Hero Profile 3#: Steel Commando III
Steven Shepherd is a man with some big shoes to fill. Not of General Venom or even the first Steel Commando, but of basically being the man that has to restore confidence in America and normal humans in their ability to fight back against the tides of darkness that face mankind. Steel Commando III's presence on the Patriots was part of America's deal to allow them to operate once more on United States soil, not that he needed such an ultimatum to get on the team, but as a way of reinforcing the message that the world wanted to send out. Specifically, "You too can be a superhero."
Steve sometimes regrets the public relations aspects of his job. Yes, he's the most prominent African American superhero in the world. Yes, he works directly for the United States government and was picked to be the America's Chosen Champion for the most unpopular administration in two decades (though President-Elect Barrack Obama has privately approached Steve and after sounding out each other for a while, the two came to an agreement that he would continue to serve his country in the same manner that he did under the Bush Administration). Honestly, Steve is only interested in serving his country in the best manner that he can.
Steve's history was fairly glamorous even before he became the Steel Commando. A member of the United States Airforce, transferred over to the NSA, and then made an attache to the Foundation for World Harmony's Meta-Crime division. Steve was a well trained spy and government official before he was thirty. This was partially due to the fact no one really expected much experience needed for the position in the Silver Age but that changed with the rise of the Iron Age. Steve was hostile to Metamen and vigilantes both. Mostly because they seemed to hold themselves above humans and he was not a man to be held down by any genetic freak of natures' belief that he wasn't good enough.
The White House coup ended any pretensions that the vigilantes of the Iron Age were anything but criminals in Steven's mind. Coordinating America's defense, Steve shot down several of Ramses II's futuristic craft using captured Tsavong fighters. When grounded by enemy fire, Steve managed to rescue the President by getting into fisticuffs with the AmeriNazi. Steve spent two weeks in a coma but the other guy didn't walk away at all. It was his heroic defense of the nation that got him chosen for being the new Steel Commando.
Personally, Steven was ambivalent at first about his position. Being amongst a bunch of caped glory hogs was not his idea of a plum assignment. Nevertheless, the Patriots gradually won his respect by being a contrast to every stereotype he had of the Iron Age's champions. In fact, he found himself with Black Wing as the occasional voice for using lethal force against opponents or extreme measures (the fact that both of them are 'regular humans' might have contributed to this).
Since that time, Steve has come to love and respect his fellow superheroes and become an inspiration to an entirely new generation of young Americans. Several times, he's even defied his bosses in Washington to do the right thing. A court martial offense he's been let off of because, frankly, the Bush Administration needed all the good publicity it could get. Claiming credit for the third Steel Commando's successes was just easier than adding another scandal to their already impressive list of it. Honestly, Steve is dreading his mandatory retirement at Age 42 in about five years. While Raven Enterprises' longevity treatments means that 42 isn't what it used to be, he doesn't like the prospect of getting behind a desk (even though Dame Michelle Holmes has privately sounded him out for being her replacement).
Steve is unmarried and is also somewhat concerned about his legacy. While he has a serious relationship with Ashley Morgan, he's had other relationships and honestly isn't sure he wants to settle down with her. Steve has been married before but this ended in divorce before he became the Steel Commando. He has one young son. Josh, that is now ten years old and is unaware that Steve is his father (a choice by his mother he's very angry with).
The United States Aircraft Carrier, Jack Washington: The headquarters of the United States branch of the Foundation for World Harmony, the Jack Washington is an ironically named location that is where all of Steven's hyper-expensive equipment is stored. A landing pad for Seventh Heaven's shuttles is also located here.
Charles "Buddy" Wilson: The mechanic for the Steel Commando suit. Charles Wilson is a former associate from the Special Forces. Charles lost his leg during the Psychotic Seven's coup attempt and has to do with a prosthesis. Charles is a source of much sage advice but there's some jealousy that he's not the Steel Commando. Charles has an odd habit of being kidnapped and presumed dead, which sends Steve on rampages of revenge.
Mary Shepherd-Jenkins: A former Air Force nurse that Steve fell in love with. They've attempted, and failed, to reignite their romance on several occasions. Mary was remarried to a secret member of the House of Serpents for much of her post-divorce period. Steve was forced to kill the Steel Cobra during one of his missions. Mary doesn't yet know that her second husband was a traitor. They have one son, named Josh.
Michelle Holmes: Boss. Mother figure. Michelle Holmes taught Steel Commando III a valuable lesson. Defiance is different from treason.
Josh Shepherd: A normal ten year old boy, who has been kidnapped by General Venom and Supreme on a couple of occasions as a favor to the late Steel Cobra. Josh Shepherd eventually grows up to be the President of the United States according to Alexander Timons.
Angel Girl: Steve is not particularly close to Angel Girl. Mostly, it has the vibe of "My best friend's Ex." He also thinks she's a little too warm and bubbly.
Ashley Morgan: The best summary for their relationship is that Steve is sure he loves Ashley Morgan but will never entirely trust her. The lingering loyalty she has to the House of Serpents will always be between them.
Athena:Steve tends to prefer Athena's leadership to Divinos. There's a little latent sexism in the fact that she can easily toss him around but he's still aware that she tends to think in fairly practical terms and he's willing to go with what works.
Crimson Wing:Miss Lee and Steve have had a relationship briefly that he's hiding from Alex. Bluntly, he tends to feel like a third wheel in their presence.
Dawn Wing II: Dawn Wing looks up to Steve like an older brother and honestly, Steve loves Dawn a bit like a replacement for his own son despite the age differences. Dawn Wing thinks that while he may not be Black Wing III when he grows up, he might be able to the fourth Steel Commando.
Divinos: Steve simultaneously admires Divinos and thinks he's one of the most naive men on the planet at times. Divinos tends to think of Steve as a measuring stick for humanity's best as it currently is. It's a nice picture but could use some improvement.
Black Wing II: Alex is Steven's best friend, despite the fact they ostensibly have little in common. The World's Smartest Man and a Air Force Brat seem a mismatched pair. Still, Alex throws the best parties and is one of the few men that Steve can look to and say "I trust this man as having humanity's best interests at heart." While the Rhodes/Tony Stark relationship is applicable, so is the Iron Man/Captain America.
Except, Steve is the loyalist and Alex is the vigilante type.
The Spirit of America: The mysterious godlike Cosmic Eternal above Athena, the Spirit of America (and possibly Liberty itself) often appears in various guises to Steven in order to advise him. Frankly, it just creeps Steven out.
Splotch: Steve tries not to treat Splotch like a goofball screw up. He usually fails.
Count Reich II: Steven Shepherd loathes the racist, evil, psychotic Zombie and doesn't show any mercy to his myriad Neo-Nazi goons or undead hosts. Count Reich II enjoys baiting him with racial epitheths but privately fears the fact that the technological wonder has so far won nearly every one of their encounters. Steven hopes someday to find some way to put Count Reich II in the ground for good.
Emerald Dragon: Amusingly, the two have had a rather flirtatous relationship over the years. Steven Shepherd attracted to her beauty and danger while she realizing that he's more than just a man in a fancy suit. Alas, her father would never approve of him and he considers her an accessory to many murders over the years.
General Venom: The archnemesis of the new Steel Commando. He considers General Venom to be the number one threat to American security, a choice that many disagree with. Nevertheless, there is a dire and personal hatred on his part towards the General. In no small part for the Generals attempts to take his son and "raise him right" as Wilson would have wanted. Conversely, General Venom considers Steve one of the few men qualified to carry on his father's legacy. General Venom and he have faced several times and, unfortunately, Steve tends to lose these confrontations on a 2-1 ratio due to his predecessor's superior experience.
Steel Cobra: Wilson Jenkins was kicked out of the Airforce thanks to testimony given by Steven Shepherd but managed to bounce back by entering the Private Sector as a military contractor (secretly a spy for Jack Washington Junior who looked precisely for angry but intelligent men like himself). Wilson Jenkins conducted numerous terrorist assaults and high technology thefts for the House of Serpents while publicly married to Mary Shepherd. A woman he courted deliberately out of spite to his former friend.
The Steel Cobra was killed during their final battle over a stolen United States nuclear missile. The Steel Cobra suit has been recovered by the House of Serpents since then and has occasionally menaced Steven Shepherd since then. It is a better suit than his own and has even gained intelligence, once seizing control of his mind when Steven started wearing it. It contains memories and engrams of the late Wilson Jenkins. Steven is still paralyzed with guilt at times over his actions.
Supreme: Supreme is the world's most dangerous terrorist. While Steel Commando has an advantage on the physical side, Supreme's ability to have a tool for every trick that he has is something that frustrates him to no end. Privately, Steel Commando has less respect and more hatred for Supreme than General Venom. Steven understands that Jack Washington may be a paranoid lunatic that needs treatment. Supreme, on the other hand, is just evil.
Last edited by Charles Phipps
on Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:57 pm, edited 8 times in total.