Dan Didio’s 12-issue maxiseries Metal Men continues this week, and in the sixth issue he delves into Tina’s origin and how she knows herself. It’s an interesting look at the man who made her and how her identity may be tied to an untruth. It’s a thoughtful exploration of the character that forces you to ask, “if everything you thought you knew about yourself wasn’t true, where do you go from there?”
This issue looks great thanks to the detailed look drawn by Shane Davis with colors by Jason Wright that make the metal in these characters shine. The juxtaposition of the detailed facial expressions blends well with the bright colors and shiny nature to the skin of the character. This plays into the odd interchange between Tina and Christina and just how inhuman Tina is, especially when she finds out the truth of what her creator programmed her to be.
Metal Men explores identity well
That is where this book truly sings. Regardless of the bigger plot, which gets a little development near the end, this is about Tina finding out her creator isn’t the most trustworthy person. She was led to believe she was built on a human who loved him but what Tina finds is disturbing. Finding out your creator has programmed into you a dream person rather than a true-to-form one is an interesting idea. Didio plays with Tina’s discovery well and bounces that off the inspiration for Tina in Christina cleverly.
There’s a psychological element that could work well in an episode of a Metal Men show. It’s also interesting to see how Tina’s discovery is not only an identity issue for herself, but a kind of betrayal with her creator, too.
There is also a B-plot of an upcoming threat to keep in mind. The design of the creature is interesting, although the reveal of it is quite strange with no sound effects (which the editor even comments on). Unfortunately, the plot doesn’t delve too deeply into Tina’s discovery. The reader needs to do the work in reflecting on the anguish and what it might mean rather than seeing it take place in some action on the page.
This is a decent issue that explores what it means to understand that what you thought you knew about your identity was wrong all along. The Metal Men are characters rife for character development and this issue is proof enough that more is better if given the chance to delve deeper into them. I’m excited to see what Didio and Davis do with issue #7, which reportedly will focus on animal versions of the Metal Men.
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