Spoilers ahead for Metal Men #10.
Metal Men #10 has a scene that is the exemplar of everything wrong with DC Comics. Will Magnus and his trusty disposable robots are gathered in S.T.A.R. Labs, meeting with a scientist. Platinum has been abducted by the perfidious Nth Metal Man, and the Metal Men are the brink of tearing themselves apart over internal disputes. They seem like they’re going to have a tough, intense, emotional story . . . only for it to be revealed that the Nth Metal Man has been using the psychic powers of Nth Metal to make the Metal Men turn on each other.
And isn’t that just the core of everything happening at DC, these days? We can’t have feelings, we can’t have the emotional cruxes that keep people at DC, and at comics in general, beyond explosions – no, instead everything has to be the result of some super-science cosmic nonsense.
Anyway, the Nth Metal Man goes into the Dark Multiverse, and it’s revealed that he’s the Dark Multiverse version of a robot copy of a Will Magnus that Platinum made back in the second issue of the original, 1960s version of the Metal Men, who then made his own evil Metal Men, and like you’d expect, decided to conquer the world.
And, again, isn’t this the perfect metaphor of all that’s wrong with DC? We can’t tell new stories – we can only have dark counterparts of old, extant stories, and our stories have to rely on a literally 60 year old story. It’s the type of comics storytelling that is least inviting to newcomers, and is, at least to me, least interesting.
Metal Men #10 is a comic that chooses to step away from interesting storytelling. It’s a comic that only exists to serve people who are already comics fans, and have been comics fans for decades. It’s a comic that sees emotion as a weakness, and chooses to blame any sort of meaningful character building on cosmic space nonsense. Honestly, it’s a comic that is just boring.
The Metal Men are a great idea. The disposable heroes, each fraught with this strange, Freudian psychosexual subtext. In better hands, this should be a great story. Dan DiDio, Michelle Delecki, and Sean Davis are not the right hands.
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