DCAU #178: Heavy Metal

IN THIS ONE... John Henry Irons becomes Steel to fight Metallo.

CREDITS: Written by Hilary Bader; directed by Curt Geda.

REVIEW: This episode strangely starts out as a comedy, with John Henry Irons trading jolly barbs with his niece Natasha as he works on his Steel armor, and Angela Chen making a complete fool of herself in a news report. Intergang is reintroduced, and we're suddenly following a group of their thugs robbing a bank, one of which has super-strength. And then I recognize Malcolm McDowell's voice, which is Metallo's, and I want to tune off. Frankly, they could have left that bucket of bolts in his last appearance's lava flow. He has one of the weakest designs in the entire series (and nonsensically reset by Intergang here), and his episodes invariably become long, boring punch-ups. Oh sure, he has a couple of new tricks to show off, and the fight choreography's pretty good, but he fights Superman, then he fights Steel, then he fights Superman again, and so it goes.

All because introducing Steel seemed to thematically require another "metal" character. That's not a great reason to bring back Metallo.

At least Steel does well, and Natasha perhaps does even better, saving Superman's butt from Metallo's kryptonite heart in the first act (using a car, so it's part of the theme). They TRY to give a similar supporting role to the community, perhaps making Steel a more overt "popular" hero - and that's something I respond very well to, see the first Spider-Man film for an example - but their plan to help is unclear. Did they move the van a block over, is that it? Anyway. In the end, Metropolis gets a second hero, and in only a few episodes, will get yet another, so looking back, while I'm happy to see the Superman Family grow, there's just not a whole lot to this one, y'know?

IN THE COMICS: Before becoming Steel, Irons was known as the Man of Steel, and sported a red cap and a "S" emblem (the 5 on his football shirt is likely a reference to this). Instead of laser beams, the suit shot large nails, such as those used on railroad tracks. His niece Natasha premiered in the first issue of Steel, soon after his own in the pages Adventures of Superman #500, and would eventually become a superhero herself, going by names like Steel, Starlight and Vaporlock. This is the first instance of Bibbo calling Superman his fav'rit on the show, which was his whole shtick in the comics; the Titano adventure seems to be behind it.

SOUNDS LIKE: Natasha Irons is voiced by Cree Summer (A Different World, Batman Beyond), who we just heard as the Wiccan girl in The Hand of Fate.

- It's watchable, but the details just aren't memorable. I'm blaming Metallo.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Orville Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine