What a joy it is that some creators are able to come back and deliver the same quality that they did in the past. I held off on reading this collection for a long time; I was worried that Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire wouldn’t be able to recreate the joy found in their old JLI comics. (Even though they have come back and done it at least twice before.) It turns out I shouldn’t have been worried.
I’m not a huge Metal Men fan. I like the look, but I really can’t get into the generic personalities. But that’s not a problem here. Giffen and DeMatteis write this thing like a sitcom, with easily approachable and likeable personalities for each member of the team. Gold is the big-headed leader; I got a real Booster Gold vibe from him. Platinum is great as the lovesick leading lady, but that’s because she’s annoyed at her feelings and wonders if she’s been programmed to be so silly. Copper is the only addition to the team, but she provides a great recurring joke for the length of the series. Her affections for Gold just make her situation even more amusing. Mercury is a jerk and Tin is a wimp, as expected. Iron and Lead are the straight ‘bots, they don’t get a ton to do.
Doc Magnus comes off in a manner pretty similar to Reed Richards. He’s an absent-minded professor who means well, but doesn’t think a lot of anyone around him. Forcing Doc to interact with people in suburban Chicago is a brilliant idea and actually gives the “normal” people the upper hand.
This collection barely has villains, but the antagonists are Douglas: Robot Hunter, the Clique, and Giganta (who loses her top). So yeah, the danger doesn’t exactly keep you coming back. The witty banter does!
Kevin Maguire is so good. I don’t know how I’m not buying his World’s Finest series. Every single character exhibits his fantastic “acting” and facial expressions. I forgot how good Maguire is at action, too; his insane level of detail works nicely in “standard” stories too.