FW Team-Up: Superman and the Metal Men

Siskoid and Bass' coverage of DC Comics Presents brings them to issue #4 (December 1978) as Superman and the Metal Men's powers start to fail... but is it Chemo's fault, or I.Q.'s? It can't be Science's fault, because Science was out to lunch during this one...

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Relevant images and further credits at: FW Team-Up Supplemental

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11 responses to “FW Team-Up: Superman and the Metal Men

  1. In light of future stories, I expect “at a conference in Europe” is being used as a euphemism for medium-term psychiatric care. Hopefully ar a better institution than Arkham.

  2. And so we come to the end of the thoroughly enjoyable first four issues of DCCP with their wonderful JLGL (PBHN) art. Again, like the three that preceded, the story was a bit silly, but still so much fun. And I agree that the Metal Men are a great team – I love it when they appear in a team-up book, but I also love their solo outings (and I am extremely fond of their all-too-brief late ’70s revival, with stories drawn by Walt Simonson and then Joe Station).
    Anyway, as usual I really enjoyed the conversation and breakdown of this issue. And also, I agree with you guys about how to pronounce Chemo, i.e., I also say ‘Kemmo’ rather than ‘Keemo’.

    By the way, just one correction: DCCP wasn’t the first time Superman was in a team-up book. For a brief period in 1971-72, the format of World’s Finest was changed, so that Superman teamed up with other DCU characters. However, most fans can be forgiven for overlooking this, because it only lasted for 13 issues (#s 198-210) , and the guest in two of those was Batman (while one was a giant reprint issue).

  3. K here is my team up :Metal men and digimon
    When a strange beam of data hits doc magnus lab results in a group of strange eggs be found by young alternate version of doctor magnus say about ten and his best friend Robby read age 10 1/2 . The eggs hatch and two heroes get digi vices the ones from season 2 of the anime . And with there new digimon alies end opening a digi Gate to the regular dc universe and meet there counter parts and yes we will have the classic hero dial as well . That’s my pitch . See as a young adventure type comics with the problems of doc having to deal with his younger selve while Tina goese in to full on big sis mode .

  4. I bought this one off the rack and just love it. There is too much to love.

    The tennis match is silly. The beach scene with the normies. Chemo stuffed inside the cannon, only the tip of his head visible. Platinum crushing on Superman.

    But it is the math scene that is burned into my mind. Superman super-speed erasing chalk-drawn complicated math is in my mind! I just just love it.

    Thanks for reviewing and bringing all the nostalgia back.

    Lastly, I would team up the Metal Men with Marvel’s Machine Man. I think all the existentialism of that character could be interesting with the Metal Men’s whimsy.

    PS: Loved the Giffen/Maguire Metal Men, the backup feature in Giffens Doom Patrol. I think Copper was introduced there.

  5. Fun discussion, gentlemen. Though I am surprised no one asked the question of how the hairy heck Superman had exited the plane through the lavatory. And surely the plane would have landed way before this story had ended. No doubt rescue crews were prying open the onboard septic system tanks thinking that Clark accidentally flushed himself during the flight…

    I suppose the absence of Doc Magnus in this story was carrying forward the storyline started in Metal Men #54, where the robotic heroes took their leave of Doc and became independent citizens of the world.

    Superman had actually fought Chemo a few times in issues 342 and 370 of his own title, but those stories were published after this one, so it was indeed as a beam that Chemo had “flattened [Superman] before.”

    I loved the Amalgam “Starmen” concept, though “Magnus: Robot Fighter” sounds like a catchier title… but maybe that’s just me.

  6. Thanks for covering DC Comics Presents #4, is it not gorgeous? Boy, Len Wein and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez really did make a great team. As you say, Bass and Siskoid, the story did have the odd headscratching moment, but as a 14-year-old buying the book, I loved it. Still do, it stands up as a fun story for all time, not just the Bronze Age. Unlike the post-Crisis revamp, this isn’t a story to be wiped from the canon, it’s pure, classic Metal Men.

    Speaking of that dodgy Metal Men mini of the early Nineties, let’s not call it then Dan Jurgens book– he was pencilling it, but Mike Carlin wrote the thing.

    I enjoyed the Duncan Rouleau designs as things to look at. Colourful robots. But they’re not the Metal Men. The Metal Men never needed a redesign, Ross Andru got it perfect on Day One. I mean, Platina? Maybe they’re the Metal Men of Earth Manga or something. Sure, the originals may look anachronistic to kids, but that’s who they are. You may as well make Superman blond.

    I had forgotten that IQ was originally a Hawkman villain. In my mind, he is JLA all the way – I think I get him confused with that stinker Professor Ivo.

  7. So…Chemo’s power is that he spits on people. Well that’s awful.

    I have a huge blind spot with pre-crisis DC so it’s fun to check these books out and see how weird it all was back in the late 70s and early 80s. Superman was so dramatic and over the top in some of these panels and I am here for all of it! In some universe, there is a 1973 Superman movie starring William Shatner where he is spouting all this dialogue and it is glorious.

    I enjoyed the discussion about The Metal Men. To be fair, I didn’t really like them when I was younger, but now I feel like their late 50s/early 60s vibe would work wonderfully in a story set in 2023. That kind of upbeat, out of time navieté clashing with a more modern setting and contemporary attitudes could probably produce some hilarious fish out of water kind of stories.

    If I was going to imagine a team-up and keep the metal motif, how about The Metal Men and The Terminator. Where Dr. Magnus and The Metal Men are the template that is responsible for Skynet. Resistance fighters and a few Terminators show up in 1963 and all hell breaks loose.

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