Mike Steel was an engineer, scientist, and pilot before gaining his superhuman powers. With his teammates, he attempted to duplicate the original rocket flight of the Fantastic Four through a cosmic ray belt, and gained superhuman powers just as the Fantastic Four did. His team then first battled the Hulk, although during the battle Ironclad lost control of his powers and sank into the ground. His teammate X-Ray bombarded the spot where he had sank with cosmic rays, boosting Steel's power until he could control it and dig his way back out to be reunited with the U-Foes. They again battled the Hulk and this time defeated him. In triumph, they exhibited the captive Bruce Banner on national television. However, Banner was freed by Rick Jones, Betty Ross, and the alien Bereet, and Banner transformed into the Hulk and defeated the U-Foes. With the U-Foes, Ironclad later escaped a special government prison, but was accidentally "deflected" by team leader Vector into the Crossroads dimension. There, he battled the Hulk and defeated him with the help of the alien Puffball Collective, though he became trapped in a dimension of quicksand. Ironclad eventually escaped back to the "Crossroads" dimension, and with the U-Foes he made it back to Earth through a dimensional warp unintentionally opened by the mutant Portal. The U-Foes battled the Avengers and Puma, and Ironclad was defeated by Captain America and Gilgamesh.
Some time later, alongside other superhuman criminals, Ironclad attempted to escape from the Vault, and battled the Avengers and Freedom Force. Alongside Electro, Ironclad sided with Thunderball against Venom for leadership of the convicts. Ironclad was later freed from the Vault, and with teammates Vapor and X-Ray, Ironclad attacked the Avengers West Coast, mistakenly believing they had killed Vector. Vector then reappeared alive and well, and led his teammates in a strategic retreat. With the U-Foes, Ironclad later attacked a New York hospital in search of Charles Little Sky (who was now known as Portal), where they battled Darkhawk, Daredevil, and Captain America.
Ironclad's body has been bombarded with cosmic rays far greater then that of The Thing, since then his teammate X-Ray has once more bathed him in cosmic rays so as to achieve better control over his powers.
Metallic-Armored-like Skin: Ironclad's body is covered in a metallic-like and remarkably tough armored skin.
- Superhuman Strength: He possesses super-human strength (around 85 -90 tons), but nowhere near to the same level as the Hulk, a fact that he seems to be unable to accept.
- Superhuman Durability: The metallic-like composition of Ironclad body renders him highly resistant to physical injury. His body can resist extremely powerful impact forces, such as the force of the Hulk's punches (the Hulk can lift/press far above 100 tons making his punches devastatingly strong). His body can also withstand extreme temperatures ranging from -75 degrees to 800 degrees Fahrenheit for up to one hour before exposure or heat prostration occurs.
- Mass/Density Manipulation: The ability to increase or decrease his weight allowing him to hover in the air, or weigh as much as a mountain.
Expert Pilot: Michael "Mike" Steel is an exceptionally skilled and experienced pilot.
Rocket Scientist: Michael built and piloted a space craft into the cosmic field that created him.
Master Combatant: Ironclad is a good hand-to-hand combatant.
An influx of cosmic radiation can cause a temporary loss of control to his density, causing Ironclad to increase in density until he sinks into the ground. However, it can also increase his strength exponentially, to the point that a collision with the Hulk generated a multiversal chaos. His teammate Vapor once melted his skin.
- Ironclad was based on The Thing.
- Ironclad cannot resume his normal human form at will.
- 65 appearance(s) of Michael Steel (Earth-616)
- 10 minor appearance(s) of Michael Steel (Earth-616)
- 30 image(s) of Michael Steel (Earth-616)