Metal Men

August 16, 2009

Metal Men 1It shouldn’t be this difficult to love the crazy Dr William Magnus and his Metal Men. Whenever they appeared in comic pages previously, they would bring a high-octane level of quirkiness in their adventures and dysfunctionality in the way they related to one another at work and at play. The metal-bots may buddy up in colourfully mind-dazzling ways like Mutant Turtles – cheap jokes included – but they also fight neurotically among themselves for the affection of their somewhat guiltily egomaniac creator, Dr Magnus. The young mad scientist openly craves this attention and, in fact, encourages the rivalry, making it ever so fun to watch the not-exactly-the-X-Men-or-the-Doom-Patrol team go on operations. Fun which, be warned, you won’t find here.

That is so unfortunate because Duncan Rouleau clearly puts in a lot of effort writing and drawing his wild zig-zagging time-travelling version of an origin story. The colourists and letterer are also determined to make their mark here, and, to be sure, they did an exceptional job. As art, the visuals are fiercely stunning, bringing an in-your-face quality that mixes Art Nouveau set designs and swirling technological circuitry, with a tinge of Japanese mecha manga. As plot, this story is thick with ideas, twists, and strange characters and does not believe in subtlety and innuendo at all. But, if you ever need proof that comics aren’t just pictures plus words, or that stories don’t lie in the techniques of telling them, or that packing in more can sometimes end in less, this book is your case in point. For all its bang-boom actions, it strangely doesn’t move. After a while, you get bored in its happy-coloured world of blandness because details are consistently being paid to the wrong things.

It shouldn’t be this difficult getting people to love the Metal Men. Even Grant Morrison knows it when his subplot in 52 involving the group, the basis for this “new” Metal Men, just plays up the various weird creator-creature relationships that it has. (In the current line-up, Platinum is now Platina and Copper is new.) But, as it turns out, you get more from a few pages of Morrison than in a whole 8-issue multi-chapter main-event book by Rouleau. Rouleau sadly doesn’t understand his own creations the way Dr Magnus does: he doesn’t understand characters. As such, the idea of robots here becomes all the more ironic. Any good writer knows that you don’t develop characters by throwing in more undeveloped characters, eg. the Robot Renegades, Death-Metal Men, future selves, it goes on. Without creating points for identification, all these will soon sound alike in acting alike – and they painfully do. So when does this promising-looking book start going so wrong? I just realise that it may have begun with an introduction written by a Caltech scientist with more to say about his own lab’s objectives. Well, this could have been Caltech’s annual report for all I care.

Gweek rips the periodic table into 5 pieces.


22 Responses to “Metal Men”

  1. 336 Says:

    Classic Comics Online…

  2. ~autolycus Says:

    Yeah, this one was horrible. Basically, the MM were treated like robotic X-Men. Not a shred of character, and a plot that was thinner than thin.

  3. Gweek Says:

    and i so wanted to like this book. i’m hoping for a reboot.

  4. What happen to your facebook account?

  5. Gweek Says:

    it got disabled under clearly false claims of having objectionable content. i have reported to Facebook, and it’s taking its time to reply.

  6. When I set my fb status to “Is the Cultural Mandate illegal under the MRHA?”, I received a warning. The warning disappeared after I entered a new status.

  7. Gweek Says:

    really?! interesting: does Facebook outsource its policing to a local agency, or is this done from the US? if what you say is true and what i am experiencing is tied to my views, then there is something foul going on. “objectionable content” is defined by Facebook in legal terms that do not include what we are saying.

  8. Puay Kian Says:

    FB has easily more than 20m of active users. It’s totally impossible for them to go through all the emails. Chances are the email you received might be auto generated by system. The “objectionable content” might be detected by the system too! Might be some words you used or some pic you or someone posted. The easier way to go about it is to create a new account with a new email id. Your old email id might already be banned..

    view from a IT person.. 🙂

  9. Puay Kian Says:

    ok. withdraw my comments. just tested FB by sending them a non-standard question, I got a person to reply my email!…

    I’m impressed. 🙂

  10. Gweek Says:

    so how come i’m still not getting a personal reply? user discrimination!

  11. Puay Kian Says:

    create a new account lah.. faster..

  12. Gwee, I am sure an IT guy will reply if the email sender is female. Wahaha…

  13. Gweek Says:

    that’s true, donaldson…! puay kian, you’re not allowed to have a 2nd account with inadequate/false info.

  14. Puay Kian Says:

    Don’t need false info. Just a different email id. the rest can remain the same. I am a IT person. We communicate the same language. Trust me lah. There is no where in FB stating that you can’t create two accounts. I have friends with two facebook accounts. One is connected with Family. One is connected with Friends and colleague.

    Donaldson, btw, the person reply me is a lady with name Amanda.

  15. Puay Kian Says:

    Gweek.. you didn’t get a reply might due to “objectionable content” is too complicated. They might need approval. They might need investigation. That depends on the internal process flow. Never give the IT person too complicated problem. They normally solve the easy problems first. Are you aware that your account looks like being remove from the system? We can’t search Gwee Li Sui any more. This look serious to me. In the world of IT, it is easy to create. It’s always difficult to re-instate.

  16. Gweek Says:

    errr i dun understand. why is it difficult to reinstate especially when removal was made under false pretext probably by HYPOCRITICAL FUNDIES?

  17. Puay Kian Says:

    Because the system might have set some rules on deleting your account and these rules are there might due to some legal compliance. So, once you trigger it, the action is activated. If you want to re-instate, firstly, I’m not so sure is there any existing procedure to re-instate. If there isn’t and the case fall under an inexperience person. You can wait for your whole life. If there is some kind of procedure, chances are, the procedure need qualification and approval. The person need to have time to read your case to get convinced that the false pretext was not made by you. And, the person might need to escalate to someone else for approval. So, the process will take time.

    If there are more than 20m of active FB users, you can imagine the amount of emails flood to them daily. After few days, your case might already be forgotten..

    Anyway, you didn’t pay for the service. There is no strong motivation for them to solve the problem. This is one of the major problem for cloud services like this.

    In short, it’s easier to create a new account.. 😀

  18. Gweek Says:

    no what: i went to the help site on disabled accounts, and a few people said that they got reactivated rather promptly. others said they didn’t get a reply for months. in any case, those who were helped seem to be mostly women. donaldson’s point proven again.

  19. Gweek Says:

    i may not pay for its service, but i can announce how unreasonable, tyrannical, discriminatory, thoughtless, unhelpful, arbitrary it is. if i can get 100 people to join, i can get 100 people out: then its advertising power will be diminished by 0.000000001%.

  20. Puay Kian Says:

    Out of curiosity, did some quick check on the help centre. I took some of the email id which got disabled and did a search. Quite a bit of their accounts had already got re-instated. Those accounts I picked was couple of weeks back. So, you should have a good chance to get your account back. Keep writing to them and wait for few weeks.

    I suspected there are some programming bugs that got mixed up on the rules. Hopefully it’s not a new bugs and u got good chance to get your account back earlier.

    Those account I picked to check and got re-instated are all male!

    My occupation hazard.

  21. Gweek Says:

    few weeeeeks errrrrghhh i think it needs to hear more from the ground. i can give it a few tips or 2… but i charge 🙂

  22. Loffrobia Says:

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Christian, Satellite Direct Tv

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