Earlier today, news leaked that Men in Black Director Barry Sonnenfeld’s long rumored “classic” DC Comics movie was none other than The Metal Men (which you can read more details about over at MTV Splashpage!). This left some superhero fans scratching their heads, wondering who these guys actually are. Wonder no long, head scratchers! Here’s your rundown of everything you need to know about DC Comics’ metallic heroes.
Created in 1963 as a bit of a lark, the Metal Men turned out to have far more – and somewhat less – staying power than the Publisher expected, eventually turning up dozens of times in everything ranging from guest appearances, to anchoring several short lived series of their own. And, there’s been several different iterations of the team that we’ll run down, though the core of the characters has always remained constant.
- The Metal Men were created by good(ish) guy mad scientist Professor Will Magnus. Think Powerpuff Girls’ Professor Utonium, but slightly more prone to having sex with robots.
- Though the details of their origins and roster have varied, The Metal Men were always robots with the properties of the metal they were made of. So Gold is stretchable, Iron strong, and Platinum deluded into thinking she was a real woman, and in love with Professor Utonium. Yup, just like the actual metals themselves.
Seriously though folks, the rest of the roster is usually made up of:
Lead - Also strong, and kind of dumb; can block radiation.
Mercury - Hot-headed, can also get hot, melt, and reform.
Tin - Nervous, stutters, but smart.
There have been other Metal Men throughout history, including: Copper, a sassy female robot; Nameless, another female robot created by Tin; and Veridium, which was a robot body Dr. Magnus transferred his brain into right before he died, but that turned out to be a dream, so never mind.
Additionally, like Voltron and Power Rangers before them, the Metal Men can join together to form a massive robot called Alloy... But like Voltron and Power Rangers before them, they always save this for the final fight for some reason, rather than doing it immediately.
We did mention there have been variations on the origin, and this is key to understanding where future iterations of the Metal Men could go. The original origin of the team was that they were robots outfitted with “responsometers,” essentially an early form of AI that let them move fluidly, and have personalities reminiscent of human beings. In the ‘90s, it was retconned so that the team was now given personalities due to a lab accident that transferred the brains of most of Magnus’ friends and family, as well as a pizza delivery boy, into said robot bodies. Later, it turned out that was just Magnus being crazy. Even later, it turned out that responsometers were more like virtual souls, and The Metal Men were essentially alive. Soon after that, their series was cancelled. Again.
The only other key detail of the Metal Men mythos is that they once were given polar opposites, The Death Metal Men, by Magnus’ own polar opposite, evil mad scientist T.O. Morrow. The Death Metal Men were corrupted, radioactive versions of the originals, and fought them to a stand-still. So that was pretty cool.
So what form will The Metal Men take in the future? And what will their origin again be changed to? Hopefully, they’ll be chunks of metal who’s consciousness is sent into fleshy human bodies. That would be pretty funny.