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Showcase Presents: Metal Men, Vol. 1 Paperback – October 3, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (October 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401215599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401215590
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on December 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I guess one distinction between DC and Marvel Comics is that Marvel has been generally more successful with team comics. With the Fantastic Four, Defenders and the many incarnations of the Avengers and X-Men (including X-Force, X-Factor, etc.), Marvel has made superhero teams an essential part of its lineup. On the other hand, DC's record is a bit spottier. Sure, there is the Justice League, Justice Society and Teen Titans are notable, but even with them, a continuous run of more than a few years is rare. There are, of course, other DC teams that are truly second tier; one of my favorites of these minor league teams is the Metal Men; they may have never made a big mark, but they are still fun to read about.

The Metal Men are a group of six robots built by Will Magnus, each representing a different metal and able to reshape itself to adapt to various situations. Each has a "responsometer" that gives it intelligence and a personality. Gold is the most intelligent and the natural leader when Magnus is not around. Lead is somewhat dense, both literally and figuratively; he's good-hearted but not all that bright. Iron is the reliable strong-man of the group. Mercury is, well, mercurial. Tin stutters and has an inferiority complex. Finally, there is Platinum, the one "female" robot who is in love with Magnus.

The issues within Showcase Volume 1 introduce the team and highlight their first battles. Typically, they are opposed by other robots, either from outer space or built on Earth. Most signicant is Chemo, a giant toxic robot and various "relatives" of the Metal Men, including the ill-fated Uranium and the Gas Gang. Generally, Gold, Iron and Lead are the less interesting characters, with Mercury and Tin standing out more, and Platinum standing out most of all.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald D. Ensign on May 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In early 1962 I came across an issue of Showcase comics that featured an unlikely team of heroes called the Metal Men. This robotic team was the brainchild of genius inventor/scientist Dr. Will Magnus (not to be confused with Magnus the Robot Fighter that came out about a year later from Gold Key).The team consisted of six metal-related robots: Gold, Iron, Lead, Mercury, Tin and Platinum. The last three mentioned had their own personalities. Mercury was a hot-head complainer, constantly getting into arguments, especially with Platinum. Tin had a bad self-image, was always trying to prove himself, and was often the first to sacrifice himself for the group and Dr. Magnus. Platinum was the only "female" robot who was totally and unashamedly infatuated with her creator, Dr. Magnus. Dr. Magnus was frustrated with her behavior and blamed it on a faulty "responsometer." The other robots had minimal character--Gold was the noble, good-guy hero/leader, Iron the strong man, and Lead made up for his lack of intelligence by providing great shielding from assorted types of radiation.

The first Showcase issue contained the menace of a giant prehistoric flying Manta Ray that spewed out highly destructive radiation bursts. This harkened back to the giant monster movies of the period. While I found the concept intriguing, I skipped the next several Showcase issues. (I did get the Showcase Chemo issue. Chemo was a gigantic humanoid toxic waste dump that spewed out highly corrosive chemicals which threatened civilization.)

About a year later I purchased Metal Men #1. In this issue, another great menace threatened Earth-- this time it was the Missile Men. Once again I liked the characters and the concept but not enough to follow their adventures on a regular basis.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Simon on April 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Metal Men are a great read for anyone who's into the "Showcase Presents" collections. Created in the 60s by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, they feature six robots each with the properties of a different metal - ie. Gold is malleable, Iron is super-strong, and Mercury has liquid metal properties long before the T-1000 ever did. Together with their inventor Doctor Will Magnus, the robots battled threats of the day including chemical monstrosities and robot menaces from from Earth and outer space. This volume collects Showcase #37-40, Metal Men #1-15, and Brave and the Bold #55.

With every silver-age collection comes certain genre staples that today's readers will find somewhat repetitive and simplistic, yet I was amazed at how engaged I was with the Metal Men stories. Chief among the highlights is a loose sense of continuity between the issues that I didn't expect from this relatively "self-contained" era in storytelling. Though there are no year-long plot threads or epic story arcs, the events of one issue frequently affect the next one; so if Tin is left in space to contain some dangerous microbes at the end of issue 3, issue 4 picks up with the gang trying to rescue him. Or if the Metal Men are melted together into one alloy, there will be a story where Doc attempts to separate them first before things return to status quo. Platinum robot Tina is told by Doc that she'll be a museum piece in the early issues, and he actually attempts to donate her once before giving up on the idea. It's small stuff, but goes a long way in making you want to keep reading.

The Metal Men also build up a few recurring villains in the short span of a few issues, chief among them being the well-known Chemo, who debuted here.
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