Steelworks #6, “Multitudes” concludes a piece of The Warworld Saga and wraps up most threads presented throughout this miniseries. Few things are left open ended, but in a way that could be ignored or explored in future stories without much confusion to either outcome. All in all, this finale does an excellent job establishing John Henry Irons and Steelworks not only as a prominent fixture to the Metropolis skyline, but also as an important role in the world of Superman.
Steel co-creator Jon Bogdanove, with Hi-Fi on colors, gives us the standard cover which claims The Epic Conclusion! Straining to hold up a giant mechanical device while being bathed in a sea of fire is the perfect visual metaphor for the type of stress John Henry is feeling trying to keep his life from falling apart, again. The orange and reds of the piece do little to detract from Steel’s silvery chrome suit as the flames reflect and bounce off his armor. It’s truly a great piece for the end of the series.
The 90’s explode on the variant by V. Ken Marion, Danny Miki, and Brad Anderson. Steel leading the charge of heroes adorned in their 90’s era costumes and personas, we’re treated to things that once was and might’ve been. With so much social media static about character changes and story directions, this cover could serve as a visual reminder of how these changes have always been an integral part of the comics medium.
Jerry Gaylord’s variant is a fun display of the various versions of Steel’s outfits throughout the years. Everything from his debut in overalls to Shaquille O’Neal’s movie suit makes an appearance in this tribute to the character that shows us how anyone can be a superhero given the right tools and mindset. It’s also a nice piece to act as a send-off to a miniseries re-establishing Steel for the Dawn of DC movement.
Artists Sami Basri and Vincente Cifuentes with colorist Andrew Dalhouse make up the interior art team. The first page sets the tone for this action packed, no holds barred issue as we see Steel deliver a decisive blow with his hammer to Charles Walker III’s menacing mech. The sound effects are especially top notch as you can easily hear and feel the metal on metal battle throughout the book. There’s a lot happening within these final pages but the art team does an excellent job pacing the book so it doesn’t feel rushed or unreasonably slowed down. This finale is a well crafted issue making the entire series look unified and spectacular.
Michael Dorn, lettered by Rob Leigh, delivers a somewhat predictable yet satisfying ending to Steelworks in issue #6. Sometimes having a story go the way you’d like is its own reward, and this issue is proof. That being said, there’s a few story threads that Dorn leaves open ended enough that could easily be explored later. Does Lana still have her Superwoman powers? Or what’s the definitive fate of The Silver Mist? But all in all this puts and end (for now) to the energy source Superman brought back from Warworld. There’s also a reminder that this isn’t the last we’ll hear from these characters as the final page has us look to both ‘Action Comics’ and ‘Green Lantern: War Journal’ for further exploits of Steel and Steelworks.
This makes Steelworks a great addition, and possible competitor, to the likes of S.T.A.R. Labs as an exploratory scientific facility within the DC universe, not just within the scope of Superman’s supporting cast. Overall, Steelworks was a pretty good first series for Michael Dorn. He used different narratives and perspectives to tell a concise story centered around a theme the real world struggles with today, that of renewable energy and corporate accountability.
There’s action, philosophy, personal relationship struggles, and the stress from peer expectations, pretty much everything you’d want from a well thought out story. I, for one, genuinely enjoyed this issue as well as the entire series and I hope this isn’t the last time we see Michael Dorn as a writer in this field of entertainment.