You know, I thought the living evil rollercoaster from last issue was a bit of a stretch, and even the Gas Gang was pretty hokey, but this bad guy is made of rubber rollers from a newspaper press. Every time I think I've seen everything, the Metal Men show up and prove me wrong.
...And, of course, everyone gets rolled into coins, like a penny at a theme park. Oh, is that the connection to the previous issue? Oh, and please tell me we aren't calling Iron "Ron" now. I hope that's just a typo. Anyway, as you'll remember, last issue ended with the Metal Men blinded and the blind kid Billy forced to lead them to safety. Luckily, he always counts his steps, and gets them back to the rocket with little incident by retracing them. Once they get inside, however...
Wait, "teenage"? Seriously? I would've guessed Billy was 11 or 12. Also, I really don't see how any of the Metal Men would be able to tell what's happening outside just by listening. Anyway, if they're to survive this, Billy has to launch the rocket with the Metal Men's instruction. He manages that, but they end up bringing the three nearest evil rides with them... until they melt away to nothing when the rocket escapes the atmosphere.
There's a great moment here where the Metal Men are praising Billy. Note Lead's line.
A robot like you, Lead? I think there are paramecia as smart as you. Anyway, Mercury isn't happy (as usual), because nobody knows where they're even going -- as long as everybody's blind, there's no way they'll get back to Earth. As if on cue, the rocket spins out of control for a reason nobody's quite sure of.
Meanwhile, Doc is still hard at work in his lab, trying to devise a way to cure Billy's blindness. He actually doesn't know Billy and the Metal Men are in space, as he hasn't left the lab since bringing Billy there.
Anyway, the rocket hurtles towards another strange planet. Incidentally, no real explanation for why it went crazy like that; Billy thinks there might be some cosmic storm, Gold theorized the gyroscope got busted, and Mercury blames Billy's blind piloting. Anyway, it's the planet of the Robot Juggernauts, the giant guys made of rubber rollers.
I don't know why, but I take these guys much less seriously than the giant tin amazons, or even the evil theme park rides. Billy manages an emergency landing (having learned how to land the rocket last issue), and everyone's A-OK on the ground... except for Mercury, who was splattered all over the place while the Metal Men were bumping into each other. He can't pull himself together and needs everyone else to put his errant globules and parts into place. You know, this is kind of a weird comic.
They end up taking Mercury (in buckets) outside, so as to have more room to put him back together. Luckily, the Metal Men's blindness starts to wear off around then -- just in time to see the Robot Juggernauts making their way to them. They try to lead the robots away, but apparently they didn't even see them, as they go right for the rocket and take it away, and the Metal Men naturally have to go after it. They leave Billy behind for his own safety just as it starts to rain.
OR DO THEY? The bizarre chemicals in this alien planet's rain just cure the Hell out of Billy's blindness, a development that causes Platinum to come back, grab him, and take him along. Hey, isn't that how this got started in the first place, Platinum noticing and caring about Billy? Anyway, a robot lion, not unlike the robot birds from the Tin Amazon planet, leaps out and attacks.
So is this like Transformers, where Earth is the exception to the rule and most planets with life have mechanical lifeforms? Anyway, Lead and Iron turn into a huge press and flatten it without much trouble.
Soon they see their rocket on the horizon, but a huge robot juggernaut blocks the way. At this point, a more-irritable-than-usual Mercury puts himself back together in a lopsided, incomplete fashion, as he's sick of being treated like an invalid.
The juggernaut magnetizes itself, which attracts the Metal Men (yes, all of them) to it. Platinum thinks quickly and throws Billy to Tin, who was furthest away from the robot. While the other Metal Men are caught in the juggernaut's rollers, Tin turns into a hoop and rolls Billy to safety... until Billy insists they go back for the others.
It turns out these giant robot juggernauts are cannibals, and they were going to eat the rocket after putting it in a smelting pool. But now the Metal Men are up first. And naturally this entails rolling them flat.
As Billy and Tin return, the other guys are dropped into the smelter. They're melting pretty good until Gold suggests they take the opportunity to form an alloy with each other. And this takes the form of a giant robot.
If you've read Kingdom Come, you might remember a giant named Alloy was present when the Parasite killed Captain Atom, and that Alloy was the combined form of the Metal Men. I had no goddamn idea that was based on an actual thing in a Metal Men comic (although obviously this one doesn't include Tin). Man, this is 1964, which I think makes the Metal Men the original combining robot team. Yeah, eat it Voltron, Devastator, and Daiapolon.
In their Alloy form, the Metal Men make quick work of the cannibal juggernauts and head back home in their rocket. Humorously, everyone but Tin is still combined into the alloy form; I guess it'll take a trip to the Metal Recovery Room to sort that out.