‘The Forever Evil’ crossover continues with an interesting side tale in which Cyborg goes to recruit a team to help him fight back against the Crime Syndicate and turns to decidedly youthful Will Magnus, who comes across as far from the sometimes crotchety father figure he was in old continuity. Cyborg needs Magnus’ creations, the Metal Men to assist him, but Magnus refuses and we flash back and see the team’s New 52 origin.
Their origin is much more modern and detailed, based on good ol’ comic book science that though it isn’t real, sounds convincing. What made the Metal Men fan favorites was their distinct personalities, which remain intact, just updated and modernized: Gold is truly a a vain “golden boy”; Tin’s stutter is explained as caused by a impaired vocal programming, but he remains as humbly altruistic as ever; Lead is big and slow both physically and mentally; Iron is the tough guy, coming across like a rowdy college football player/frat boy; the liquid Mercury is elitist and fay; and Platinum of course is flirty and has a crush on Will.
These robots were funded by the military and though they were intended to only be used as explorers to send to locales too dangerous to send humans, that’s not exactly what the military intends to use them for, as they are to be sent to assassinate foreign leaders. But the robots have a mind of their own and escape. A mysterious figure uses Will’s technology to create the team’s famous nemesis Chemo. Unfortunately, just like in the old comics, the heroes don’t survive, sacrificing themselves to stop the threat, but unlike the old comics, Magnus is so devastated by the loss, he vows never to recreate them.
This reboot was a lot of fun. It was much more faithful to the spirit of the original comics than the recent Shazam! make-over. It retains the spirit of the originals, but updated in a more positive manner for a modern audience. And the designs of the robots was stellar! It makes me want action figures of them!
HOWEVER, ummm… Platinum was already re-introduced, in THIS series, in a story written by Geoff Johns. And her depiction there was pretty much the opposite of the version presented here. But I’m going to trust Johns to reveal the real truth with time.
All in all, though this was a side-story of sorts and didn’t really feature the actual Justice League, which is the main attraction, I found it to be a great fill-in, with excellent as always art by Ivan Reis with Joe Prado and Scott Hanna.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #28
Written by Geoff Johns
Layouts by Ivan Reis
Finishes by Joe Prado and Scott Hanna
Cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Rod Reis