Episode Title: “Clash of the Metal Men!”
Original Air Date: January 29, 2010
Metals, gases and mind control, sounds like a pretty good combination for a fun episode. We have a teaser that builds on this season’s primary arc, as well as some trippy silver age characters and the threat of an erupting volcano to boot! Can one episode contain all this intrigue? read on to find out.
The teaser takes place at sea, Aquaman and Batman work together to save the day, and after a job well done Aquaman returns to Atlantis for a bit of respite. When he arrives at home he is attacked by Mera and Equaled who have fallen prey to Starro’s mid control via face sucking starfish. Aquaman soon discovers that all of Atlantis has come under Starro’s control, and set’s about battling the Faceless Hunter, Starro’s herald. At the end of the teaser we see a starfish stuck to Aquaman’s face as he begins chanting “Starro’s coming”.
The story proper opens with Batman battling the giant sized toxic entity in a containment suit known as Chemo. The Dark Knight seems to have his hands full until five quirky androids known as the Metal Men show up to give an assist. With the help of these new found alloy allies Chemo is defeated, and Batman is left curious about exactly who these androids are.
The Metal Men were somewhat of a last minute creation by DC in 1962, when the company was in a hurry to fill some pages in Showcase #37. Due to their atypical nature and group dynamic the formed somewhat of a cult following, but failed to obtain any mainstream success. Until this episode they never had any multimedia appearances, but their debut is a very good interpretation of their Silver Age comic book versions.
Batman goes back to the Metal Men’s base and meets their creator who shows a film strip detailing the development of the team of androids, just as the mysterious Gas Gang shows up and cause havoc. The vaporous villains prove difficult to combat, because it’s hard to punch a cloud, and succeed in Kidnapping the metal men’s creator Will Magnus. Back at their own lair the Gas Gang reveal that Magnus is also their creator, though it was an accident rather than an intentional action.
The Gas Gang trap the heroes, and begin machinations to lower magnus into a volcano along with a gas canister that will cause the volcano to blow it’s top. Batman dons a power suit made up of the 5 Metal Men and battles the nefarious and noxious gases, but the combined forces of the gas gang prove to be too much when they form a compound that can destroy anything it touches. Batman comes up with a way to neutralize them and saves the day, but is stuck with a high pitched voice due to his encounters with Gas Gangster, Helium.
It is a lot of fun getting to see characters as peculiar as the Metal Men adapted in animated form, and I’m kind of surprised that it took this long for it to happen. They seem to have been perfect for 70’s Saturday morning cartoons in the same vane as Plastic Man or the Super Globe Trotters, but alas it didn’t happen. There are still occasional whispers about a possible live action adaptation of the Metal Men (as a stand alone movie, or perhaps on The Flash or Arrow) but who knows if it will ever come to be. For now, The Batman Brave and the Bold metal men are pretty much all we’ve got, and honestly it works great for me. Go check out Clash of the Metal Men!