Archive for Metal Men



World War Hulk #5

It’s the last chapter of this series, as the mega-powerful Sentry shows up to try to take Hulk down. Completely spoiler-free review: There is a LOT of hitting.

Verdict: Thumbs up. There’s really no way they could’ve ended it with the big bang that ended every issue of this series, but I think it ended well. So many pure-action superhero epics end up devolving into plotless and characterization-less exercises in mindless brutality. This has been a high-quality and very exciting story all the way through.


Metal Men #4

Lots of stuff happens, both in the present and the past. The Proto-Metal Men defeat Chemo in the past, the current Metal Men have to deal with a new tendency to temporarily turn evil — or as they call it, turning into “radioactive werewolves.” On top of that, Lead has been transmuted into Gold and vice versa — so the old Gold is now a bit dumb and dull, while the old Lead is now a supergenius. The Missile Men make an appearance, though they’re now called the M-80s, Dr. Morrow is a robot imposter, and Dr. Magnus’ badass evil brother shows up.

Verdict: Well, I love the stuff with Lead, I mean Gold, I mean Lead… but the rest of it is confusing as heck. We’ve been told that this will start making sense soon, but if that’s the case, I wish they’d just published the full story all at once so I wouldn’t have to wait 30 days between chapters in the hopes that it’ll make sense. Thumbs down.


Titans East Special

Actually, I didn’t buy this one. The ending of this was telegraphed to just about everyone — they lined up a bunch of DC teenagers, including (ugh) Power Boy, Little Barda, the current Hawk and Dove, Lagoon Boy, Son of Vulcan, and Anima, and they just killed ’em all.

Why? I really don’t know. It’s not like the Titans haven’t had enough deaths in the past few years, what with losing Superboy, Kid Flash, Pantha, Wildebeest, Terra, and others. I think DC has a quota — “Must pointlessly kill X number of characters per week.”

One wonders if the people running DC right now are actually trying to destroy the company by killing off all their characters and simultaneously running off all their customers. Could someone please call Time-Warner Inc. and ask if they’ve checked in on their DC subsidiary lately? Maybe they’ll appoint a editor-in-chief who’s not crazy…

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Robot Rampage


Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #17

This, you’ll remember, is one of Marvel’s “all-ages” comics, safe enough for kids to read, but still fun for grown-ups, too. The stories don’t really fit into Marvel’s normal continuity, but you don’t need no stinkin’ continuity, do ya? The Avengers members include Captain America, Iron Man, Giant-Girl, the Hulk, Storm, Wolverine, and Spider-Man.

Oh, and this issue features a new writer — Jeff Parker left the title last issue, so now Ty Templeton has stepped on board.

In this issue, we get introduced to the Vision, an old Avengers member, an android who can change his density. But here, he’s a villain who takes over the Avengers’ HQ and tries to throw everyone out. Most of the action takes place during a power outage, so no one can see anything, no one knows who’s attacking them, everyone’s paranoid and nervous. It’s a very moody story, and feels like a Halloween story, even though there’s nothing outwardly spooky or Halloween-y going on.

I do have some misgivings about the story, because in Marvel’s normal continuity, the Vision was created by Ultron, one of the Avengers’ enemies, and the Vision in this tale has an origin completely different. On one hand, I’m disappointed that the character’s classic origin wasn’t preserved. But on the other hand, that would’ve required the creators to introduce Ultron, have the team fight him for an issue, then bring him back to create the Vision — for a comic that’s being kept free of continuity to make it accessible to kids and new readers. So I think I understand why it was done, even while the fanboy in me wishes it was done differently.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not perfect, but this comic has always been great, and I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.


Metal Men #3

Well, the Death Metal Men — Uranium, Thorium, Radium, Lithium, Polonium, Ferium, and Strontium — make their debut. The Robot Renegades try to fight them off and are generally helpless. Dr. Morrow reveals to Magnus that the Death Metal Men are actually the Metal Men with a few extra protons added (I don’t think that makes any actual sense, but it’s comic-book science, so we’ll roll with it). The Metal Men get reconstituted back to normal — except that Gold and Lead are now made out of each other. On top of that, there’s more time travel, more alchemy, an appearance by Chemo, and even more. Frankly, it’s confusing as heck.

Verdict: I’m not sure. I think thumbs down. Some of the stuff going on here really is thrilling. But good grief, it’s so confusing…

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Metal Militia


Metal Men #2

This one is probably going to confuse the heck out of you. It jumps around through four different timelines — one in which the Metal Men exist and are battling, of all things, a giant inflatable robot filled with poisonous gas; one in which Dr. Will Magnus hasn’t yet invented the Metal Men; one in which the Metal Men have been destroyed (no big whup — in the old comics, they got destroyed at the end of every issue), and Dr. Magnus is trying to recover their high-tech responsometers so he can rebuild them; and one with an evil time-traveling Dr. Magnus who wants to prevent the Metal Men from ever being built in the first place. It’s really very confusing — I’ve read the craziest time-travel comics around, and I still needed a map and pushpins to keep track of what was going on.

Where the story really shines, however, is in the characters. Sure, the Metal Men’s personalities are great, but Duncan Rouleau throws in a ton of great villain robots, including the Robot Renegades, which includes a Manhunter robot, L-Ron (who’s normally a good guy), Body-X, and Warbox, a bunch of guys who I’m assuming are going to be called the Alchemy Men, and the stars of this issue, even though they only appear on one page, the Death Metal Men.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yes, it’s confusing. But the Death Metal Men? That alone makes everything peachy-keen.

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Stand Up and Salute!

I feel like getting the last of my weekly reviews over and done with right now, so let’s get to it.


Justice Society of America #8

Our focus in this issue is on our purty, purty covergirl, Jesse Chambers, formerly known as Jesse Quick, currently known as the new Liberty Belle. This issue has some backstory to deal with first — the main villain in this piece is Zoom, who is the anti-Flash. He’s partially responsible for the loss of Jesse’s superspeed powers, and he’s the guy who demolished Damage’s face. The JSA is after him, but he’s hiding out in Atlanta, and due to an incident years ago where Damage accidentally blew up a chunk of that city, he’s not allowed to set foot anywhere in Georgia. But Damage wants to tear a chunk out of Zoom’s hide, so he goes in anyway. Now he’s got hold of Zoom and has built up a charge of energy that would kill thousands of people if he lets it off. Jesse volunteers to go in and talk him down.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s nice to see something here about Liberty Belle, who has been a complete cypher until now. That’s really the biggest irritant about this comic, though, because there are far too many characters who we’ve barely seen at all in the past eight issues. Where’s Jakeem Thunder? Is he a current member of the team? Where’s Sand? What’s up with his funky new costume and powers? Used to be, there were almost as many people in the JSA, and they were still able to keep us up-to-date with all of them — that doesn’t seem to be the case now…


She-Hulk #20

There isn’t much of a way to talk about this one, because it’s jam-packed with spoilers. Basically, Artie Zix, the guy who currently runs the law firm, reveals his secrets and gets our main characters to reveal some of theirs, wrapping up a number of old loose plot threads before the next storyarc.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Seems fine, but not particularly outstanding.


Metal Men #1

A very nice relaunch of one of DC’s most enjoyable teams. This one has lots of great stuff, from a return of some of the concepts cooked up during the JLA’s “Obsidian Age” storyline, to a giant robot made up of nanobots and evil toasters. We also see Doc Magnus before he had completely developed the Metal Men into the shapeshifting herobots we know and love, and we get to briefly meet a new Metal Man named Copper. And of course, the Metal Men end the issue completely destroyed, because that’s what the Metal Men do — they get wrecked whenever they save the day…

Verdict: Thumbs up, again. Duncan Rouleau is the writer and illustrator, and his art and storytelling completely overclock the specs on good, action-packed, charismatic fun.

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