All-New Invaders#12 image

SIR STEEL

Real NameNed Chapel (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human (World War I era);
    British citizen

Occupation: Costumed hero;
    manor blacksmith to the Armatage estate

Group MembershipFreedom's Five  (Crimson Cavalier (Jean-Luc Batroc), (Phantom Eagle (Karl Kaufmann), Silver Squire (Clarence Armatage), Union Jack (Montgomery, Lord Falsworth))

AffiliationsIron Fist (Orson Randall), Silver Squire, Eben Stafford and his men

EnemiesThe Central Powers of WWI and their agents, including Baron Blood (John Falsworth);
    Martian Masters
;
    possibly Urusla Frankenstein and her monstrous corpse soldiers
unmasked - closeup

unmasked - less close

Known Relatives: None

AliasesHugh Fitzwilliam Dare

Base of Operations: Europe, World War I era

First Appearance: Invaders I#7 (July, 1976)

Powers/Abilities: Sir Steel wore a suit of enchanted armor (whose properties are unrevealed, but presumably granted enhanced durability as he spoke of drawing fire with impunity) and brandished an enchanted sword (which was able to cut into the metal legs of the Martian Masters' tripods).

Hair: Gray/silver
Eyes: Light blue

action, with Squire

History
(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) - Ned Chapel, manor blacksmith of the Armatage estate, was gifted with the enchanted armor of Sir Steel, England's fabled white knight. As Sir Steel, Chapel took on the young Clarence Armatage as his Silver Squire.

(Invaders I#7 (fb)) - In the latter days of World War I, Sir Steel and his sidekick the Silver Squire joined a team of fellow costumed heroes called "Freedom's Five." Their teammates included Union Jack, the Crimson Cavalier and the Phantom Eagle.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) - Freedom's Five had an adventure, where Sir Steel came at their opponents straight on, getting their attention and drawing their fire, while the others took their opponents by surprise from the flank.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) - Silver Squire received unspecified injuries and was tended to be Dr. Pilate.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) - During this time, Iron Fist (Orson Randall) served as the Silver Squire's temporary replacement in Freedom's Five. 

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) <October, 1917> - Sir Steel was present during a Freedom's Five -- joined by Iron Fist (Orson Randall), but lacking Phantom Eagle and the Silver Squire -- meeting regarding the threat of Ursula Frankenstein (who was apparently creating "monstrous corpse soldiers using some kind of mad science")  which was interrupted by notification of the threat of the Martian Masters.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb)) - As Freedom's Five confronted the Masters, Sir Steel and Iron Fist attacked a tripod, while Crimson Cavalier and Union Jack engaged the armored Masters. While slashing at a tripod's leg, Ned responded to Union Jack's discussion of their foes being from Mars (as they resembled those from an attack about a decade ago), vaguely recalling it, although only hearing a whisper of it at the manor growing up. 

    Soon after, all members appreciated the timely arrival of the Phantom Eagle who cut down a number of the Masters. 

    Sir Steel encouraged the others as they achieved the final blows that broke one the tripod's legs. As the tripod shattered upon striking the ground., Ned noted that this was but one of many walking horrors.

    After a group of high-tech weaponry-wielding men under Eben Stafford arrived and attacked the remaining Martian Masters, the Masters vanished back to Mars, taking one of these high-tech warriors with him (I'm not sure whether this was supposed to be John Carter, or what....)

(Invaders I#7 / Vampires: Marvel Undead: Baron Blood entry) - Freedom's Five was often on Baron Blood’s trail, but always a few steps behind; actual encounters proved rare, fleeting, and never when Union Jack was present, until 1918, when Blood was sent to London to slay senior British government and military leaders.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) - Ned fell victim to the terrible influenza epidemic of 1919 and perished.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Frank Robbins and Vince Colletta.

The name game...

    Sir Steel and Silver Squire's real names were revealed in Baron Blood (Falsworth)'s profile in Vampires: The Marvel Undead#1 (December, 2011), chosen following consultation with creator Roy Thomas. The names were similarly approved by Lost Generation co-writer Roger Stern with the intention at hinting at a connection at the First Line's Templar and Squire.

In All-New Invaders #12, it is given twice as Ned Chapel and then later, once at the very end, as Ned Luddy in Montgomery Falsworth's diary. Editorial subsequently ruled that Chapel was the real name.
    Luddy is either an outright error, or perhaps it's a nickname, based on Ned Ludd and the Luddite movement? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/luddite

Obviously the civilian identity given for Sir Steel in All-New Invaders#12 differs from the one revealed in the handbooks. Three options suggest themselves:

(1) The name in ANI retcons the one in OHOTMU completely out of existence. He is Ned Chapel, not Hugh Fitzwilliam Dare. Possible, but a shame given the latter was chosen after consultation with his creator, Roy Thomas, as well as Roger Stern, co-creator of the similar "knight with a squire" hero Templar, a.k.a. Ian Fitzwilliam Dare.

(2) The OHOTMU name holds; the one in ANI came from Union Jack's journal, and was false, perhaps UJ protecting his ally's true identity in the event the journal fell into the wrong hands. He is Hugh Fitzwilliam Dare, not Ned Chapel. Feasible, but clearly not what ANI writer James Robinson intended.

(3) Both names hold - there were two Sir Steels, Hugh being the first, then incapacitated or killed (it was war, after all) and replaced by Chapel. Certainly possible - after all, UJ commented "How Ned Chapel was gifted with the enchanted armor of Sir Steel is a tale unto itself." 

Whatever the truth proves to be will come down to the choices of future writers. I personally prefer option 3, as it leaves all versions correct and perhaps offers the chance to tell the tale where the first Sir Steel passes his armor to the second.

Profile by Prime Eternal; updated/expanded by Snood

CLARIFICATIONS:
Sir Steel should not be confused with:


SILVER SQUIRE

(Clarence Armatage - see comments) The Silver Squire was the sidekick of Sir Steel, and like him, served as a member of Freedom's Five during World War I.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) - Clarence became the Silver Squire, aiding Sir Steel, aka Ned Chapel, who was the manor blacksmith of the Armatage estate 

(Invaders I#7 (fb)) - In the latter days of World War I, Sir Steel and his sidekick the Silver Squire joined a team of fellow costumed heroes called "Freedom's Five." Their teammates included Union Jack, the Crimson Cavalier and the Phantom Eagle.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) - Silver Squire received unspecified injuries and was tended to be Dr. Pilate.

(All-New Invaders#12 (fb) - BTS) - During this time, Iron Fist (Orson Randall) served as the Silver Squire's temporary replacement in Freedom's Five. 

(Invaders I#7 / Vampires: Marvel Undead: Baron Blood entry) - Freedom's Five was often on Baron Blood’s trail, but always a few steps behind; actual encounters proved rare, fleeting, and never when Union Jack was present, until 1918, when Blood was sent to London to slay senior British government and military leaders.

The Silver Squire wielded a shield and mace.

--Invaders I#7

Comments: Obviously the civilian identity given for Silver Squire in All-New Invaders differs from the one revealed in the handbooks. Three options suggest themselves:

(1) The name in ANI retcons the one in OHOTMU completely out of existence. He is Clarence Armatage, not Gordon Fitzwilliam Dare. Possible, but a shame given the latter was chosen after consultation with his creator, Roy Thomas, as well as Roger Stern, co-creator of the similar "squire to a knight" hero Squire, a.k.a. Ian Fitzwilliam Dare's son.

(2) The OHOTMU name holds; the one in ANI came from Union Jack's journal, and was false, perhaps UJ protecting his ally's true identity in the event the journal fell into the wrong hands. He is the son of Hugh Fitzwilliam Dare, not Clarence Armatage. Feasible, but clearly not what ANI writer James Robinson intended.

(3) Both names hold - there were two Silver Squires, Hugh being the first, then incapacitated or killed (it was war, after all) and replaced by Armatage. Certainly feasible, given the dangers of fighting in a war.

Whatever the truth proves to be will come down to the choices of future writers. I personally prefer option 3, as it leaves all versions correct and perhaps offers the chance to tell the tale where the first Silver Squire passes his armor to the second.















Images taken from:
Sir Steel/Silver Squire- Invaders I#7, page 17 (numbered), panel 2
headshots- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#13 - Freedom's Five entry
All-New Invaders#12, story pg. 1, pg. 7 (standing post);
    pg. 3, panel 5 (Sir Steel unmasked, close-up);
    pg. 4, panel 1 (action shot, with Squire);
        panel 2 (unmasked, less close);


Invaders I#7 (July, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Frank Robbins (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker)
All-New Invaders#12 (January, 2015) - James Robinson (writer), Barry Kitson & Marc Laming (flashback pencilers), P. Craig Russell (flashback inker), Emily Shaw (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)

Last updated: 09/09/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com

Back to Characters