After playing a fairly large role in Grant Morrison’s run on Action, Metallo has not really been seen since, and in this issue, Sholly Fisch and Steve Pugh do an excellent job of explaining why that is.
Basically, for 3 years, John Corben AKA Metal-Zero AKA Metallo was in a coma. It wasn’t until General Lane gave him his traditional Kryptonite Heart that he woke up, more powerful, and more crazy than ever. The US Military attempt to put Metallo back into combat, but he’s too bloodthirsty for them, just going too far and doing stuff like, when faced with a complex hostage situation, just blowing the whole building up. So, Lane and the rest of the army cut ties, and blow up a plane that Metallo is in, believing him dead.
But, he ain’t. Metallo survives at the bottom of the ocean, and slowly walks back to the US, where he confronts Lane. He then fights a new and improved version of himself, Metal-2.0, but because Corben is crazy and violent, he’s able to defeat this guy. It’s great how Fisch has gone out of his way to show that Metallo is not dangerous because he’s got a Robot Body and Kryptonite, but because as a person, he’s already unstable. General Lane once again blows up Metallo, but at the last minute, he’s teleported away by the Secret Society. I really liked the way Fisch used Scarecrow here, yes, he’s a psychopath, but he’s also a psychologist, and he gets right to the core of who Corben is, and gets him to join up with their villainous cause.
Steve Pugh’s artwork was excellent here, he’s been doing great stuff on Animal Man for a while, but this looked even better, maybe it’s that he has a different colourist, I don’t know, but this looked excellent. So many of the Villain’s Month books have been slapdash in terms of art, but this one looked great.
This was good comic, it managed to take a Superman villain I was never too interested in, and tell an interesting story with him, as well as setting him up for intriguing stuff in the future, I’m excited to see this Metallo take on Superman again, and I’d also love to see Ultraman try and snort his heart! That would be my kind of crazy.