Steelworks #4, “Lockdown” is a fun heist issue that sets high consequences for the outcome of the rest of the series. Though it’s still unclear what the true motivations are behind our villain’s actions it’s safe to say they’re unaware of the side effects of being in proximity of the Genesis Energy power source which will ultimately affect the outcome of the story.
The main cover is brought to us by Eddy Barrows and Adriano Lucas and expertly captures the threat of new super villain The Silver Mist. No amount of armor would be enough against a being capable of phasing through solid matter. The stark contrasts of color really make this cover pop and could easily pass for the glow-in-the-dark treatment. There’s also a bit of foreshadowing going on as the bad guys appear to gain a victory this issue.
Sanford Greene’s variant has Steel demonstrating the massive strength his armor provides. Holding up a large piece of machinery with one arm as he prepares to assemble or dismantle the contraption with his hammer. The vibrant shades of yellow and orange suggest it could be part of a forge, but also serve as great way to have Steel’s armor stand out on the image. There’s definitely some grittiness to the piece that hones in on the “Everyman” nature of Steel’s roots.
The variant by Rafael Sarmento is an up close and personal take on the forging of Steel’s face plate. It’s a simple image that gets right to the heart of Steel’s purpose in Superman lore. The idea that hope can be inspired by anyone willing to help and do what’s right. You don’t have to be an alien from another planet or be super rich; just the want to make a positive difference in the world is all it can take to make meaningful changes in people’s lives.
Interior artists Sami Basri and Vicente Cifuentes, along with colorist Andrew Dalhouse, really know how to capture the motion of a scene. Each panel is brought to life in ways that makes it easy to imagine how the characters are moving throughout the story even during non-action sequences. Although they present a very classic comic book style, their art feels grounded in realism which helps the story maintain a sense of plausibility and seriousness.
Writer Michael Dorn, lettered by Rob Leigh, takes a break from the philosophical concept of providing the world with free, renewable energy to bring us a fun heist piece. No matter how improved Steelworks security measures have been since the first two break-in attempts, the third time proves to be a charm as the phasing powers of The Silver Mist proves to be practically unstoppable.
While making a show to stop the intruder, Steel manages to uncover the identity of The Silver Mist and ultimately lets him escape. Twist upon twist then occurs as it’s revealed fake copies of the Genesis Orb were created to keep it safe from various theft attempts.
Instead of postering the notion of what the world could be with clean sustainable energy, this issue focuses more on what would most likely happen on a competitive corporate level if such an energy source existed. Of course it’s done in a way that makes for some interesting and exciting comics that’s sure to lead to an epic showdown as we head into the final chapters of the series.