Thursday, September 7, 2023

Steelworks #4 Review


Written by: Michael Dorn
Art by: Sami Basri, Vicente Cifuentes
Colors by: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by: Rob Leigh
Cover art by: Eddy Barrows, Adriano Lucas
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: September 5, 2023

Steelworks #4 finds Silver Mist infiltrating Steelworks to steal John's new Zero Point energy reactor. The fight leads John to discover an unpleasant side effect of his new creation.
Is Steelworks #4 Good? 

Steelworks #4 continues to deliver a basic but solid story about John Henry Irons's attempt to build a better, safer Metropolis and the villains who mean to get in his way. Michael Dorn's script delivers a bit of action, multiple twists, and the potential for big battles on the horizon. That said, this issue may be the weakest of the series so far.

When last we left John, he had his hands full with a press conference to unveil his new Zero point Energy orb, based on Warworld tech that would lead Metropolis to a new Golden Age. Unfortunately, a phase-shifting thief keeps testing the limits of Steelworks's security measures, and the supers around John find their powers suddenly spiraling out of control.

Now, the phase-shifting thief, Silver Mist, makes an end run to steal the Zero Point Enery orb, and John figures out the Warworld energy is responsible for supers losing control of their powers.

Overall, this is an okay issue, but it suffers from a little bit of clunky confusion, which I'll explain in a minute. Michael Dorn pulls the back the curtain on one mystery (out-of-control powers) while introducing another (the last page reveal) and keeps a steady pace with good dialog throughout. In short, this issue is mostly good.

What's great about Steelworks #4? Silver Mist is turning out to be an increasingly formidable thief with potential in multiple DC titles. Where Marvel has multiple characters with phase-shifting powers in prominent roles, there hasn't been an active phase-shifter in DC for a while, so that's a pleasant change of pace. Further, the plan to steal the Zero Point energy orb is deceptively clever, so you can appreciate the mastermind (and Dorn) putting effort into the plan.

What's not so great about Steelworks #4? John pulls multiple bait-and-switches with fake orbs to fool Silver Mist, which is fine, but he has so many fakes lying around that you don't know which is the real one at a crucial point in the last third of the issue. Does John have the real one? Does Silver Mist have the right one? You don't know, and that confusion puts a damper on the ending.

How's the art? It's better than fine. Basri and Cifuentes deliver energetic action scenes, decent panel compositions, and excellent color application by Dalhouse. For a detective-ish comic, the art is pretty darn good.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Steelworks #4 brings one mystery to a close and begins a new one when John's new invention puts him and all the supers in the crosshairs of a vindictive industrialist. Dorn's pacing, dialog, and character work are solid, but John uses multiple red herrings in the last act, and it gets confusing.


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