Sarge was a private eye who at some point starting getting involved in "spy cases," and after that officially became a "Special Agent."
Sarge Steel was created by Pat Masulli in the 1960s for Charlton Comics. He was created for the Action Heroes line of comics which was later bought by DC.
The Charlton Years
The man known as Sarge Steel is a member of the Special Forces in the US Army. Steel proved himself to be a smart, tough and ruthless combat soldier. He earned promotions that led him to the rank of Captain Sergeant by the time he was serving with the special forces in Vietnam during the height of the American's involvement in that conflict.
Steel's work in espionage and counter espionage brought him into deadly conflict with the Communist saboteur Ivan Chong. Steel thwarted Chong's plans to sabotage the government's war efforts and Chong was sentenced to imprisonment under the worst conditions. Chong could not take vengeance out on Steel personally, but he could, and did, send one of his henchmen to plant a booby trapped hand grenade on the Special Forces officer. When Steel attempted to use the grenade, it exploded before he could throw it, and his left hand was blown off in the explosion.
His injuries earned Steel a medical discharge from the army and he returned to the . There in a VA hospital, he spent several months undergoing corrective surgery and rehabilitation, and was fitted for a prosthetic device to replace his hand. Rather than settling for something utilitarian, Steel chose a replacement far better suited to his temperament: a solid steel clenched fist.
After his release from hospital, Steel set himself up in a one-man detective agency. He was kept on the right track by his secretary / girlfriend / confidante Bess Forbes.
Steel's clientele were usually involved in some manner of international intrigue or terror. They led him to face such evil as Von Wess, a wanted Nazi war criminal who attempted to blackmail the world with the nuclear warheads of Polaris missiles he had hijacked along with a submarine. Steel also faced such menaces as Mr. Ize, the Smiling Skull, the Lynx, the Black Lily and Liza Monelli. A number of cases brought Steel, and often the world, to the brink of disaster before the so-called "Iron Man with the fist of steel" claimed victory from what for any other man would have spelt doom. More and more, Steel found his cases bringing him into contact with the government's intelligence agencies, and he would often work directly with the FBI or CIA. Eventually, Sarge Steel. private detective, became a secret agent when he was recruited by a top secret, unnamed branch of the intelligence services.
Sarge Steel’s history continues as he’s put in charge of the United States' governmental agencies involved with super-human activities. At one time Steel became the head of an agency known as the CBI (Central Bureau of Intelligence). He worked alongside men like King Faraday and Faradays two agents at the time, Richard Dragon and Ben Turner. He also worked with spy operative known as Nightshade.
At one point the caterpillar-shaped alien criminal Mr. Mind is handed into the custody of Sarge Steel by the Marvel Family. Mr. Mind takes control of Steel by hiding in Steel’s prosthetic steel hand, which prevented his detection from the super-human community. Through Steel, Mr. Mind programs the villain Mr. Atom to cause mass destruction on the city of and kills thousands. Mr. Mind is eventually stopped by the Marvel Family and several Green Lanterns.
Sarge Steel at one point reactivates a version of Checkmate in order to find the comatose body of Deathstroke (Slade Wilson).
Under Presidential order, Steel worked with the Peacemaker Project located in the Swiss Alps in order to locate, at one point, the missing Justice League of America and put a stop to the attacks on the world’s military facilities by their captor the Avatar. Under Sarge Steel a new team was formed called the L.A.W. (Living Assault Weapons) that consisted of Captain Atom, Nightshade, Blue Beetle, The Question, the first Judomaster and the new Peacemaker. Captain Atom was captured by Avatar and his powers used to keep the Justice League of America imprisoned.
In an attack on Project Peacemaker, Steel clobbers one of Avatar’s demon servants and his steel fist is melted by its fiery body. He is fitted with a new cybernetic hand by the Project’s department head of Advanced Sciences, Dr. Bhattacarja. When he discovers someone inside the Project has been leaking secret information to the Avatar, Steel discovers it was himself by a mind control device located in his new hand. Steel immediately has Mitchell Black (Peacemaker) fit him with new version of his original steel fist.
As the others fight the Avatar’s minions, Judomaster allows himself be captured. Judomaster discovered the identity of Avatar to be that of his former partner Tiger. The two fought and Judomaster defeated Avatar and freed Captain Atom. No longer able to hold the Justice League of America and his power gone, the Avatar abandoned his plans and vanished.
Currently, Steel leads the D.M.A. (Department of Metahuman Affairs), a subdivision of the D.E.O (Department of Extranormal Operations) under the direction of Mr. Bones. At one point the villain Circe kidnapped Steel, locked him up and replaced him with her shape-shifting henchman Everyman. Using Steel’s influence in the Department, Circe and Everyman helped bring about the return of the Amazons and the devastation they caused on Steel is currently in charge of agents Nemesis and Diana Prince (Wonder Woman).
Major Story Arcs
The New 52
Sarge Steel is a member of Checkmate. He has both hands in the new OMAC series and loses his left hand in the final battle with OMAC as the series ends.
Powers and Abilities
After losing it to a grenade accident, Steel was fitted with a metal prosthetic left hand. Having served in the millitary he is also an expert marksman and physical combat.