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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Location: The Negative Zone
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,556
Subj: Re: So: the New Metal Men
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 03:09:04 pm CST (Viewed 312 times)
Reply Subj: So: the New Metal Men
Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 09:15:31 am CST (Viewed 388 times)

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With the latest issue of JL we meet the new incarnation of the Metal Men. What's the the consensus on them? Personally I love the idea, their diverse personalities and unstoppable drive to protect others but not do harm. Sure the Doc considered them a horrific failure for it, but they really seemed like the embodiment of classic DC heroes of days gone by, always willing to do the right thing no matter what the personal sacrifice. They are the absolute opposites of the Crime Syndicate and despite the whole story taking WAYYYYY too long to play out in the Mighty Marvel Tradition their inclusion has given me a new interest in the story line.

I don't believe Magnus considered The Metal Men a failure as much as a surprise. They exceeded his expectations by a very considerable margin. The lovely thing about Geoff Johns' writing is that when he isn't obsessed with villains and moral bankruptcy he is capable of superbly crafting very human and heroic characters that you want to see more of. Characters like Aquaman and Mera, Stargirl, Mr Terrific, Kon-el, and now the Metal Men with creator Will Magnus.
Magnus has always been at odds with his Metal Men, often for different reasons from one decade to the next, but here Geoff Johns boils the crux his relationship with his creations, and the world at large, down to a modern context and the growing isolationism that technology is having on a section of society. Will Magnus is a loner, an isolationist, a man with little or no faith in other people as they have either left him disappointed or abandoned him. Science and The Metal Men offer him an outlet for not just his work on robotics intelligence but his own sense of disappointment in the human race and the need to create the perfect people - and this is what he has done with the Metal Men. It isn't so much that they failed to meet his expectations, rather that he has created 'people' who represent his ideal - squabbling individualists yes, but ultimately thoughtful, self sacrificing and compassionate to the world around them. It is the Metal Men's job not so much to serve this world around them but help Will Magnus to connect with that world and relearn to have faith in human beings.
I loved this issue unreservedly for those reason, plus I have a real affection for these characters anyway.

As you say the Metal Men are the opposite of what the Crime Syndicate stand for, a beacon of light going up in a world sliding into darkness. By using Victor Stone as an intermediary Johns makes a fine contrast to Will Magnus between the fusion of man to pure science, Cyborg is a walking embodiment of what Magnus is yearning for. But moreover Cyborg is the example of how science can be harnessed to serve man, and the wider world at large. He is perfect for the role of convincing Magnus to reconsider his position of non-intervention and the need for the Metal Men. Never has that need been greater than it is today...

A rather wonderful and uplifting tale about human nature, the effects of loneliness, and of one man seeking compassion in a world full of people who are too often incapable of showing it. All courtesy of Geoff Johns and Ivan Reiss. \(yes\)

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