|First appearance||New Gods vol. 1 #7,
|Created by||Jack Kirby (writer & artist)|
|Place of origin||Apokolips|
|Team affiliations||Darkseid's Elite|
Fictional character biography
As one of the New Gods, Steppenwolf (which is German for "Wolf of the Steppe," or coyote) is the younger brother of Heggra, and the uncle of Uxas (Darkseid). He is also a member of Darkseid's Elite. He leads the military of Apokolips and also rides a hover bike which may be at the same level of technology as Orion's.
Steppenwolf is one of the earliest survivors of Doomsday, the monster who once killed Superman. 245,000 years ago, Steppenwolf takes an Apokolips shuttle with Darkseid, Master Mayhem and a small crew to the planet of Bylan 5. The planet holds delicate natural materials Apokolips needs for weaponry, material which would be destroyed in the event of an invasion. The forcible marriage of Darkseid to the planet's princess comes to an end when Doomsday attacks. Master Mayhem is swiftly torn apart. Darkseid ignores Steppenwolf's orders to use Omega Beams and engages the creature in hand-to-hand combat. Steppenwolf sees the destruction wrought has doomed the planet and all who live on it. He teleports Darkseid out of harm's way, agreeing with Darkseid not to mention this to anyone. Doomsday escapes by stowing away on the Apokolips shuttle.
Most of Steppenwolf's appearances under the pen of Jack Kirby are in flashbacks: his debut, in New Gods #7, was a flashback story where he is introduced and helped Darkseid murder the wife of Darkseid's hated rival, Highfather. Highfather later tracks down and kills Steppenwolf in retaliation as the murder reignites the war between the two sides. 
Steppenwolf appears later when Mister Miracle gains godlike powers over life and death. He torments Scott Free over his role in killing his mother (or alleged mother figure as is claimed) and in return is physically tortured. Scott ends up healing him, instead of killing him as he desires. He is sent with Darkseid's legions. 
He is seen in New Gods V2 #6, with a new costume (a Kirby redesign for the figure's Super Power action figure). Though considered a "mockery", Steppenwolf is given the job of running Darkseid's military forces. He is later been seen fighting The Flash (Bart Allen) and the Justice League of America.
The New 52
With The New 52 reboot that takes place following the 2011 Flashpoint limited series, a new version of Earth-2 (home of the Justice Society of America) is introduced. In the continuity of that parallel world, Steppenwolf leads a massive invasion of the planet by Darkseid's parademons. Ultimately, Earth's heroes manage to successfully repel the invaders, but the Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman of that world are all killed in battle. Five years later Steppenwolf is apparently hiding on Earth-2, and there is a $300 million reward for him. He is eventually killed by that world's version of Superman, whom Steppenwolf had employed as a soldier and indoctrinated into fighting for Apokolips.
Powers and abilities
Steppenwolf is an immortal with superhuman strength, speed, endurance and reflexes. He is a highly talented military leader. He has served as the head of Apokolips' armed forces, and when going into battle personally often commands units of the dog cavalry, warriors riding enormous for the carnage and mass deaths he causes when he leads forces in battle. Steppenwolf wields various weapons, including a cable-snare in which he can entrap an opponent, and from which he can fire lethal radion beams. His main weapon is his electro-axe. He is a master swordsman and a formidable hand-to-hand combatant.
In other media
- Steppenwolf was seen in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Apokolips Now" voiced by Sherman Howard. He led a horde of Parademons against the city of Metropolis in his search for Superman. Steppenwolf's aircraft was then shot down by Dan Turpin (piloting an Army chopper) and fell into the ocean.
- Steppenwolf reappeared briefly in Part I of the Justice League episode "Twilight" voiced by Corey Burton. Retreating from an aborted invasion of New Genesis, Steppenwolf's ship was crippled and teleported, via Boom Tube, right into Darkseid's stronghold. Steppenwolf was presumably killed beforehand by the noble but otherwise merciless Orion.
- Steppenwolf appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Duel of the Double Crossers" voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. He appears as Mongul's champion of the arena Batman and some other alien gladiators end up fighting him. Steppenwolf was defeated when Jonah Hex came to the aid of Batman. Steppenwolf also appears in "Death Race to Oblivion". He raced on Mongul's behalf against the other heroes and villains for the fate of Earth. After losing the race to Batman, Mongul blasts Steppenwolf for his failure.
- There was a Steppenwolf action figure in the Kirby-designed Super Powers Collection.
- In 2010 Mattel released two versions of Steppenwolf for DC Universe Classics line, one in the original green Kirby design, and the red update as he appeared in the Super Powers Collection.
- Doomsday: Year One Annual
- New Gods #7
- "Mister Miracle" #4 (July, 1996)
- The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #9
- Earth 2 #1 (July 2012).
- "Justice League" Vol 2 #6 (April 2012)
- OAFE - DC Universe Classics 11: Steppenwolf reviews