Real name
Louis Crandell
Current alias
Lewis Randell
Shadow Squad
Base of operations
Britain; South America

Unusual features
Crandell's right hand has been replaced by a steel claw
Marital status
Former thief; former lab assistant; former government agent; former detective; former bounty hunter; former superhero
First appearance


Steel Claw1
Louis Crandell was working as a lab assistant to Dr Barringer when an accident took his right hand. Barringer replaced the hand with a sophisticated prosthetic, but another accident unhinged Crandell while also giving him the power to turn invisible if he received an electric shock, only his steel hand remaining visible. The deranged Crandell used this not terribly practical power to commit crimes until the balance of his mind was restored and he became a crimefighter, working for a Government agency called the Shadow Squad against threats such as the Ka-Magnon, the Lektrons and the Lactians. Eventually, he resigned and, after a brief career as a costumed superhero and then stints as a detective and a bounty hunter, relocated to South America where he continued to battle against injustice.
Steel claw

Crandell as a Costumed Superhero

Powers and abilities


Crandell can become invisible for short periods of time if he receives an electric shock. His metal hand, however, remains visible.


He later gained the ability to electrify objects with his hand, though this drained the power needed to keep him invisible. He also had difficulty controlling this power, though he discovered that rubber gardening gloves kept it in check.



Various tools and a radio transmitter/receiver, all built into his hand. The Claw can also be removed and operated by remote control.


Mini-missiles, a gun and a knockout gas spray, all built into his hand.


  • The Steel Claw first appeared in IPC's Valiant on 6th October 1962, and had a lengthy and more or less uninterrupted run until 1975, in both Valiant and other titles. From 1975, the series was reprinted in Vulcan and in 2000AD Sci-Fi Special.
  • The steel Claw has been reprinted extensively throughtout the world, particularly in Europe. In the 1980s, Quality Comics made a Steel Claw reprint series available in the USA.
  • Alternate versions of the Steel Claw appeared in Grant Morrison's Zenith series in 2000 AD and (as 'The Iron Tallon') in Alan Moore's Captain Britain series for Marvel UK. More recently, he was revived by US publishers Wildstorm (an imprint of DC Comics) in the 2005-2006 limited series Albion.


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