For those still mourning the loss of Tony Stark and highly anticipating the upcoming Marvel TV shows Armor Wars and Ironheart, DC has even more metallic superheroes that you can look forward to. However, DC’s Metal Men are not just humans wearing protective suits, but are a team of six (and, at one time, seven) artificially intelligent cyborgs made of pure liquid metal who will soon headline what sounds like one of the most intriguing upcoming DC movies yet.
The animated Metal Men movie does not yet have a release date. That gives us plenty of time to get schooled on what we should know about these robotic vigilantes, starting with how they came to be.
The Metal Men Were Created By Dr. William Magnus
Created by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Ross Andru, the Metal Men debuted in the April 1962 issue of DC’s anthology series Showcase, which explains that they were invented by leading robotics engineer Dr. William Maxwell Magnus. It all started when he theorized creating artificial intelligence was pointless because all things already possessed intelligence and even personality traits that only needed something to wake them up, so to speak.
Magnus then developed a microchip he called the Responsometer, which, when combined with a certain amount of six different kinds of metals, animated the substances and gave them each a brain capable of independent thought. The six sentient beings that were born as a result came to be known as the Metal Men - each of whom possessed superhuman durability, elasticity, and the ability to shape-shift into a variety of forms. However, each metal reacted quite differently to the Responsometer, resulting in disparate personalities that reflect each member’s namesake metal.
Gold Is The Leader Of The Metal Men
Leading the Metal Men in battle (and in Dr. Magnus’ absence) is Gold, who is considered to be smartest member. Like the rest of the group, he is especially knowledgeable in chemistry related to the metal he was bred from, meaning he knows he's soluble to mercury, which is one of his few weaknesses.
Iron Is The Metal Men’s Strongest Member
Other than his vulnerability to rust without proper protection, Iron is not prone to many weaknesses. Hence, the courageous warrior could be considered the “Incredible Hulk” of the group, with the exception of having a good handle on his emotions, especially when it comes conflict that arises between his siblings.
Lead Is The Most Loyal, But Slow-Witted Metal Men Member
One Metal Men member whom Iron has a very close bond with (literally speaking, as they often combine to form various shapes to protect the group) is Lead. While he has no known physical weaknesses, is extremely loyal, and is consistently gung-ho about participating in combat, he is not the sharpest of the group when it comes to common sense.
Platinum Does Not Believe She Is A Robot
While still one of nicest and most intelligent of the Metal Men, Platinum (who also goes by “Tina”) cannot seem (or even refuses) to sense the fact that she is not human, which is why she is especially bitter about her unrequited love for Dr. Magnus. As a hero, however, she is practically unstoppable with an especially high durability and resistance to chemical attacks by comparison to her siblings.
Mercury Is The Most Hot-Headed Of The Metal Men
Despite her friendly demeanor, Tina has been known to butt heads often with Mercury - but then, again, so does everyone else in the group. He is very confrontational, believes that his feelings are rarely taken into account, and thinks he would make a better leader to the Metal Men. Of course, being a nuclear coolant still makes him a valuable asset to the team.
Tin Is Virtually Immortal, But The Least Confident Of The Metal Men
If only Tin realized how valuable he was to the Metal Men, he might not be so insecure and prone to frequent stammers. Luckily, he still comes through for his team in dire situations and is willing to give his life for them, not that he ever would have. He can be downloaded into almost any robotic device imaginable as long as his Reponsometer remains intact.
Newest Metal Men Member, Copper, Longs To Be Treated As An Equal
There was a time, before the Metal Men were reimagined with DC Comics’ New 52 reboot, when the group had a seventh member named Copper - a fact that the others would often tend to forget for whatever reason. Nonetheless, she sought their approval, especially from Gold whom she had romantic feelings for. This was much to the chagrin of Tina, which I cannot blame her for considering the robots are all technically siblings.
The Metal Men’s Most Common Foes Are Other Robots
Then again, Platinum Man (along with the other members of the gender-swapped team of Metal Women) was created by Dr. Magnus as a potential love interest for Tina before he later became one of their archenemies. In fact, the Metal Men have faced several other mechanical beings (such as B.O.L.T.S. and the Missile Men to name a few) or even some human mad scientists who hope to defeat the team with robots of their own creation. In other words, be prepared to hear the sound of metal clanging quite a bit when the Metal Men movie hits theaters.
The Metal Men Movie Has Been In Development Since 2012
Speaking of which, this upcoming animated films will not exactly be the team’s screen debut, as they have appeared in other DC animated movies, TV shows, and video games before. Plus, the idea to give them a movie of their own was first proposed by Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld back in 2012 with the intent to be a live-action feature. In later 2021, the project was announced as back in active development and reworked as an animated feature that would be headed by Ron Clements and John Musker - the Oscar-nominated duo behind classic Disney films like 1992’s Aladdin or Moana more recently.
Well, with a heavy hitters like Ron Clements and John Musker behind the wheel, the Metal Men movie could be a major turning point for the DC movies and for upcoming superhero movies in general. At the end of the day, a solid good time is all we can ask for.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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