Thursday, September 14, 2017
The Uncollected - Metal Men!
I have to admit that I like Metal Men, or at least the notion of the Metal Men. Five distinctive robots seeking to find peace with the world and one another and at the same time save it from imminent destruction on a regular basis is a dandy premise for a comic book. But it's the personalities of these five robots, each supposedly derived from the nature of the metal which primarily comprises them. Gold is cool and adaptable, a proper leader, Iron is tough and strong and reliable, Lead is a bit dim but always ready able and willing to do what needs doing, Mercury is fluid and difficult, a good partner but one requiring patience, and Tin is the weakling but still possessed of an inner strength. Add to that mix the one female, the beautiful Tina and you have a proper crew run by their maker Doc Magnus, a genius with a keen understanding of science if not psychology.
Metal Men had a terrific run with writing by their creator Robert Kanigher and the art team of Ross Andru and Mike Esposito. Later Mike Sekowsky took command and tried to make the pure Silver Age heroes fit into the Bronze Age. It failed ultimately and they went into limbo, getting snagged by Bob Haney now and again to show up alongside Batman in The Brave and the Bold.
Then in the late 70's DC tried them out again in a new series, this with writing by Steve Gerber and artwork by an up and coming Walt Simonson. Under a Dick Giordano cover this was a handsome package, but Gerber gave way to Gerry Conway who likewise passed the baton to Marty Pasko. The art though remained steady with Simonson producing some amazing material and later when he moved on the series got handed to Joe Staton. Based on the artwork alone this series deserves a reprinting in a handsome trade. These names will sell, I know they will. Come on DC, do the right thing.