Reading DC Archives: Metal Men

aaaaaand we're back! It took some hot water, a little sweating, and a WHOLE lot of sleep, and even a bit of healing, but I am fine now! No more cold for Kevin, and the blog is back in town. . .

. . . hopefully for longer this time, too! Although with finals coming up soon, I won't be blogging so frequently as usual.

Anyways, in anticipation of Keith Giffen's Doom Patrol reboot with a Metal Men back-up, we are going to review today

DC Archives: Metal Men, vol. 1
by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru

all-american freedom fighters!

Metal Men is part of my attempt to read more DC books, and although I'm not too familiar with the main feature of the comic, Doom Patrol, I have enough faith in Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis to give it a shot.

In terms of Metal Men, I really liked them in 52, I have a couple Brave and the Bold issues with them, and the reboot from Duncan Rouleau that was really confusing.


WHAT IT'S ABOUT: I believe these are the first Metal Men stories. They draw on 50s-era sci-fi, so we're talkin' about animate, anthropomorphic metals having adventures against freaky robots looking for wives, huge radioactive manta rays, and vats of chemicals that somehow come to life. Think War of the Worlds. Think Forbidden Planet. Stuff like that, in Technicolor!

the soviet russian doll robot
They really went wild with these things.

Also, there's an introduction by Dan Didio, whether we like it or not. He talks about how Metal Men was the first comic that he really grew to love.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The stories get really repetitive! In every issue, they make some inane comment on how, "Shush Platina! Why do you keep acting like a woman, when you're really a robot!" or, "Oh, Doc! I can't help it if I don't act as the robot I am! You were the man who designed me!"

dr. will magnus and platina

Along with other lines, it gets incredibly, painfully tedious. It's like you're reading the same issue over and over again! Arggggh.

Also, there's pretty much no characterization beyond, "That guy's a jerk. That other guy's really timid. That one girl has a hopeless crush on Doc Magnus. Yeah. That's all." The status quo gets kinda boring, guys.
Mercury pretzel

I can probably chalk these complaints up to, different era, different audience and stuff. That is why I am not the kind of person who'd pay 50 bucks for a trade like this.

WHAT I LIKED: Everything is sooooooo crazy! The concept of animate metals alone, each with their own unique personality! The gallant Gold! The timid Tin! The douchebag-y Mercury! The reserved genius, Doc Magnus! And so on. Now what's really stretching it is that these so-called "responsometers" are what give the metals their personality, but that's pretty kooky on the kooky gauge.


LAST THOUGHTS?: The problem is, the concepts lose their novelty after a while, so you really gotta do something to expand more on this. Flesh out these guys and give them more than bare bones (sorry), and give me a reason to care about them beyond, "Hey kids! Look! Mercury can turn himself into a pretzel! Whooooah pretty snazzy!"

Hopefully J.M. DeMatteis can work some magic on this.

dr. will magnus

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