Steppenwolf is the son of the first Guardian Edmund, and the first Guardian to be properly trained for the role. He single-handedly used his new Chaos powers to defeat and imprison the Dark Legion in the Twilight Zone, saving his people from their civil war. Steppenwolf later became the forefather of the Brotherhood of Guardians. Though he has since died, Steppenwolf's legacy lives on in his descendants.
Steppenwolf grew up in a time of peace, maintaining a close relationship with his cousin Menniker and his uncle Dimitri, and was especially bonded with his loving father Edmund. Even during and after the accident that apparently claimed Dimitri's life (unknowing it lead to his transformation into Enerjak), Steppenwolf continued to love his father dearly, and as such was one of his staunchest supporters when Edmund was designated the first Guardian of the Floating Island; helping him with whatever duties to which he was assigned. (KtE: #1, #2)
Training and Becoming a Guardian
One such duty, which was the confiscation and storage of all Echidna technology, eventually gave birth to the forebears of the Dark Legion, who originally began as a separatist movement forming against the government's ban on technology. The Legion's activities soon led to seeds of distrust and discord being sown amongst it's population. Steppenwolf attempted to aid his father in putting down the problems caused by the Legion's activities by spying on one of their rallies, in the hopes of obtaining useful information. Steppenwolf was spotted however, and used a hovercraft to escape, with Dark Legionnaires in hot pursuit. After his craft was shot down, Steppenwolf hid amongst some fuel barrels as the two Legionnaires searched the crash site. Steppenwolf remained hiding, unaware that Edmund had been warned of his situation by the Fire Ant Christopheles and arrived on the scene. Edmund managed to knock out the two Legionnaires who had been pursuing Steppenwolf, but was subsequently shot in the back by another Dark Legion troop. As the Legionnaires departed, Steppenwolf finally came out of hiding - horrified to find his father's prone form on the ground. Upon realizing Edmund was dead, Steppenwolf cried, cradling his father's body and begging his forgiveness for his actions that led to his father's demise. Christopheles arrived on the scene not long afterwards and comforted Steppenwolf, convincing him to come with him to begin training to become a proper Guardian before tackling the Dark Legion. After some time, exercising his body and mind and immersing himself with learning to manipulate Chaos Force, the young Guardian eventually grew, maturing mentally as well as physically, and sharpening his mind and strengthening his body, to the point where he felt ready to take on the Dark Legion. (KtE: #2)
The Dark Legion Crisis
Steppenwolf returned to Echidnaopolis, only to find the situation had worsened, as the Dark Legion was now in open civil war with the rest of the Echidna population. Steppenwolf entered the High Council chambers as the Council frantically met to discuss the dire situation. One councilor; Garek, was outraged Steppenwolf had dared to show himself to them, and proposed to his colleagues they fulfill the Legion's demands for peace; by bringing Steppenwolf's head, and promptly pulled a gun. Because many felt Steppenwolf's family were responsible for the crisis, they simply stood by. Steppenwolf, however, readily marched up to Garek and pointed the gun against his heart and prepared himself for death at Garek's hands if it meant saving them all. Humbled by his deep commitment to his people, Garek was brought down to tears. Upon asking the High Council to leave the issue of dealing with the Dark Legion to him, he departed, with the Council's blessing. (KtE: #3)
Steppenwolf kept his vow and tackled the problem head-on, arriving and calmly walking to the center of the assembled Dark Legion horde, and attempted to work out a peaceful solution with the Dark Legion Grandmaster, whose identity was concealed with a helmet he wore. The unknown leader was merely using the discussion as a distraction however so one of his Legionnaire's could assassinate Steppenwolf with a sniper rifle. Steppenwolf realized this, however, and used his accomplished Chaos powers to melt the weapon in the Legionnaire's hands. Interpreting his actions as hostile, the unknown leader pulled out a pistol at Steppenwolf, and fought him. During the ensuing fight, Steppenwolf ripped off the leader's helmet, and was shocked to find it was Menniker. Demanding an answer to his actions, Menniker explained it was his deep loyalty to his deceased father and warped beliefs that Edmund has caused his father's death and Steppenwolf was no more a tool for his own late-father's ideals that led to his founding of the Legion. Sensing no way to help his estranged cousin, Steppenwolf called upon his link to the Chaos Emerald of the Floating Island to banish the Dark Legion to the Twilight Zone. (KtE: #3)
His greatest conflict with the Dark Legion over, Steppenwolf continued in his capacity as a Guardian. Early on, he thwarted an invasion attempt by Brutus Kintobor, an ancestor of Julian Kintobor. At some point, he married a female echidna named Eri-Ka and had a son he named Moonwatcher, who joined him as a Guardian. Steppenwolf would remain an active member of the developing Brotherhood of Guardians until his death. (KtE: #25, CSE)
Years later, his spirit appeared to Hawking to guide him to the afterlife, and he was one of several Guardians who appeared to a recently deceased Knuckles at his funeral. When Aurora's messengers arrived for Knuckles, Moonwatcher believed that they had come for Steppenwolf, but the older Guardian recognized their true intent. (StH: #121, SSS: #14)
After becoming a Guardian, Steppenwolf maintained a calm and collect mentality, even during times of crisis. Following the death of his great-great-grandson Aaron, Steppenwolf, though grieving for the loss of his family member, maintained a more neutral look, concealing his true emotions. (KtE: #3, #25)
Powers & Abilities
The first true Guardian to assume the mantle, Steppenwolf trained rigorously for an unspecified amount of time. Honing both body and mind to levels beyond average with guidance from the Fire Ants, he established a connection to the Chaos Force. At the same time, he also attained mastery of math, philosophy, martial arts, ethics and chemistry. He also had a form of telepathy that could cause individuals great and severe pain, which he displayed without a second thought on the Overlanders who plotted against the Island lead by Brutus. His powers of casting pain to them showed that there was more potential when the Overlanders pleaded for their lives and promised to leave, "You break your oath, and I swear you and yours will rue the day you were born."
- "Steppenwolf" is a German word meaning wolf of the steppe, sometimes also used for coyotes.
- Steppenwolf is the first Guardian to wear the mitten-like gloves which would be passed down to his descendants.
- Steppenwolf is the name a Canadian-American rock group that was prominent in the late 1960s.
A brown (or red) Echidna with bushy black eyebrows, Steppenwolf typically wore boots, gloves and a belt. His gloves were sometimes depicted as mitt-like with only the index finger separated. His short dreadlocks were adorned with rings, sometimes white, sometimes multicolored. He was once seen in a lab coat similar to that of his father Edmund. When older, his eyebrows were depicted as having turned white.