Cliff is a former race car driver who got into a car accident. He was saved by Dr. Niles Caulder, who salvaged his brain and placed it into a robotic body.
At one point, Cliff was a famous race car driver. He eventually got into an accident, nearly killing him.
Living at Caulder house
In 2018, Cliff called Gar Logan out for leaving the house. When Gar claimed to have left just to get a new video game controller, Cliff pretended to leave, but he returned as Rachel Roth showed herself. He took the two of them up to the main part of the house, but as Cliff scolded Gar, Rachel went wandering, finding herself in the kitchen. Larry and Gar were in agreement about having Rachel stay for dinner, rather than Cliff wanting her to leave, so he resigned. During dinner, Cliff watched as Rachel ate her food, jealous that she could taste it. Asking Rachel what certain food tasted like, Rachel described it as best as she could. This caused Cliff to lament that he used to love the finer things in life, such as eating and dancing. When Rachel inquires why he doesn't dance, Cliff tells her no one would dance with what he is. To cheer him up, Rachel reassures him that she would and as an affectionate joke, perform the robot. Causing everyone to laugh and Cliff who has spent the entire night asking her to leave; to annouce she could stay. During dinner, Cliff witnesses Rachel interacting with Rita and helping her during her breakdown. When Rita composes herself, the Chief appeared, home early from a trip, and so the group went to assist him with a new patient, Shyleen Lao. Following this, they all sat down with Caulder for some tea, during which the doctor explained how they had saved them all. Later that night, Dick Grayson and Kory Anders entered the mansion, Cliff and Larry attempting to get rid of them. However, after the two helped to calm down an enraged Rachel, Cliff and company let them leave, suggesting Gar go with them and have a life.
Powers and abilities
- Cybernetic enhancement: All of Cliff's powers originate from his cybernetic components. The outer body shell is formed by multiple layers of special flexible ceramic metal.
- Enhanced strength: Due to his robotic physiology, Cliff is capable of lifting much more than an average human.
- Superhuman stamina: Due to his robot body, Cliff has no need for food or sleep and he does not tire.
- Longevity: Due to possessing a robot body, Cliff is immune to the effects of aging.
- Contaminant Immunity: Cliff's robot body grants him immunity to all known diseases and viruses.
- Skilled driver: Being a former race car driver, Cliff possesses finely honed driving capabilities.
- Swimmer: Cliff has mentioned that he used to swim before becoming a robot.
- Loss of senses: Without an organic body, Cliff had lost three of the human body's five senses; taste, smell, and touch.
- Taste: Cliff's robot body doesn't have a digestive system nor any tastebuds, so he cannot eat or taste food.
- Smell: Cliff cannot smell, as he has no nasal passage or equivalent sensor.
- Touch: Cliff cannot feel anything he touches as his new body has no nervous system. This also means Cliff cannot feel pain.
- Reduced speed: Cliff is slower than an average human since his metal body weighs substantially more than a typical human.
- Trauma: Cliff's experiences have left him very emotionally fragile and he still struggles greatly with the emotional toll of his accident, as well as losing his body and being unable to experience most of the typical human senses.
- Malnutrition: While being only a brain in a robot body, makes Cliff effectively immortal, his brain still requires nutrition to stay alive. His body is fitted with a nutrient tank to keep him alive. Any disruption of that tank can cause him to go hallucinate or worse go into a stroke.
Behind the Scenes
- In the DC comics, Cliff Steele is a member of the Doom Patrol known as "Robotman".