Metal Men #5
The Metal Men are wrapped up in all sorts of controversy as Nth Metal Man is slowly but surely "infecting" the Metal Men with newfound autonomy. His motivations seem altruistic on the surface but behind the back of Doc Magnus, he's clearly working his own agenda. Tina is put in between the ire of Nth Metal Man and Doc Magnus, her loyalties being put to the test. Will her love for Doc Magnus win out or has she been rejected one time too many?
Meanwhile a robot convention across town has gone absolutely haywire, Tin and Lead are surrounded by the mind controlled minions of Mother Machine and pitted against their fellow mechanical hero: OMAC! When push comes to shove the Metal Men and OMAC are forced to put aside their misunderstandings and see if the nefarious machinations of Mother Machine can be thwarted.
This run of Metal Men has done a fine job of straddling the line between action, humor and decidedly darker themes, #5 is no exception to this. The battle between Metal Men, OMAC and Mother Machine exemplifies this perfectly. It’s loaded with fun dialogue but the stakes are never lofty. Seeing the horrors Mother Machine seeks to unleash and the desperation to stop her by the Metal Men and Brother Eye is palpable.
The more subtle and darker elements of the story with Nth Metal Man seeking to sow discord among the Metal Men is a bit more of a slow burn but it never gets tiresome. Following the earlier revelations that the Metal Men truly aren’t independent but rather had their personalities based on elements of Magnus’s own has yet to fully hit the fan. Yet knowing what we know and seeing how skillfully Nth Metal Man is at manipulating the situation will have you on the edge of your seat wondering just how Doc Magnus is going to get out of this situation unscathed.
Davis does an amazing job maintaining the conflicting mix of arrogance and aloofness that makes Doc Magnus the mad scientist we know and love. It organically builds up to this inevitable confrontation that we’ve been expecting since the first issue. The similarly subtle divisions both physically and emotionally between the Metal Men themselves and their creator promises to make for an interesting if explosive conclusion. When you picked up issue #1 of this series it was quite clear very early on this wouldn’t be the typical lighthearted romp we’ve grown accustomed to with the Metal Men. Why that matters is this sort of steady building to something so different is exactly how it should be done. It would have been an easy cop out to just have the Doc’s deception revealed right away and spend the issues having the Metal Men go off on some silly journey of self discovery only to return to the original status quo.
When such a shift is done with care as it is here, one gets the sense that Davis and Didio aren’t just shaking things up for a few quick laughs but truly building upon the Metal Men mythos and crafting a stand out chapter in their history. How this will all shake out remains to be seen but as is the reader can see that this isn’t just a quick gimmick but rather a lasting journey that will no doubt stick out in fan’s memories for a long time to come.
Metal Men #5 is a rock solid read that expands upon the often overlooked corners of the DCU. Metal Men #5 dares to ask, what if we took the Metal Men seriously and just what does that mean? Answer: plenty of amazing storytelling and fantastic art.
Metal Men #5: Heavy Mettle
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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