It’s the Metal Men vs Pink Venom! Well, that’s what it looks like in the penultimate issue of the latest maxi-series starring the world’s most human robots.
Series creators Dan DiDio and Shane Davis are nearing the end of their story, with the Metal Men trapped in the Dark Multiverse. The world of Plutonium Man and his twisted team of robots is threatened by the plots of evil goddess Perpetua and her even more macabre lackeys. But Plutonium hasn’t given up hope.
How the heck he expects an expert in AI to rebuild a whole world, Plutonium Man doesn’t say, but hey, he’s a little stressed. Also, distracted by his hatred of the Nth Metal Man.
OK, this isn’t really a jumping-on issue. But it is another great one, melding the original Silver Age continuity with the current Dark Metal event to remind us why the Metal Men, while never massive stars, are more than mere utility players in the DC Universe. Simply put, as well as being visually delightful, they’re always willing to do the right thing. You might think they have no real stake in the world of humans, but they’re constantly throwing themselves at the worst the multiverse has to offer. Yes, every time Gold, Platinum, Tin, Lead and Mercury have been destroyed, Doc Magnus has brought them back, but being destroyed is yet traumatic… and who’s to say this isn’t the time they don’t return.
With Plutonium Man having the upper hand, they’re forced to try their Hail Mary play, turning into the mega Metal Man, Alloy.
And yes, there is now a Metal Men dog, Rusty…. if he’s not in the next appearance of the Super Pets I shall be terribly disappointed.
DiDio’s script is nicely intense without being at all gloomy, there’s always a sense of hope. I especially like that Magnus drops the mask of dispassionate creator to show the Metal Men what they mean to him.
And Davis’s compositions and execution remain remain superb, with as much action on the faces of his characters as in the fight scenes. This is a seriously fun book to look at, with the colour art of Jason Wright being a further factor – the backgrounds pulse with strange energies while subtle lighting effects emphasise the robotic ‘skins’ of our heroes and villains. Travis Lanham adds his lettering talents to make the script looks its best… he makes the Nth Metal Man the sole Dark Multiverse character with an attractive signature world balloon – it’s more than actually readable, it’s a perfect pulsating pink.
As well as the creepy regular cover by Davis and Weight, this issue has a variant from the master, José Luis García-López, and colourist Alex Wright.
I’d be amazed were DiDio, Davis and friends – that includes editor Jessica Chen – to not stick the landing next month. If you’ve not been reading this series, and have a bit of spare dosh, why not spend the time in between catching up?