Sholly Fisch and Will Conrad are certainly not strangers to DC, with Fisch being quite familiar with the New 52 Superman. The New 52 Metallo was introduced in Morrison’s first volume of Action Comics, but has been missing ever since then. Fisch and Conrad let us discover just what Metal-Zero has been doing since then. Well nothing, he’s in a three year coma. Given Corben’s relationship with both Sam and Lois Lane’s, it isn’t hard to imagine Lane treating him like a son. It is this sense of nurturing that gives Corben his Kryptonite heart. Which of course leaves the question, how much man is left? Here is what I liked about the issue.
1. Seeing Sam Lane genuinely care about someone was both refreshing and weird.
2. This Corben is a little better equipped than previous versions.
3. The distinction between John Corben, Metal-Zero, and Metallo, is an excellent road map of the characters fall from grace.
Rating before reading: 6
Rating after reading: 5
There is a lot going for this book, but it lacks anything that makes it a tremendous read. While not bad by any means, it is plagued by multiple problems with both continuity and story. First, once Metallo attempts to kill Sam Lane in revenge, he mentions wanting to kill Superman. Lane replies that he’s missing or dead, implying that the events of Trinity War have already happened. Yet the end of the issue see’s him courted by the Secret Society, and he is very prominently featured in the fold out page from Forever Evil #1. This either means there is a lengthy bit of time between Trinity War and Forever Evil, or that DC didn’t care about making it fit anywhere. Most all the excellent books have made it clear what time their stories take place, the best of which often interacts with Forever Evil in someway. Metallo does none of these things, and instead leaves readers confused. In addition to that, though the read is fine, there is nothing that grabs the readers attention. This book just is, aside from Conrad’s art, the book has nothing that keeps us wanting to turn the page, a mark of a poor book indeed.
This book could have done so much to flesh out the character, and the interesting history he has with the Lane’s but instead focuses on the wrong things. We see nothing of what made Corben into the man he was, only him willfully and gleefully murdering as Metal-Zero and later Metallo. There isn’t a clear reasoning behind any of his actions, and its conflict with Forever Evil makes you want to skip this book entirely.
So while I’m a fan of both the creators on this book, their missteps on this book were one too many to forgive.
Until the next time,