Sunday, May 27, 2007

Rebuilding the Metal Men

I'm looking forwards to the new Metal Men series, mini or whatever it is that DC will be putting out soon. I'm not going to be upset that the characters are not mired in the Silver Age or have moved past the awesome Walt Simonson versions. For all I know the newer takes on the characters could be better than the originals! Who knows?

That said, I'm a little worried about the 2 new female robots that were introduced recently because they are so tough and no-nonsense. In fanboy-speak, they are feminists and therefore poor objects of desire, which will negatively affect sales in the long run. I always liked the old Platinum because she was a product of the Doc Magnus craziness infecting his work. Platinum was so sad and odd. When she felt all domestic and tried cooking some eggs for the Doc she accidentally released a super-amoeba that nearly destroyed the world. Yes, the Doc created the perfect wife/mom in his lab and screwed it up royally. No wonder he needed therapy.

A side note to DC, though. You really don't have to reboot and start from scratch every single character in your line. Sometimes the old versions work the best, okay? For example, I can think of a recent few attempts where the new versions were vastly inferior to the old series, namely Warlord and Deadman. While you are at it crush the urge to keep making them with that crappy Manga style art. It was unique and fresh in the 70s now not so much.

But a few things have to be clear for me to fully embrace the new iterations of the Metal Men.

One is that Doc Magnus has been long established to be a bit nutty. Having him go off his meds every few issues so he can be the "threat from within" isn't necessary. What is important is that insanity aside, the Doc has always been a Grade-A Jerkoid much of the time. Keep that up and his character will work out just fine. Being a jerk can cause more damage and catastrophic world-threatening events than just being pure evil, I know.

The other is that if even half of the craziness of the Silver Age carries over into the new series I'm sold!

Look at this page from Metal Men #1 (April-May 1963). An alien robot that self-identifies as a male desires a female robot to share its existence with. Unfortunately, it is unable to deviate from its programming and keeps manufacturing male robots. Repeatedly attempting something and receiving the same results when expecting another is the definition of crazy right there. Eventually the frustrated robot soon has an army of like creations and attacks the Earth, looking for a female robot to take home.

That is just insane. Bob Kanigher was a freaking mad genius and it would be a shame to dump wholesale what he did just because someone has a new vision. So I hope the new versions build on the old, but in a good way and not like the new Warlord did.

Hey, anyone else think that Gold would have made a great member (even maybe leader) of the JLA?



  1. Let's not forget the Walt Simonson drawn Metal Men where Doc's nutty episode this time is building the super-toxic Plutonium Man.

    Keep up the good work, Mr. Sleestak!

  2. Don't even get me started as to how they ruined Deadman.....


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