Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Senses-Shattering Saga of the Metal Men, Part 7!

Remember when I said issue #6 was the most ridiculous story yet? That's basically a meaningless description, as it applies equally to every issue.

I've mentioned this before, but one thing I like about these covers is how handy they are -- you're basically told what's gonna go down in the issue, and exactly what's at stake. In this case, a little blind boy's life is at stake. I bet the roller coaster can't actually see anything behind its face and it just feeling blindly with those pincers.

I think we're officially past the "first page is another angle of the cover" phase, which I have mixed feelings about. Eh, I guess it's cool to have more variety and not see the same image three times in one story.

If you've guessed that this issue is cheesy and melodramatic, then you understand exactly as much about it as I do. So as the story begins, some kids are headed somewhere to see the Metal Men, who are doing some charity benefit show or something. Timmy, the blind kid above, however, doesn't think there's much point in him coming, and angsts about his condition. The actual Metal Men drive past (at street level!) in one of Doc's  flying saucers, running late, when Platinum sees Timmy all alone and tries to talk to him, but he blows her off without realizing who she is.

At the show, the Metal Men basically show off their properties and powers. For instance, Gold turns himself into a stack of giant coins, which all have his face on them, and flips them Iron's way -- to show off both Gold's malleability and Iron's strength. Tin, however, has something to prove as usual, and is flattened trying to catch the coins. The audience loves it, probably thinking the pratfall was 'scripted'. When it's Platinum's turn to show her stuff, however, she rushes back to where she saw Timmy; she can't stop thinking about that poor lonely kid and wants to keep him company.

Talking to him, she realizes he's blind; when he touches her face, he realizes she must be Platinum of the Metal Men, and assumes the others are there with her. In a real heartwarming moment, they show up just then.

Mercury isn't toxic, right? Because this kid totally touches him. He gets to feel every one of the Metal Men and acquaint himself with who is who. Timmy's mother shows up and tells Doc that he's her son's hero, and how cool he thinks the Metal Men are -- and, in a plot point that I imagine is to be revisited later, mentions that a cure for his blindness may lie in new chemical compounds (or so the doctor says). Doc, who has been a real sweetheart all issue, decides to treat Timmy to a day with the Metal Men.

However, Doc's good cheer evaporates when Platinum starts yakking in his ear. They start their usual argument, and I have to wonder how Timmy feels when he sees them like this. Platinum promised Timmy that Doc would be able to cure his blindness, so once they get back to HQ Doc heads to his lab to see if he can find anything or work something up (however much he doubts it).

With the Metal Men unsupervised, they naturally do something stupid: let Timmy play around in one of Doc's space rockets! They don't just let him fiddle with the controls, they let him seriously launch it. I'm wondering how we're ever going to get to the evil amusement park from here. Something goes wrong and the rocket won't return to Earth -- and then it starts going bananas due to "cosmic turbulence". Tina forms a wire cage to shield Timmy from the other Metal Men as they bounce around.

They end up landing on some unknown planet. Platinum manages to spin this as a good thing for Timmy -- not only did he hang out with the Metal Men, he'll be the first boy on whatever planet this is! Surprisingly, this is the location of the evil amusement park seen in the opening and first page. Timmy's having an absolute blast and is really into visiting the alien theme park; he's told it's just like Coney Island, which excites him because he always wanted to go to the real one but his mom thought he might get lost or disoriented in a big crowd.

Lead and Tin's speech impediments seem to come and go this issue, I just noticed. Anyway, the Metal Men remark that the rides are weird as hell, and don't have motors or controls that they can see. They all climb into the roller coaster, but there's no lever to pull to start it -- it just starts moving when Timmy wishes it would. Gold theorizes that the rides are living robots, like themselves, which is borne out when the roller coaster sprouts arms and tries to kill them!

As we've come to expect, Self-Sacrifice Theater commences when everybody starts bailing. Lead, Tin, and Iron all try to stall the arms long enough for the others to get free, but ultimately they all manage to get out okay. Timmy, as on the cover, asks Platinum to not bother with him, considering himself a hindrance, but obviously she's not hearing that. Just as soon as everyone's safe, peril strikes again.

Lead and Iron turn into missiles themselves to combat the air-to-ground assault, after Timmy again insists he be left behind for the sake of the group. I think it's kind of a cheat to have any of these guys turn into something like a rocket; they're just solid metal, they can't propel themselves through the air. After fighting off the Ferris Wheel, the Metal Men are all blinded by the giant flashbulb as they pass the photo booth -- meaning Timmy is now essential to their survival!

Timmy expertly guides them back to the rocket, but the rides from the park have decided to stop messing around, and are just running after them. The issue ends as they're about to board the rocket, with the rides bearing down on them menacingly. Dun dun DUUUUUUUN.

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