RUN: 4 issues1993-94
KEY CREATORS: Mike Carlin (writer) Dan Jurgens (artist)
OUTLINE: The Metal men are revealed to be amnesiac humans
STANDOUT ISSUE: None
DUD ISSUE: The first issue is no worse in terms of story than the rest,
but is still my pick because it's saddled with a foil cover that
needlessly jacks up the price
OVERALL: At time time I originally wrote this review, I had just finished reviewing Challengers of the Unknown, which was a revamp done right. This is an example of a revamped done wrong.
The big appeal of the Metal Men was that they were these highly colourful robots (both literally and in terms of personality) who were in many ways more human that most actual humans. It was interesting watching the relationship between platinum and Doc Magnus and mentally urging Doc to finally realize that by rejecting Platinum because she was a robot, he was turning down a great lady. So there was a certain amount of examination of prejudice without any of the angst of the X-books.
So Carlin comes along and establishes they were really humans, thus completed destroying the metaphors in the concept and taking away what made them so special. It was like establishing that Bugs Bunny, Daffy
Duck et al are really humans: their colourful personalities are somehow less endearing if they turn out to be literally humans anyway.
I could probably live with the notion of Gold dying, but the revelation of the Metal Men's true nature is a serious misstep.
RECOMMENDED OR NOT? Despite some cute bits with the Missile-Men et al, no
CONTINUITY NOTES: The post-mini-series Metal Men later turned up in Legion of Super-Heroes. While I'm glad that this isn't being ignored entirely since I consider that a bit sloppy, I do hope it gets undone some day in a logical manner.