Mike Steel was a scientist and pilot that worked for a millionaire named Simon Utrecht. Steel helped design and build a rocket ship without shielding for Utrecht. The American industrialist had plans to expose himself to cosmic rays in order to gain super powers like the Fantastic Four. Steed agreed to pilot the ship while accompanied by Simon Utrecht, Ann Darnell who was the life-support specialist and her younger brother, Jimmy Darnell who was the fuel propulsion engineer. Bruce Banner witnessed the launch from Utrecht Industries and realized the crew was headed into a cosmic storm area. Steel and the rest of his companions were heavily bombarded by cosmic rays but their trip was interfered with when Dr. Banner reprogrammed the flight control computers to bring them back to Earth. Utrecht's ship crashed back to Earth and all four members emerged with super powers. Steed took on the mass of the ship and became a walking metal monster who called himself Ironclad. The other members consisted of Vapor, X-Ray and Vector and they called themselves the U-Foes.
Ironclad and the rest of the U-Foes blamed Banner for interfering with the flight program and it brought back the crew before they could absorb even more cosmic rays which would make them more powerful. The U-Foes attacked Banner and Ironclad held him in his grip while X-Ray radiated Banner until he passed out. Suddenly Banner transformed into the Hulk and broke free from Ironclad's arms. During the fight, the Hulk threw Ironclad into X-Ray which caused intense pain from the inside of his body. Suddenly all members of the U-Foes began to lose control of their powers. Ironclad could no longer control his mass and he began to sink deeper into the ground until he disappeared.
Ironclad was created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema in 1980 and first appeared in The Incredible Hulk # 254.
Days later, Ironclad emerged from the desert floor and believed the rest of his friends survived their battle with the Hulk. Ironclad returned to Utrecht Industries and reunited with the rest of the U-Foes. Ironclad and his teammates would battle the Hulk on numerous occasions.
Acts of Vengeance
The U-Foes fought members of the West Coast Avengers during the Acts of Vengeance. The U-Foes would escape from the Vault and they decided to split up and meet at one of their hidden bases. Ironclad, X-Ray and Vapor reached the base which was in shambles and saw footage from one working monitor of Vector getting killed by Iron Man accompanied by the West Coast Avengers. Ironclad and the U-Foes decide to exact revenge and come after the West Coast Avengers. The U-Foes attack the Avengers compound and Ironclad grabs Iron Man from beneath the floor. Fists are thrown and Ironclad is blasted several miles away from the compound. Ironclad decides to bring the battle to him so he terrorizes the civilians on the streets. However, Vector appears alive and well and the U-Foes discovered that they were set up and used as pawns. They had no idea that the trickster god, Loki had orchestrated everything. Vector, X-Ray and Vapor decide to retreat and look for Ironclad.
Ironclad and the rest of the U-Foes registered as part of the Superhuman Registration Act after they were apprehended by the Thunderbolts. Ironclad and the U-Foes agree to join the Thunderbolts' army and capture other heroes and villains who oppose the Registration Act instead of facing prison time. The Thunderbolts had to fight off cities filled with civilians who were suddenly empowered when the Grandmaster opened up the Wellspring of Power. The Thunderbolts were broken up into numerous squads and sent to various locations throughout the world. Ironclad was part of the Delta squad which also consisted of the three Beetles, Mongoose, and Red Ronin. This group was responsible of maintaining order in Dallas.
Norman Osborn replaces Tony Stark as the director of SHIELD after the Secret Invasion and is also appointed to run the Initiative. Ironclad and the U-Foes are revealed as members of the Initiative's North Carolina team. Ironclad and the U-Foes are also recruited by the Hood to join his organization who is in cahoots with Norman Osborn as well. Ironclad and the U-Foes would come into conflict with the Avengers on several occasions.
Ironclad would be involved in several stories taking place in the Marvel Adventures comics which are standalone stories and does not take place in the current Marvel Universe continuity.
Powers and Abilities
The exposure to cosmic radiation transformed Steel's body into a massive steel form.
Due to Ironclads Exposure to radiation, he can lift somewhere up to 80 to 90 tons,making him a class 90.
Ironclad is very durable to blunt force and high temperatures, he takes blows from the hulk who is a 100 tonner,proving that he can actually fight with the hulk. and he can also resist -75 to 800 degrees of Fahrenheit.
Iron clad can alter his mass and weight, he could either loom in air of be as heavy as a building.
- Ironclad (alongside the other U-Foes members) appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. In the episode "Hulk Vs. The World," a blood-containing red vial labeled with the name Ironclad is featured. In the episode "Gamma World" Pt. 1, he alongside the U-Foes attack the Avengers in the Cube, and attacks Thor. He is defeated by a combined strike from Mjolnir and Captain America's shield.
- Ironclad is a boss and recurring enemy in The Incredible Hulk video game voiced by Mitch Lewis. However, the character acts almost exactly like the Hulk, but is programed to constantly use a shield, and is only open for attack when dazed. The similarities allow Players to dress Hulk as him as an extra. Ironclad, like the rest of the U-Foes, sometimes appear randomly in between missions to cause panic. However, in at least some experiences, the U-Foes seem more interested in attacking the area, and will only attack Hulk if he approaches. Ironclad can be unlocked by having one of the U-Foes members attack him by accident.