Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Senses-Shattering Saga of the Metal Men! Part 9!

I've mentioned this before, but just about every issue of this comic feeds directly into the next; #8 was the first of a two-part story featuring Billy the blind kid, for instance. Well, you may remember the Metal Men (sans Tin) being placed in a smelting pool and emerging combined as Alloy last issue. Uh, they're still combined at the start of this one.

And, evidently, this somehow entails the return of the Gas Gang. Because of course it does. Also, it's lucky Tin isn't part of Alloy, I imagine that means he'll save the day somehow.

Did their nametags move since #6? It really is cool to see these guys again, though, I have to say; recurring villains are a good thing, I've been getting a little sick of the one-offs like the Solar Brain or the Tin Amazons. Also, I'm going to mostly refer to the alloy form as Alloy for the sake of convenience.

There's a recap that brings new readers up to speed. You may remember Alloy being big enough to fight the robot roller juggernauts, but apparently the combined Metal Men can shift size like Giant Man, because they fit into the rocket home okay and are only slightly taller than Doc here.

I seem to remember Platinum and Mercury being the whole legs last issue, but here they're just the hips. Uh, whatever. They're also the two least comfortable with the Alloy form; Mercury hates being situated so close to Platinum, and Platinum... well she mostly hates being rebuffed by Doc, which happens a couple times in this scene. Oh, and Doc starts calling Platinum a "robette". I find that hilarious and can only hope that continues.

Alloy is sent to the Metal Recovery Room while Doc and Tin do research on how to separate them. Gold takes the chance to take in some reading, Lead and Iron play cards, Mercury's temper continues to flare, and Platinum is fuming at Doc. This isn't helped when Doc's latest girlfriend shows up to visit him. Platinum maliciously trips her, but is chewed out by Doc. However, she notes to the others that Doc can't be looking into separating them and entertaining this lady at the same time. This causes them to take matters into their own hands and just jump into a smelting pool.

It turns out Doc went on a dancing date with that woman, but it ends badly when she accuses him of caring more about his Metal Men than her. Wait, didn't Platinum accuse him of the opposite? So he returns to the lab, and a worried Tin takes him to the smelting pool to check on the impromptu alloy separation.

It turns out that, much like the moon microbes from #3, there were unknown alien elements involved in forming Alloy, and combining them with the heat of the smelting pool is making the Metal Men's bodies freak out. Seriously, they're horrifying. And it's not just their bodies; when Doc tries to talk to them (with Tin shielding him from the heat and splashing molten slag), they act like they've never met him or Tin before.

Crazy Alloy leaves the pool and smashes through a wall, laughing as they head into the night. Doc and Tin give chase via tin Gadget Copter, and catches up with them. Alloy is juggling two of Doc's rockets, which collide and explode, knocking Doc out with the blast. After Tin turns into a parachute to get Doc safely to the ground, Platinum picks them up and pins them to her hat, thinking they're a cute accessory. No, for real.

The Air Force shows up to investigate the explosion, with pilots deciding to investigate the crazed Alloy (whom they take for a twisted prototype, unwilling to believe these are the real Metal Men. Awww.) I'm getting a King Kong vibe here, and that ended badly for both a lot of the pilots and the big monster. As the planes swoop in to get a closer look, the Metal Men defend themselves from what they interpret as an attack.

Some pilots get caught in Alloy's anti-air defenses, but eject before they can get hurt. Those still in the air receive orders to fire missiles at the loony robot/s, but Alloy has this covered, too; Gold commands Lead and Iron to form a blast shield, which admirably absorbs the blast/s. However, Tin and Doc are knocked loose from Platinum's hat and escape back to the lab. 

There, they head to the little museum of bad guys the Metal Men have faced (really), for reasons Doc won't explain at first. It turns out he's trying to figure out who can stop Alloy. He settles on the Gas Gang, which is handy because they're the only ones he could possibly contact and/or recreate, being that he made them the first time anyway. As he brings the Gas Gang back to life, Doc weeps that he knows no other way out of this than to destroy his beloved Metal Men.

It's vaguely suggested that the Gas Gang are more or less inherently evil, and that just begs the question: What happens after they 'destroy' the Metal Men, exactly? Who's to stop them? The Gas Gang goes outside for the climactic battle, and the Metal Men seem to be coming to their senses a little, as they remember both the Gas Gang and Doc now.

As the Gas Gang manhandles the combined Metal Men, Tin is torn between his friends and Doc -- he can't just stand there while the Gas Gang messes them up, can he? Anyway, the fight is over soon enough when Carbon Dioxide freezes Alloy solid. They're brought back to Doc's lab, where they get bombarded with electrical currents to destroy the "hostile elements" that they were alloyed with. The Gas Gang turns on Doc, knocking him out, but the cured Alloy tears them to pieces. When Doc comes to, everyone's back to their normal selves, separated from the alloy form

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