Steel Sterling
Steel Sterling 001.png

Real Name

John Sterling

First Appearance

Zip Comics #1 (February 1940)

Original Publisher


Created by

Abner Sundell and Charles Biro

The Man of Steel's origin.


John Sterling's father was killed by racketeering mobsters. Vowing revenge, but knowing that a single man is vulnerable, he spent his youth developing a formula to give his body the strength and resistance of steel. After coating himself in the chemical he plunged naked into a molten steel filled cauldron. While this would have killed a normal man, John gained superpowers and became the costumed hero known as Steel Sterling, the Man of Steel.

His enemies included the Black Knight, Apollo Bates, Baron Gestapo, the zombie maker Anwalli, Mr. Romero, Oom the Mystic, the Rattler, the Werewolf of France, Hyena, Tang, Yehudis, the Creeper, and formerly Inferno. Inferno was set straight by Steel, and inspired by his example became a crime fighter.

Powers and Abilities

Sterling was as strong and resilient as steel, had limited invincibility, super speed, and is capable of magnetizing himself such that he can "fly" along with a plane when magnetized to it. He could listen to telephone conversations using his teeth and "electrolyzed tongue". However, he was vulnerable to magic, stunned by blows to the head, and his powers would fluctuate during a solar flare.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Zip Comics #1-47
  • Jackpot Comics #1-9
  • Roly Poly Comics #10


See Also

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