Metal Men #1 Review - What Does It Mean To Be Human?
• Dan Didio (Author) • Shane Davis (Pencils)
• DC Comics (Publisher)
It often felt like I was the only one reading and enjoying Dan Didio and Kenneth Rocafort's Sideways last year. That series started slowly as a Spider-Man clone but ended with Sideways having a distinct personality and backstory. By the end, I was invested in that character's growth and development. I saw that Dan was attached to this story and was interested but not interested enough to make the purchase.
What sealed the purchase was Will Magnus, creator of the Metal Men having a creepy monologue with one of his robots which appeared to be either be lifeless or worried about the mental state of its creator. I couldn't get a bead on what the hell was going on in the machine's mind but the page stuck with me.
It turns out that Will has been lying to his robots about the nature of their sentience since inception. Rather than being sentient beings they are all aspects of Will's own personality given form. When the secret is discovered and Will is confronted about his actions he activates a killswitch and shuts them down.
The Metal Men are essentially human so the idea of them being shut down and casually discarded is unnerving to see as a reader. The book continues with a discovery spinning out of Dark Knights Metal (Yes Dan is still mining that well). The reveal is fascinating and gives Will renewed purpose in his scientific pursuits.
I still consider myself a noob when it comes to DC comics lore so I have very limited experience with The Metal Men. Prior to this issue, I'd only ever seen them in one of the Amalgam books when DC and Marvel crossed over in the '90s.
The script is good, the art direction is also solid. Shane's linework is very detailed and the colors contrast very nicely to the dark undertones of the story being told. There are some really cool designs here, particularly the robot from the opening monologue. The character's eyes are screws but they are drawn in such a way that makes the machine appear to be worried, it's a really cool touch.
All of the Metal Men are new to me so with that blank slate in mind, I enjoyed this issue. It's different from the normal DC fare I'm reading and I'd much rather have a series like this than yet another Batman title.