Star Labs scientist Dr Jenet Klyburn has called old associate Dr Will Magnus and his Metal Men to Challengers Mountain, where a figure made of the mysterious Nth Metal manifested briefly, calling for Will.
Soon, the Nth Metal Man rises, and despite the Metal Men’s bravest efforts, they begin to fall. Gold, though, isn’t giving up.
Will comes up with a solution involving technology as alien as the Nth Metal, affording time for a moment with Jenet.
‘Somewhere, in a dark, secure, undisclosed location’, a familiar figure bubbles back to life…
And a menace from the team’s earliest days emerges from the pit.
Well, this is a treat for longtime Metal Men fans and, indeed, devotees of DC history in general. Not only do we get the world’s most human robots back in their classic forms and Will smoking the old pipe – he never looks himself without it – there are two old enemies on the horizon.
Unbelievably, series co-creators Dan DiDio and Shane Davis use the Dark Metal business to spark this intriguing story, which is focussing on the contrast between the Metal Men’s manufactured humanity and their creator’s reluctance to embrace his own emotions. As ever, the lesson – and it’s one I never tire of ‘learning’ – is that the loyal, funny, courageous Gold, Lead and co are as human as anyone… heck, imagine Tina’s response were she to see Will’s chemistry with Jenet!
Good on scripter DiDio and artist Davis for giving us some fun along with the melodrama – that Harry Potter nod was an unexpected delight. As well as co-plotting, Davis is pencilling, and his layouts are terrific – intelligently composed from start to finish, with the action nicely paced. The characterisation is spot on, with the players immediately recognisable in the way they move and react. I also like the pinpoint precision of Michelle Delecki’s inks, while colourist Jason Wright’s subtle shades make for outstanding facial modelling and the letters of Travis Lanham further enliven the pages.
And extra points for the excellent presentation of a plaid suit and Paisley tie, Davis seems to be one of the few artists in comics who understands how clothes hang on a person. Never has Will looked so natty!
I did giggle at the phrase ‘undisclosed location’. You would think an omniscient narrator would know these things!