Robots are cool and Dr. Magnus knows this all too well. Who is Dr. Magnus? He made the Metal Men! Who are the Metal Men? Okay, looks like I gotta explain some things first. Let’s get to it!
William Maxwell Magnus has several doctorates and used his genius to build some of the most advanced robots on Earth. He created the Metal Men using his invention, responsometers, which give his creations intelligence and personality. These robots were Gold, their leader, Iron, the strongest member, temperamental Mercury, meek but sweet Tin, the gentle but not-so-quick witted Lead, and caring Platinum.
The team, along with Will, would have many a strange adventure. Will would make a name for himself among the superhero community as a fantastic consultant on many subjects. Since so many villains would employ robots it seemed only natural to go to another roboticist who was on their side instead.
During the year without Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman the Metal Men and Will were struggling. Will deals with bipolar disorder and he dismantled the Metal Men. He has medicated himself but struggles with self doubt and can’t rebuild the team. He goes to seek out his mentor turned villain T.O. Morrow in jail and learns that scientists are being kidnapped and Will is warned to stay safe. Morrow is kidnapped and leaves a note for Will to help him rebuild Mercury. Mercury sacrifices himself trying to save Will from the conspiracy taking scientists.
Sadly, Will would be captured and taken to Oolong Island where he was forced to take part in a think tank with many of the planet’s best scientists. Financed by Intergang, the world-spanning criminal organization, to build as many weapons and other destructive devices as possible. Intergang takes away Will’s medication to try and motivate him to give them results on a Plutonium Man project. Finding scraps of the necessary metals, Will was able to recreate the Metal Men in miniature. The team is able to help him deal without his medication and stop him from activating the Plutonium Man.
Able to escape with the aide of the Metal Men, Will shuts down the defenses of Oolong Island allowing the Justice Society of America to get in. Will ends up fighting with Chang Tzu, the man who imprisoned him and was in charge of enforcing Will do his work. The fight ends with Will killing Chang in self defense. When the JSA find him they learn how he was imprisoned and forced to do such awful work so he is absolved of any wrong doing. Finally able to return home, Will meets with Booster Gold to help fix his robot friend Skeets and with a new lease on life, is able to begin rebuilding the Metal Men.
Finally having the Metal Men back, Will has even built a new member, Copper. The team are hired by Bruce Wayne as bodyguards but due to Braniac influences prove to be not the ideal security. Will would be called in by the Justice League to help rebuild Red Tornado and get caught up in that whole mess for a bit.
In the New 52, Will built the Metal Men to be search and rescue bots but the government tried to take them and make them assassins. Will took the Metal Men and hid them in his home where they protected Will from an experiment gone wrong but were destroyed in the process. Will still has their responometers so he is waiting for a safe time to rebuild them.
My favorite incarnation of Magnus and his Metal Men is from the Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon series. They have the perfect feel for a sitcom. Someone give them a sitcom. I’ll write it. See you next time!