Metal Men

Metal Men
The Metal Men
The Metal Men: (left to right) Gold, Lead, Iron (back), Platinum, Dr. William "Will" Magnus, Mercury, Tin.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Showcase #37
(March-April 1962)
Created by Robert Kanigher
Ross Andru
Mike Esposito
In-story information
Base(s) Magnus Labs
Member(s) Original:

The Metal Men are fictional characters that appear in comic books published by DC Comics. The characters first appeared in Showcase #37 and were created by writer Robert Kanigher and penciller Ross Andru.[1] Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the characters have appeared in comic books and other DC Comics-related products such as animated television series, clothing, figurines and trading cards.


Publication history

1960s & 1970s

The Metal Men were introduced in the comic book Showcase #37 (as "last minute" filler[2]) as advanced artificially intelligent robots. Created by scientist Dr. William "Will" Magnus, the six robots were field leader Gold, strong man Iron, slow-witted and loyal Lead, hot-headed Mercury, self-doubting and insecure Tin, and Platinum, who believed she was a real woman and was in love with her creator. The group's personalities mirrored their namesake metals, being dictated by devices called "responsometers".[3] Each Metal Man also possessed abilities that reflected the traits of their namesake metal: Gold could stretch his form almost infinitely, Iron was super strong, Lead could block harmful radiation by morphing into thick shields, Mercury could melt and pass through small spaces before reforming and Platinum could stretch or flatten.

The characters featured in the following three issues of Showcase (#38 - 40, June. Aug. & Oct. 1962) and proved popular enough to warrant a reappearance in their own eponymous title. First published in May, 1963, the title ran on a bi-monthly schedule with original stories until Metal Men #41 (Dec. 1969). Issues #42, 43 and 44 (March, May and July 1973) reprinted earlier Showcase appearances and the first issue, with the title then on hiatus until returning with original numbering in issue #45 (May 1976). The bi-monthly publishing schedule continued until issue #56 (March 1978), when the title and many others were cancelled due to the DC Implosion.

The Metal Men co-starred with other DC heroes such as Atom, Metamorpho and Batman in The Brave and the Bold #55 (Sept. 1964), #66 (July 1966), #74 (Nov. 1967), #103 (Nov. 1972), #113 (July 1974), #121 (Sept. 1975), #135-136 (July-Sept. 1977) and #187 (June 1982). This trend was repeated with Superman in DC Comics Presents #4 (Dec. 1978) and #70 (June 1984), followed by an appearance in Showcase #100 (May 1978).


The group returned in another eponymous title: a four issue limited series (Metal Men, vol. 2, #1 - 4, Oct. 1993 - Jan. 1994) that featured a retcon of the characters' origin story. A laboratory accident transfers the intellects and personalities of Doctor Magnus' brother Mike, his fiancee Sharon, laboratory workers Redmond Wilde and Randy Pressman, Thomas Tinkham and a pizza-delivery man named Jack to blank robots (Gold, Platinum, Mercury and Iron, Tin and Lead respectively). During a battle, Gold is killed and Doctor Magnus mortally wounded, being forced to transfer his personality into a robot known as Veridium. Magnus then becomes the leader of the Metal Men.


The Metal Men then reappeared during the Infinite Crisis storyline (Infinite Crisis #1 - 7, Dec. 2005 - June 2006, Villains United #1 - 6, July - Dec. 2005), battling the O.M.A.C.S cyborgs and acting as part of a superhero strike force assembled to protect the city of Metropolis from the Secret Society of Supervillains. Several of the Metal Men appeared in Justice League of America #1 (vol. 2, Aug. 2006), with the events of the limited series eventually revised and presented as a delusion suffered by Doctor Magnus in 52, #22 (Oct. 2006).

The entire group reappeared in Superman/Batman #34-36 (May, July-Aug. 2007), having been rebuilt and upgraded and including a new female member, the sarcastic Copper. Employed by Lucius Fox as security for WayneTech, the Metal Men temporarily fall under the influence of Brainiac. The group starred in another eponymous limited series, running for eight issues (Metal Men vol. 3, #1 - 8 Oct. 2007 - June 2008). The brother of Doctor Magnus attempts to avert a catastrophic future and prevent the creation of the group, and uses a device stolen from the villain T. O. Morrow to change the Metal into evil, radioactive versions based on other metals, called the Death Metal Men. Doctor Magnus, however, is able to reverse the process and with the Metal Men defeat his brother.

The Metal Men also featured in a stand-alone story in the weekly publication Wednesday Comics (#1 - 12, Sept. - Nov. 2009), and co-starred in the first seven issues of Doom Patrol (vol. 5, Oct. 2009 - April 2010). This series was later reprinted in DC Comics Presents: Metal Men 100 Page Spectacular (2011).

The Metal Men appeared in Justice League: Generation Lost #10-11 (Nov.- Dec. 2010). Captured by villain Maxwell Lord, the Metal Men are reprogrammed and believe themselves to be humans living in a magical fantasy world. At Lord's behest, the brainwashed Metal Men attack the members of the new Justice League International (thinking them monsters), and merge into their alternate universe (from the limited series Kingdom Come (#1 - 4, May - Aug. 1996) persona Alloy, but are eventually defeated.

Other versions

  • The Metal Men feature in a combined form called Alloy appears in the limited series Kingdom Come (#1-4 May-Aug. 1996) and in a possible future in Superman: Man of Steel 1000000 (Nov. 1998).
  • Tangent Comics: Metal Men #1 (Dec. 1997) features a covert ops group called the "Metal Men" composed of six human operatives.

In other media



  • The Metal Men have a brief cameo appearance in the animated film Justice League: The New Frontier (2008).


Merchandise has included a collector's plate by Alex Ross, a PVC figure set, 2008 Heroclix "Crisis" set and DC Universe Classics line (Iron, Gold and Mercury).

Collected editions

  • The Metal Men Archives Vol. 1: Showcase #37-40, "Metal Men" 1-5, 244 pages, ISBN 1-4012-0774-X
  • Showcase Presents: Metal Men Vol. 1: Showcase #37-40, Brave and The Bold #55, "Metal Men" 1-16, 528 pages, ISBN 1-4012-1559-9
  • Showcase Presents: Metal Men Vol. 2: Showcase #37-40, Brave and The Bold #66, "Metal Men" 16-36, 528 pages, ISBN 1-4012-1976-4


  1. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1960s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Writer/editor Robert Kanigher and artist Ross Andru put a then-modern-day spin on robots with the exploits of comics' first "heavy metal" group, the Metal Men." 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ The DC Comics Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley Limited. 2004. p. 201. ISBN 0-7566-0592-x. 

External links

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