s S-shield on it, grabbed a cape and went skyward with his mission.
I became a fan of John Henry Irons, not after watching Steel in the late nineties, but while I was in high school and when I first encountered the novelized form of The Death of Superman, the book’s title, if anybody’s curious, is The Death and Life of Superman (look it up, it’s a good read), and in the latter half of that book (during the Reign of the Supermen arc) is where I was exposed to Irons.
And, that’s where my brain stopped. I was trying to think about the good qualities of John Henry Irons, the qualities that make him a relatable character, but then I get stuck on Shaq who played Irons like he was a teddy bear and all around boy scout. You know, a character that would be very similar to Clark/Superman and yeah, that works for Supes, that’s his character and it always has been (if you ignore Man of Steel, and I try too). But, that doesn’t mean it works for every superhero. I mean look at Spiderman, his life is shit 99% of the time and that makes him a relatable character. Bruce Wayne is relatable, not because we’re all billionaires who run around at night in tight black spandex, but because he’s a tragic figure. His parents were murdered in front of him when he was a child, and we can relate to that because it makes us ask the question what would happen if my parents died; what would I do. And, if you answer is to dress up in black spandex and run around at night then you probably need to see a therapist.
But, there’s nothing to relate to John Henry Irons, no so far as I can remember. He’s a boy scout who sees somebody using his mistake and immediately jumps to the I need to be a superhero thing to stop this. There doesn’t seem to be any catalyst to it. Nothing to give him that tragic relatable edge. I dunno.
I do think they should make another Steel movie, with today’s CGI it would be epic, and if they got the right writer (kind of pointing at myself here) then the movie would be just as successful as its Marvel counterpart, Iron Man. Of course… there might also be some legal trouble there. Not sure.
Anywho, I’m off into the wild blue yonder.