This trade tells the story of Carl Donewicz aka Steeljack. He’s a super villain who has an indestructible steel skin and super strength. At the start of the story he has just got out on parole after twenty years at Biro Island prison. However, he has a very hard time getting a job and even then he gets only minimum wage jobs where his strength is a handicap (washing dishes…). People look at him with fear and suspicion except on his old, poor neighborhood at Kiefer Square. Many of the people living there are also super villains or their families. Steeljack has decided to keep his nose clean this time but when an old illegal jobs fixer, Ferguson, gives Steeljack an offer, it’s hard to resist.

However, soon a group of villains’ families come to Steeljack and tell him that some of the old super villains have been murdered. They know that police doesn’t really care to investigate the death so they want to hire Carl to look into them. Carl hesitates; he’s no detective. However, he’s also broke so he agrees.

Carl goes around talking with the families of the murdered villains and hear their depressive stories. All of the villains had dreams to make it big but none of them could make it happen. So, they live with their families in poverty much the same way as Carl himself. They do get money from crimes but then they seem to always waste it on something.

Goldenrod’s daughter also wants to follow in her dad’s footsteps into a life of supposedly lucrative crime. Carl tries to talk her out of it but she doesn’t listen but beats him up. Otherwise, the people seem pretty depressed and accept their fates in endless poverty.

Ferguson takes Carl to listen a former hero’s story about his golden days and fall from grace. Then we hear another, a bit more successful, villain’s story.

This has again an aged protagonist who thinks he is past his prime. We get to see a little bit of his earlier career. Carl is a very sympathetic protagonist even though he himself thinks that he is a loser. He also thinks of the heroes as angels and himself as their opponent and opposite. He has many regrets and is often on the verge of giving up altogether. However, this is a story about human spirit and how even a convicted criminal would like to do the right thing.

A very human and moving story even though not as great as Confession.

Advertisements